From Childhood Pool Maintenance to Float Tank Maintenance

When I was growing up, we were very lucky to have a pool at our house.  Every spring, I eagerly awaited the Reinhardt Family tradition of uncovering the pool.  I would watch as my dad turned on the pump to remove the water that collected on top of the tarp. Next, he scraped off the heavy wet rotted leaves that had fallen onto the cover during the fall.  Finally, we (the kids) got to help! We would scamper around the pool pulling off the slimy water bags used to keep the pool cover in place over the winter.  We would drain them, hose them off and hang them over the fence to dry.  Finally, we peeled back the pool cover to reveal the half-full concrete hole in the ground, OUR POOL! :)

I always wanted to jump in, but the pool had to be filled, cleaned and most importantly SHOCKED to make sure it was safe for swimming.  Waiting the 3 to 7 days it took to accomplish all of this was agonizing for a 7 year old, but it was so worth it to splash into that water for the first time each spring. 

Having a pool is a lot of work. Every week, my Dad would vacuum, check the pH,  chlorine, clean the skimmers, add water and clean the inside of the pool around the water line as necessary.  When I was old enough and wanted to swim it was my job to check the pH, chlorine, skim and my favorite job to empty the skimmer baskets!  There was always a little frog (or two) that would make our pool their home each summer. I loved finding them and letting them hop back into the woods.

Little did I know as a child, when I was observing and learning how take care of a pool that some day I would own a Floatation Therapy Tank business that would require even more maintenance than a home pool!

Talking to our clients about floating I have learned that two of the top questions they have are: Will I feel claustrophobic?  How are the tanks maintained? 

Our float rooms are very spacious. They are 5 feet wide, 8 feet deep and 6.5 feet tall.  They have a glass shower door so you don't have to feel like you are in a closet, but our Float Suite has been light proofed so you can still have a true Sensory Deprivation experience once you turn off the underwater LED light.

At Anicca Float Club cleanliness is a top priority.  We follow the recommendations made by the Floatation Tank Association. We do everything possible to maintain the highest water quality for our clients. Every morning when we arrive at the Club the first thing we do is check all of our Float Rooms.  We qualitatively observe the water quality and then take several measurements: 
1) Temperature: The water temperature needs to be between 93.1 and 95.0 degrees. This is the range of skin temperature. Anything below this you will probably be chilly and anything above can be dangerous and uncomfortable.

2) pH  -  7.2 to 7.6

3) Alkalinity - 80 to 120 ppm

4) Water level -  9 to 10" (for our float rooms!) 

5) Specific gravity -  1.240 to 1.285 (We have floated with the density as low as 1.18, but it's a deep float. Anything above 1.30 and you run the risk of salt crystallizing in your equipment.)

6) Hydrogen peroxide residual (H202) - 25 to 100 ppm    

We skim the rooms to make sure our filter system has done its job to its fullest.  We also check the rooms between each float.  At the end of each evening we add hydrogen peroxide to maintain a residual of 25 to 100 ppm in the water. Once a week, the filters are changed,  the tanks get an even deeper deep clean and enzyme clarifier is added when necessary. 

Everyday the measurements are a little different. Floaters take out salt and water on their bodies. We adjust the amount of peroxide we add based on the residual. Like everything in this world, a floatation therapy system is dynamic.  Float tank chemistry is constantly changing and needs to be monitored and adjusted accordingly.

Our goal is to provide every client with a comfortable, clean and safe float environment!  Happy Floating!

 

Great Float Tank Maintenance Resources:

Float Tank Solutions: Owners Guide to Maintaining Float Tanks

Float Tank Association: 

Recommended Maintenance

Health Standard Introduction

Float away PMS!

Ok gentlemen you can tune this out, this blog is for the ladies! Unless, you want to make the lady in your life smile because you are thinking of her and that trepidatious time of the month when you tiptoe around on egg shells to keep her happy. ;)

This blog is inspired by the changes I have observed in my body with regular floating. This is MY TESTIMONIAL! Over the past 2 months, I have been able to float 2 to 3 times a week and I have noticed some interesting changes in my menstrual cycle. Mostly importantly, I have found relief from my PMS! GASP! What?!? NOOO WAAAYY!!!  

