Sculpture Dedicated to True Value of Floatation Therapy

As a pain management specialist for over two decades, I have seen how pain can change and manipulate a person’s brain, behavior and being. Despite my best efforts to practice what I preached, my own chronic pain was a distraction and the source of significant physical and emotional disability. Chronic pain was a primary catalyst for the eventual expression of my multiple sclerosis.  The combination of these issues played games with my brain and my body. 

Coincidentally at this time,  I discovered floatation therapy which lightened both my physical and emotional burden.  One of the most remarkable benefits of floating is how effortlessly it allows for a state of internal reflection and focus.  It’s like meditation on steroids.  I’ve spent numerous hours floating atop 10” of super salty skin temperature water, visualizing the reduction and elimination of both pain and lesions in my brain and spinal cord.  During this time of deep inner reflection to heal myself, it brought me to some realizations about myself, my surroundings, my emotional health, my relationships with others, gaining clarity on my purpose, my goals, future and direction. 

One such result is that floating encouraged my transition towards retirement from clinical chiropractic and acupuncture to that of helping others through providing floatation therapy services to others in need.

                                                                 Internal Focus by Lee HAZELGROVE                                                                                      The FLOAT ZONE

                                                                 Internal Focus by Lee HAZELGROVE
                                                                                    The FLOAT ZONE

In July 2017, the week of my retirement, I was visiting the United Network For Organ Sharing, here in Richmond, VA. Within this beautiful modern, life saving facility are artistic displays from local artists.  As part of the exhibit, there was a ceramic sculpture hanging on the wall, entitled “Internal Focus”.  It spoke to me. And in one moment, it captured years of thoughts and visualizations and emotions -  tears, pain, joy, excitement, and hope.  It reminded me of my relationship and journey with the float tank. I immediately purchased the sculpture with the intention of displaying it at The Float Zone.  

Internal Focus, by Lee Hazelgrove, now hangs in the entry of The Float Zone as a dedication to all who come to float with the hope they too will find relief, calm, focus, direction, awareness, and the healthy state that naturally follows.  

Beginning in February, 2018, The Float Zone will be featuring the work of local artists that too have been inspired by floating.

-Dr. David Berv, Chief Experience Officer, The Float Zone

Floatation Shows Promise for Brain Injury Awareness

Read This If You Have Lost Your Mind (or have a brain injury)

Floatation therapy shows promise for brain injury.  Brain research is a rapidly developing field, but there remains much that we do not understand about how the brain operates. Traumatic brain injury and concussion are significant disabilities involving a large age range. Identification and treatment for traumatic brain injury ("TBI") and concussion is currently in a state of development and awareness, largely influenced by growing scrutiny in the National Football League and the U.S. military. 

Seth MacFarlane brilliantly uses humor in a recent Family Guy episode - "Stewie gets a concussion" - to demonstrate how lingering side effects ( disorientation, mood disorders and various sensory disturbances) essentially become an individual's “new normal.”

A Richmond, VA individual who is currently suffering from a TBI lifestyle, echoes the sentiments of Family Guy’s concussion episode, when she recently stated, “I already knew the world doesn't like talking about matters of the brain - things like brain injury, recovery, rehab, mental health, addiction, suicide, trauma, sensory disorders, cognitive function, etc”… This brings home the sentiment of MacFarlane’s poking at the way in which the big, political business of professional sports, as well as our own military has played a key role in furthering this hidden epidemic from mainstream consciousness.  

Regardless of the increasing awareness of TBI, we are just beginning to understand the depths of the brain and how to repair it.  Further, because of the extent, quantity and quality of symptoms that vary from person to person, there is no consensus on the best method in which to treat TBI induced migraine, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disorders, executive functioning, sleep disorder, and much more with a tried and true treatment - especially when many who suffer a TBI don’t even realize they have a TBI for many months after their original trauma.  Misdiagnosis happens. Some with TBI think they are just depressed. Anxious. Forgetful. Some get lost in the “system” and emerge without a concrete therapeutic direction.

Unfortunately, TBI not only affect those with the brain injury, but their family and friends.  It takes a unique understanding, compassion and patience from loved ones.  It can be incredibly frustrating for both parties and the affects of friendships and family can be catastrophic.      

As a sports chiropractor having studied the brain and central nervous system, as well as learning concussion, return to play (and work) protocols, I have long understood the devastating impact that concussive forces can have on the brain and its control of both the body and mind. I have worked with professional athletes and seen how concussions can interrupt a career.  

Being a float center owner with a neuro-musculo-skeletal lens, it has opened up a window in my mind as to a whole new world of possibility for those suffering with the effects of mild TBI and TBI. In my time in the sports medicine world, there were often days and months when particular conditions such as fibromyalgia, disc herniations or a complicated pain referral pattern would pervade the schedule.  It made me pay extra attention and often gave pause for reflection on making sure to consider other tandem treatment options that may leverage the healing process.  In my growing expertise in the floatation therapy world, I am noticing that many are seeking out floatation as a way to leverage their healing process. Some float in combination with physical therapy.  Some float in combination with counseling, massage, energy work, medications, functional medical approaches, exercise therapy, acupuncture, and much more.  Floating appears to assist any TBI therapeutic mind/body approach.  But floating, like the brain is still not well-known. 

Floatation or restricted environmental stimulus therapy ( R.E.S.T. ), involves effortlessly floating face up in a private room, in an oversized fiberglass tub that is filled with 10” of skin temperature (93-94 degree) water and saturated with 1000 pounds of Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate).  The premise is to remove routine environmental and physical stimulation, such as light, sound, and gravity.  You can choose to modify the level of sensory restriction by leaving the lid of the pod open or closed, being in complete darkness or leaving the light on, complete silence or listening to ambient music.  Regardless, you are floating effortlessly and your brain likes it.  Our brains spend a lot of time processing our orientation in space, as well as sights, sounds, walking, driving, digital imagery and more. We never unplug.  R.E.S.T. gives the brain a chance to rest. Through the peculiar sense of brain rest and rejuvenation that occurs with floating, it would stand to reason that what Norman Doidge, MD discusses in his bestselling books on neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to rewire itself, could apply directly to floating. And this may be key in unlocking some of the secrets of the brain and how to heal itself.  

Case studies are currently being done at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA  which take into account physical, emotional, neurological and psychological aspects of individuals currently coping with traumatic brain injury of various duration and disability.  In one such case study, the subject is a 39 year-old female dentist with a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury following a major motor vehicle accident 14 months prior.  Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, confusion, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, headaches and other, directly related to her brain injury.  She has not found any treatment or combinations of treatment that have been remarkably helpful. The case study observes effects of floatation therapy upon various physical, emotional, neurological and psychological aspects. The results are encouraging.  Click here to read the abstract      (coming soon). For the full case study, contact Dr. David Berv ( see below).

The rapidly emerging industry of Floatation Therapy, along with the growing interest and awareness of concussion and TBI is bound for a positive collision course, for the greater good of the brain injury community.  Floatation and R.E.S.T. may help to pave the way for an improved integration, cooperation and communication between medical and alternative medical treatment services. If you or someone you know has a TBI, floatation should seriously be considered.  If you or someone you know is a mind/body healthcare provider of any type, R.E.S.T. should be on the radar. 

For more on floating and concussion/TBI, contact Dr. David Berv at The Float Zone:


Typical Float pod in private room with shower

Typical Float pod in private room with shower