Unique form of therapy floats to mid-Missouri

Related Story

COLUMBIA - A water-based form of therapy has flowed to mid-Missouri. The new facilty is one of just four of its kind in the state.

Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, or REST, will be the main focus of the new Infinite Wellness Float Center in Columbia.

Infinite Wellness owner Matunde Tatum said using REST is fairly easy.

"The process starts by you stepping into a tank that is filled with about a foot of water and about 850 pounds of Epsom salt," Tatum said. "That Epsom salt causes you to be buoyant and float. During the process you just lay back and relax and you have toxins that are being pulled from your body, natural healing from the Epsom salts, and the combination of buoyancy, the temperature of the water, no light or sound kind of takes away all the external stimuli we're processing on a daily basis and allows you to unplug from the world a little bit."

Tatum said there are multiple benefits to floating.

"After floating it's a combination of being super relaxed but also really energized at the same time," Tatum said. "So I think that's probably the number one reason, being able to rejuvenate and relax. Also, for people with chronic pain, it gives you a moment in that time period to get away from the pain. People can get into deep meditation because there's not as many distractions."

Along with the benefits Tatum mentioned, REST has been thought to aid in curbing addictive tendencies and aiding in PTSD recovery.

The practice of floating has been around for a number of years, but Tatum said the interest is now really starting to take off.

"It's on the come up. I think a lot of people are becoming more aware of floating," Tatum said. "It's been around for a long time and was actually popular in the 70's and 80's but kind of fell out of popularity in the mid-80's and has now made a resurgence in the early 2000's."

Tatum said floating can also help in the world of sports.

"There have also been a lot of studies going on in sports performance," Tatum said. "They did tests with free throw shooting as well as golf. What they have people do is visualize their progressions [while floating], each little step they take within that putt or that free throw, and they were able to translate that over after floating."

The Golden State Warriors of the NBA are one sports entity to utilize REST. 2015 League MVP Stephen Curry is one of the members of the team to regularly use floating to recuperate between games.

Those who have floated before say the experience is unlike anything else.

"It lets you disconnect from the world," Infinite Wellness customer Frank Damiano said. "It takes whatever you're doing and kind of amps it up a little. So whatever kind of meditating you'll do on a mat is going to be enhanced in an environment like this."

"I also felt like from a mental and meditation aspect it really helped me confront what was going on in my mind without all the stimulus and every day thoughts," floating enthusiast Nick Patton said.