ST. GEORGE — Imagine experiencing the sensation of weightlessness while being enveloped by darkness, allowing your mind to explore its depth of consciousness and emerge rejuvenated and renewed. 

Float tanks at True North Float reduce gravity to almost nothing by using 12 inches of salt water, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christian Dockstader, St. George News

“Our mantra is ‘heal, discover, transform.’ People come in from pain and stress or even curiosity and the self-discovery and becoming phase comes next,” True North Float owner and founder Christian Dockstader said.

True North Float offers many healing modalities, including a 90-minute floatation therapy session where users experience sensory deprivation, meaning all efforts are made to reduce the stimulation humans are exposed to in the “outer world,” including light, sound and body movement. The holistic healing modality is scientifically referred to as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy.

The float tank reduces gravity by using 12 inches of saline-rich water. The amount of salt in the water makes the user completely buoyant and seemingly weightless. The water is ideal body temperature, so the participant cannot feel the difference between their own skin and the water.

Each participant has their own room suite which includes an open pool of water and a shower. Rooms are soundproof and lightproof, completing the sensory deprivation experience. Headphones are provided for those who prefer guided meditations of meditative music.

Each suite at True North Float features a floating pool and a shower, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christian Dockstader, St. George News

Benefits of floating include alleviating muscle tension and joint pain, improving sleep, muscle recovery, mood enhancement, mental clarity and focus, immune system support and reduction of anxiety and depression. Besides these benefits, Dockstader said float tanks offer an opportunity for introspection and self-awareness, fostering a deeper connection between the mind and body, which is where the real transformation occurs. 

“It’s really a portal, which is why we name all our float rooms after spaceships — Voyager, Odyssey and Infinity — and using this astronaut iconography,” he said. “The idea is that you don’t have to go into a physical rocket to go exploring … inner consciousness. The float tank is one of the best portals for accessing inner space without distractions.”

The real transformative potential doesn’t come from just one experience but from creating a practice and surrendering to the “liberating structure,” he added. The discipline to do a weekly float over some time can be life-changing.

“The liberating structure applies to all aspects of life,” he said. “If one has the structure of daily exercise, they are liberating themselves to be in good shape and now they have the liberty of what a healthy body affords them. It takes that discipline and structure to actually create that freedom.”

How True North Float was born

Born and raised in Colorado City, Arizona, Dockstader said he found himself questioning what his north star was and to what he was aligning his life. That’s when he started the blog the True North Project, where he shared his self-discovery journey with the world.

True North Float owner and founder Christian Dockstader is pictured, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christian Dockstader, St. George News

“What helped me in my own journey is becoming more of a live player, someone who’s not just running a script,” he said. “The script of religion you were downloaded as a kid, the job you’re supposed to do, the school, all the different kinds of scripts that we’re running and just going through the motions of life.”

He discovered the meditative act of floating and experienced many life-changing experiences that not only catalyzed his health but tapped into an inner space of self-knowing.

“I was sort of exploring who I am, in some fundamental sense,” he said. “In the modern age, we’re so caught up in the momentum of society and the go, go, scroll, 9-5 traffic and everything in between, we just fill with the consumption of content. So having an environment where there’s nothing and all of that is blocked out illuminates the inner world.”

Floating led him on a wellness journey that took him across the world. His year abroad included indigenous plant medicine in Colombia, meditating in Asia, retreats, cold plunges and more.

 “Just kind of a year of discovery of myself,” he said. “I left the corporate world and saved enough money and bought myself enough freedom to take off the golden shackles and bail.”

The mural “Explosions in the Sky” by Ohna Radiance is located inside the relaxation room of True North Float in St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christian Dockstader, St. George News

With a desire to start a meaningful business he could enjoy while helping others, the idea of a float tank wellness facility came to him while in a float tank himself. True North Float opened its doors on Halloween in 2020. The True North Project blog later transformed into the True North Project podcast.

Dockstader said he hopes the facility can be a source of light to the community and an attractor for those with curiosity. If the thread of curiosity is followed, transformation can occur.

True North Float also offers other services, such as “Fire and Ice,” which includes a sauna and cold plunge therapy. The act takes users from extremely cold water to a high-temperature sauna — a therapeutic and healing practice that’s been used in Nordic countries for centuries.

For those who are in a place of heartache and/or self-discovery, he offered the following:

With the destruction comes enlightenment. With a tower falling and the old story crumbling comes the birth of the new. Leaning into that stoic mindset that the impediment to action gives rise to action. What stands in the way becomes the way. The obstacle is the way and your pain is your doorway into the transformation. Don’t run from it. Lean into it. And this is the space for that.

True North Float is located at 1664 S. Dixie Drive, Suite D-103 in St. George. Visit their website for more information. Follow True North Float on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Listen to the True North Project Podcast on Spotify here.

Video clips provided by Dockstader via YouTube.

Photo Gallery

Guests experience “Fire and Ice” at True North Float, which includes a cold plunge and sauna, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Christian Dockstader, St. George News

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