Lance Foss and Matthew Dahrouge think they’re riding the leading edge of a wave.
The Red Deer men are preparing to open a flotation studio, where customers will be able to bob away their stresses in a sound-proof, light-proof tank containing body-temperature salt water.
“There’s roughly a thousand pounds of Epsom salt saturating 11 inches of water, which is heated to skin receptor neutral at 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Foss.
“When you’re actually floating, after about five or 10 minutes it’s hard to tell which part of your body is in the water and which part of your body is out of the water.
“It’s almost elimination of your sensory input.”
The result, he said, is a relaxed state that brings with it health benefits.
“It lowers blood pressure, it improves circulation, it’s amazing for stress release — people often use it for meditation. You fall into a beta brainwave, which is a slower, more creative brainwave — often like a dream state.”
Foss and Dahrouge already have two float chambers, which they plan to set up with three others in 2,500 square feet of commercial space in Cronquist Business Park.
Slated to operate as The Float Shack, it’s expected to open in mid-March.
Each chamber will be in its own private room, where users will undress and shower before climbing in for a 60- or 90-minute session.
Gentle music will signal the end of their time, after which customers will be able to settle into a soft chair in a relaxation room equipped with an oxygen bar.
“Just an environment where someone can come and relax after their float,” said Foss. “If they want to write or read, they’re more than welcome to stay as long as they want.”
Foss and Dahrouge are getting an enthusiastic response on The Float Shack’s Facebook page. With only one other flotation tank that they’re aware of in the region — in Calgary — the business partners are optimistic they’ll draw customers from a broad area.
They say float studios are quickly growing in popularity.
“There are about 15 opening in Canada this year,” said Foss, adding that the San Diego manufacturer where they sourced their float chambers is enjoying its busiest period in 30 years.
An oilfield mechanic, Foss got his first taste of flotation therapy in Vancouver a year ago.
“I got out of the float box for the first time, and I wanted everyone I know to experience it.”
Since then, he and Dahrouge — who also worked in the oilpatch — have been focused on bringing flotation therapy to their home city.
“This has been our life for the last year,” said Foss. “It’s been day and night thinking about floating.”