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Final Update 2:59pm

WOW… what an event. If you’re coming to RISE next year, bring tissues.

The last series of updates will be brief. The last two talks were legitimate tear jerkers and no recap could ever capture the moment.

Donna and Chris Petrovics

If you’ve ever met Donna & Chris from Pro Float, you’ll never forget the hugs they provide.

Being incredibly heart-centered people, in the final “talk” of the event, they provided a true gathering of everyone on stage as Donna opened her heart in an effort to help everyone understand that we aren’t just providing float sessions, we’re providing love.

Again, what an ending!

Dylan Calm

Dylan from the Float Shoppe & Art of the Float Podcast shared his love of hominids and overall science.

However, he ended his time by sharing a really striking story.

Dylan read a series of journal entries from a client at the Float Shoppe who was in the late stages of battling cancer and found floating through her caretakers to help bring an almost forgotten relief. We were all in tears.

This was a story so incredibly beautiful that this recap cannot do it justice. So tune in to a future episode of the Art of the Float Podcast to hear it in its entirety.

Update 4/22 11:02 AM

Justin Feinstein

True to form, Dr. Feinstein’s presentation this year at Rise is absolutely inspiring and informative.

He has been concerned with the state of research in the float industry for a long time. Despite the relatively large body of research available on how Float REST is beneficial for stress and anxiety, there’s been essentially no research done on comorbid conditions like depression and PTSD.

This is where his research comes in. While it’s still early and can only comfortably show short term effects right now, the results have been enlightening.

What is really striking is the lack of negative effects on patients with extreme anxiety and associated conditions. He’s been able to demonstrate (again, in the short term) a huge effect in reduction of anxiety and having virtually no downside for the patients. The positive benefits are also lasting for more than a day later, a much longer benefit than standard anti anxiety medications.

A sub group of the most severely anxious patients were considered treatment resistant, meaning they don’t respond well to other anxiety treatments. After floating, this group showed the largest benefit. This means that patients who have been suffering for years or decades are experiencing a relief from their symptoms, possibly for the first time.

In other exciting news, he announced future research, including an inpatient study for women with anorexia nervosa and research on opioid addiction withdrawal. He also announced he’ll be publishing fMRI data to show the changes of floating on the brain.

In his final statements, Justin called on all float centers to consider accepting patients and collecting data. Using the fibromyalgia study as a model, he wants to illustrate the proof of the efficacy of floating for these patients who have the greatest need. The FTA (floatation.org) has agreed to work on taking on the certification process to qualify the research data.

Check out http://www.laureateinstitute.org/justin-feinstein.html for information on the recently published studies and how you can help by providing float research from your center directly.

Glenn & Lee Perry

As always, Glenn & Lee bring a combination of charm, experience, and wonderful stories about the beginning days of floatation therapy.

Having a close relationship with John C. Lilly, they shared a story about how they helped Dr. Lilly go from building an isolation tank to turning that technology into floatation through experiments of adding salt levels from 3% salt, to 10% salt, to near saturation levels.

The main thesis of their talk covered fear and how floating has not only helped them overcome fears throughout their life, Lee shared how she recently discovered a potential childhood source of her fear of public speaking and that she’ll dive deeper into that fear the next time she’s in a float tank.

Glenn also announced that after their current inventory has sold through, Samadhi will no longer be manufacturing float tanks. If you’re interested in buying the longest established float tank business, contact Glenn & Lee.

Update 4/21 4:21 PM

Kevin Johnson

How and why do we encourage personal float practices? Those that float regularly and with purpose are the ones that represent our industry to the rest of society.

Often, those who float regularly can plateau in their experience. It comes down to gauging whether the time and money invested in floating is worth it.

Kevin shares his perspective over what he calls “The Complacency of Science”, which relies too heavily on the physical, measurable benefits of floating. In his view, it’s a disservice of our community to not focus on and address the potentials for altered states of being during floating. These are what he says transform casual floaters into regular practitioners who float with intention.

He invites everyone to explore what he calls “The Universe of Subtle Energy” and to look past the “Universe of Material Things”. This subtle energy is the stuff of dreams and attitudes. It affects our relationships, our environments, and our behaviors.

He says that when we introduce these ideas to regular floaters, we give them the tools to enhance their lives and the rest of the world.

He emphasizes the value in doing Nothing and thinking about Nothing to improve how we think, feel, and interact with the world.

Update 4/21 3:38 PM

Art of the Float Roundtable discussion

Dylan from The Float Shoppe, Kim at Sukhino Float, and Jeremy from Float in San Antonio host a discussion to engage with everyone in the audience.

In this session, they offered the idea of the float intro. How much is too much information? Do you do in person intros or use videos?

Three conversations ended up being broad and varied about introductions, and there was a lot of diverse opinions about how to manage expectations of floaters beforehand and how best to prime our customers and how to avoid complacency.

The whole session is recorded and will be available on artofthefloat.com.

Update 4/21 12:59 PM

Hilary Sedovic

Graduated with a degree in social work eager to work to address corporate social responsibility.

