When Tanner Heim, manager of True REST Float Spa in Northwest Austin, was introduced to sensory deprivation floating, he had reservations about the therapy.

Heim came from a massage spa background and said he was skeptical of floating’s benefits.

“But I was absolutely blown away. I fell asleep or was knocked out during my float and came out feeling like it was a different day,” Heim said. “I came back quickly for more floats.”

Heim in May 2017 helped open the True REST location off Research Boulevard and in early 2020 will open another location in Cedar Park alongside current employee Taryn Ostendorf.

Sensory deprivation floating puts patients in a hatchback-sized pod filled with water composed of 30% Epsom salt. The water’s high salt content allows for patients to float in an anti-gravity environment that relaxes the mind and body, Heim said.

“We match your skin temperature with the water and the air, so you kind of forget where your body ends and the water begins. ... You dissolve into space, almost,” Heim said.

The float tank center serves up to 200 people every week, and Heim’s staff has treated athletes training for the Olympics as well as The University of Texas at Austin’s football team.

“Some people come in with this idea that they’re not going to float. ... Well, the UT football team floats, so I promise that you’ll float,” Ostendorf said.

Heim and Ostendorf said many of the clients who come into the float spa have issues with sleep. Floating can help with sleep issues during the treatment, the two said, but can also improve sleep back at home because of the deep relaxation gained in the float pod.

“Our minds are so hard-wired for doing and going and exerting that when you [float] the effect is profound. You’re really able to slow the mind down,” Heim said.

True REST Float Spa

10721 Research Blvd., Ste. B-170, Austin | 512-432-5189

www.truerest.com/ locations/austin | Hours: Mon. 4-10 p.m., Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.