As I have progressed through my 20s and into my 30s, I have noticed my PMS symptoms getting worse.  I spend more time feeling bloated, more time being sore and more time being grumpy! :(
Last month, I noticed that I didn't suffer from the same level of moodiness, bloating and overall achiness. This month, when my Aunt Flow arrived, I was in disbelief.  I didn't have ANY of my pre-period symptoms! NO headache, NO swollen boobs, NO belly bloating, NO low back pain, no desire to eat a pound of salty sweet chocolate covered pretzles and none of the usual misery that I have experienced for the past DECADE!  The only thing different about my life right now is FLOATING! My diet has not changed. I am probably under more stress than ever, getting less sleep and exercise then usual.

I have started to read the book, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., ODM, DM (P)  and I am learning just how critical Magnesium is for every cell in our body. I also learned that there is a scientific explanation for what happened to my PMS!

"Magnesium plays a critical role in a wide range of essential activities including many functions relevant to premenstrual changes experienced by some women. Magnesium is classed as "nature's tranquilizer" and is so vital in those aspects of the Pre-Menstrual symptoms that relate to anxiety, tension, etc. Women with PMS have been found to have lower levels of red blood cell magnesium than women who don't have symptoms and the supplementation of magnesium has been found to be extremely useful in alleviating many of the PMS symptoms and even more effective when with taken with vitamin B6 at the same time. A Mg deficiency can cause blood vessels to go into spasms, so if you suffer from menstrual migraine Mg can be useful in preventing these spasms. Magnesium is necessary for serotonin symbiosis, which in turn is critical in mood regulation. Mg also appears to promote proper fluid balance, helping to ease the uncomfortable build up of excess fluid experienced by women prior to menstruation. Inadequate magnesium levels have also been found in women who experience premenstrual cravings and appetite changes."

WHOA! Magical Magnesium! 

I realize that most women don't own float centers and that floating 2-3 times a week is not practical or possible for everyone.  Don't worry, you can still get your body the magnesium it needs by simply soaking your feet in an epsom salt foot bath for 20 minutes. Epsom salt is available at grocery stores and pharmacies everywhere.  We also keep 50 pound bags on hand and will gladly sell you a bag upon request.

Any other ladies out there who have experienced similar relief from Transdermal Magnesium Therapy? Tell us about it!  We want to hear your story! Haven't tried Floating or Epsom Salt soaks?  What is stopping you? 

Our Journey to Open a Float Center...

I will never forget standing in the lobby of Lincoln Hall at the Float Conference in Portland last August gazing up at the “timeline to open a float center” that was printed by the Float On Crew.  I looked at that with my husband and thought, “No big deal, we can totally pull this off! 4 months? Do you really think it will take that long?” HAAA!!!!

Well hindsight is 20/20 and we are now 13 months wiser and counting!!  So here is a general overview of The Anicca Float Club Timeline. Keep in mind we were both working FULL time jobs during this process.  We farmed a semi-commercial plot of land as part of the Future IL Fruit and Vegetable Grower Program.  I teach yoga on the side for Core Power and Yoga by Degrees.  And we got hitched during this entire process. :)

March/April 2014:

  • The dream to open our own Float Center is conceived. We have  both completed Vipassana Courses and floated a few times. We have decided it is completely amazing tool to help others.  Why aren’t there more Float centers?!?
  • We start doing some research on floating and discover there is a Float Conference.
  • We purchase the domain name www.floatnaperville.com

May 2014:

  • We research and ponder.
  • We are in the middle of remodeling a foreclosure, selling my house, moving and getting ready to farm for the summer. All of this is in addition to our full time jobs and teaching my yoga classes.

June 2014:

  • We are researching and planning:
    • How much $$ is this going to take?
    • What pod or tank are we going to use?
    • How many do we want to have?
  • Have we lost our minds?!
  • Pass the falafel please... :)

July 2014:

  • We purchase Float Conference tickets to expedite our learning process.
  • We start business planning.
  • Create spreadsheets to figure out monthly profits and monthly expenses to see how many floats/month we need to sustain the business.

