A sensory deprivation float center has opened in Roanoke's Old Southwest neighborhood.

Since Still Water Floatation opened Oct. 10, it has hosted some 400 floats, said Tabby Cain, who owns the business with David Landes.

Though it may be new to the Roanoke Valley, deprivation floating has been around since the 1950s, Cain said. It involves floating in a tank with about a foot of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt.

"It’s almost like lying on a bed, but there’s no pressure point," she said.

Still Water Floatation has four tanks. Two are pod-like and the others are cabins, large enough for someone to stand in, Cain said. The cabins, one of which can accommodate two people, are a good fit for anyone with concerns about claustrophobia.

Floaters are given options to control their environment, she said: They can leave tank doors or lids open and adjust light and sound to their level of comfort.

However, the idea behind sensory deprivation is to eliminate all stimuli.

"When you do that, it really puts focus on self," Cain said.

Floating is good for people who like to meditate, Cain said, along with those who suffer from stress or muscle and joint pain. She noted that athletes also turn to floating to hasten recovery.

A single 90-minute float costs $70. Monthly memberships are available for frequent floaters and discount the price to $49 per visit.

Still Water Floatation is at 1309 Third St. S.W. and plans to be open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County.

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