Flotation therapy comes to Sudbury

The I-SOPOD flotation unit contains water heated to 35.5 degrees Celsius and 800 to 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. The buoyancy created by the solution eliminates the effects of gravity on the body, creating an experience of almost complete weightlessness.

Weightlessness said to relieve pain, stress

Brent Giroux knows about head injuries and the effects of chronic pain. In 1987, Giroux was riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a truck and run over. He was left with a severe head injury and years of recovery. He was also left struggling to find full-time employment along with rebuilding his life.

Giroux never wasted a moment. Over the years, he found innovative ways to deal with pain and stress. Four years ago, he began researching flotation pods. He had a chat with a friend who encouraged him to strike out on his own and make an employment opportunity for himself.

Giroux applied for a government grant, but was denied. That didn’t even deter him for one second. He made a more effective business plan and brought it to a local bank which gave him the money he needed to open the R.E.S.T. Centre in Sudbury in November 2012. (R.E.S.T stands for Restricted Environmental Stimuli Therapy.)

Giroux knows first-hand that flotation pod therapy can make a difference in someone’s life. It has changed his for the better.

“I have a horrible speech-stutter. I float once a week and I don’t stutter,” Giroux said. “Prior to using a flotation pod, I was always in discomfort and pain. I haven’t had pain like I used to since I started. Recovering from severe injuries is a long and tedious road. It can be frustrating. This opportunity came up for me and I couldn’t stop. It is my passion. I had to bring it to Sudbury.”

The centre is equipped with two I-SOPOD flotation units along with private changing and shower areas. The pods feature interior lights controlled by the user and an interior door handle. They are manufactured in England and are the first of their kind in Canada.

Brent Giroux, owner of the R.E.S.T Centre in Sudbury.

The pods contain water and between 800 and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. The solution is heated to skin temperature (35.5C). The buoyancy created by the solution effectively eliminates the effects of gravity on the body. It is designed to make the client experience almost complete weightlessness in order to allow every muscle to relax. A session lasts about one hour and costs $60.

Giroux says the benefits are lasting. The effects range from pain and stress relief to alleviation of depression and sports injury rehabilitation. The pods also feature advanced micro-filters so the solution is always pristine.

Giroux has one client who is 6-foot-4 and weighs more than 350 pounds who “loves it” because he gets relief from pain in his knees. Giroux also has two clients who are bipolar who also love the experience. Each session is cumulative, so the more you float, the less you need to do it each session, but the results can vary from person to person.

It has taken many years and setbacks for Giroux to finally find his ultimate calling. He only wants to help people who suffer from pain and stress live better lives.

“There are three side effects – laughter, happiness and smiling,” he said. “I get to improve people’s quality of life with these pods. They are amazing. You can’t sink in them and it is not a hot tub. The air inside, the solution and your body are all the same temperature. After 10 minutes, you feel very little and your brain doesn’t know where your body ends and the water begins. Our brains rarely shut down these days. The pods force you to calm down. It isn’t a fad.”

The one catch is people planning to use a pod can’t drink or take caffeine or other stimulants or eat big meals three hours before a session because it can “wreck the experience.” Clients are also advised not to shave before a session as the solution can sting freshly-shaven skin.

Giroux has already had a couple of doctors and nurses come in for a session. He has two main objectives besides helping people. He wants to have doctors come into his centre and conduct research for chronic pain patients. He also wants to work with the government and see it at least partially covered by OHIP.

“I want to find forward-thinking doctors to team up with and do research on medical conditions,” he said. “These are the best pods I found after a lot of research. They’re not invasive and they are appealing. Most importantly, they help.”

More information on flotation therapy can be found online.




Filed in: Complementary Medicine Tags: , , , , ,

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