Ready For A Bizarre and Life-Changing Experience? Try FLOAT STL
You may have heard of the new wellness trend taking the market by storm: floating, a practice in which participants soak for 60 to 90 minutes in a dark, Epsom-salt filled tank. And if you’ve met this concept with relative skepticism, you wouldn’t be alone. However, if you knock before trying it, you could also miss out on the key benefits of this cutting-edge new practice.
TechArtista members Kevin McCulloch and Jacob Resch co-founded FLOAT STL in 2015. They’d originally met in 2010 at a treatment center where they both worked and experienced life-changing transformations by having access to float pods. “The first time I did it, it blew me away,” says McCulloch. “I knew I wanted to continue, but there wasn’t anywhere in St. Louis, or even in Missouri for that matter, where clients could float.” Resch and McCulloch decided to join forces to fill the gap themselves, developing a holistic vision and business plan that had them off and running with their first space in St. Louis’ Midtown neighborhood a few years later. They’ve since also expanded to the county, with a new location in Maryland Heights.
As a movement, the venture has also made large strides: Resch and McCulloch also co-founded the Rise Float Gathering, an annual conference in St. Louis where float industry professionals and enthusiasts can meet and connect. Additionally, along with another friend Rick Boling, McCulloch and Resch recently founded Third Wave Magazine, a trade publication where floating devotees can discuss and learn about all things floating.
As McCulloch explains, the magic of floating is achieved by a few key components: first, the float pod, which holds 10 ½ inches of water and hundreds of pounds of dissolved Epsom salt. The darkened pod also has water temperature controls that mimic the temperature of the participant’s body, with a density similar to the Dead Sea that suspends the participant in a near zero-gravity state.
As the two co-founders have heard from clients, the long-term effects of floating reach far beyond its seeming novelty. “All of those elements combined, where you’re feeling formless and weightless, where you don’t hear anything except your own breath and heart—it puts your whole nervous system in a deeply relaxed place. And from that place, all kinds of amazing things can happen,” says McCulloch, with the soothing calmness of a Bob Ross painting tutorial.
Some of the most quantifiable benefits their clients have reported fall primarily into the areas of chronic pain and physical injury, as well as stress, anxiety, better sleep, more energy, increased creativity and more. Clients have even told them that they’ve been able to stop taking anxiety and depression or pain medication. Participants have increased mobility, improved sleep, and a marked improvement in chronic pain as pressure is removed from inflamed joints.
McCulloch and Resch have even seen clients in creative fields experience deeper levels of creativity and inspiration.
But perhaps the most resonant phenomenon that comes with floating is the fact that, as McCulloch puts it, “There’s no bullshit in there. It’s just you.” He witnessed clients emerge from floats with resolve to quit unfulfilling jobs, which led to a deal with TechArtista where they could enjoy three months of free membership. TechArtista members also have access to free floats.
The organization also seeks to further serve the St. Louis community by breaking down traditional barriers that could prevent the populations from floating who stand to gain the highest benefit--military veterans, for example, who often struggle with PTSD, complications from physical ailments and injuries, addiction and stress. Once a month, veterans can float at either location completely free of charge.
While McCulloch has seen and experienced the positive effects of floating firsthand, he also does spend a fair amount of time assuaging potential clients’ fears and assessing each person’s respective discomfort, whether it’s being partially submerged in water, darkness, being in silence, alone with their thoughts. Funny enough, one of the most widespread fears McCulloch hears about when it comes to floating is fear of claustrophobia—but often finds that at the end of their float, participants don’t want to leave.
Curious? Give it a whirl today and visit www.floatingstl.com to book your first float.