Calgary

Float tanks making waves once again in Calgary

Lying in pitch darkness, sealed in a tank of warm water and held perfectly afloat, thanks to about 400 kilograms of Epsom salt. In the early 1980s sensory deprivation tanks were all the rage. Now, they're making a comeback.

'There's a lot of answers in silence'

Floatation tanks, which were trendy for a time in the 1980s, are gaining in popularity again as a way for people to relax. 0:48

Lying in pitch darkness, sealed in a tank of warm water and held perfectly afloat, thanks to about 400 kilograms of Epsom salt.

In the early 1980s, sensory deprivation tanks, as they used to be known, were all the rage.

But for a variety of reasons, including a bad recession and misconceptions at the height of the AIDS crisis, the trend dried up, according to Treeka Drake.

Treeka Drake, owner of One Love Float, says floating lets her feel more connected to herself. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

"And so it kind of crashed. By the 90s, it was unheard of, you couldn't find them anymore," she said.

Now they're back. Drake's business, One Love Float, is one of several places people can experience sensory deprivation floatation in Calgary.

Drake says in today's hyper-connected world, floating is a rare opportunity to get away from it all.

"Here we find it's just a lot of people looking for self-exploration. People seem to love just to be able to unplug," she said. "There's a lot of answers in silence."

Dustin Ryan, co-founder of FloatLife, says he's noticed a growing interest in floating since his business opened in 2014. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Dustin Ryan, who opened FloatLife in northwest Calgary in 2014, also says there is a growing interest in floating.

"It's been going great. We've definitely been seeing more of a resurgence of floating in Calgary," he said.

"Before we opened up, there were very few places where people had the opportunity to float."

With files from Evelyne Asselin