The well-being industry is on the precipice of its very own remit. A new invention is being marketed as a ‘time-out’ from the usual methodology – the yoga, the meditation, the activated sprouts – with a contrarian approach that subjects the user to a burst of extreme stress.
The UnZen Hole is a walk-in-head-chamber that encases the user from the neck upwards. Once in, an assault of the senses is activated.
Firstly, a noxious blast of ammonium disorientates. Then comes a kaleidoscope of contrasting visuals: kids television, terrorist footage, The Queen’s speech and ancient German soft porn are shuttered schizophrenically. The soundtrack is a dyslexic barrage of industrial techno, Christmas carols and ascending monkey mating calls, all crescendoing with ear curdling white noise.The programme lasts one minute, in which time stress hormones skyrocket to near-fatal levels. Once over, the user enters into a relief state. Saturated in endorphins and adrenaline, the effect of surviving a near-death experience stabilises in a waterfall of serenity.
Stimulating Post-Traumatic-Euphoria has a mythological ring to it; tranquillity reached via a gruesome rite of passage. And let’s face it, such coming-of-age rituals have dried up in the modern world. These days you’ll struggle to be initiated into manhood via a good circumcision, a bloody Pagan sacrifice, Ethiopian cow jumping, the Amazonian Bullet Ant Gloves or the British Public School spunk-the-biscuit ceremony. A gap in the market has been plugged by this makeshift contraption.
Installation of your very own UnZen Hole will be subsidised by local governments. There are also plans for decommissioned telephone booths to be converted into public UnZen Holes – relabeled as small community de-stressing portals.