   August 2014:

  • Attend Float Conference and Workshop. This is an AMAZING experience. A MUST DO for anyone even thinking about opening a Float Business!
  • Evaluate  Pod, Tank and Float Room companies: Dream Pods, Isopods, Float Pods, Ocean Float Rooms, Samadhi Tanks, Escape Pods and At Peace Rooms.
  • Decide to get married.—I mean why not throw one more life altering event into the mix?!   

September 2014:

  • Do the Apprenticeship with Float On.
  • Incorporate Anicca Float Club, Inc.
  • Start looking for commercial real estate.
  • Find the space we want to be home of Anicca Float Club!
  • Purchase domain www.aniccafloatclub.com
  • Create our design and logo.
  • Create our Launch Rock page.
  • Start looking for an architect.

October 2014:

  • Visit Silver Essence Float Spa in Williamsville, NY to Float in Craig Silver's “Wave Rooms.”
  • Figure out how we want to configure the space.
  • Go through several rounds of drawings and revisions with the architect.
  • Sign lease.
  • Put our 50% deposit down on the Float Rooms.

*THIS IS THE POINT OF NO RETURN*

November 2014:

  • Get married! <3 <3
  • Evaluate contractors and get bids for the job.
  • Drawings are finalized and submitted to the city for permits.
  • Build our website.
  • Remove everything from our space that does not belong (ceiling tiles, all doors, trim, carpet, bathroom fixtures, lights, etc)
  • Set up our Mind Body Online Booking System.
  • Planning, planning, planning….

December 2014:

  • December 1st: Permits approved and paid in full.
  • Plumbing crew cuts concrete, prepares the trenches and lays our new pipes.
  • Electrical work commences.
  • Order 6,000 pounds of salt from SF Salt Company.
  • Pass all plumbing inspections.
  • Start Pre-selling float packages for the Holidays.
  • Commence operation rebuild the walls in our space.
  • Visit Art of Floating, Bloomsburg, PA and Aspire Center, NYC.

January 2015: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Receive 6,000 pounds of UPS Epsom salt from SF Salt Co.
  • Pass our rough electrical inspection.
  • Start to hang drywall/fix all the walls that we demolished.
  • Install Hot water heater and a water filtration system for the entire facility.
  • Choosing color pallet and finalizing theme for the space.
  • PAINT!
  • Float rooms are installed.
  • Showers are installed.

February 2015:

  • Settle on final light configurations.
  • Epoxy floor arrives frozen (HOORAY for the Illinois Winter!) and we have to hold off on the install which sets everything back 2 weeks. 
  • Install doors and trim.

March 2015:

  • Finish floors in lobby and hallway.
  • Final inspections.
  • Replacing ceiling tiles and additional insulation.
  • Finishing/purchasing all the furniture and décor.
  • Earn our Certificate of Occupancy and...
  • SOFT OPEN MARCH 28TH, 2015!  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES!   This certainly isn’t every single little thing has happened along the way, but it is the BIG stuff. Hours and hours of research and planning went into our decisions. I am not kidding, no one saw or heard from us for most of the winter. We were in Float Center Owner Hibernation! Many hours were spent watching “DIY You Tube Videos” , friends and family came from all different backgrounds and specialties to offer some helpful advice.

Now that we have cut our teeth on this whole experience, we truly understand what it takes! We are our own general contractor, painter, tile layer, designer, marketer, interior decorator, blogger, accountant, etc..(we think you get the idea!)  All I have to say is the best way to learn anything is to JUST DO IT. Stop making excuses, stop procrastinating… JUST DO IT!  The best time to start something was X years ago… the second best time is NOW.

QUESTIONS?! Feel free to reach out to Float Serv and Anicca Float Club!

Click on the pictures below to see the full gallery!

Float Center Construction Part 1...

Let me start this blog with the disclaimer that I am not a professional contractor, nor am I some wildly experienced float center guru. However, my husband and I have spent the last 7 months imagining, planning, designing and building Anicca Float Club from the ground up. We have poured our hearts and souls into learning as much as we can and doing everything we can to get this business off the ground. We have tripped, triumphed, fallen flat on our faces and picked ourselves back up all in the name of Anicca Float Club. It is safe to say, we know more than 99% of the population about float center construction.

