Sensory reduction therapy could boost your brain and body in the new year

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sensory deprivation tanks have come a long way.

It's now called float therapy or sensory reduction therapy, and it's modern way you can boost wellness in the new year. Between shows like Stranger Things and celebrities like Joe Rogan, it's become a mainstream way to relax, relieve stress and promote healing.

Lawrence Simmons Helped open Floating KC three and a half years ago in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City.

"There's no light or sound except the sound of your breathing," Simmons said.

With just word of mouth referrals and a website, they did more than 2,000 floats last year with hundreds of clients.

"It gives you focus," he said. "It resets your nervous system."

After a massage and a shower, clients float in a salt water tank of skin temperature water, without light or sound, for about an hour. Simmons said it's relaxing, meditative and great for physical healing.

" We've had a number of Kansas City Chiefs float with us," he added.

Simmons said decades of research show that it not only helps athletes recover, but it also improves conditions like ADHD, autism and chronic stress.

"It`s been shown to be one of the best treatments for PTSD," Simmons said. "The VA has sent us several test cases, and they've found remarkable results in soldiers."

Veterans Don and Loretta Craig tried it for the first time Tuesday.

"There`s been plenty of studies that 70 to 90 percent of all doctors visits really have their true root cause in stress," Loretta Craig said. "So I'm just trying to stay out of the doctor's office."

They both said they feel that float therapy offers benefits.

"Aside from being veterans of the Army, I think we're veterans of life," Don Craig said. "And modern day life is so stressful, just working and traffic and financial pressures and everything that's heaped on us in modern day life. And it was just an opportunity to let it go."

Simmons said it's not for everybody though.

"Maybe three or four people have just gotten out after 20 minutes and said, 'Not my thing,'" he said.

But if you're looking for new ways to boost physical or mental wellness in the new year, float therapy might work for you.

Prices run at about $75 for an hour, but Floating KC offers a 50 percent discount to veterans and first-responders such as EMTs, firefighters and police.

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