Common steps and sub-activities
Isolation chambers and ‘White rooms’
Isolation chambers are rooms without windows, the room may be in total darkness or there may be a very dim [often red] light, so the person doesn’t fall over things. If light is used, a single monotonous colour is used. White is quite effective.
The room may be sealed to exclude all sound and smells. The difficulty then arises of how to eliminate the senses of touch and in isolation rooms which have a kind intent, soft warm bedding is used, or the padding is so thick and warm and soft it acts to reduce the stimulation.
Isolation chambers or rooms provide sensory deprivation, as such they would appear to be ideal as a method for obtaining spiritual experience as they should help to reduce threats. But, it can go either way, some people perceive the effects as a hugely increased threat, and go into a blind panic of fear. Thus sometimes the overall effect of such chambers is due to a vast rush of Endorphins as the body tries to calm the flight or fight response with pain killers.
The intention is not to provoke fear, but it is fairly clear from some of the observations, it can provoke inordinate amounts of fear.
In 2003, clinical researchers reported that the use of a float tank triggers the production of endorphins. [Kjellgren A, Sundequist U, et al. "Effects of flotation-REST on muscle tension pain". Pain Research and Management 6 (4): 181-9 ]. Now isolation chambers are not dissimilar to float tanks. And endorphins are usually released in response to fear. They are a pain response. So in an odd way, isolation rooms are like opium in their effects, with the same pluses and minuses. Endorphins are addictive.
It may be worth adding that the song White Room is a ‘psychedelic rock song’ by British supergroup Cream.