Central New York

Flotation Tanks Come To Syracuse

A new salt therapy spa is now open in Syracuse. But what exactly is salt therapy? NCC's Annalisa Pardo takes us inside the flotation tank.

By Annalisa Pardo SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Syracuse is joining in on the salt therapy trend, with a new flotation spa open on Erie Boulevard.

Clients can come to the flotation spa, where they float in about 850 pounds of Epsom salt.

Fans of the therapy say floating helps them ease their stress, anxiety, muscle pain, and can help with skin problems.

“It can help clear psoriasis, it can help clear some dry skin, it can help clear… things like insect bites, poison ivy, sometimes dry skin…so there are some uses for it,” said Dr. Joyce Farah, a local dermatologist.

But Susan Ventress, a regular floater at Bodymind Float Center in Rochester, told us she floats for other reasons.

“…total quiet…”, she told us.

Ventress said floating at a spa is different from simply using an Epsom salt bath balm at home because in addition to the floating aspect of the tank, floating at a spa offers a quiet, relaxed environment.

Alex Cerio is the manager at Bodymind Float Center in Rochester.

He said floating in a quiet tank allows muscles to loosen up, which eases muscle pain.

And while flotation therapy dates back to the fifties, it’s said benefits are gaining attention.

According to Flotation Locations, an online flotation directory, the amount of flotation tanks has nearly tripled nationwide in the past six years.

The U.S. currently has 355 flotation spas and the therapy is beginning to gain traction in the sports arena.

But, the benefits of floating may just be too good to be true.

“Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe,” said Dr. Farah.

One of her biggest concerns is dehydration.

“You are sitting in this concentrated ‘sea’ basically, and so you are going to have fluids from your body leaking into the baths. So you have to make sure you don’t dehydrate,” said Dr. Farah.

She said doctors’ opinions on flotation therapy vary but she personally doesn’t believe it should be used as a stand alone remedy.

“Can they be used in conjunction with traditional medicine? I think they can, I think that’s the safe way to use them,” said Dr. Farah.

Whether you’re ready to float today or want to take this therapy with a grain of salt, Dr. Farah said it’s always important to check with your physician before floating.