Imagine being in a place where distractions and sound are taken away, leaving just pure euphoria. Flo2, located in Little 5 Points, is a way to recharge the mind, body and spirit by providing a relaxing space that detaches clients away from the distractions and hustle of daily life.
Flo2 is a fairly new business in Atlanta that quickly took off with their concept on flotation therapy, and its unique services attract curious and adventurous clientele.
This rejuvenating experience relieves stress, muscle tension, increases creativity and happiness. Owner and artist, Edward Tomilov, built and designed the chambers after years of research and experience. Tomilov is a frequent floater and he wanted to share that experience with the Atlanta community.
“It took me about a year to do all the research, [and] to see [different] types of tanks. I float myself a lot, and I just built it,” Tomilov said. “I love to float and I want to share it with other people, so people can see how it helps them.”
The services provided by Flo2 include sauna therapy, swedish massage and floatation. Floatation is an experience that takes place within a sensory deprivation chamber. The soundproof chambers are designed to fit one person. This person submerges their body in a small pool of water that contains epsom salt, and as they relax their body, they begin to float.
“Some people compare it to meditation, when you go inside the chamber and you close the door behind you, nothing distracts you,” Tomilov said. “It’s pitch black [and] there is no gravity, it completely makes you lose connection with this world.”
Inside the Chamber
The deprivation chambers require approximately 1200 pounds of epsom salt in total, and each chamber utilizes 22 bags of epsom salt. The high salt levels are nearly seven times higher than The Dead Sea, according to Tomilov. The mineral salt keeps the person afloat, while regulating blood pressure and keeping the skin soft.
Once clients enter the chamber their allowed to shower on site before entering the water. Each chamber contains 10 inches of water, so swimming is not a problem. The water is buoyant enough that one can even sleep without sinking.
The chambers are big enough to accommodate people who are not comfortable in small spaces. The water is sanitized after each client, using high quality filters.
The deprivation chambers are great for people who have chronic back pain, muscle soreness and built up tension, from work related tasks. Clients are given ear plugs, distractions such as cellphones are taken away and the person is left with nothing to do but float.
The chambers create a stress free environment, which allows the brain to release hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, according to the Flo2’s website.
Caught between reality and dreams, the experience that people enjoy after three to four floats has been described as an eye opening experience, as some people have even said they see visions during their float. Being submerged into the gravity defying chamber allows the brain to be free. As the mind wanders in a euphoric state similar to meditation or sleep, according to Tomilov.
“When you calm down, you feel like your body completely melts, and even the brain sometimes can take you to different dimensions,” Tomilov said. “It’s a tool, because everyone is different, for some people it can get so deep and amazing.”
The euphoria comes from the happy hormones, that also help the client relax their body, which eases tension and soreness. The entire experience is new for the brain, and often times clients have heightened sensations such as hearing their heartbeat.
“Some people have problems with their spine, and [being] inside the chamber or tank can help decompress the spine by releasing pain from gravity,” Tomilov said. “You connect with yourself on a deeper level, and people often experience intense sensations.”
First time customer Rabin Haiju, visited Flo2 on April 1st, as a birthday present for his wife, who was curious about the chambers. Haiju shares his initial response as he left the chamber.
Q: What was the experience like for you?
Haiju: When I first got in, it felt like I was really floating and it felt so different, After the first few minutes the brain felt so heavy, as if the brain was trying to process everything, and all the pressure was on the brain. Slowly as you let go of the sensation of the legs and hands the brain gets use to it, and you feel completely relaxed
Q: How did you adjust to the environment of the chamber?
Haiju: I just let go of everything, and I started to think of different things [like] my other friends and my past, and as I think more I got less tense and felt more free. After that it was more really, just thinking about my place in the world, and thinking about how the world is changing. I felt like I was in the ocean floating from one wave to the next. Peaceful and relaxing.
Q: What would you say to someone, who has never tried floating?
Haiju: I would say definitely try it, it’s a very different experience you feel as if you are alone by yourself. You will feel things that you’ve never felt before and you will feel good about it.
Frequent customer, Eric Saspary, is a Web developer and he’s been floating at Flo2 for almost three years. Once he enters the chamber, each experience is different and it allows him to meditate and unwind from working.
Q: What keeps you going back to the floating chambers at Flo2?
Saspary: It was a way to get into mediation, because I couldn’t trust myself to actually sit still that long.” Saspary said. “I do a lot of video gaming and computing, so to have an environment where I’m not doing that it’s almost a little maddening.”
Q: What was your most memorable moment from your first float?
Saspary: What was remarkable to me, was within a few moments of settling into the water, I hear like really interesting crake all the way up my spine releasing tension,” Saspary said. “I guess because we are walking around and we have a lot of gravity pulling on us.”
Q: Are there any factors that might change the way you experience the float?
Saspary: It’s all about what you’re going in for. I think because I was pursuing it as a form of novelty, I may have carried those expectations in there, so I stayed conscious most of the time. There is always that moment where I can fall asleep or try to stay between sleepfulness or wakefulness.
Q: How are businesses like Flo2 benefiting the community?
Saspary: I want to have more places like this in the community, and I want more people to float. My hope is that people come in here and catch a glimpse of themselves that they don’t see in their waking life. To remind people when we are taking things very seriously, there is another perspective.
– For more information about Flo2, visit their website.
– Flo2 will be expanding with another location in Cobb County, coming soon.