Sense Float & Cryo Spa is the latest health and wellness operation to open its doors at 6200 W. Memorial Road in northwest Oklahoma City, offering a range of services and amenities that reside uniquely somewhere between rest, relaxation and recovery. It’s a family affair that rides a wave of passion that manifests for the customer however they need it for that particular service or treatment.
Kristina Nguyen has a degree in business finance and a background in insurance and risk management. She was looped into her brother’s latest venture to manage the multi-faceted concept that their family is excited to bring to OKC.
Since opening last month, Sense offers float and cryotherapy services, a sitting sauna and soak experience and performance-inducing compression therapy. They see health and wellness as an alternative, or at least a supplement, to traditional medicine.
For Kristina, the services and amenities Sense offers transcend day-to-day worries. She stepped into the role with a personal understanding of the benefits of the services.
“Two years ago, I found out I had ovarian cancer,” Nguyen said. “[After a final procedure,] I was told to take estrogen and progesterone or osteoporosis, the weakening of bone density, would start to set in quickly. I found out just last month that I (already) have degenerative disk disease on my lower back and I have a bone spur on my upper neck. There is a numbness in my hands, and I can’t sit in certain positions for long, so the cryotherapy here helps me a lot.”
You get the feeling that customer service at Sense is personal, and it’s not hard to imagine that it is a place where you can truly shut out the outside world and find reprieve from the pain or simply surrender to the holistic, fundamental properties that can be found in water, ice and heat therapy.
There are two ways to float at Sense: pods (Float 1 and 2) and the tank/tub (Float 3 and 4). The temperature in the room is held at 83 degrees Fahrenheit, and inside the pod, the water temperature is 93 degrees. Showering with specialized body wash and shampoo is necessary before floating and again post-float, and each float room has its own personal shower so this process is contained. In the room, there is a handy “before you float” guide on the wall so customers can feel confident in navigating the experience.
Inside the pod, there is a water sprayer in case the customer gets salt water in their eyes and a headrest for anyone who might feel a little uncomfortable with the resting level of the water.
But what if you don’t float?
There about 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt in the pods so “you would have to force yourself to sink, and it would take a lot of effort,” Nguyen said.
Sense offers a whole-body and localized cryotherapy service. The idea behind the whole-body technology is to expose the body to extremely cold temperatures, as low as -280 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces inflammation, helps with blood flow and can be used every day. First-time users will be exposed to -175 temperatures for 90 seconds. Athletes believe in cryotherapy to help speed up the recovery process, patients suffering from chronic illness such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis have incorporated cryotherapy as a pain management tactic and cryotherapy has general relaxation and rejuvenation properties that can be viewed as part of a self-care or wellness plan or preference as alternative medicine.
While guests can float for more or less than an hour, the maximum amount of time someone can be in the cryotherapy chamber is three minutes per session. Customers should be prepared to undress to their undergarments, and bras with underwires are not permitted due to the use of liquid nitrogen.
“I try to use cryo as much as I can, about every other day,” Nguyen said. “It helps with my back a lot. My doctors have prescribed me muscle relaxers to take before bedtime, but that’s not when my pain hits. I feel it during the day, so I have to do something.”
Sense offers a facial cryotherapy service as well by way of a tool with an isolated freezing function that allows certain areas of the body to be targeted, easing frustrations with aging, acne, loss of collagen and inflammation. This service can be extended to a localized effort on someone’s neck, lower back, knee or ankle and treat specific problem areas or pains.
Sense is also home to a NormaTec compression chair, infrared sauna and body and feet soak spaces for men and women. ADA accommodations are available at Sense, and it offers couples services and hosts girls nights out and bridal parties.
Sense isn’t just a feeling of the elements. There are certain detoxification and weight loss properties to these services as well as the medical reactions by the body. The team also maintains a tearoom that is available to customers after their services so they can unwind or sit a little longer in silence for as long as they like.
“Floating helps with your imagination,” Nguyen said. “ It clears your mind and makes you think better. … Moms can come here and relax not only in peace by themselves, but focus on rejuvenating their bodies and resting.”
Nguyen said said she grew up, like many of us, thinking she was indestructible. Adverse side effects from cancer, traditional treatment options and potentially inevitable procedures that might be required in the future make therapies offered at Sense a no-brainer for her. She realizes that everyone will get something different from Sense but wants Oklahomans to take whatever they need from their services and be open to the enlightenment that might follow.
“Each person is different,” Nguyen said. “I am very passionate about this because of what I’m going through, and I want other people to see the benefit it can lead in their lives. I tell people to go in with a clear mind and just go with the flow. If you fall asleep floating, that’s fine. If you can’t, that’s fine. Just try not to think of anything; step outside of your day-to-day surroundings and just relax.”