ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg company is offering relief from an over-connected world via floatation therapy, which proponents say removes outside-world distractions and returns people to a womb-like state.
- Private float rooms offered at St. Pete Salt Works
- Customers say sensory deprivation of womb-like state "rejuvenating"
- Learn more about costs, membership at stpetesaltworks.com
- More Pinellas County stories
Floating in salt water is an age-old therapy that a company began offering in St. Petersburg less than a year ago to combat stress and anxiety, according to Mark Anderson, the owner of St. Pete Salt Works.
“I’m excited to be here. This is something that’s new to the area,” said Anderson, 39. “What we’ve done is created a space where you can remove as much of the world as you’re comfortable with.”
Creating the sensation
The private float rooms at St. Pete Salt Works have a shower, earplugs, float pillow, and float tank filled with 10-inches of water that contains 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt and twinkle lights in the ceiling that customers control.
Anderson controls the rest of the 1-hour session from an iPad mounted outside the room.
“I bring you in and out with a simulated sunrise and a sunset and some music under the water,” he said. “It’s going to put you in zero gravity. The water is the same temperature as your skin. So, by default (you’re) removing the two biggest inputs from the world: gravity and touch.”
Customers said the experience puts them in a womb-like state and the sensory deprivation is rejuvenating.
“The first time I ever floated I was completely amazed at how different I felt coming out of it,” said customer Kecia Fowler. “It was just a really great time to have that reset. There’s not much that we can do in our world that gives us complete silence.”
A theta state of mind
Anderson said the goal is to get customers into a theta state of mind, where the brainwaves are slower, and tap into the creative resources of your mind.
“It equals out your serotonin and cortisone levels,” he said. “Which really just gets you out of that fight-or-flight response that I think everyone is just constantly looping in.”
Customer Lance Robbins said he tries to float at least twice a month.
“When I come here and I float for an hour, when I get out I am fully relaxed, recharged and ready for another day,” he said. “The sensation of floating on top of the water takes away the sensation of touch, which can be really an aggressive stimulation.”
Anderson said he opened the only float center in St. Pete last August, and there are so many health benefits from the therapy that professional sports teams have signed up.
“We have contracts with the Rays and Rowdies,” he said. “Which we’re really excited about. Floating has been part of sports for a long time.”
What "float drunk" means
Anderson said when a customer has a good session, they come out of the room “float drunk.”
“Their eyes are just half closed,” he said. “They’re stumbling around. Yep, you had a good float.”
St. Pete Salt Works is located at 517 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. North in St. Petersburg. A one-hour session costs $69.
A three-float package deal costs $150 and there’s also membership rates available.
For more information, visit stpetesaltworks.com.