So, where shall I begin....I am sure most people have heard the travel adage. "Take half of the stuff out of your bags and take double the money." Well that has some relevancy when it comes to Float Center construction: Add 30% more to your budget, double the time you expect it to be finished, "unpack" some of your splurge items and ditch your extraordinarily high expectations at the float room door. :)

Most of the people I have met entering this industry right now are the pioneers. We are the people with a personal connection and a passion for floating. We are the people scrounging together our savings, asking friends, family and crowd sourcing to help us fund these Float Businesses. Major investors may be making their way into the industry but they are not the dominant force and bank loans are tricky to acquire when the vast majority of the public has never heard of floating.

So, fellow passionate hard working bootstrappers I have a few questions for you:

1) Do you have a full time job?

2) Is your life/work schedule INCREDIBLY flexible?

3) Are you afraid to change furnace filters, change door knobs, screw in light bulbs and use a paint brush?

4) Can you communicate with carpenters, plumbers, electricians to tell them what you want, compare bids and NEGOTIATE?

If funds are limited and you are pretty handy with a power drill, sawzall, floor scraper etc., etc.... then being your own general contractor is a great way to learn heaps and make sure construction is going as you desire.  NO ONE is going to care as much about your business as YOU, NO ONE is going to know as much about floating and the specifics of float center design and NO ONE is going to make sure things are done exactly as you want. We are all human, people misread plans and plans change. Speaking from experience, you are not going to have your architect modify and reprint your master drawings every time a fixture gets moved or the exact location of a floor drain changes. I honestly cannot tell you the number of times we have made last minute decisions that deviate slightly from our original drawings or caught little errors and miscommunications as we have moved through each phase of our construction. Be vigilant and flexible!

A few lessons from the beginning:

1) DO NOT USE FRIENDS- Using a contractor friend sounds great at first, but if you value someone as a friend then I would suggest not hiring them as a contractor.   Misunderstandings, miscommunications an are inevitable.

2) BE SPECIFIC - If you want something you must tell the contractor and WRITE IT DOWN.

3)REFERRALS - Try to find contractors who friends and family have given glowing reviews! This is tricky, because many excellent home contractors do not touch commercial construction. When you reach the commercial level there are companies of all different shapes, sizes, capabilities, union and non-union. Finding the right contractor for size and scope of your job is tricky.   Ask around other small local business owners who have recently opened and see if they have any leads. If you find one great contractor ask him (or her) if he has people he likes to work with.

3) CONTRACT TERMINATION - Consider time clauses and grounds for dismissal on any contractor hired. How quickly do you expect a job to be finished?  Ask the contractor what is a reasonable time frame and then add extra time to buffer and account for unexpected challenges. If the person you hired doesn't show up for 3 days, doesn't call and you want to hire someone  else to complete the work make sure it is written in the contract! A lazy contractor may try to be awarded full compensation for an incomplete job. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and hardworking

4) DO NOT EXPECT EVERYTHING TO BE ROSY: trucks break down, children get sick,  custom ordered items get lost, sewer mains will not be where they are expected to be, inspectors will show up at the wrong time, there will inevitably be a blizzard and maybe even a few power outages all along the way. It seems like we make plans so that the universe can throw wrenches in them. 

The best plans are flexible! Happy Float Club Owners will recognize the impermanence (ANICCA) of float center construction and take it all with a grain of Epsom salt.

Why a Float Club?

As my  husband and I started to discuss names for our future Float Center the first and most obvious choice was "Float Naperville". It was short, to the point, gave our business location and what we would be offering. We snatched up the domain name and didn't think about it for a few more months- DONE!

The problem was that Float Naperville was not personal and it did not resonate with us at a deeper level. We went back to our roots and the impetus behind our desire to open a floatation therapy business and we knew that ANICCA (A-nee-cha) had to be a part of it. We did not care if anyone could spell it or even pronounce it because we want every person who walks through our door to learn about Anicca, develop his/her own understanding of it and perhaps even feel compelled to tell others about it.

