Provo float spa offers new relaxation therapy
Promotional image from True REST Float Spa showing a client floating in a float pod.
Promotional image showing an example of a float spa experience at True Rest Float Spa in Provo.
A Provo business is helping clients float their worry and pain away.
Work and life pressures can be very stressful in society, and many look to massage and relaxation therapies for relief. After experiencing the benefits of float therapy, Kristopher and Sandy Gunther opened their own float spa last October in the Shops at Riverwoods.
Their business, True REST Float Spa, caters to clients who need a place to find relaxation by dimming their senses. The “REST” in the spa’s name stands for Reduced Environmental Stimulus Therapy — the science of turning off stimuli to reduce stress and pain.
“It turns off their senses and can take them from beta brain waves to theta waves,” Kris Gunther explained. Beta waves are the normal alert waves a body has while awake. Theta waves are slower, calmer brain waves. “While it’s sensory deprivation, it actually recharges your senses. You can think clearer.”
At True REST, float spa clients, or “floaters” as they are called, have their own secure room with its own floating pod. The pod is filled with about 11 inches of purified skin-temperature water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom Salt, which helps them stay afloat.
The pod is equipped with waterproof speakers, and floaters can listen to meditative music or hook the speakers to their own device and play their own music. There is a small light in the pod, which floaters can choose to have on or off. For the best reduced stimuli experience, Kris Gunther said, floaters turn off the light and close the lid of the pod. It gives them both a physical and a meditative experience.
“It super relaxes the muscles and joints, while the Epsom Salt heals and detoxifies. It’s like getting a regular massage and getting your brain massaged too,” Kris Gunther said.
Gunther said this type of therapy is helpful for athletes, pregnant women, people with chronic pain and even those with anxiety, depression or insomnia. According to a 2014 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, those who participated in floatation therapy experienced a significant decrease in stress, depression, anxiety and pain, while noting a substantial uptick in optimism and sleep quality.
Sandy Gunther is not only a co-owner of the business, but an avid floater as well. She has a chronic condition which causes widespread pain throughout her body. Floating relieves some of that pain for her.
“I am always in pain. I take several medications and do other therapies to help with the pain. The most effective thing I have done is float,” Sandy Gunther said. “When I floated for the first time, I was able to experience five to 10 minutes pain free. To me this was a miracle, as nothing had helped to relieve the pain. Now, because my body is so used to floating, I slip into the water of the float tank and my body starts to automatically relax.”
The float pod is the one place she feels no pain, she added, explaining that it also increases her blood circulation. This also helps the pain. And the added benefit of turning off external stimuli surrounds her “in a cocoon of no sensation.”
“I think this therapy is different because it has long-term advantages. To me it is like the base of all therapies,” she said. “There are many therapies out there that are good and helpful. If you float I believe it makes them more effective.”
Because it’s a unique type of therapy most people have not heard of before — True REST is the first of its kind in Utah County — the True REST team always give new floaters tours of the Provo facility, and share a video with them that tells them what to expect during a session. Those who are claustrophobic can keep the lid up the whole session and the soft light on. Even then, they still will have a unique relaxation experience, Gunther explained.
“Our aim is for them to feel as comfortable as possible here,” Kris Gunther said.
The Gunthers have seen floaters who are amazed at how different they feel after just one session. For some, it takes a few tries to get away from their own thoughts and truly relax.
“I think this is the part I love the most. I love that what we do makes a difference in the lives of those around us. I love the different benefits people have floating and love talking to them about it,” Sandy Gunther said.
True REST has options for one-time sessions or monthly visits. More information is available through https://truerest.com.