Some seeking pain relief, better sleep, & relaxation are turning to float spas

Posted at 6:38 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 06:38:49-04

Got any aches and pains? Your grandma may have told you, “Go soak in epsom salts!” Well, the practice that’s been in use hundreds of years is getting a 21st century upgrade in the form of “float spas.”

Todd MarLett may look like he’s going for a swim in an alien spacecraft, but this is a float pod peacefully soaking his troubles away.

MarLett first started coming to True REST Float Spa in Farmington Hills when he was a stressed out real estate agent also dealing with debilitating back pain.

“Doctors were giving me all sorts of pain meds and stuff. [That] didn't even touch my pain. The only thing that made my pain go away was the hour I spent in the float pod,” said MarLett.

It worked so well, he quit his real estate job and started working at the spa.  He’s now the manager.

Relieving chronic pain is why Toby DeSimone of Livonia started flotation therapy a year-and-a-half ago. The avid paddleboarder was struggling with pain from a hip injury.

“I was absolutely blown away how good I felt, how good my body felt, how well I slept, how good my skin looked,” she recalled.

Now she’s a regular who comes at least once a month to float.

Berkley chiropractor Dr. Nick Novakoski started floating at the suggestion of his wife to recover from power lifting workouts. He was so impressed with the results, he now refers his clients.

"The buoyancy of the water actually helps reduce some of the stress on the joints, so it feels really good with patients that have arthritis,” he said.

“Patients with chronic pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, things like that, usually we’ll recommend float therapy,” he added.

The pods are filled with a thousand pounds of epsom salts plus 150-gallons of water which is kept at 93.5-degrees – about skin temperature.

Towels and ear plugs are provided along with private showers and pods.

You can leave the pod open or closed, lights on or off, music on or bring your own.

Some just want peace and quiet.

Co-owner Jeff Krause wanted to start this business after seeing the benefits himself.

After flotation therapy, he was able to ease headaches and sleep – which was a big deal.

When he was a 21-year-old college student, he had a traumatic experience that claimed the life of one of his friends.

"I was in a house fire when I was young, and so I hadn't slept through the night until I floated in about 20 years,” said Krause somberly. “So, when I woke up the next morning after floating the first time, I was like what just happened?!”

He was sold on the therapy after that. And wanted to open the business with one of his friends.

Krause said the evidence that flotation therapy can help those suffering from PTSD is anecdotal, but he hears good feedback from vets who try it at his location.  Many of them sleep better afterwards.

So, True REST Float Spa now offers free floats for veterans and first responders on the 11th of each month as a way to give back.

For other clients, the cost to float for an hour is $79. You can get some deals through membership rates.

Other independent float spas are popping up in metro Detroit as well: