Half a ton of Epsom salt, warm water and 60-minutes may be the recipe to the newest way to combat many of life’s toughest struggles, both mental and physical.

The Float Spa Sneads Ferry, opened Oct. 12, is hoping to provide relief from a host of ailments, including those of the military grade.

“Floating is so powerful,” owner Beth Jones said. “People think you’re crazy. They think, ‘it is so simple. There is no way that it work.’”

The Float Spa Sneads Ferry is only the second designated flotation therapy center in North Carolina.

Also known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), clients turn off the world while floating in a float pod.

Each float pod contains 10 inches of temperature-controlled water mixed with half a ton of Epsom salt.

The extreme salt level creates a mini Dead Sea, allowing clients to float.

Each pod also has a lid that can be left open during a float session or closed, as well as lighting that the client has control of.

The combination of weightlessness, lack of sound and lack of visual stimulation aids in treatment of sore muscles, aches and pains and even mental stress.

“I have people that have been to chiropractors, and have been the their doctor for an injury or a pain and they just don’t help,” Jones said. “They come float for an hour and when they are done they feel great. It is really difficult to describe the pre-float feeling.”

The static environment created by the float pods allows not only the body to take a break while floating, but also the brain.

The time-out from reality during a float session has been a medication-free way of treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jones said, something that touches her life daily.

“PTSD affects my life through friends,” she said. “They all seem to be trying to find a better solution to treating it. They just aren’t getting the help that they need, for whatever reason, except when they float.”

Jones first fell in love with float therapy four years ago after a Navy SEAL friend introduced her to it.

When she learned that flotation therapy could aid in combating PTSD that effected so many of her friends, she became invested in opening a spa.

“My friend made me do it,” she said. “I am trained in water rescue and told him there was no way I was getting in a tiny closet with water. I finally tried it and fell in love with it. I started researching all it had to offer and quickly learned of the physical and mental benefits. Seeing the relief some people were getting for the PTSD, I instantly said to myself, ‘there should be 10 of these at each military installation.’”

Jones said she hopes the spa will not only relieve her clients of an ache from an old football injury, but also remove the stigma associated with mental struggles, like anxiety and attention deficit disorder and PTSD.

“You don’t have to come in here and tell me, ‘I was just diagnosed with PTSD and thought this would help,’” Jones said. “I hope we are able to combat the stigma here and hope, eventually, that you will share your story with us, but it is not a requirement.”

Sensory deprivation rebalances the way that the brain is functioning, allowing it to take a break from processing the environment and focus on healing and processing things that may trigger mental illnesses like PTSD or anxiety.

Several sessions can alter the way that the brain is functioning, Jones said, sometimes by allowing someone to relax enough to actually sleep.

“Some people are able to process through some of those memories in a really calm environment,” she said. “Sometimes it relieves the insomnia that comes with PTSD. To have that good, quality rest and to actually be able to reset allows for a different level of functioning after your float.”

Those fearing claustrophobia in the tank have total control over how their float goes; leaving the lid open or cracking it.

Each float is personal, with the pod housed in its own private room.

“Anyone nervous about being in a tank has total control of the room,” Jones said. “Someone who suffers from claustrophobia may close the lid gradually during their session until it is totally closed. The tank does that. It is such a calm, anxiety-free state that that kind of anxiety doesn’t exist when you float.”

Others worry about the cleanliness of the pods as well.

Jones said that between floats the entire contents of the pod is filtered between three and fives times.

The amount of Epsom salt in the water also combats the growth of bacteria, she said.

Although a lot of the people Jones has shared her new business with are not familiar with float therapy at all, the reaction from the community has been positive.

“People are chomping at the bit,” she laughed. “We have people that have no idea what this is, but are excited to try it.”

Also the owner of a digital marketing company, Jones is excited to show the area what float therapy is.

“I am most excited about watching peoples’ lives change for the better,” she said. “Whether that is just getting some more sleep, or relief from anxiety, or from that nagging pain. I am excited to see how it works here.”

The Float Spa Sneads Ferry is located at 1961 N.C. 172 Suite 102 in the Four Corners Shopping Center. Floats are $79 for a single session, or memberships are available starting at $59 per month.

For more information including packages and pricing or to schedule an appointment call 910-526-0244 or visit www.floatspasf.com.