Joe Beaudry was searching for ways to de-stress from the increasing demands of his rise up the IT ladder of the nation’s largest wireless communications provider. He came across an article about the sensory deprivation tanks of the 1960s and 1970s. Sounded interesting, but were there any still around? Turned out that a coworker knew a guy who knew a guy, and Joe found himself at a stranger’s house, unfurnished except for the tank that resembled a meat locker. Not exactly “knock three times and whisper low,” but it felt a tad sketchy. Undaunted, Joe floated, was hooked and determined to bring floating into the 21st century.
In another case of knowing a guy who knew a guy, Joe met Scott Swerland, serial entrepreneur and CEO of two successful tanning companies. The two founded Urban Float with Scott as CEO, Joe as Chief Operating Officer, and lifted sensory deprivation from the days of shag carpets and avocado kitchens and made it millennial friendly. Urban Float offers a premium spa experience with the most comfortable, safe and convenient floatation systems. They started out with two three-pod locations in Seattle. Before long, they opened two more, and a couple years later, their first franchise opened in Vancouver, WA, and was the start of their national expansion.
Whether you are seeking pain management, relief from stress or anxiety, improved focus, or, for one precious hour, a “world of one’s own,” Urban Float provides a sanctuary that promises an improved quality of life. The facilities are fastidiously clean and aesthetically pleasing with an upscale-modern décor. The staff are welcoming, considerate and ready to help guests renew their bodies, refresh their minds, and revive their senses.
The private fiberglass float pod (glistening white, sleek, futuristic) is filled with 200 gallons of skin-temperature purified water. (After each guest, the water is put through a three-stage filtration process and then sanitized with a disinfectant and UV light.) For an hour, relax, as you are weightlessly buoyed by 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt on 10 inches of water and garner the proven physical, mental and emotional benefits, including reduction in pain and muscle tension, improved concentration and creativity and decreased stress and anxiety.
Epsom salt has been a “miracle” cure since the 17th century when it was discovered in Epsom, England, bubbling up from an underground spring. The salt (actually a magnesium-sulfate compound) facilitates the healing of wounds, relaxes muscles by flushing out lactic acid buildup and loosens stiff joints. The uptake of magnesium enhances the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients, works as a natural calming agent and raises serotonin levels in the brain.
When you enter the pod (nude is recommended but not required) and are cut off from sight, sound and gravity and float weightlessly in the darkness and silence, you will become one with the water and enter a deep relaxed state.
A little leery of being closed off at first? You are free to leave the lid open and the room lights on. In fact, you can open or close the lid at any time during your float.
You don’t even have to worry about having everything you need for your float. It’s all provided: ear plugs, showers, soap, shampoo, towels, etc. Just if you have long hair, bring a hair tie to keep it from floating around and distracting you.
When you finish your float and shower, you are then taken to the “post-float” room, given water to rehydrate and can take the time to luxuriate in the well being that you feel. No fair getting out the smart phone right away!
The Urban Float has become a valued part of the conditioning programs of some of our finest professional athletes, including NBA superstar, Steph Curry and gymnast and Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman. Sports teams have installed pods in their locker rooms, including the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.
Did You Know?
Neurophysiologist, Dr. John C. Lilly, was studying consciousness at the NIH when he invented the first sensory deprivation tank in the 1950s. He became interested in dolphin communication and LSD, giving it to the dolphins and taking it himself, and conversed with them while in the tank. He was very annoyed with how quickly they spoke, so discontinued his research. He continued researching psychoactive drugs and eventually became convinced that a group of benevolent cosmic beings controlled Earth.