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“I don’t fall asleep⎯though many people do⎯but I am relaxed. I lie there, my thoughts drifting from the to-do list of life and, then, naturally, to space,” says Mike Gruss of the Virginian-Pilot, who stepped into one of Float First’s pods for the first time in January 2012. “I am the John Glenn of the suburban relaxation frontier.” The sense of antigravity Gruss describes in his piece is a common one. It occurs in part because the water inside each 8'x5' i-sopod is heated to skin temperature, which makes it hard to tell where the water ends and one's body begins. Of course, the ability to float effortlessly also aids in creating this sensation. More than 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt combines with 10 inches of water inside each pod, a ratio that helps any man, woman, or unplugged mini fridge to float. Each float session⎯which can be conducted with the capsule’s lid closed or open, in case patrons are concerned about experiencing claustrophobia⎯is meant to imbue a deep sense of relaxation in clients, as the tank deprives all senses of stimulation. Aside from making guests feel lighter than air, the soothing session also boasts benefits such as improved sleep quality and faster recovery from muscle injuries.
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