After school, she joined Float STL eagerly, ready to make an impact.

She had often heard about how non profits should be run more like businesses, but she argues that businesses should be run more like non profits.

She wants corporations to focus on social benefits and how greatest to impact communities in a positive way without focusing on their financial bottom line.

Instead, she challenges companies to think of a Double Bottom Line where social good is just as important as a return on investment for any business.

Focus on collaboration with others who serve communities in need. Figure out where to start and build from there.

Integrate social benefit and change. Work to track the impact of your actions. Social work isn’t just about the numbers you serve, but the overall impact you have on those you serve.

Consider what it’d look like for your float centers to be more integrated with the fabric of your communities.

Update 4/21 12:16 PM

Elle Potter

Elle started out teaching yoga ten years ago. She has worked hard to find creative, nontraditional ways to introduce the practice to people who might not otherwise be exposed to it.

She first started by hosting a yoga class in a brewery, which was hugely successful. From there, she wanted to find ways to make it more accessible for other people. She started a scholarship program for yoga memberships.

From there she started a program for yoga teachers to help provide access to others, including people of color, veterans, and people of different body types.

As she sees it, if everyone you do yoga with looks the same as you, That’s an opportunity to reflect on why that is.

This can be applicable to the float industry as well. We need to recognize who it is that’s coming to float and why.

We participate in this practice because it feels good and we should teach people what that’s like and provide opportunities to make it accessible.

Recognizing representation is incredibly important. To reach out to communities, that community needs to be represented.

Look at it from a perspective of helping instead of serving. It’s easy to take a practice and think just how it can be useful for others, but if that’s not what they want help with, then those who might benefit the most may not be receptive to it. Aside from that, if you provide all their solutions, they may not be able to find their own answers later on.

Are you looking to serve communities, or are you looking for good PR?

Update 4/21 11:06 AM

Ashkahn & Graham

Their talk focuses on Bein’ Chill. They came out in pajamas and robes with photos of animals chillin out.

How they define it. Assume good intentions. Situations are the fundamental problem, not people.

There are times when you can take the Chill Path or the Unchill Path. Most of the time Unchill behavior is a defense mechanism. It’s easy to see how being too trusting can cause you to be taken advantage of.

In their experience, it doesn’t happen that often. And in the 1% of situations where it does happen, does that really warrant negatively impacting or inconveniencing the other 99% of employees or customers? They say no.

They explain that there’s a Law of Mutual Chillitude. If you’re being chill and respectful, people will be chill and respectful back.

They focus on reacting to specific negative situations and not people as a whole.

Educating people is more important and valuable than chastising people in problem scenarios.

Sometimes you should ignore your emotions.

It can be helpful to wait if you’re upset about a problem. Let your more logical thoughts prevail.

Oftentimes what we need is an emotional release, not necessarily for that to be absorbed by others. If you need to, write an email but wait a day to send it. Usually, you’ll see in review that that isn’t how you want to communicate what you need to say.

Update 4/21 10:29 AM

Carol Johnson

Carol used her time to offer important reminders to everyone who runs a center about the power of our energies and the significance of intention.

Beyond just a simple sentiment, she reminds us that in this deceptively stressful work, as we help provide a space for others to heal, it’s important to remember to float ourselves.

We’re on this journey together.

Also remember that with intention, you can prepare this space with its presentation and energy to help earn the trust of your clients and yourself.

She offered important advice on how to nurture your team and to recognize that with employees, those with a negative energy can have as much of a detrimental impact to your client’s experience just as much as those with positive energy can be a boon.

Additionally, understand that your clients are all on different journeys and some are not ready to let go of their energies. It’s important to not internalize their energy, but to provide them the opportunities necessary to help them.

In the right environment we can heal, nurture and grow positive energies into the world. With real long lasting effects that can outlast us and our small worlds.

Update 4/21 9:56 AM

Stephen Johnson

Stephen carried the momentum of mindfulness and reminded us that we’re all “a single note in a multidimensional symphony.”

His reading, like so many before, reminds us of our role in the changing perceptions of the world at large. That we are not only mindful of our own metaprogramming, but also as stewards of this practice for those also in the thick of our ever changing world.

Update 4/21 9:35 AM

Jake & Kevin – Opening Remarks

Breathe in.

Take a moment to appreciate how we’re connected right now. I’m typing this out on my smart phone while attending the event to update you through the provided Wi-Fi and share this experience with you.

You’re viewing this now through a similarly connected device. We live in a magical time and sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

Jake & Kevin helped remind everyone of this beauty with their opening remarks and helped set the tone of this entire event. Not just an assembly of business colleagues, but a reunion of friends and family.

Hey there float family!
We just landed in St. Louis for Rise: A Float Gathering!
We’ll be providing live coverage of the talks and all the goings on (and off) throughout the weekend.
Graham and Ashkahn will be doing recordings for the Daily Solutions Podcast, answering questions in real time (and maybe getting some of you guys in on those awesome intros)!
Check back on this post for all our updates throughout the weekend starting Saturday morning at 9am Central. And if you’re at Rise, don’t forget to stop by and say hello!