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Floating a new business to escape over-stimulated world

In our hectic world, people need to float more than ever, says Reuben Riddell.

The co-founder of the Uplift Float Centre in central Nelson says he makes a point of hopping into one of its two flotation pods a few times a week.

"We live in a very over stimulated world," Riddell said. "From the moment you're born until the first time you hop into a flotation tank there is so much activity going on in your brain."

Riddell spent time in the army, and worked as a personal trainer. But it was an experience in a flotation tank a few years ago that sparked his current career.

"I'd heard about floating from a podcast. I googled it and looked a few centres up. I flew to Auckland to try it out, and as soon as I got into the pod I thought, this is it. When I got out I was beaming from ear to ear. I thought, this is what I want to do."

The pods are large and cocoon shaped, holding 25 centimetres of water and 500 kilograms of epsom salts. The dissolved salt adds to the water density, a phenomenon which allows people to float. It's a bit like zero gravity, Riddell said.

"This is the only place you can experience that, unless you go to the Dead Sea which is full of tourists and rubbish."

In the dark and silent flotation chamber, other parts of your brain kick in. "Deep thoughts and creativity spark up when you shut everything out."

The number one question people usually ask him is about the claustrophobic nature of the pods.

"People's initial thought is, is it like an MRI? But the pod is really large, I have people that say they would usually be claustrophobic, who have had the experience without any problems."

Would-be floaters can opt to have the lid open and the lights on, he said, although he doesn't recommended this if you want the full experience.

The pods are big enough for two, allowing couples to share a session, or someone with mobility problems to go in with a carer. He mentioned a mother who visits another flotation centre with her deaf son, an experience that crosses communication boundaries of communication, he said.

The Rutherford St centre has other rooms where clients will be able to have a massage, or an infra-red sauna. The back of the space is still being renovated, but will be a studio for yoga, tai chi and other classes.

"These days people need floating more than ever. It's amazing, and it's a really good feeling to help people. People say floating is a revelation."

https://www.geezgo.com/sps/32416

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