For the past two years, Angela McAllister sought refuge from her busy life in regular floatation sessions at Lucidity Float & Wellness Center. “Imagine 90 minutes without your phone, with zero distractions, where you feel completely weightless, centered and relaxed,” Ms. McAllister said. “It was my place for calm and meditation when work was overwhelming.”
Her career had been spent working in sales and nonprofit fundraising, two high-pressure professions where she said performance goals could be suffocating at times.
All of a sudden, she noticed that things were changing at Lucidity, and her source of peace and calm had developed some kinks that were negatively affecting the experience. M.s McAllister called the owner, who told her he was struggling to juggle several businesses at once. “I offered to buy the center, and all of a sudden, I was a small business owner,” she said.
Ms. McAllister’s first order of business was to remodel the space. She cleared the clutter and added custom-made copper fixtures and bespoke artwork. The flotation tanks and chambers were given a thorough cleaning and tune-up to ensure they were operating at peak performance.
“While the equipment does require routine maintenance, the entire volume of water is emptied automatically after each floatation session and then cycled twice through four filtration methods,” she said. Flotation tanks are also manually cleaned and sanitized after every guest.
The flotation tank water is the same temperature as the skin’s surface, and the high concentration of Epsom salt increases the water density and causes the body to float weightlessly. “There’s no light, no sound, and no pressure,” Ms. McAllister said. “It’s pure bliss.”
While it may seem like a “new age” practice, flotation tanks have been used therapeutically for more than 60 years. Dr. John C. Lilly, a medical practitioner and neuro-psychiatrist, invented the first flotation therapy tank in 1954, and Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie of the University of British Columbia conducted early studies of the therapeutic benefits of floating in the 1970s.
Recent research by the Human Performance Laboratory at Sweden’s Karlstad University found that more than three-quarters of study participants experienced noticeable improvements in long-term conditions including anxiety, stress, depression and fibromyalgia after flotation therapy. MRI scans conducted by Justin S. Feinstein of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa documented the positive effects of flotation therapy on the central nervous system. Brazilian researchers found positive effects on relaxation, heart rate, blood pressure and flexibility after flotation therapy.
“There’s quite a bit of research showing the medical benefits of floating,” Ms. McAllister said. “Plus, it feels amazing.”
In addition to flotation therapy, Lucidity also offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy, massage services, and CBD and essential oil products all geared toward stress relief and overall good health.
Located at 1405 Cowart St. on Chattanooga’s Southside, Lucidity Float & Wellness Center is part of the Southern Surgical Arts complex.
The center is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. Appointments can be made by calling 903-4138 or visiting www.luciditychattanooga.com.