Angie Dosanjh said floating in a sensory-deprivation tank opened an unexpected path of healing for her.

Finding peace in ‘nothing’

South Surrey's Angie Dosanjh found unexpected healing in a sensory-deprivation tank.

When Angie Dosanjh got the devastating news of her husband’s death, she was “completely broken.”

Tej had been her high school sweetheart, they’d been married 10 years and she was just weeks away from giving birth to their second child when police rang the doorbell of their Cloverdale home early one morning in August 2012.

“There’s no manual” for dealing with that kind of loss, Dosanjh said. “It opened up my heart in a way in which I realized how traumatic life can be.”

Overwhelmed by grief while focusing on remaining strong for her daughters, Dosanjh began re-evaluating her life, and looked to alternative paths to find her own healing.

She found it where she least expected – in ‘nothing.’

“The experience of floating is commonly referred to as experiencing nothing,” Dosanjh explained, of the sensory deprivation technique a friend suggested she try as a means of finding relief from the chaos her life had become. “The first time I floated, I couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or closed.”

It involves floating au naturel in a sound- and light-proof tank of Epsom-salt-saturated, body-temperature water – approximately 1,000 pounds of salt in 1,000 litres of water – for 90 minutes.

Developed about 65 years ago by Dr. John C. Lilly, who was studying the effect of reduced external stimuli on the brain, it was exactly what Dosanjh needed – a place where she could finally process her grief.

For some, the experience evokes auditory and visual hallucinations; others report heightened creativity – drawn out while engulfed in weightless silence and darkness, with no sense of time or space.

For Dosanjh – who was moved to include the tanks in the salt-therapy centre she opened last month in South Surrey (Salt Wellness Centre, 103-15303 31 Ave., 778-294-7258) – “it brought out stuff.”

“Floating was an opportunity for me to be real for myself,” she said. “It was really profound for me.”

It’s been just over a year since Dosanjh had her first float, and she acknowledges that circumstances which drove her to try it were not typical.

But she’s convinced there’s a place for floating in everyone’s life – whether it’s for stress relief, help managing chronic pain, injury recovery or simply to relax. (She noted her centre is the first this side of the Fraser to offer float tanks; she also offers dry-salt therapy, for respiratory and skin ailments, as well as massage.)

Next month will mark the third anniversary of her husband’s death, and while her  business may have evolved from the tragedy, Dosanjh said it is not centred on it.

“Losing him resulted in me going off on a different path,” she said. “As tragic as it is, it’s not going to define me, but it’s going to create meaning for me… turn my scars into sacred scars.

“I really feel like I want this to be a place of healing and rest for people.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The corner of North Bluff Road and Stayte Road in White Rock was a hot-spot for signs promoting the five candidates vying for the MLA seat in the Surrey-White Rock riding. (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey/White Rock voters have their say on issues that matter to them

Transportation, trains to COVID-19 are top of mind for Semiahmoo Peninsula residents

Upgrades underway at the Sunnyside Reservoir, adjacent to Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, raised concerns among some residents Tuesday (Oct. 20), however, stewards of the park say everything went off without a hitch. (Tracy Holmes photo)
‘No issue’ with South Surrey reservoir drainage, despite trail user concerns: urban forest steward

Forest visitor taken aback by ‘unprecedented flooding’ of trails

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Staff members at Surrey Pretrial test positive for COVID-19

Ministry of Public Safety says employees tested positive between Oct. 18 and 23

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read