The physical and mental benefits of float therapy are many. From the Epsom salt that leaves your skin hydrated, your spine decompressed and your muscles relaxed, to the meditative stillness that renders your mind quiet and refreshed. Floating allows you to defy both gravity and stress.

Tim Fuller, co-owner of Still Life Massage & Float, likens it to being in outer space.

Tim Fuller, co-owner of Still Life, poses with one of the Quantum Photocatalytic Sterilization units he recently installed. Photo courtesy: Still Life Massage & Float

“It’s a really surreal experience,” he says. “Really hard to put it into words until you try it yourself.”

And thanks to a major filtration system enhancement, float therapy at Still Life is now cleaner than ever, too. Fuller, along with help from Aqua Island Technologies, recently installed Quantum Photocatalytic Sterilization units on each of their two i-sopod flotation pods. 

Until now, Still Life had relied on ultra-high quality filters and chlorine to help clean float water between clients. Over the years, they’d received virtually no complaints about the chlorine, and used far less of the chemical than you’d find in a public pool. Now, they’re using what’s called “photocatalytic oxidation” to purify water better than before, and without the use of any extra chemicals.

Due to the incredible amount of Epsom salt in each pod, clients float on top of the water, providing unparalleled mental and physical relaxation. Photo courtesy: Still Life Massage & Float

“It’s like something out of Star Trek,” Fuller says of the technology. “We’re going to be on the cutting edge of water sanitation here in Whatcom County.”

Still Life’s sterilization units were developed by a European company for pools and hot tubs, creating clearer and cleaner water than chlorine, bromine, or hydrogen peroxide can produce. The units instantaneously kill viruses, pathogens, and bacteria, and transform suntan oils, urine and other contaminants into their most harmless molecular forms.

“They claim it’s the most powerful oxidizer in the world,” Fuller says. Photocatalytic oxidation has been used in schools, hospitals and wastewater treatment plants, turning sewage into drinking water that is cleaner and safer than any other method of treatment, including boiling.

Fuller received help installing the new filtration systems from Ed Penfield of Aqua Island Technologies. Photo courtesy: Still Life Massage & Float

So how does it work?

The process uses Ultraviolet light—in this case, produced by a UV bulb inside the unit’s water-filled reaction chamber—to strike a catalyst coated in nano-crystaline particles. This triggers a molecular reaction that kills anything harmful in the water down to the cellular level. All that’s left are harmless oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules, and very clean water.  

Fuller says it will take about 30 to 40 minutes to clean the entirety of a float pod’s water, which is always done between each client. Users also shower before each float session, just to be sanitary. And as if this weren’t enough, Still Life also pushes its water through a 1-micron polypropylene bag filter; for comparison, a red blood cell is roughly five microns—that’s five-one-millionth of a meter—and most viruses are six to seven microns. As you can see, Still Life is serious about having hygienic water.

Tim Fuller works to properly wire the new oxidizing filtration system on one of the company’s float pods. Photo courtesy: Still Life Massage & Float

Fuller says the new units will not only offer chlorine-free piece of mind to float pod users, but also result in less frequent cleaning for him. And the bulb and sleeve of the Quantum device, he says, won’t need maintenance for close to two years.

So if you’ve ever been interested in trying one of the most immersive forms of relaxation there is, now’s the time to visit Still Life Massage & Float. Prices begin at $65 for a one-hour session, and monthly memberships are also available for deeper discounts per float session.

Still Life is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends. To book a float session or massage, visit their online booking page, call 360-647-2805, or visit in-person at 19 Bellwether Way, Suite 101 in Bellingham.


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