By Connor Beach
It’s not often in today’s world that we get a chance to disconnect from technology or take a break from the constant access to stimuli from cell phones and computers, yet one of Huntington village’s newest businesses is looking to provide a place where customers can come to get away from the stresses of the outside world.
Lift Floats, a floatation therapy center, opened its doors on Gerard Street in Huntington in March.
Lift/Next Level Floats co-owner Gina Antioco opened the first Lift location in Brooklyn in May 2015. She said John C. Lilly pioneered the idea of sensory deprivation floatation in the 1950s, and the practice became popular during the 1980s.
A session at Lift entails entering a small chamber to float for an hour in about one foot of water that is mixed with Epsom salts, all while being deprived of light and sound.
Antioco, a “passionate floater” herself, said that she decided to open Lift Brooklyn because “we realized that stressed New Yorkers needed access to this amazing modality.”
“The opening of Lift Brooklyn was part of a resurgence in the commercial float industry which has been growing exponentially over the past few years,” Antioco said.
The success of the Brooklyn location prompted the company to consider expanding onto Long Island, Antioco said, and Huntington seemed like the perfect candidate for Lift.
“Huntington was an easy choice for a second location given the residents’ passion for healthy living and appreciation for wellness - not to mention their love of water,” Antioco said. “Our welcome to the village has been extremely warm so we are very excited to be here.”
Lift’s 1,400-square-foot Huntington location contains a lounge and four private Ocean Float Rooms where customers can spend an hour floating in complete silence and darkness. Each room is equipped with a shower, for before and after your float, and the float chamber. The water contains 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, so floating is effortless.
After entering the water, which is kept at skin temperature, the lights and soothing music slowly fade away leaving the floater in a state of sensory deprivation. After the hour-long float, the lights and music slowly reemerge to alert the customer that their time is up. Customers can then take a second shower to clean the salt off before heading back to their daily routine or taking some time to relax in the lounge.
Antioco said the benefits of floating are different for each person, but include “fewer aches and pains, a better night’s sleep, lower stress, or simply an opportunity to disconnect from our sensory overloaded lives.”
Antioco said the community interest in Huntington is growing as more people try floating at Lift, and that the company’s goal is to continue to make floatation therapy more widely available.
“When we first opened in Brooklyn in 2015, we put out a street sign asking, ‘aren’t you curious?’ That sign encouraged more foot traffic than I could have ever imagined,” Antioco said. “With the overwhelming interest we have received since we opened here in Huntington it seems that three years later the answer is still a unanimous ‘yes I am.’”