Healthy Beginnings

Reset, Reflect and Refresh: Reno Healing Center Offers Float Therapy, Sensory Deprivation

Beauty exists in the habitual activities of everyday life, but how often do you step outside of routine – flooded with a sequence of work and family responsibilities – and just do nothing.

Sounds foreign, doesn’t it? Literally doing nothing seems virtually impossible in our well- connected, fast-paced world. Even when we think we are doing nothing – maybe sitting on the couch “taking a break” – we are, most likely, still stimulating our minds by watching TV, or scrolling through Facebook.

“How important is it to do nothing, is it to relax and to let go of your life and your relationship and your kids and your dog, and really hone into yourself?” Chaz Allen, owner of Healing One in Reno, asked. “I think that we are so pulled away from our self all the time.”

The concept of doing nothing – literally complete nothingness – is a concept championed by Chaz, who founded and opened Healing One, Reno’s only balanced float center, in July 2015.

Chaz, a big-hearted energy healer, has always had an innate desire to help people. He is a certified practitioner of Quantum Touch and is working toward receiving his master’s degree at the University of Metaphysics in Sedona, Arizona.

“As an energy healer, and coming up in this field and understanding that I’m here to help people – I’m here to bring healing on a massive scale – I realized that I can’t do that all myself,” Chaz said. “I realized that I should create a healing center. … I realized that sensory deprivation would be a phenomenal foundation.”

Healing One offers both active and passive healing modalities, including yoga, dance and flow arts (considered active healing), along with massage therapy, energy work and oxygen therapy (considered passive healing). The staple and main attraction of Healing One, however, is float therapy. What is float therapy, or, “floating?”

Also known as Restricted Environment Stimuli Therapy (REST), floating is a form of sensory deprivation that occurs in a highly saturated solution of Epsom salt and water, which unburdens you from the sensation of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound.

The high levels of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) allow the body to effortlessly float atop the water, which is kept at or near external skin temperature (this helps heat the air, so you’re not cold or hot – just neutral).

“That’s what we’re striving for, we’re striving for that neutral space,” Chaz said.

Floating provides an environment ideal for relaxation, meditation and healing, which is why it has become increasingly popular for professional and Olympic athletes. Pilot studies suggest that floating also helps encourage creativity and problem solving, and helps decrease tension, depression, fatigue and hostility.

“I’d like people to step out of their comfort zone for a second and try something new, because it is something that really could potentially help them in their life with stress, with anxiety, with depression, with pain management, with cognitive issues, with overstimulation issues,” Chaz said.

Many health benefits are associated with float therapy, as some studies suggest that it:

  • Releases tension stored in muscles and decompresses the spine, which can help relieve chronic pain.
  • Helps with meditation and relaxation, as the sensory deprivation allows your body to recover from the stresses and stimulations of our urban lifestyle.
  • Floods the body with magnesium, which is known to help increase energy, calm anxiety, help with digestion and constipation, relieve muscle aches, regulate levels of calcium, potassium and sodium, and aid in bone health.

Invented in the mid 1950s by neuroscientist John Lilly, float therapy tanks were originally named “sensory deprivation tanks” or “isolation tanks.” Although scientific research outlining the physical and mental benefits of float therapy is limited, floating has been slowly attracting the interest of a small group of scientists interested in learning if floating has a place as a therapy for various distress orders, including PTSD. One scientist – neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein – believes so deeply in the therapeutic potential of floating that he opened the Float Clinic and Research Center at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the only float laboratory in the U.S.).

Common concerns about float therapy include fear of being alone in the dark, drowning and claustrophobia.

“I understand that it is kind of a wild thing at first – people are doing something they’ve never done before,” Chaz said. … “I always tell people – whatever you’re expecting, it’s the complete opposite.”

Healing One has two float tanks, along with a “chill room” and complementary herbal tea – to help you ease from the fast-paced demands of daily life into nothingness.

Chaz recommends scheduling a float session at least once, or twice, a month.

“We’re so distracted from ourselves, and that’s what a float does for you, it gives you time to spend with yourself,” he said. “If we spend time with ourselves and we reflect on our life, we grow, we change. … It’s a phenomenal reset – you come in, you shut down your mind, you shut down your body, you shut down your spirit. You’re allowed to relax, and then you come back and you’re a better version of yourself.”

By Gabrielle Irvin

For more information, call Healing One at 775-499-5393 or visit