Resident opens city’s largest floatation / deprivation studio

When Gloria Irwin rented a place at the Chandler three years ago, she thought it would make for great weekend getaways from her suburban Indiana home. The neighborhood — as well as her three children and her boyfriend — quickly agreed.

“We love Lakeshore East because it gives such a neighborhood feel in the city,” she says.

Little did she know what dramatic and excellent changes life had in store for her.

At the time, she was an IT professional who had found an abundance of success analyzing large quantities of information for the likes of Harrah’s Entertainment and Trump Hotels and as the owner of her own business. She found that the New Eastside helped her reduce the stress by offering peaceful places to stroll, bike, and, most importantly, walk her five year-old Bichon Shih Tzu, Lola.

“If you’re stressed out and you go over to the dog park, you cannot help but feel happy,” she says. “It is my happy place.”

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Float Sixty owner and founder Gloria Irwin

Then her boyfriend asked her to try “something new,” a from of therapeutic rejuvenation that involved floating in a giant tank full of saltwater and darkness. Alone.

She hesitated.

“We had been dating for four years at this time,” she explains. “He had been exposed to this. He kind of talked me into trying.”

The experience changed her life.

“I got the best sleep of my life that night,” she says. “So I did it again to make sure it was really that effective.”

That was April 2015. Within a year, Gloria would leave the IT industry and open Float Sixty, Chicago’s largest flotation and sensory deprivation studio.

Each of the facility’s five individual suites offer state of the art tanks filled with ten inches of warm water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, which contains magnesium, a natural muscle relaxer.

“The environment is most akin to what you would experience floating in the Dead Sea,” she says.

Although her studio has proven its worthiness to people who push their bodies to the limit for a living — Jeremy Roenick, Matt Forte, and Jonathan Toews are all clients — the rejuvenating effects of an hour spent floating in one of the tanks is something that Ms. Irwin believes everyone can use.

“Afterwards, you feel energy and everything’s more hi-def and more clear,” she says. “You’re a lot more calm.”

The studio is so busy that Ms. Irwin and her staff must do their personal floating after hours, but Float Sixty still offers a neighborhood discount for all New Eastside first-timers.

Turns out that her boyfriend’s advice was worth taking. Perhaps that’s part of the reason she said yes when he asked her to marry him last November.

Float Sixty · 303 W. Erie St. · (844) 356-2860 · www.floatsixty.com.

— Daniel Patton, Staff Writer

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