Tim Smith interviews Gloria Morris on his Mouth-to-Mouth with Time Podcast. They cover several topics and have a great conversation on how Float Sixty came to be and the power of floating.
Monday, August 08, 2016 07:13PM
CHICAGO (WLS) --When the Chicago Cubs re-built their club house, they included a float tank, which is the latest craze for a healthy body and mind.
A float tank is essentially a personal pool filled with 10 inches of body-temperature water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt.
"It's a zero-gravity experience that cushions your body like a cloud," said Gloria Irwin, owner of Float Sixty in the city's River North neighborhood. She adds: "It really creates that euphoric state of complete weightlessness."
Float Sixty's clients include some of the most-recognized athletes from many Chicago sports teams.
Irwin said the magnesium sulfate helps the body - joints, muscles, etc. - naturally relax.
"It's a natural muscle relaxer. That's why it's so wonderful for people who are physically active," she said.
Jonathan Toews, Jeremy Roenick and Matt Forte are among the floaters at Float Sixty.
"Athletes just understand there are a lot of new methods out there for taking care of their bodies," Irwin said. "The quality of being in that space where there is absolutely no tension on your body whatsoever."
ACB7 Sports reporter Dionne Miller gave it a try. She had a tough time being still for 60 minutes, but believes that the art of stillness can have lasting benefits.
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Float Sixty was featured this week in the Chicago Sun Times lifestyle magazine SPLASH: http://splash.suntimes.com/2016/04/14/6-ways-to-shape-up-for-spring
Author Amber Gibson highlights Six Ways to Shape Up for Spring:
"Look and feel like a million bucks — for much less — this spring with a little help from theselocal spots"
This month's cover is graced with the beautiful Sarah Wood and her courageous story of surviving Breast Cancer:
Float Sixty is Chicago's newest and largest Float/Sensory Deprivation Studio. Newly opened in January of 2016 and nestled in the city's River North neighborhood, this is the city's MODERN float and relaxation destination! Float Sixty River North offers guests sixty minute sessions in one of five european-style float suites. Our private suites are fully equipped with state-of-the-art showers and floatation (or floatation) equipment with options for color light therapy and integrated music. For those desiring the true R.E.S.T. (Restricted External Stimuli Therapy) lights/sounds are simply disengaged promoting hyper meditative states in personal private environments. Our sixth suite is dedicated to quiet and is offered as a meditation/relaxation room.
Float rooms, pods and tanks vary in style but are the same in foundation. Guests float effortlessly in a meticulously clear personal pool. Each room is filled with ten inches of water dense with a saline solution containing 1,000 lbs of dissolved, pharmaceutical grade magnesium sulfate or "Epsom Salts"!
Float Sixty carries a full line of take-home Epsom Salts, Dead Sea Salts and approximately sixteen salt soak formulas infused with essential oils beneficial to men, women and children. Our retail area offers unique relaxation inspired gifts that appeal to anyone who needs to "detox" from their busy crazy worlds.
Float Sixty - One Clear Hour Specialties Floatation Tanks/Pods/Rooms, Restricted External Stimulation Therapy, Relaxation, Self-Care, Sensory Deprivation Tank, Epsom Salt Products
Website http://www.floatsixty.com Industry Health, Wellness and Fitness Type Privately Held Company Size 1-10 employees Founded 2015
Imagine stripping down and stepping into a water tank filled with 1,000-plus pounds of Epsom salt. Free of sound, free of gravity, and free of light (yes, you are in total darkness). Just you and your thoughts, floating in the water in total darkness for an hour. Welcome to the latest in wellness treatments: sensory deprivation tanks. The tanks have been around for a while, since 1954, when scientist John C. Lilly supposedly took LSD and did experiments in the tank.
Mindbodygreen's Allie White reported earlier this year that the “tanks promise total-body rehabilitation. Physically, they're effective at treating certain chronic pain and illness and can even help with high blood pressure and fatigue. Mentally, floating is believed to help with stress by lowering levels of cortisol and allow for a deep state of relaxation (aka the perfect place for mediation). It's also supposed to help get creative juices flowing by removing distraction and instead allowing the floater to focus only on what's happening in his or her brain.”
More athletes are beginning to use them as a way to get a mental edge. But what does a real doc think?
“I like sensory deprivation tanks,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. “I used to go about 20 years ago when there was only one place in New York City that had them. It’s a great way to get you into a deep state of relaxation and sort of forces you to meditate or get super relaxed. But they are obviously not good for anyone who is claustrophobic.”
Joe Dowdell, founder & CEO of Peak Performance, will have a flotation pod in his new New York City facility opening in February. He sees athletes and executives embracing it and explains that ”the float pod helps promote a parasympathetic state, which can speed up the recovery process. Floating is not just great for athletes but also for anyone who is dealing with a lot of work and/or life stress such as busy corporate executives.”
