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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • November 2018
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Finding Zen in zero gravity – What it means to Float Light

How do you describe the indescribable?

There are certain phenomena that must be experienced to be truly appreciated and understood. Their uniqueness and ability to touch each person in a distinct and personal way catapults them into a rare group deserving of the “too extraordinary for description” definition.

Floating is one such wonder.

Also known as flotation therapy, sensory deprivation, zero gravity therapy and restricted environmental stimulation therapy (R.E.S.T), to say floating simply provides physiological benefits is one-sided. To merely say it’s relaxing and therapeutic is a massive understatement.

For decades, floating has been used to alleviate pain and reduce stress, as well as promote relaxation and provide a meditative experience by providing an experience void of external distractions like sound, touch, smell and gravity: true sensory deprivation.

At Float Light in downtown Appleton, the Roug family has created an experience for its guests — their float family — known as Floating Light, a concept that’s been in the works and that has been perfected over the last several years.

“I first floated in 1989,” Jan Roug says. “It’s amazing, and as it’s evolved, I knew it was something we had to bring to the area.”

“Because of the way we do it, it’s different than anything else in the world,” Jonathan Roug says. “We took so much time building this business, every single detail was ironed out before we opened the door. It was synchronicity – everything fell in line in the beginning of 2018.”

How do you Float Light?

The carefully crafted experience begins when simply entering the family-run business. Ethereal, dreamlike music plays softly, almost unnoticeably until you realize the pleasant effect it has upon arriving. Filled with natural light and accents of blue, green and grey, Float Light’s lobby resembles a chic aquarium, complete with “wave walls” that add texture without being loud.

A thoughtful, unrushed tour of the entire space leaves no unanswered questions. A colorful chalkboard wall with words of wisdom written by those who have previously floated greets visitors with sentiments like, “Lose your mind and find your soul” and “Relax, escape, embrace peace.” Jonathan urges first-time floaters to seek this perspective and anticipate the unique experience before them without anxiety.

“It gives people courage and allows them to feel OK with this process,” he says. “It is a fearful thing for a lot of people.”

The calming and otherworldly atmosphere deepens as you make your way to the float lounge, a cozy area designed for reflection and digestion after experiencing zero gravity therapy. The ambiance, lights and artwork have been instinctively chosen to elevate mindfulness. In fact, in many cases, like the business’s distinctive logo created by Jessie Roug, the artistic inspiration comes after Floating Light.

“(Floaters) gain something from the experience,” Jonathan says. “They emerge with this new sense of creativity. For a lot of people, it really does inspire them to do something fantastic.”

Each guest of Float Light floats in either a pod, known as the Orb, or a float cabin in a private suite for exclusive use during their session. Inside, magnesium-rich Epsom salt is dissolved in inches of perfectly warmed water to match the body’s external temperature, creating an imperceptible difference between being above and below the surface. Floating focuses on what your body’s not doing: fighting gravity and everyday stressors that impact our well-being.

Immaculate and simple, each room is lit faintly and is monitored by sensors, adding to the otherworldly atmosphere reminiscent of outer space. The air surrounding the Orb and cabin is pleasantly warm, and the water inside a perfect 93.5 degrees. The option of twinkling lights on the ceiling and meditative music softly playing are both within the floaters’ control. Floating naturally takes the pressure off your body and mind.

“The physical benefits are incredible. What you’re doing is floating effortlessly… you’re letting your muscles release in a way that’s just as deep as a massage would be but naturally and with nobody interfering with you,” Jessie says. “When you’re able to release those muscles and just fully let your body relax, you’re getting better muscle recovery and your bone structure has the opportunity to put itself back into alignment the way it naturally wants to be.”

“It’s unlimited what can happen while floating,” Jan adds. “I floated 30 years ago and it helped my postpartum depression. Today I float for severe muscle, joint and nerve pain. It is remarkable.”

Float Light provides guests the ideal environment to find Zen, to reach a state of nothingness. Better mental clarity, improved sleep and heightened creativity are among some of the additional effects of the zero gravity therapy. Jessie explains that it’s not uncommon to feel an emotional release within the tank, and sometimes days and weeks later.

No time at Float Light is rushed. Floaters are welcomed and encouraged to relax and enjoy the ambiance in the lounge after their float. Water and a variety of tea are offered, along with journals to write or draw if you feel inclined to do so. The lounge was created as a place to reflect and digest, a sanctuary to express yourself if you feel compelled to share.

“It’s all about the person and what they’re experiencing, their sacred solitary journey in the tank,” Jessie says. “If it feels right for them to connect with other floaters and share their story, by all means absolutely do. But if you want it to be for you, that’s also exactly what it’s there for.”

“The community and our guests are the most important attribute of our business,” Jonathan adds. “They are what embodies the heart and soul of Float Light.”

The trust and belief surrounding Float Light by its members is astounding and as indescribable as the concept of floating itself: too extraordinary for description.

To delve into the world of Floating Light and how it has impacted its float family, visit

The benefits of Floating in zero gravity

  • Enhanced creativity
  • Heightened awareness
  • Deep relaxation
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Substance recovery
  • Improved performance
  • Mental clarity
  • Muscle recovery
  • Magnesium absorption
  • Reduced dependence
  • Pain relief
  • Accelerated recovery

Give the gift of Floating Light at significant savings!

Black Friday Float Sale

$10 Off One Float Gift Card

$30 Off Two Float Gift Cards

$60 Off Three Float Gift Cards

All Float gift card purchases after three are $20 off each.

Purchase online at

or in person at Float Light.


Offer valid Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 only.

Float Light Float Center

Private guest parking on the west side of our building located at

609 W College Ave, Appleton • 920-364-9303

Book with us at:



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