Recent graduate unwinds in a Provo sensory deprivation float tank

Jun 20, 2018, 7:37 PM | Updated: 9:24 pm

PROVO, Utah – You might not have to head to the Great Salt Lake to find saltwater in Utah. A new salty trend in the state also has mental and physical health benefits.

Haley Gustavson takes a shower with earplugs before jumping into the flotation tank.

Haley Gustavson, age 23, just graduated from college and is now studying for the certified public accountant exams before starting a new accounting job. With a rigorous study schedule, she looks for any excuse to escape her textbooks.

In the past, Gustavson has tried yoga and massages as means of de-stressing. When she heard about another recent trend, she knew she had to try it: floating in a sensory deprivation tank.

Gustavson hopped into a large pod filled with 11 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts. For 60 minutes, she floated in skin temperature water without interruption.

Provo’s True Rest Float Spa owner Kris Gunther said the experience puts people in a theta brainwave state of deep relaxation.

“It’s before you fall asleep. It’s kind of where your brain slows down,” he said.

Gustavson said the experience is unlike anything she’s ever tried.

Haley Gustavson about to close the lid of her flotation tank before she floats for 60 minutes of uninterrupted meditation.

“Quiet,” she said. “Nothing to think about. You feel nothing. You’re just floating. No aches. It’s cool! You don’t have your phone. You don’t have any distractions.”

Intermountain Healthcare’s Jason Conover, a licensed clinical social worker at Utah Valley Hospital, said the experience can help people be more aware.

“Mindfulness is really an opportunity to really take charge of our lives, to sit in the driver’s seat,” he said.

Gunther said floating can help people with insomnia, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.

“We have quite a few people who have addictions who come here and absolutely love it,” he said.

Conover also said there are physical benefits to floating.

“With meditation and mindfulness, you get decreased pain. You get improved blood flow,” he said.

Conover also said meditation can increase activity in the prefrontal cortex which can heighten wisdom, perceptive and impulse control.

Athletes and people with chronic pain have also found relief. Bottom line, Gunther said floating can help just about anyone take a break from a busy schedule.

Each flotation pod is filled with 11 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt.

Small business owner Jacob Peterson said floating helps him step away from constant work.

“It really just helps me take a step back and take an hour for myself,” he said.

Peterson said the practice is a relaxant but also a stimulant.

“I feel recharged and able to handle tasks more effectively and efficiently after I float,” he said.

Annie Madsen also makes a regular habit of floating. She is a full-time student and works full-time night shifts.

“It makes it feel like I can keep going and keep doing the day to day things that I need to do and just feel that happiness and rejuvenation that I need after floating,” she said.

“Here in Utah, we don’t self-care enough. We don’t take the time to disconnect,” Gunther said. “We are always on the go.”

Each pod is equipped with lights and music, which the individual can choose to turn on or off.

Gustavson said she will be back.

“After just laying there for an hour, you’re ready to take on the rest of the day,” she exclaimed.

Conover recommends people read up about the experience before taking a dip to have clear expectations so they’re not distracted during their float.

He said this will counter any unnecessary anxiety someone might feel their first time floating.

For more information on floating, visit True Rest Float Spa‘s website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
3 days ago
Officer Casey Burton saved a man from a drug overdose in Liberty Park with Naloxone. (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

‘He was super thankful’: Police officer saves man from overdose at Liberty Park

Liberty Park is a busy place as the weather warms. Tuesday an alert Salt Lake City Police Officer came across a man who was struggling to stand. The officer was in the right place to save a man from a drug overdose.
1 month ago
Rylin Adams...
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

Elite Utah athlete talks about her struggles with mental health

Athletes are disciplined, strong-willed, and dedicated but they don’t always have it all together.
1 month ago
FILE: In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 ...
Larry D. Curtis

TikTok and social media can distort mental health information for teens

Teens, just like adults can find themselves scrolling through video after social-media video. The billion — yes billion — users on TikTok are primarily teens and some mental health professionals have stated the platform is negatively impacting the mental health crisis.
1 month ago
The SafeUT app provides real-time crisis intervention for people in immediate distress....
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Experts: SafeUT app has helped thwart threats at Utah schools

The SafeUT app was launched more than five years ago as a response to a public health crisis with suicide. That app has also helped thwart violent attacks at schools.
1 month ago
Members of the community gather at a City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a...

Psychologist gives advice for parents to talk to children about school shootings

Outrage and heartbreak have gripped the country after 19 children and two adults were massacred at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Recent graduate unwinds in a Provo sensory deprivation float tank