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Floasis — a portmanteau of “float” and “oasis” — is exactly what it sounds like. When David Munn found relief for his chronic back pain inside a sensory deprivation tank, he aimed to bring that relief to Buckhead, and to bring more luxury and refinement to the experience in the process.
“Personally what happened to me is that I injured my back six years ago. I needed about six surgeries and had a chronic pain issue. I’ve been in pain for six years — when you’re experiencing that you’ll try anything,” Munn told What Now Atlanta. “[My wife and I] wanted to get into more holistic things. We tried massage and acupuncture. Then, we tried floating… every time we went, we saw things that could be improved… Buckhead doesn’t have a float center, let alone a world-class float center. Very selfishly, I built this thing for everybody.”
Sensory deprivation tanks are used for restricted environmental stimulation therapy, first devised by the National Institute of Brain Health in 1954. Within the dark, soundproof tanks, water is heated to your precise skin temperature and saturated in Epsom salt to maximize buoyancy. A total cessation of sensation allows the user to achieve what those who meditate spend years striving to attain — total focus and complete peace. For that reason, Munn said, the practice is often called “the fast track to meditation.”
Shutting out the world in this manner can improve sleep, ease stress and anxiety, foster creativity and even relieve chronic pain with a break from gravity.
“Eighty-nine percent of your body is affected by gravity, even in sleep,” said Munn. “Floating takes stress off stress off your back, your shoulders and your hips… the ability to remove gravity from your body, the ability to eliminate all stimulus in these days when we’re bombarded by stimulus, gives your body that deep breath that it craves.”
Munn shipped the four float tanks at his 3655 Roswell Road facility from Float Spa, a company based in far-off Budapest. Their clam-shaped float pods are the only sensory deprivation tank model available that entirely drains the water within between each user, running it through three micro-filter tanks and treating it with two bursts of UV light before introducing it back into the receptacle.
Aside from cleanliness, Munn said that claustrophobia is the concern voiced most often by those wary of floating.
“The lids on these tanks will stay open at any elevation — you can keep them completely open, if you want to,” said Munn. “We can turn on the lights, turn on sounds for you, [let you] play your own music. I’m slightly claustrophobic myself — these lids are white and so highly polished that when you’re in them, you can’t tell if [you have] five feet of headspace or five miles of headspace– it doesn’t feel like you’re trapped at all.”
Munn is a hairdresser by trade, while his wife and business partner Tonya Munn is a medical aesthetician. Naturally, another feature at the float spa, often overlooked at other facilities, is a self-service hair drying bar to use after your session. When COVID allows, Munn hopes to post a stylist there and will make sundries like deodorant and hairbrushes easily accessible.
“You know when you’re going out to dinner, your glass has been filed and your silverware has been replaced and you don’t notice? That’s the kind of service we’re shooting for,” said Munn. “[We took] the elements of spa and the high-end hair salon industry, those nice little touches, which most customers don’t notice — but that’s the point.”
Four infrared saunas, three for individuals and one large enough to accommodate four people, will also be available onsite. Benches in the larger sauna can be removed, Munn said, allowing for hot yoga classes.
A month after its grand opening, the Buckhead center is offering a number of discounts for first-timers, including an intro float for 60 minutes for $59. Sixty and 90-minute float sessions are available, and the spa is open every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday. More deals, pricing information and hours are available on the facility’s website.
“For me in doing this, it was really having something that could help people,” said Munn. “Pretty much everyone that you talk to has anxiety and stress to some degree and everyone is looking for some relief to it. This is something that can really, truly help.”