Local business provides alternative therapy treatment


Blake Newhouse

Flotation therapy involves an individual getting into a pod of water and 805 pounds of Epsom salt.

Float Effects, owned by Marshall University graduates, celebrated its first anniversary of offering floatation therapy to the Huntington community

“Various people ask who floats, but honestly it’s everybody,” Jeremy Jarrell, co-owner of Float Effects and management integrations specialist, said. “We have people with chronic pain issues, we have athletes, cross-trainers, marathon runners, aspiring MMA fighters, weight-lifters, people with arthritis and then there are people like me, who don’t suffer from any pain issues, but they really enjoy getting out of their headspace.”

Flotation therapy involves an individual getting into a pod of water and 805 pounds of Epsom salt, allowing the individual to float without any effort. The pod is pitch black, although there is the option to float with the lights on, and is set to 93.5 degrees, depriving the senses of sight, touch and sound from the individual. The pods are fully filtered between each float, ensuring that every individual has a safe and clean environment to relax in.

According to Float Effect’s website, floating has been used as an alternative therapy treatment by individuals for the last 60 years. 

Rachel Jarrell, co-owner of Float Effects and licensed psychologist, said that some of the individuals who use the floatation therapy do so to relax from the constant stimulation that is inherent in daily routines.

“We are constantly connected to phones, TVs, computers, duties, responsibilities, so being able to get in there and get all that stimulation out, both through sensory, sound and vision just puts you in a completely different headspace. It’s amazing,” Jeremy Jarrell said. 

Jeremy Jarrell and Rachel Jarrell, both graduates of Marshall, work full-time jobs and opened the first floatation therapy location in the tristate area in October 2018.

“With my current job, I travel some, and when we would go places, we would always try to find a place to float,” Jeremy Jarrell said. “We were wondering what to do with this place, whether or not to lease it out, and finally decided to just open a float shop.” 

Float Effects is only one of three locations in the state that offers flotation therapy; the others are located in Wheeling and Whitehall.

Rachel Jarrell said that floating is a not a cure, but a management tool for individuals.

“I’m a licensed psychologist, so I am very careful about what I say the tanks can do and what they can’t do, and I am not going to put anything out there that is not backed by science,” Rachel Jarrell said. “It’s not going to change the way you think about things, it’s not going to get rid of your irrational beliefs that cause anxiety, but it will allow you a period of relaxation not only for your body, but for your mind.”

With students entering into the middle of the semester, Rachel Jarrell said that she believes floating could be very beneficial for those undergoing a lot of stress.

“I think a lot of students could benefit from it,” Rachel Jarrell said. “It’s kind of like a reset button, when you’re so stressed out, you can get in there with your senses being deprived of sight, sound and touch, and your brain can decompress and actually reset. It’s also drug-free, with no side effects that come with Prozac or other anxiety medications. It’s completely natural.” 

Studies have shown that floating not only increases dopamine levels, but endorphin levels as well, according to Float Effects’ website.

Rachel Jarrell said there is not a particular demographic that frequently use flotation therapy, noting multiple people use floating for different reasons.

“I had a lady come in whose father had just recently died, and she said she wrote his eulogy in her head while in the tank,” Rachel Jarrell said. “Another woman said she was working on a book and was struggling with a couple chapters until she laid in the tank and just thought about it.”

Both Jeremy Jarrell and Rachel Jarrell float weekly, and both said how rewarding it is to help the local community to experience floating for the first time.

“That’s one of the best things about this,” Jeremy Jarrell said. “It’s a great thing when people come out from doing it with an amazing experience, completely happy and just blown away by what they just went through.” 

Float Effects offers 60-minute floats for $65 and 90 minute floats for $85, and sessions are available to book at their website.

Community members interested in learning more about the effects of flotation therapy may visit the Float Effects website at floateffects.com. 

Blake Newhouse can be contacted at [email protected]marshall.edu.