The Daily Iowan

Recovery room allows IC first responders to float, relieve stress

Iowa City first responders have begun utilizing the Iowa Recovery Room, a local business in Iowa City, to destress and unwind from their day-to-day work.

The+Iowa+Recovery+Room+is+seen+on+Wednesday%2C+February+6th%2C+2018.+The+Iowa+Recovery+Room+is+a+clinic+specializing+in+non-traditional+treatment+for+mental+health+issues+such+as+anxiety%2C+depression+and+PTSD.+
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Recovery room allows IC first responders to float, relieve stress

The Iowa Recovery Room is seen on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018. The Iowa Recovery Room is a clinic specializing in non-traditional treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

The Iowa Recovery Room is seen on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018. The Iowa Recovery Room is a clinic specializing in non-traditional treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Tate Hildyard

The Iowa Recovery Room is seen on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018. The Iowa Recovery Room is a clinic specializing in non-traditional treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Tate Hildyard

Tate Hildyard

The Iowa Recovery Room is seen on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018. The Iowa Recovery Room is a clinic specializing in non-traditional treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

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The Iowa City Police Department and Iowa City Fire Department have recently been supporting their first responders in a new way to unwind: float therapy.

Patrick Krier, owner and operator of Iowa Recovery Room which is offering the service, said float therapy is a form of relaxation where a person soaks in water and 750 pounds of diluted Epsom salt. The therapy allows participants to disconnect and unwind, as they are not with a cellphone during this “float.” However, they can listen to music.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Krier. “The water is heated to your skin temperature of 94 degrees. It’s like laying on the softest memory foam mattress you’ve ever been on.”

The Iowa Recovery Room, which open in March of 2018, also offers a sauna in addition to having the sensory deprivation tanks.

RELATED: Clayton: My hour in a sensory deprivation tank

Krier said “floats” last for approximately one to one and a half hours, allowing for participants to relax mentally and de-stress. The therapy is popular with athletes, he added.

“It’s very popular for the physical relief after strenuous exercise and the mental relief,” he said. “Being without any sort of stimuli and in the comfort of a warm tank allows you to ponder new athletic moves, think on school work, or focus more intensely on tasks at hand.”

Krier said the first responders have been benefitting greatly over the past few weeks because of the float therapy, and it has allowed them to sleep well.

Officer Ashley Jay, one of the ICPD officers in charge of starting this initiative, said she was searching for better ways to take care of her officers and had never heard of float therapy. Upon a quick Google search, she saw the benefits and research behind the method.

Tate Hildyard
The Iowa Recovery Room is seen on Wednesday, February 6th, 2018. The Iowa Recovery Room is a clinic specializing in non-traditional treatment for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.

“I saw that in research there was a lot of benefits to the therapy,” said Jay. “Officers carry a lot of weight in our day-to day jobs, and it can be very hard to adjust mentally.”

Jay stressed how ICPD calls could be as simple as helping someone get into a locked car, but then quickly turn to responding to a death scene.

“It’s very stressful to be normal people outside of work,” she said. “After seeing something traumatizing at work, then coming home to your smiling kids—it’s a big mental adjustment.”

ICPD officer Ashten Hayes tried the float therapy for the first time and said she was a little nervous to step in.

“I had never heard of it before until Ashley had gave us all the information on it,” said Hayes. “I was a little nervous to be in this box for an hour and honestly was a little uncomfortable until I was able to be relaxed.”

Hayes said that, after overcoming her discomfort, her first time in the float therapy helped her unwind mentally and physically.

“I felt very relaxed,” she said. “Not everyone is going to have the same benefits in relaxation, but for me, it helped me destress and have a good night sleep after a long day of work.”

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About the Writer
Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Alexandra Skores is a news reporter at The Daily Iowan. She is a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying journalism...

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