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Life's calm waters get saltier at Laguna's Float Lounge
Jeff Brion and Rosanne Ramirez have stepped into some unorthodox waters, but they're confident they can keep their head above it. The two are holistic health practitioners in Laguna Beach, where their company, Feeling Functional, opened the Float Lounge in June.
Floating is a therapy in which clients seal themselves from the outside world for about an hour in a chamber filled with recirculating water infused with Epsom salt. According to the couple, it can be restorative and life-changing.
Brion and Ramirez say opening the float tank is a natural progression of what they already do – helping people achieve and maintain better health through meditation, movement, and eating and living right.
"It's been interesting, because everyone comes to floating differently," Ramirez said. "Some go right in, and others are more subdued, little by little starting with the lights on and the door open. It's really up to them – it's their private experience. But with practice, you should expect your life to change."
The coated fiberglass float chambers, made in San Diego, are purchased in a custom kit that comes with the fully enclosed tank, pump and filter system. About 200 gallons of filtered water, along with about 1,000 pounds of medical-grade Epsom salt, are mixed so there are about 10 inches of water in the tank, which is the size of a queen mattress.
Water goes into the tank at a slow but constant rate, passing through an ultraviolet system that kills any algae or bacteria. The diluted salt gives the water high buoyancy – only about a third of your body is actually in the water when you're lying down. "It's like the Dead Sea," Ramirez said.
The warm water/mineral mix and solitude in the dark, soundproof chamber create an environment where you are completely alone – and nude. Clients, or "floaters," are required to take a shower before and after.
You can bring your own MP3 player or hook up to a library of sounds and music at the lounge.
"Everything is set so that your body feels the same temperature as the water," Brion said. "After you are in the chamber for just a few minutes, you can't feel where your body starts and stops in the water because everything is the same temperature."
Ramirez and Brion say people with injury or stress may benefit – moms with young children, athletes, people in high-profile or high-pressure jobs – as can people who simply want a method of maintaining order in their lives. Floating can help you focus on what needs to change, Ramirez said, so that through personal reflection or life coaching, wounds can be healed and your life improved.
"Everyone wants to live better ... we've had all ages – 13 to 80 so far," Brion said.
5 QUESTIONS WITH ROSANNE RAMIREZ
Q. What's the best thing about your business?
Q. What are some challenges you have encountered?
Q. What is something that didn't work out, and what did you do to solve it?
A. We don't really see it like that; we don't live our lives that way. This is something we began as part of what we already do – a natural process of moving forward. We get out of the way and let it show up.
Q. What advice do you have for anyone opening a business?
Q. Is floating covered by insurance?