An out-of-body experience is the separation of one’s consciousness from the physical body. It is also commonly known by the theosophist term astral projection, and the term out-of-body experience is an attempt by parapsychologists to separate the phenomenon from such philosophy-based terms.
During an OBE the detached consciousness is able to visit locations other than that occupied by the physical body. Some people claim to be able to visit not only different countries and galaxies but also different time periods while in this state. While some claim to be able to bring this separation about through conscious effort, most cases seem to happen spontaneously while the individual is asleep or in a state of deep relaxation. OBEs have also been reported during near death experiences, after taking psychedelic drugs and as a result of dehydration or starvation.