Marques Manuel works on his feet as a bartender at Primal in Durham, but every Thursday morning at Areté in Carrboro, he's floating.
He said the first time was kind of weird, but after a while, he got used to it and "I wanted to keep doing it."
Three months later, Marques is seeing benefits, especially when it comes to his skin. He suffers from psoriasis and says floating has made all the difference.
"When I was just using the medication it didn't seem like things were working, but when I started mixing that with the floating, it's starting to really, really heal up," Marques said.
That's no surprise to Areté Float Tank and Optimization Studio owner Jennifer Ellis, who said the secret is in the salt.
"You're in a pod. It's 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in about 10 inches of water so floating is absolutely effortless for anyone in the float tank," Ellis said. "You don't have to work to float. It's 30 percent more dense than the Dead Sea so it's very easy to float.
And easy to let go of the stress of the outside world, she added.
Ellis said the therapy brings relief from chronic physical pain, everyday stress and anxiety, skin ailments and nerve ailments.
The pod itself is four feet wide by eight and a half feet long, but if you're not a fan of closed-in spaces, you can leave the light on and the lid up.
The water is close to body temperature and tested daily for quality and safety.
"We also have a very heavy filtration system so between each floater the entire volume of the water is filtered four times so it's very, very clean; and the health department pops in occasionally," Ellis said.
The extra safety measure give Manuel peace of mind. He's happy knowing he's doing something perfectly safe and seeing results. He said it's definitely worthwhile.