HUNTERS POINT — The first rule of Float Club is: you can talk about Float Club.
A wellness center in Long Island City that's home to the only sensory deprivation spa in Queens has launched a membership club for fans of the meditative floats, offering discounts and special events to those who sign up.
Sacred Waters started the promotion this spring at its space at 5-35 51st Ave., which features a custom-built room with an 8-by-4-foot tub where patrons float nude in a buoyant Epsom salt solution — an experience designed to combat stress and facilitate a meditative state.
The salt water is heated to the temperature of the participant's skin, and the floater controls the lights and music in the room, and can turn them off whenever they want.
"The sensation after you choose to turn off the lights and the music is like floating in outer space," said Scared Waters' owner Jennifer Cogburn, who called the experience a "cheat code for meditation."
"Your nervous system isn’t analyzing any input. It doesn’t hear anything, see anything, smell anything. It turns itself off," she explained. "You can have visions. You lose track of time. It's very much in tune with your subconscious."
Sacred Waters at 5-35 51st Ave. off of Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City (Courtesy Sacred Waters)
Cogburn started Float Club — a play on "Fight Club" — this spring as a way to reward customers who use the service frequently, offering them discounts from the standard $125-per-float price the more they visit the center.
Members join with a special price of $90 per session, which they retain as long as they float at least once a month. The cost rises by increments of $7 each month they go without a float, but goes back down by the same increment each month they consistently visit.
"I don't like the idea of someone spending money and not using it — there's guilt," Cogburn explained of the club's incentive-based structure. "We're a healing place. I want to keep the energy about it right."
Float Club members will also get access to special social events, like workshops that focus on using sensory floats to boost creativity or help with memory retention.
"The whole club is meant to be...fun," Cogburn said. "A group of like minded people who are sort of floating aficionados."
Sensory deprivation floats have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years since their heyday in the 1960s and 70s, and fans of the practice say it offers myriad benefits, both mental and physical.
Cogburn says floating can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate, reduces stress levels and is good for people who have trouble sleeping.
"It really depends on what you need," she said, adding that the practice is frequently sought by those who suffer from PTSD and other traumas.
Unlike many spas that offer sensory deprivation tanks, floats at Sacred Waters take place in a special room with a tub, which Cogburn said was a choice to benefit claustrophobic clients.
A standard session at Sacred Waters is 90 minutes, an hour of which is spent floating.
For more information and prices, visit the center's website here.