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Click2Daily: Houston float tanks created for health, therapy -- do they really work?

HOUSTON – Reporter Chip Brewster takes a trip to a Northwest Houston neighborhood Tuesday that may look ordinary but it’s actually home to Houston’s very first float therapy center

“Hi welcome to Float Houston,” said Michelle DeRouen as she opens the door.

DeRouen opened up Float Houston in 2008 in her home.

Float tanks, also known as sensory deprivation tanks or isolation tanks, are designed to shut out light and sound while providing a weightless environment.

They were first created in the 1950s to test the effects of sensory deprivation on the human mind and body. Since that time, however, the devices have evolved to become a form of meditation and relaxation. 

Checking out Float Houston Health and Wellness for KPRC2 / Click2Houston today. Have you heard of these things?

Posted by FOX 13's Chip Brewster on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

“I was on a trip to Europe and I was in London and I saw it on the internet and thought ‘well I’m going to go and try this,’” DeRouen said. “Towards the end of my float I just thought I have to bring this back to Houston, this is amazing.”

Some use the isolation tanks to help with healing while others use it for relaxation or meditation.

“I had the biggest sense of peace that I ever had.  There was no light, there was no sound, (and) there was no gravity. It was just so extremely peaceful and I got to a place of kind of bliss,” DeRouen said.

What started as a part-time commitment for DeRouen soon became so popular that she was basically forced to quit her day job.

“I have a lot of people that they’re sitting in a group talking about it and the guinea pig comes and they get to report back to all their friends how it is and then I always see all of their friends coming in afterwards,” she said.

This is the point in the story where KPRC2 Lifestyle Reporter Chip Brewster gives it a try and Michelle walks him through the process.

[WATCH: Click2Daily: Houston float tanks created for health, therapy]

“The first thing you’ll do is hop in the shower. If you have on any lotion, deodorant, hair product, any smell good type stuff, use the soap and shampoo, get all of that off. And then once you’re done here you’ll come on in here in the float room,” DeRouen said. “When you get in, make sure to hold on because it’s really slippery. Your head’s going to go on this end. You can float with your arms down, up across your body, back of your neck, whatever’s comfortable for you.”

The water is warm, the same temperature as your skin to be exact. And once you’re fully in the tank, door closed, there is no light and only the sound of your breathing.

“You can open your eyes and you can’t tell if your eyes are opened or closed because it’s just total blackness,” DeRouen said. “During the first 15 to 20 minutes you’re going to get monkey mind where your brain is just all over the place thinking about did I lock the front door, to do list, grocery list, which is natural your brain is looking for all that stimulus that it’s missing.  So it’s like OK, what (should) I do.”

However when your brain and body finally relax that’s when the full float effect really kicks in.

“A lot of times when people get out of the tank they either feel just totally rejuvenated, ready to tackle the day, or they’re like spaghetti,” DeRouen said.

Live from inside the Float Houston Health and Wellness tank!

Posted by FOX 13's Chip Brewster on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

So how was it? 

Well, the reality of the situation is Chip was only in it for about 30 minutes and he was working the whole time; making sure to get different camera angles and what not so he didn’t really get the full experience.

That said he was actually floating so it was a neat thing to be in there weightless and it makes him want to come back and give the full-hour thing a try.