This is a very interesting documentary on the practice of floating. It is a full hour - worth the time!
Thank you to all of the individuals who put the time into this production for our industry!
By Kyle Dowling: Kyle Dowling is a writer based in New York City. His work has also appeared in Playboy, COED Magazine, Psychology Tomorrow, and The Smoking Jacket, among others.
As it gets harder to live in the moment, without distraction, some swear by a forced shutdown.
It's an environment entirely stripped of stimuli. Even gravity feels nonexistent, inside a tank filled with nearly a foot of water and just about 800 pounds of Epsom salt. Like the Dead Sea. You climb inside and lie floating in the darkness.
To experience complete sensory deprivation is, ideally, to delve into one's psyche. It forces contemplation of facets of life, that -- similar to less "heavy" types of meditation -- is meant to leave us healthier and happier. The theory is that removing yourself from all external stimulation allows your mind to suddenly dial down the RPMs, resulting in heightened in-the-moment awareness, creativity, and clarity.
Comedian and Fear Factor host Joe Rogan has been effusive in his praise of the tank. "I think it's one of the most incredible pieces of equipment for self-help and introspective thought that you could ever find," he told me. "It's been one of the most important tools for me in personal growth for understanding myself, how I am, and what effect I do have on other people."
Rogan got into sensory deprivation in hopes of achieving psychedelic experiences without taking actual drugs. He's attained that, and, in the process, gained innumerable reasons to keep floating. "People don't realize how much everything is a distraction," he says.
The experience in the tank, though, can be "brutal and unflinching in its portrayal of you and your reality," said Rogan. "That's a terrifying thing to a lot of people -- the fact that you're alone with your unconscious thoughts, with everything that's truly troubling you. It's the only time that you are untethered from your body."
He's not alone in describing that untethered feeling as a potentially intense emotional experience. Your mind begins to run rampant. With nowhere else for thoughts to go, whatever problems, worries, or guilt sits in the back of your brain has to be confronted. As it's been put before, inside that tank, you have to face yourself.
"It can be uncomfortable in the sense that you really can't run away from any of the things that are subconsciously troubling you, but I love that," Rogan said. "I'm not a big fan of running away from reality. I like handling all of the issues that bother me in order to go through life truly happy. There's a lot of people out there with ghosts, a lot of demons haunting their mind. In my opinion, this is your chance to face it head on and try to come up with a better path."
But a fear of facing oneself shouldn't be a deterrent to any type of therapy. Sensory deprivation has become a popular exercise throughout the world, with validated positive results that extend into everyday life. Namely stress and anxiety reduction, but also as an adjunct for chronic physical pain.
Dr. Darren Weissman, a holistic physician who has floated weekly since 1986, explains, "I really feel that it's a result of floating and getting myself out of the way that I saw how all these multiple disciplines that activate the healing potentials of the body actually work together."
Floating isn't just about facing the negative aspects of life. It's also about being more aware of, and appreciating the good. Letting the little, good moments simmer -- instead of just moving to the next thing -- helps them feel (and actually become) more real.
As Dr. Weissman says, it "allows us to recognize our body's potentials. It opens us to a whole different level of awareness and of who we are. We start to notice things. It awakens consciousness."
Matt Frederickson, an avid user of floatation tanks, says, "Since I started doing it, I've become more calm, especially in my work life." A long-time sufferer of chronic neck, head, and back pain, Frederickson took his first float after hearing Joe Rogan's praise of the physical benefits of the isolation tank on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. "I thought it sounded interesting because I personally suffer from a lot of chronic pain, so that's what initially drew me to it."
Frederickson tried therapies for his chronic pain, a lot of which worked a little, but he's found that no other practice produces results as consistently effective as the isolation tank. But, like Rogan, he gets more out of it than he initially sought. "I still use it mainly for the pain," he says. "It really helps lessen that, but I think the secondary benefit, for me, would be the anxiety that's tied to the pain."
"I think people are very mentally attached to certain things and certain ways of living," Frederickson told me. "I work in the music industry, so I attend a lot of shows. I'm constantly seeing people on their phones or giving into different distractions at these concerts. They don't see there's a way out of that, to be in that present moment."
While generally praised by users, sensory deprivation is met with some mainstream hesitation. Whether that stems from the germ theory -- which Dr. Weissman assured me shouldn't be a worry -- claustrophobia, or even a fear of experiencing thoughts that might make us question ourselves, the floatation tank is a tool that waits patiently for those willing to give it a shot.
Most who've experienced isolation tanks admit that the idea of "letting go" and allowing your mind to relax takes time. Even Rogan admits that floating took some getting used to. "I remember thinking, this is something I'll have to get comfortable with." But with practice comes success.
Ultimately the tank can create an optimal environment, but once inside the onus remains on the person as to where they go.
Originally published in The Atlantic: