Mental Health and Floating

This month, March will see the arrival of spring, washing away winter-wonder in favor of beautiful blossoms and boastful birdsong. While the sun continues to play peek-a-boo as a teaser for summer, take the extra time to put focus towards the self and personal health.

Here at Uncharted Waters, we offer a variety of services that cater to physical, emotional, and mental health — float therapy happens to provide modalities that boost all three.

This month though, we’ve been inspired to dive deep into the realm of mental health and the benefits of maintaining it at optimum levels. During the CBS news segment How sensory deprivation and floating impacts the brain, the assets of floating are explored via the avenue of science. Link to video here:

For you nerds out there, consider the effects of floating found in this experiment performed by neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein, who studies the impact of floatation therapy on individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders and PTSD. After equipping CBS reporter John Dickerson with a wireless and waterproof EEG, heart rate monitor, and blood pressure cuff, Feinstein set about monitoring physical vitals to observe the impact floating was having on his participant.

Here is what Feinstein found: Dickerson’s heart rate dropped by 20 beats per minute, and his blood pressure decreased by more than 20 points. Although not asleep, Dickerson reported feeling both deeply relaxed but also energized. By being in this ‘powered down’ state, the body is able to convince the brain to be more still, which in turn can lead to some neat mental ‘wins’, such as and increased ability to focus and pay attention by giving the brain the chance to ‘dump’ or detox. These benefits are highly relevant to improving mental health.

This is all great information, of course. But what now? How does one begin exploring beneficial ways to boost mental health as soon as possible?

You guessed it: by floating.

And to help our floater friends foster a healthy regimen of regular floating, we’re unrolling our Unlimited Unlock Program, which earns members unlimited floats after purchasing five additional floats at the special member-price of $39 each. (Please note that these floats do not have to be purchased all at once, just float by float.) With this awesome service, reaping the benefits of frequent floats is easier than ever.

Get ready to pencil us in!

Calling all Geeks! Uncharted Waters at Jet City Comic Con

The onset of November brings with it a plethora of lovely things – prettily painted leaves, pumpkin spice everything, the notion of playing holiday music becoming socially acceptable… While those things are all well and good, some of us become giddy ringing in the eleventh month for an entirely different reason: Jet City Comic Con

Excited to return for our second consecutive year, us folks at Uncharted Waters had a blast at the two-day event dedicated to all things celebrating nerdom and geekism. What brought us back for another year?

“One of our taglines is ‘Calm is a Superpower’ and what better venue to display that?” muses Uncharted Waters Co-owner, Jonathan Murray. “I’m a big sci-fi fan, so I love being surrounded by my favorite genre and being part of an industry that also has a sci-fi streak in it. I get to ‘geek out’ with my fellow fans about the connection between science fiction/comics and floating.”

For us, being at Comic Con is doubly advantageous. In addition to spreading the word about our business, offered services, and general greatness of floating to like-minded people, we get to spend a whole weekend immersed in the colorful, dazzling, and downright weird over-the-top glory of what sci-fi dreams are made of. A true win-win.

The sci-fi connection to floating helps make sense of why we’re there,” Murray explains. “That connection paired with the therapeutic benefits of floating helps pique their interest in wanting to learn more and try it out.”

Another fantastic sci-fi tie-in floating has in relation to Jet City Comic Con is its depiction in various well regarded films and TV shows.

“Floating has been featured in the movies Altered States and Minority Report, as well as TV shows Fringe and Stranger Things. Homer and Lisa even floated in an episode of The Simpsons.  Since this is a Comic Con, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the superhero, Daredevil, also floats!”

It was a worthwhile experience, we venture to impart, from both a business and personal viewpoint.

“It was great to see other self-care companies there putting their own sci-fi/comic book spin on their wares, from bath products to CBD products,” expresses Murray. “On Sunday, my wife and daughters got to see musical artist Casper Babypants perform and they are now huge fans.”

And there you have it: an experience rooted in weirdness, celebrating the heroes (and villains) who helped us navigate our lives, encouraging us to dream big and strive to make a difference in whatever ways we can. At the end of the day, the tights and capes are a symbolic reminder for the heroes we all have the capability of being.

Live long and prosper, friends.

Be a Holiday Hero!

This holiday season, we’re full steam ahead at Uncharted Waters Float Center. Busy as the elves in Santa’s workshop, we’ve made our list and have checked it twice for winter promotions and frosty festivities that will help you have a holly, jolly Christmas. We’re firm believers in peeking — read on for details of our upcoming December itinerary.

To start the season off with a bang, mark your calendar for the annual 6th Avenue Santa Parade on December 2nd. This free community event starts at 2:30 pm, where families can enjoy live music, wintry entertainment and a host of other free activities until the parade kicks off at 4:30 pm. Beginning on State Street, the parade will feature local businesses and organizations from the Tacoma area, including your friends at Uncharted! Stop by to see us spreading the holiday cheer, passing out flyers, and having an all-around great time celebrating the beginning of the holidays with family and friends.

On December 5th, come to the center for our second annual Holiday Open House. Brought back for 2018 by popular demand, we’re looking forward to another wonderful evening of meet-n-greets, answering questions, and introducing you to the awesome practitioners who offer a plethora of services to reach your health and wellness goals. Hosted from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the social gathering will give you a chance to nibble and nosh on snack goods, have a glass of beer or wine, and stock up on floats — only $35 each, no limit! Looking for the perfect holiday gift? This will be your chance to purchase floats, memberships for only $45, and handcrafted festive-scented candles for everyone on your list. Check out our Facebook Page for details.

We’ve saved the best for last, folks. Although opportunities to score gifts for the people on your nice list will be aplenty, we ask that you don’t neglect the chance to take care of yourself as well. If you’ve been awaiting the chance to become a member at Uncharted Waters, now is your chance! From Black Friday until December 5th, those who sign up for a $59 monthly membership will receive a gift certificate for a complimentary float — yours to keep or re-gift (we won’t tell). If you’re already a loyal member, we encourage you to skip the crowd and purchase your $35 float certificates anytime between the 5th and 12th of December. Simply call or stop in at your convenience to take advantage of this amazing offer.

This year, there’s no reason to not be the Holiday Hero of gift-giving. With promos and supreme discounts to use at your disposal, we’re confident you’ll find the right wellness gifts for everyone on your list. So, get in the spirit!

After all…winter is coming.

In Honor of our Dedicated Servicemen and Women...

In honor of our dedicated servicemen and women, Uncharted Waters will be extending our Free Floats for Vets promotion from one day to one full week! This year, we encourage veterans to stop by for a complimentary float anytime from November 11th to November 17th. Please call ahead or book online to schedule your float today.

Boasting a wealth of wellness benefits, active and retired soldiers can expect a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional benefits by experiencing a float. In addition to relieving stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, floating has also been proven to help alleviate physical pain, combat insomnia and PTSD, as well as increase athletic performance and stamina.

The life of a military veteran is often a hectic one. Imagine: a 90-minute restorative session that will prioritize self-care by allowing space for relaxation, thought processing, body healing, or maybe just a well-deserved nap! Whatever ails you, a float is sure to provide the remedy you’re looking for. Need more convincing? It’s free if you’re a military veteran!

The wellbeing of soldiers and military personnel is a 365-day priority for us folks at Uncharted Waters — a notion celebrated by our Freedom Float Program, by which all tips given to staff are allocated to free floats for veterans throughout the year.

Looking to take your float to the next level? Consider listening to our iRest Mindfulness Meditation, specifically formulated for use while floating by Uncharted Waters Co-Owner and Military Veteran Sarah Maynard-Murray. This recorded session marries the benefits of both floating and Integrative Restorative Yoga Nidra Meditation, effectively combining the modalities to help create the ultimate therapeutic experience tailored to your own personal needs. Available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music. Waterproof headphones available for purchase. Stop by the front desk to learn more.

Thank you for your service!

Schooled in Science

As a holistic float center, we consistently advocate our plethora of services for adults; encouraging relaxation, stress reduction, and health management for grown-ups is a forte we take pride in. Recently though, we decided to switch gears in order to serve a demographic not often equated with wellness centers: youth.

Last week, we were fortunate enough to invite our good friends from our local Classical Conversations chapter to participate in a prepared scientific lesson plan created by Uncharted Waters. The goal was twofold: 1.) to utilize the scientific method in order to explain the phenomenon that occurs in the actual tanks, and 2.) to engage the kiddos and present science in a fun and creative way.

To begin the scholastic festivities, we gave a tour of the float center and had Jon do a live float demonstration. During his float, we talked about how much salt was in the water and laid the groundwork for possible outcomes that could arise during our experiment. Asking questions like “Do you think solubility is affected by the temperature of the water?” got them thinking about the science behind what they were witnessing.

After the float demonstration, we made our way back to the lounge and had the kids utilize the scientific method to determine the outcome of creating a miniature float tank. We had them question a variety of differing factors like temperature and quantities of salt to form their hypotheses. To up the geek factor, we made use of Spiderman and Wolverine action figures, assigning them the important role of testing out our simulated ‘tanks’. For those of you who are as nerdy as us folks here at the center, rest assured that we used this opportunity to indulge our scientific curiosity as much as theirs.

After concluding the experiment, we sent the small scientists in their way with some Uncharted sway and all the fixings to repeat the experiment at home.

“I’m sure they (the kids) will always think of Wolverine’s muscle mass when they are faced with real-life situations of flotation and density,” enthused Homeschool liaison Pam Alvarado. Alvarado is a personal friend of the center and was also responsible for coordinating this mutually advantageous indoor field trip.

“We had a wonderful time! It was so great to have the kids see density in action and have a hands on approach in creating different levels of it. We can’t thank Sarah and Jonathan enough for putting together such a fun and educational field trip for our students!”

Classical Conversations is a classical-model based tutoring program used throughout the country that homeschoolers use in conjunction with their own curriculum. In this instance, we were granted the opportunity to be involved with the youth and alternative education systems within our own community, showcasing our specialty in a way we haven’t before. Watching kids ages 7 to 13 interact with the science we’re accustomed to on a daily basis brought a fresh, invigorating perspective that can only be captured by the enthusiasm of youth. We are educating the next generation of floaters!

iRest: A new Frontier for Healing–Meditative Practice Helps Combat PTSD for Soldiers and Civilians Alike

With the number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases among military personnel on a tragic rise, methods of coping are not only welcome but imperative.

Perhaps there is a silver lining: As stressors of the military lifestyle become more evident, so do the alternative therapeutic treatments available for alleviation. One such method of healing is integrative restoration (iRest), and it’s making waves with its deep and profound effect on soldiers and veterans.

Enter Sarah Maynard-Murray, M.Ed., B.S. Corporate Fitness, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), and certified iRest® Yoga Nidra teacher instructor, a veteran, former technical sergeant in the Washington Air National Guard, business owner and entrepreneur. With an impressive resumé that includes a history working in fuels, knowledge operations, recruiting and personnel, Murray’s track record for serving people during her 13-year military career paved the way for working with civilians.

These days, Murray dedicates herself to the success of her business Uncharted Soul, the sister business to Uncharted Waters, an integrated wellness center co-owned with her husband, Jonathan Murray.

Located in Tacoma, Uncharted Soul was inspired by Murray’s own life-changing and ongoing experience with Integrative Restoration (iRest for short) or Yoganidra?. After suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD, she sought out the practice as a way to heal holistically from the mental and emotional burdens she carried. Hooked from the first session, Murray began her journey into the realm of iRest initially as a student but eventually as a facilitator. What transpired soon thereafter involved a lengthy certification process, countless trainings, and the development of a profound understanding of the practice and how to guide others.

Conceived in 2006 by Richard Miller, Ph.D., for the Department of Defense as a treatment for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, iRest was endorsed by the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in 2010. Since then, various studies have been conducted on the meditation practice and its healing benefits for veterans and individuals with PTSD, including its effect on pain management for combat veterans with traumatic brain injuries.

Prosperous in its host of physical, emotional and mental gains related to PTSD, iRest also helps reduce symptoms of insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and chemical dependency. By delving into the layered psyche and tapping into embodiments like the breath, feelings, emotions, beliefs and joys, iRest encourages a sense of calm that ultimately allows the individual to connect to themselves on a plethora of levels. A heavy emphasis is placed on the Three Resolutions: intention, heartfelt desire, and inner resource, as these are the foundations of the practice.

The powerful aspect of this restorative practice is its take away — what is carried within the self beyond the actual hour-long session.

“iRest allows you the opportunity to respond to an emotion, rather than getting involved and reacting to it,” explained Murray. “It allows us to respond by making better choices in life.”

Whether a veteran suffering from PTSD after a deployment or a new mother with postpartum depression, iRest is considered a therapeutic remedy.

Geeks Galore: Uncharted Waters Team Helps Save the World at Jet City Comic Con

It’s​ ​8​ ​a.m.,​ ​and​ ​although​ ​the​ ​doors​ ​don’t​ ​open​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​for​ ​another​ ​two​ ​hours,​ ​the​ ​low-hum levels​ ​of​ ​excitement​ ​are​ ​palpable.​ ​Vendors​ ​string​ ​up​ ​company​ ​banners,​ ​put​ ​out​ ​eclectic​ ​artwork, display​ ​handmade​ ​goods​ ​and​ ​trinkets.​ ​Countless​ ​colorful​ ​and​ ​bold​ ​images​ ​beckon​ ​from​ ​behind their​ ​transparent​ ​armor,​ ​what​ ​can​ ​be​ ​seen​ ​here​ ​is​ ​every​ ​comic​ ​book​ ​lover’s​ ​dream.

It’s​ ​a​ ​gathering​ ​place​ ​for​ ​the​ ​weird,​ ​the​ ​freaky,​ ​the​ ​​awesome​. It’s​ ​Jet​ ​City​ ​Comic​ ​Con.

Once​ ​10​ ​a.m.​ ​rolls​ ​around,​ ​the​ ​real​ ​fun​ ​begins.​ ​Costume​ ​clad​ ​heroes​ ​and​ ​baddies​ ​stroll alongside​ ​one​ ​another​ ​amicably,​ ​beloved​ ​and​ ​infamous​ ​characters​ ​alike​ ​come​ ​to​ ​life:​ ​walking, talking…eating​ ​cheeseburgers.

Amidst​ ​the​ ​comic-chaos,​ ​our​ ​Uncharted​ ​Waters​ ​team​ ​can​ ​be​ ​found.​ ​A​ ​central​ ​corner​ ​booth,​ ​our prime​ ​real​ ​estate​ ​location​ ​gives​ ​us​ ​a​ ​front​ ​row​ ​seat​ ​to​ ​the​ ​amazingness​ ​that​ ​unfolds​ ​before​ ​us. Here,​ ​we​ ​discuss​ ​the​ ​benefits​ ​of​ ​floating​ ​and​ ​acupuncture​ ​with​ ​Green​ ​Lantern​ ​and​ ​talk​ ​about holistic​ ​wellness​ ​with​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Na’vi​ ​people.

We​ ​know,​ ​it​ ​may​ ​seem​ ​a​ ​little​ ​strange​ ​at​ ​first.​ ​​What​ ​is​ ​a​ ​holistic​ ​wellness​ ​center​ ​doing​ ​at​ ​a​ ​comic book​ ​convention?

“There’s​ ​a​ ​definite​ ​sci-fi​ ​element​ ​to​ ​floating.​ ​From​ ​movie​ ​altered​ ​states,​ ​like​ ​Minority​ ​Report,​ ​to TV​ ​shows​ ​like​ ​Fringe,​ ​Stranger​ ​Things​ ​and​ ​even​ ​The​ ​Simpson’s​ ​–​ ​floating​ ​brings​ ​this​ ​sci-fi element​ ​to​ ​the​ ​surface​ ​as​ ​a​ ​tangible​ ​reality,”​ ​Jon​ ​enthuses.

We​ ​may​ ​not​ ​have​ ​a​ ​Lasso​ ​of​ ​Truth,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​​do​​ ​have​ ​a​ ​Swiss​ ​Army​ ​Knife​ ​Modality​ ​for​ ​healing​ ​– armed​ ​with​ ​services​ ​that​ ​offer​ ​healing​ ​and​ ​restoration.

If​ ​calm​ ​is​ ​a​ ​super​ ​power,​ ​the​ ​members​ ​of​ ​our​ ​team​ ​are​ ​helping​ ​heroes​ ​acquire​ ​it.​ ​We​ ​invite Aquaman​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​in​ ​for​ ​a​ ​float,​ ​and​ ​believe​ ​Wolverine​ ​might​ ​benefit​ ​from​ ​a​ ​few​ ​iRest​ ​sessions. Of​ ​course,​ ​our​ ​services​ ​are​ ​available​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​don’t​ ​wear​ ​a​ ​cape,​ ​although​ ​it​ ​might​ ​just​ ​be possible​ ​to​ ​turn​ ​the​ ​​ordinary​​ ​into​ ​​extraordinary​.

Stop​ ​in​ ​and​ ​let​ ​us​ ​help​ ​you​ ​find​ ​your​ ​calm.

Pins and Needles

Acupuncturist and Chinese medicine expert Kenneth B. Noble moves his successful business to Uncharted Waters Float Center

The practice of acupuncture is one of the oldest documented forms of Chinese medicine. Gaining popularity in Western culture as an alternative, holistic approach to health and wellness, people are flocking to this healing technique in order to suit their individual lifestyle needs. Thankfully, UWFC has dropped an anchor into these restorative waters with the recruitment of Kenneth B. Noble, MSA, EAMP. Moving his business practice to the center, Noble will be able to accommodate former clients while taking on new patrons.

Having practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbs for over a decade, Master Noble comes to us with a strong background in integrated health; A Master’s in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and is also a certified massage therapist. Blending aspects of both Western and traditional Chinese medicine, Noble has spent 16 years crafting a uniquely synergistic methodology that holds a capacity for rapid healing.

