COLUMBIA - A new form of relaxation has come to Columbia.
Clarity Float Spa and Infinite Wellness Float Center offer floats to their customers. Matunde Tatum, owner and operator of Infinite Wellness Float Center said floating has been around for many years.
"Floating is a therapy that came about, I believe, in the '50s, late '50s, early '60s," Tatum said. "Essentially, you're lying in a pool of water saturated with Epsom salt, over 800 pounds, and that's what causes you to float and be buoyant."
Noah Barnes, co-founder of Clarity Float Spa, said the water is close to skin temperature.
"It can be one of the most relaxing experiences anyone's ever been through," Barnes said. "You float on your back on top of the water, and the water is skin receptor neutral, so what that means is it's within a degree within 93 and a half degrees, which is the same temperature as your skin, so what you're going for is to lose sense of your body, totally deprive yourself of all senses."
Connor Knabe, Clarity Float Spa's other co-founder said the customer controls the environment inside the tank.
"There's limited light, limited sound. You have complete control over the environment, so at any time, you can get out of the float device," Knabe said.
Proponents said, aside from being peaceful and stress-relieving, floating can help physically and mentally.
"All the Epsom salt is really good for your muscles, good for reducing lactic acid buildup," Tatum said. "From a mental standpoint, I think it allows you to be in a space that you can't find anywhere else in the world where it's just you and no distractions at all, nothing to process but just your own thoughts."
Barnes said floating helps people escape from the technology that is all around.
"In the world we live in today, we're constantly connected to devices, whether it's a phone, tablet, computer, TV, and there's just constant sensory overload on our brains," Barnes said. "You get in a float tank, and it kind of hits a reset button for your brain."
Knabe said the industry is moving away from the term sensory deprivation. Tatum said the term is outdated. All three owners agreed floating sounds much less scary sounding than sensory deprivation. They do not want people to be afraid to try it.
"It can be a little intimidating to some people. It's a relatively new concept, but just, you know, give it a shot," Knabe said.
He said Clarity Float Spa will have four different devices, so people can come with a friend but still float in their own separate room.
Infinite Wellness Float Center opened April 7. Clarity Float Spa is currently under construction. The co-founders said they should open sometime in October.