Clarence NY – Founded by Katrena Avent, RN, Ascend Float Spa at 8825 Sheridan Drive in Clarence is Westen New York’s newest and largest floatation center. Floatation therapy has been building momentum over the last 10 years as ‘floaters’ are discovering the all-natural and drug free approach for improvements in mental clarity, sleep patterns, pain relief, high blood pressure, PTSD and creativity.

The facility has four unique float rooms, including three ‘Wave Rooms’ which feature ceilings over six feet high, one of which is handicapped accessible and a ‘float pod’. Each has private changing rooms and showers. Guests can also enjoy a hair dryer ‘bar’.

Floatation therapy incorporates sensory-deprivation and high buoyancy Epsom Salt water. Over 1,000 lbs of such salt is dissolved into each tank. A typical floatation time is 60 minutes. The combination gives the floater the experience of weightlessness and encourages meditation, calm and absorption of magnesium which helps combat high blood pressure and pain. The temperature of the air and water are 94 degrees, the same as the body’s external surface. The idea is to remove all outside stimulus.

“We supply nearly everything our floaters need. Earplugs, towels, combs…even CBD oil if they choose,” said Avent. “They might want to bring their favorite body lotion for afterward, that‘s about it”, she said.
Floatation therapy was invented in the 1950’s by Dr. John Lilly. Floatation therapy is based on a scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique or R.E.S.T. for short. The idea was developed in 1954 at NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) in Washington. Floating in a floatation tank triggers a deep relaxation response, much deeper than normal sleep. It enables users to drift into the elusive Theta state, which is otherwise hard to achieve. Theta waves are brain waves associated with early/playful sleep.

“My favorite part about floating is the mental part. There is nothing else you can do to quiet your mind the way floating does,” said Karl Schmelz, co-owner. “About a quarter of our customers fall asleep during the session. Whether they fall asleep or not, they emerge much more rested. From what we’ve read, 45 minutes of floating is roughly equal to 4 hours of sleep”, he said.

Today, many professional athletes are using floatation therapy to maximize their peak performance holistically. The New England Patriots were early adopters of floatation therapy in 2014. Now, float rooms and float pods are commonplace in professional practice centers.

Currently Ascend is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. Interested persons should contact Ascend at (716) 331-1900 or at

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