Although the technique may seem randomized by the untrained eye, the science of acupuncture is about more than making subjects into human pincushions. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of the process: the ultimate objective of acupuncture is to facilitate the movement of Qi [pronounced chee] — or life force –throughout what practitioners call ‘meridians’ in the body. Meridians are pathways that run through the body, carrying vital Qi to cells, organs, tissues, muscles and glands for optimized functionality.

When there’s blockage of Qi, a whole host of problems and issues arise — especially when the disruption is excessive or significantly prolonged. This is where the needles come into play; strategically and carefully placed, they unblock the impasses of Qi so it is free to move fluidly throughout the body. Once in the clear, the life force is able to nourish and sustain the body, resulting in less pain, discomfort, and overall ‘ickiness’.

Perhaps the biggest misconceptualization regarding acupuncture is that it is painful. It isn’t a difficult notion to conceive, as popularized imagery depicts people with an unending amount of needles protruding from every inch of exposed skin. However, skeptics may be reassured that the procedure is not only painless, but relaxing as well. The needles are tremendously thin, it would take three of them to fit into a typical hospital nurse’s needle.

The process begins with a thorough health exam, collecting personal medical history in order to assess what issues should be addressed. After the data is collected, a customized treatment plan is created, tailored with your unique health goals in mind.

We could go on and on about the benefits of acupuncture, like it’s alleviation of allergies, depression and anxiety, insomnia, and symptoms related to fibromyalgia and menopause. It has also been linked to successfully aiding in fertility, weight loss, facial rejuvenation, smoking cessation… we digress. If you have a health concern or are simply passionate about wellness, chances are acupuncture would serve you..

Another sublime aspect of acupuncture? It not only treats the symptoms of the problem, but the causes as well. This diversion from the typical ‘band-aid’ approach of many mainstream practices fuels the comprehensive nature of the service, giving you peace of mind that complications are being eradicated at their source.

Have we piqued your interest? If so, stop by or give Master Ken a call at 253.564.2353. 10-6 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 12 to 6 on Wednesday, Friday by appointment.

Contact for pricing.

Honoring Vets: Tanks aren't just for Combat–Sarah Explains the Motivation Behind the Free Floats for Vets Promotion

This Veterans Day, we’re giving back to the military community by treating veterans to free float sessions from open to close. Whether you’re looking to soothe aches and pains, seek mental clarity, or are simply craving an hour of uninterrupted solitude, stop by for an on-the-house float.

Supporting military personnel in the area is more than a philanthropic pursuit — it’s a personal one for Sarah, who served in the Air National Guard for thirteen years.

“We know how hard it is,” Sarah relays. “I was in the military and I empathise with how difficult it can be to take time out for yourself. We thought providing free floats on Veteran’s Day was a really good opportunity for vets to take a break, come in, and experience something.”

Coined “the Swiss Army Knife modality”, people can experience a plethora of benefits from floating in relation to stress relief and alleviation of PTSD symptoms. “The military right now is pretty open to alternative medicine and holistic treatments. It’s a beautiful thing, and that’s where things like floating [and iRest Mindfulness Meditation] come into play. The two services are kind of up-and-coming, but they’re very effective. There are so many stressors on our military members and their families right now — If nothing else, veterans can use this hour as time solely for themselves. They aren’t afforded many opportunities to do so because they’re always having to be ‘on’ for their commanders, deployment missions, training, and their families.”

The ideology behind military support transcends beyond the annual holiday — Jon and Sarah have built upon their entrepreneurial endeavors with a daily synergistic commitment to comfort, accessibility and warm hospitality.

“Jon and I have a really big heart and passion for the local community. We put a lot of thought into how we were going to design Uncharted Waters in order to be welcoming to folks who may have experienced some level of PTSD. We wanted to give back,” declares Sarah. “Not only in our building design and cabin choices, but also in what we are able to offer people.”

Uncharted also offers Freedom Floats year round; all tips received go directly to the program, in addition to one donated float per membership package purchased.

“A lot of veterans struggle with PTSD and mental health related issues and often times, the funds needed for treatment are not available. While we are a for-profit business, we do have a heart for the community and non-profit style outreach. We aim to give back to the community by making floating accessible all year round.”

Active duty, retired, and everywhere in between: if you have served this fine country of ours, treat yourself to a complementary float session this Veteran’s day at Uncharted Waters.

South Sound Talk Talks iRest Yoga Nidra

South Sound Talk interviewed Sarah about the iRest Meditation service that she provides. Read the article here. To learn more about iRest, please visit Sarah’s website at