Now that "Anicca Float". . . . was settled it was still missing something: Anicca Floats, Anicca Float Center, Anicca Float Spa.

Again, these didn't resound with us either. "Center" felt too institutional. "Spa" seemed deceptive as we would not be offering manicures, facials and the whole array of services that  traditional spas feature. We also did not want to alienate any male clientele as many spas target female audiences.

Feverishly texting one morning it finally came to us, "ANICCA FLOAT CLUB".  A title that would be all inclusive,  a place where you have your "monthly meeting"  (or more frequently) with a Float Room, to help you unwind your mind, relax your muscles, boost your creativity and a whole array of benefits one experiences when one commits to float regularly.  The people who commit to float monthly will also be given additional benefits beyond just doing something wonderful for your body and your mind.  

We will have exclusive offers, complimentary Far Infrared Sauna sessions and more for our Club Members.  When we get up and running, we would like to host free monthly meditation meetups. Simply a place where we people can support each others meditation practice and learn more about Vipassana which has been in the inspiration for Anicca Float Club from the very beginning.

Who is ready to join the Float Club?!

Why Floating? Why now?

I don’t quite understand it, but for as long as I can remember I have had an aversion to sales pitches. I can feel that moment where the pitch is coming. I feel this infamous lurch in the pit of my stomach and I ponder how I can most politely wiggle myself out of this position.  Why didn’t I see it coming?!  I am not sure if everyone feels this way? But for me, if I truly need something in my life, it has a way of finding me in an unforced organic way. I have come to the understanding that the things we truly seek in this world are also seeking us; they do not need to be cunningly pitched or forced.

Over the years, I have had numerous people ask me sell products from Essential Oils to Cosmetics and even Sex Toys!  I am bubbly and chatty by nature, but I am not a sales person. 

So....Why floating? Why now? Have I sold out?  After completing a 10 day Vipassana meditation course, I discovered the importance of learning how to observe reality through my natural respiration. I learned the importance of being still in body and my mind.

For those of you who don’t know me, I was quarantined in the nursery hours after I was born because I refused to sleep. I went straight from crawling to running and I have had a perpetual problem with being still for my entire life. I chose the path of a human pin ball bouncing from A to B to C and back to B!  Training myself to be still and just breathe was and still is an incredible challenge.  Vipassana taught me how to cultivate stillness by training the mind to observe and not react. Vipassana showed me that every sensation rises and passes away. The stillness cultivated through Vipassana meditation allows thoughts, sensations, past traumas and programming to bubble to the surface. If one can simply observe these things with non-reaction one is liberated from the perpetual cycles of craving and aversion. (Too deep?! Check out http://www.dhamma.org/  as Vipassana will definitely come up again in this blog.) :)

The reality is that most people (householders) find it hard to take 10 minutes to quiet the mind and even fewer people find the time to take a free 10 day Vipassana course. An even smaller slice of the population choose a life of religious asceticism where one completely abstains from worldly pleasures in order to pursue spiritual goals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either path, they are simply different. The modern lifestyle we are confronted with does not easily provide the time for one to sit and meditate; cell phones ring, horns honk, kids cry, media tweets, vibrates and bombards us incessantly …. DOES IT EVER STOP?! We are in a world where even getting 6 to 8 hours of high quality sleep is a stretch.

I digress, I believe floating is one of the most powerful tools available to help people help themselves without drugs, supplements, gurus, (insert your vice here). Floating is a powerful tool to help you cultivate stillness. Floating is self-care. Floating is not a gimmick. Floating is the essence of nothing. Floating is an opportunity to start rewiring the pathways in your conscious and subconscious mind. But, if you had had a rough day, your back is sore, your spouse and kids are driving you crazy, you are feeling sleep deprived and you just want to relax in our peaceful float rooms to recharge your batteries that is totally acceptable! Floating is what you make of it.

Are you ready to give it a try?

Learning (just about EVERYTHING) as we go...

