Effingham — The waiting room of the recently opened Float Effingham, on North Keller Drive, makes it seem like a typical, unassuming chiropractic clinic. But a few more steps take you to something unique. Two rooms that house giant white pods, that when opened reveal 150 gallons of warm salt water. These pods are used for floating, a therapeutic form of relaxation that has clinical uses as well as recreational.
“I learned most about it with my patients that were seeking float therapy when I had a practice in Nashville, Illinois,” said Chris Dreas, a licensed chiropractor and owner of Float Effingham. Dreas, a native of Nashville, IL, uses float therapy in conjunction with his chiropractic adjustment treatment. “The floating helps to relax the muscles to allow for an easier adjustment and it also decompresses the spine a little bit for us, which is part of my treatment anyway, so the combination works much better.” Float Effingham has been opened since January of this year, but held its grand opening on Thursday.
However, people don’t just float as part of chiropractic treatment. Dreas says that floating can help to increase focus or creativity. Some people say that it even helps them sleep better. “It helps with insomnia and even anxiety and depression,” Dreas stated. The most common reason for floating seems to be pain relief as it can improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Dreas describes the sensation of floating as a feeling of weightlessness.
Floaters can rent the pods in 60, and 30 minute, increments by appointment only. The approximately one foot deep water is kept at a balmy 94 degrees and contains around 900 pounds of Epsom salt to assist with the floating and kill bacteria in the water. Floaters can close the pod’s lid or leave it open and have control over the lights inside the unit. Dreas says that most people like the pods closed with the lights off. Floaters are trying to reach a meditative state wherein they are producing theta brain waves which indicates deep relaxation. They’re are provided with an upright shower to rinse off before their session and a vanity to spruce up on the way out.
The concept of float therapy isn’t particularity new as it was invented the 1950’s. Although instead of float tanks, the pods were originally called sensory deprivation tanks. Since then, the practice has been growing in popularity. Dreas says he started floating himself just one year ago.
In addition to chiropractic treatment and float therapy, Dreas also offers neurofeedback therapy, an alternative ADHD treatment that has also been used to help treat PTSD and Panic Attacks.
Dreas discusses how float therapy can be used in tandem with chiropractic treatment.