ROANOKE, VA In a day and age where it seems everything is always running on full speed, from time to time it's nice to unplug and recenter your focus.
There's a new business in Roanoke aiming to help people do that, one float at a time.
"I was really judgmental at first but it's an indescribable experience," said Anna Clark, who described her first time climbing into a sensory deprivation tank. "It lifts you up and then takes everything away. It's just very relaxing," she added.
To better understand what Anna is talking about, we went with her to Still Water Floatation in Roanoke.
Co-owners David Landes and Tabby Cain have been hard at work for nearly two years to open this unique alternative to stress and pain relief.
"This is a great natural way to find some balance and some health and pain relief and a lot of different physical recovery for athletes, so there are a lot of things that play into the benefits of floating," said Landes.
"Sometimes its like watching a baby who's just had milk; they're just so relaxed and you have people who come out and are like my shoulder was really stiff when I went in now it's moving around," said Cain.
Still Water Floatation has four different tanks, each with a fun name voted on by customers: Get tanked, Go Float Yourself, Talk to the Pod and Coconut Jellybean.
Inside each room you'll find the tank and a shower. You're required to shower before the float and wear ear plugs. Each float is 90 minutes in a solution of 12 inches of body temperature water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. Landes said people ask lots of questions but there are two that come up more than any other - the number one concerning claustrophobia.
"Our tanks are large and you have control over lights and music and all those things, so you don't have to go full sensory deprivation," said Landes.
The second most-asked question concerns sanitation. "We go to a lot of trouble to make sure the place is really clean. We're really diligent between floaters and sanitizing everything because we want people to feel safe," Landes added. That includes a deep clean of each tank, every week.
It's recommended to float in total darkness and silence but each float can be very different. "I think each time is a new benefit and each time you float you become more comfortable with the process and go deeper within yourself," said Cain.
"If you can really let go, some incredible and beautiful things can happen. For some people it's a life-changing experience; it really can be," said Landes.
As for Anna Clark, who was a skeptic before her first float, would she recommend this to a friend? "Totally, yea totally worth it!"