We missed a week with all the holiday hustle and bustle, but we are BACK! :)

When we made the decision to open our first small business there were so many things that needed to get done. There were mountains of decisions that needed (and still need) to be made. We quickly realized that there are two choices when it comes to making things happen:

 1) Pony up the cash and pay someone to do it all for us. (MUCHO DINERO!)

2)  Dust the cobwebs of our thirty something cerebral cortices and do it ourselves.

It's the classic time verses money dilemma. Unless one has access to unlimited financial resources, Option #1 starts to add up pretty quickly!  So we found ourselves on the fast track to learn everything from corporate structures and bookkeeping to website design and general contracting. At first the learning curve was steep, but we threw ourselves in head first and just DID IT! There was no other way, as there was no entourage or jolly leprechaun showering us with gold coins to make things happen. The power of the interwebs, the old fashioned public library, friends and bacon (OH YES BACON!) helped fuel our quest.

In the middle of this rapid upload of knowledge, it dawned on us that learning is about getting over that point where we feel stupid and helpless. The greatest hurdle to learning is purely emotional! How many times can we get to that point of frustration, realize it is only temporary and push through?! (Ahem... ANICCA!)

When we conquer that fear of feeling stupid, it becomes more natural to tear down or float over the next challenging wall that stares us down. Knowledge is power.  When you take it upon yourself to learn a new skill, the knowledge you gain is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.   That knowledge is money in your personal bank account that nobody can touch!

Cheers to a New Year where we shed our emotional boundaries, fire up our synapses and embrace the life that only happens at the edge of our comfort zones.

Decisions, Decisions, DECISIONS...

We made the decision to Open a Float Club.... GREAT! Now there are only about 8,769 more decisions to make before we can open our doors! (Nope, I am not kidding!) Where will you open? What tanks, pods or ROOMS will you offer?  Will there be additional services? Retail? Oxygen? Aromatherapy? Singing parakeets?! The list of ideas will go on and ON!

For anyone who knows me personally, making decisions has never been my forte. As a child I would sit in the aisle at the toy store contemplating whether I should get the grey Sylvanian bunny family or the white Sylvanian bunny family? 20 minutes would pass and I would still be running scenarios in my head such as; What if one bunny family was more fun to play with than the other?, Would the grey Bunny family get along with the grey Bear Family? Will the grey Bunnies look good in the daisy yellow outfits I already have?

Fast forward to my 20s and I went through a phase where I never ordered less than 2 appetizers at a restaurant. Forget about choosing a single main course, I wanted to hedge my bets with small plates. The result, I ate at a lot of tapas!

You must be thinking that I have out grown of this childish indecision by now, right?!  Well... in my head I have improved, but I still treat the average yes or no question with multiple choice answers. (A habit that baffles my spouse to no end.) :)

What BIG decision has Anicca Float Club made this week?! Well after much pondering and many, MANY quotes... we have decided that we will not have a patchwork quilt shower made of Corian, Onyx, Acrylic and 2 different styles of tile.  We will not have 4 different shower styles either! We will have custom built acrylic showers. We will have no grout to clean and no sneaky places to harbor germs. Our oversized shower bases will be non-slip and there will be grabby bars for all the clumsy people out there like ME!

Whew... Now what is for dinner?!  Tapas anyone?

The beginning, or maybe it's the ever moving middle...

There comes a time in your life when you are no longer satisfied settling. You are no longer satisfied "keeping up with the Joneses" or the status quo. You are no longer satisfied doing things that do not ignite your inner fire because, there is something else in your heart.  There is something else on your mind.  There is something else that needs to be created. There is something screaming to get out of your soul!  Finally, you summon the strength deep within you to make it happen. Or perhaps I should more accurately say, you stop suppressing your passions with fear and rationalizations.  

There you stand atop a grand precipice and you have finally realized that it is actually scarier to continue to just stand staring at the, “what if” scenario than it is to jump into the seemingly dark and cavernous space below. YOU MUST JUMP.

This story, is our story, the true story of Anicca Float Club.  Stay tuned to our Blog as we share our insights and adventures in the world of floating and beyond.  It was only 6 months ago we decided to hurl ourselves into the abyss of Float Club Ownership and we have discovered it's not so scary, it's simply the next step on our adventure.