Can’t Go to the Ocean? Blue Oceans Float Brings It to You 5/30/17 05/30/17 9:13:55 AM
Jordan Concannon, owner and manager of Blue Oceans Float, documented the progress of construction on Facebook.
Can’t Go to the Ocean?
Blue Oceans Float Brings It to You
By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record
Bringing a bit of Hawai’i to Omaha. That’s the idea behind Blue Oceans Float, Omaha’s newest float tank center that anticipated a May 29 opening, in Midtown Omaha.
Omaha-native and Papillion High School graduate Jordan Concannon, owner and manager, studied physics and astronomy at the University of Hawai’i of Hilo and while there her love of all things “nature” grew.
“I quite enjoyed being there,” she said. “People are more laid back and are conscious of the environment. I like the stars and wanted to work the land. I’m not an ‘indoorsy’ person. I didn’t want to be inside of a cubicle.”
When she moved back to Omaha in May 2015, her father, Shawn Concannon (formerly Shawn Schmidt), a chiropractor and owner of Natural Health Center PC, gave her a way to share her love of nature, the environment and Hawai’i with others.
He wanted to supplement his natural health care business and decided that the best way to do that was to open a flotation center about a five-minute drive from his office at 8001 Chicago.
“I want this to be more than a flotation tank center,” Concannon said. “It’s a place of community and gathering; a center for education and learning, and a sanctuary for healing and acceptance. We strive for sustainable practices, innovative healing approaches and prosperity in the surrounding community. We value the health and well-being of our visitors and the world around us.”
Flotation tanks have been used since the mid-1950s – they were used to explore consciousness – and, over the next few decades, they increased in popularity. They have been featured in film, most notably the 1980 William Hurt vehicle Altered States; and on TV, including Fox’s Fringe and The Simpsons.
Interest waned, but, in the last several years, has been rekindled. The biggest reason is Joe Rogan, an American comedian and sports commentator who, on his podcasts, has been effusive in his praise for floating. He claims that the sensory deprivation chamber has been the “most important tool that I’ve ever used in developing my mind – for thinking, for evolving.”
Many athletes and celebrities – ranging from soccer star Wayne Rooney and runner Carl Lewis to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, model Elle Macpherson, singer Peter Gabriel, and actress Susan Sarandon – concur and today there are hundreds of float centers across the country.
Omaha currently has three: Omaha Float Spa and Float Center, both in western Omaha – the former near 180th and Pacific Streets, and the latter at 597 N. 155th Plaza – and Afloat, off of 84th and L.
Blue Ocean’s Float, which is at 72nd and Pacific, will serve a Midtown clientele.
People who float have reported a variety of benefits from the activity, she said. Some of those benefits include relief or reduction in stress, improvement in the time it takes to recover from a sporting performance, and reduction in muscular fatigue and soreness. Some research indicates that floating can help those with autism and PTSD. At Blue Oceans Float, people can “donate” a float to active or retired military personnel that can be used at a later time.
“Floating can make you feel lighter and more energized,” Concannon said. “The rest of your day you are on a high. People are becoming more health conscious and they are always stressed. This gives you a ‘mini-vacation.’”
Ground was broken on the 2,200-square-foot facility in August 2016 and “things moved pretty quickly.” To get the word out and increase visibility of her business, Concannon had a big booth at the Omaha Health Expo on April 8-9, at the Baxter arena.
“We showcased the tanks we use in the center as well as the personal-sized tanks that we will sell so that people can enjoy floating and reap the benefits from their own home,” she said. “Also at the expo, I gave a talk on the main stage about floating, benefits and the Blue.”
When clients come into Blue Oceans Float, Concannon wants her customers to “imagine that they are going to the ocean.” As soon as clients step into the lobby, they will find a lot of natural light, she said.
“We have lots of windows. Once they go past a peaceful area she calls the quiet zone, they will be at one of five float rooms, where they will get a sense of coming back to themselves. The layout has a ‘Hawai’i feeling.’ It’s like an Aloha welcome.”
Each tank has its own room and shower, thereby providing a private and relaxing environment to every floater. “You wash off, and open your pores,” she said. “If you have cuts, you have to cover them, and you put things in your ears. You don’t wear any clothes. At first it’s slimy. It’s very surreal. It took me awhile to orient my arms and legs. Time flies by. Hours feel like minutes.”
The 10-inch deep water is kept at skin temperature, and holds more than 800 pounds of Epsom salt. Floaters have the option to turn on an in-tank ambient light or listen to calming music during their float. The tank lid, although seemingly heavy, is quite light and easy to open and close, she said. An air gap provides a constant flow of fresh air into the tank when the lid is shut. Blue Oceans Float provides towels, soaps and shampoos, and neck pillows.
“At a salt-water concentration of 25 percent, nothing harmful to humans can survive in the water,” she said. “Besides that, our tanks utilize a combination of filters to clean and purify the solution. These filters include an ozone oxidation system, UV filter and a halogen feed for disinfection. When you are done, you shower. And then you can go sit in the lobby. It’s a mind/body process.”
Several floats will be available. A 90-minute float is $75, and a 150-minute float is $95. Membership packages range from eight floats a month for $360 to two floats a month for $110. Blue Oceans Float will be open Tuesdays through Sundays. “Mondays, we will devote to deep cleaning and meetings,” she said.
“On our Facebook and Instagram pages you can see photos of progress as well as other things going on [such as] new banners and business cards. The website is being renovated and our blog has officially started,” she added. “Blog topics will range from information about floating and float tanks, the benefits of floating and environmental topics that are of concern to us at the float center.”
Thus far, Blue Oceans Float has four tank operators, and two float center coordinators.
For more information, go to http://www.blueoceansfloats.com.