Fascinating Float

By Molly McClennen

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Tri-State residents can experience a new service to help them manage symptoms of medical conditions or simply to help them relax. Jeremy and Rachel Jarrell, owners of Float Effects, located in Huntington’s East Hills Professional Center, are eager to educate people about the many health and wellness benefits clinical flotation offers.

Clinical flotation is a Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST), which creates an environment where external stimulation of the brain is reduced. The client floats in an 8-foot-by 5-foot pod filled with 10 inches of water mixed with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. In addition to making floating effortless, the Epsom salt has health benefits for hair, nails and skin and provides relief for sore muscles. The water temperature is carefully maintained at 94 degrees to match skin temperature. The rooms housing the pods are soundproof. Clients can close the pod to eliminate visual stimulation from light.

“You don’t have the stimulation to your brain from your five senses. It is almost a womb-like state. The point is to not feel anything,” Jeremy said.

Floating in a dark, silent environment provides optimal restorative and relaxation benefits, but clients who are hesitant can choose to leave the pod open or plug in their phone to listen to music.   

Proponents of clinical flotation say it provides relief from pain, stress, anxiety, PTSD and insomnia. It helps people with chronic conditions like arthritis, eczema and fibromyalgia. Clinical flotation does not cure these conditions, but there is mounting scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in managing pain and anxiety.

“We think there are a lot of people in this area who can be helped by clinical flotation. People are looking for alternatives that don’t involve medicine. There are no side effects with floating,” Rachel said.

Other people enjoy clinical flotation for relaxation and meditation, or even to help them think more creatively and solve problems.   

“It is like the most glorious nap you can experience,” Rachel said. “I float when I am feeling worn out and it reenergizes me for the rest of the day.”

Jeremy said that flotation helps him manage work-related stress. “I work in the tech industry. I am always on call, and I have a screen in front of me at all times. An hour floating, away from everything, allows my body to recharge and reset and lets me get back to efficient problem-solving.”

The effects of floating can last for days after the session. Because clinical flotation is unlike anything most people have experienced before, the Jarrells recommend new clients try floating at least twice to get used to the sensation and fully benefit from its restorative qualities.

As Marshall graduates and long-time Huntington residents, Rachel and Jeremy said they are pleased to be the first to introduce the benefits of clinical flotation to their home community. “We are offering something unique,” Jeremy said. “Something other places in the country have. We think our community deserves the same opportunity.”

MOLLY McCLENNEN is a freelance writer who lives in Huntington, West Virginia.

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