What are the best products for relaxation? Meditation pods are definitely one of them. These are the future of Zen and the most relaxing product on the market.
When you first see a meditation pod, you’ll probably think you’re on the set of Star Wars Episode VIII. That’s because most meditation pods look uncannily like a spacecraft.
To be a nerd; they specifically look like an escape pod.
That’s a surprisingly fitting term, actually.
An escape pod is precisely what this is.
You sit back in the meditation pod, an illuminated dome lowers over a reclining chair. And then you’re completely encapsulated; cocooned.
That’s where things go from sci-fi-esque to just plain psychedelic.
You rest your feet out, recline, and then the meditation pod lights up.
The meditation pod I sat in was purple, which is the colour associated with spirituality. But other pods are aqua blue or a warming orange. And each colour produces different moods.
Those moods are enhanced when the music starts playing. We’re not talking One Direction. Meditation pods use binaural beats. Essentially, that means they play different frequency sounds in each ear. Your brain then balances those frequencies out.
“When signals of two different frequencies (sounds) are presented, one to each ear, the brain detects phase differences between these signals,” says MindFit Hypnosis. “The brain processes this anomalous information differently when these phase differences are heard with stereo headphones or speakers. A perceptual integration of the two signals is perceived in the brain, producing the sensation of a third “beat”. The difference between the signals waxes and wanes the two stereo sounds mesh in and out of phase. The binaural beat is perceived as a fluctuating rhythm at the frequency of the difference between the two auditory inputs.”
Meditatio Pods that use floatation then fill with water that matches the temperature of your own body.
A hefty dollop of Epsom salt then increases the density of that water, making your body float.
By the end of this distinctly sci-fi affair, you’re floating in a room full of water, surrounded by soothing light and binaural beats. An odd experience, but a rewarding one.
Those on the western coast of the US have already experienced the wonders of meditation pods. Pods have been popular there since about 2014. In 2015 Canada opened its first floatation therapy centre in British Columbia. But still, odds are you’ll be hard pushed to find a meditation pod in your area. Because the world has still not taken to them… yet.
Perhaps that’s not surprising. Floatation therapy has always struggled to catch on.
In the 1980s, before the world went digital-crazy, spas installed rudimentary floatation devices. But hardly anyone used them and they soon went out of fashion. Will history repeat itself?
That depends on two things. Firstly, how beneficial pods end up being, and secondly, how readily available they become.
Meditation pods are currently around $30,000. Clearly, that’s a tall order when you could just lie in bed meditating. And as for the research into the benefits of these meditation pods. Well, it’s early days.
What are the benefits of a meditation pod / floatation therapy?
Research is in its infancy.
Some scientists claim that meditation pods increase creative performance and boost cognitive abilities. Critics are skeptical. But one thing is for certain. When you float in that Epsom water and listen to the binaural beats, you will most certainly relax. For anyone with stress, anxiety, or depression, twenty minutes in one of these could provide some much needed therapy.
But is this more relaxing than this absolutely beautiful meditation music?
Well. Not if you’re Jane Simmons…
“I have claustrophobia,” says Jane Simmons, a spa aficionado and lifelong meditator. “The moment the lid closed I started screaming. The creepy binaural sounds and the water just made it worse. No way can I relax in this. It’s a nightmare for me.”
The experience has been downright bone-chilling for some.
“I started seeing these lights swirling above me. And I heard an eerie voice,” says Tamzin Oakland, who had her first meditation pod session last month.
Tamzin is not alone. A Swedish study in 2008 showed that many people experience imaginary voices and light phenomena when in a meditation pod. It turns out that when the brain is cut off from external stimuli, it begins to create its own.
So where do meditation pods stand? Will meditation pods catch on? Or are they just a fad?
As things stand, meditation pods are in the same position virtual reality was in a year ago.
Both VR and meditation pods (or “floatation therapy decides”) were around in the 1980s. But they failed to take on. Both have seen a resurgence. And both have both benefits and drawbacks. Virtual reality offers complete escapism at the possible expense of motion sickness. And meditation pods offer escapism at the risk of claustrophobia and hallucinations.
VR is finally getting its time in the sun. Sales of VR units are currently strong. That once so futuristic technology is now looking very contemporary. And meditation pods will likely fair the same way. They may not catch on this year. Maybe not the next. But with all the benefits meditation pods offer, they will be the must-have item for the next decade.