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Two siblings bring a floatation spa to the Central Coast 

The average person is constantly moving from one thing to the next, checking phones and devices, and surrounding him- or herself with people.

Sure, there are many hikes around San Luis Obispo County to get away from it all, but most people don't really give themselves time to check out and recharge.

click to enlarge YOU CAN FLOAT TOO Kelsey and Matt Elston have created Central Coast Floats, a float spa where their customers can relax in sensory deprivation tanks that offer a wide range of health benefits. - PHOTO BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photo By Karen Garcia
  • YOU CAN FLOAT TOO Kelsey and Matt Elston have created Central Coast Floats, a float spa where their customers can relax in sensory deprivation tanks that offer a wide range of health benefits.

A sibling duo from Sacramento recently established a facility in the city of SLO for people to do just that.

Matt and Kelsey Elston are wrapping up their fourth month of being the proud business owners and operators of Central Coast Floats, a float spa.

The business started as just an idea when Matt moved to the Central Coast six years ago. Prior to his move, he lived in Seattle where he was first introduced to floating.

At first, he viewed floating as just a cool experience, but then he started to see how it changed his life.

"The more I kept doing it, I realized it was an incredible tool to solve problems or really get into a deep meditative state," Matt said.

When he moved to San Luis Obispo, he realized there wasn't any kind of floating facility in the area.

He called his sister, Kelsey, who was working at a floating center in their hometown at the time, to see if she was interested in working with him to open a facility.

She told New Times she was ready to quit her job and bring this project to fruition with her bother.

Kelsey also saw a change in her life physically, emotionally, and spiritually when she began floating.

"There's an opportunity to go deep inside yourself and work through things with no one's help," she said. "It goes from life in the tank to life in the tank affecting life outside of the tank, which is so cool."

Matt said he and his sister believed they wanted to share this beneficial tool with others around them.

"The intention behind this place is like a center for growth and healing on the Central Coast. We're trying to be here for everyone," he said.

The spa offers four rooms with floatation tanks inside; one of the rooms houses an extra-large tank, big enough for two people. The tanks are also known as sensory deprivation chambers.

In these tanks is about 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt that's dissolved in water. Matt said it's so buoyant that a person automatically floats.

"When you're in the tank and in the water, with the concentration of the salt, only your face, a little bit of your chest, and your kneecaps will pop out of the water. Everything else is just kind of right on the surface of the water," he said.

This service is often used as a method for relaxation or to boost creativity. As the name implies, sensory deprivation means a person can rid themselves of some or all external stimuli and float.

Each tank is fully customizable, so there are LED lights and the option to plug in your cellphone to queue a music playlist or podcast.

After a floating session, which lasts 60 minutes, the siblings have a relaxation room where clients can sit down and read, journal, color, or enjoy a cup of tea. They have an infrared sauna for clients as well.

The Elston siblings have attended several float conferences in the last few years and have learned various health benefits to floating.

The concentration of the salt flushes out toxins and heavy metals in cells, easing muscle pain, and it also improves heart and circulatory health, reduces blood clots, reduces inflammation, and lowers blood pressure.

"Life just throws so much at you, so your goals in the tank are probably not the same as someone else's. You're going to get whatever you need out of it," Matt said.

To learn more about Central Coast Floats or how to set up an appointment, visit or call (805) 439-3229.

Fast fact

As the holiday season approaches, The Salvation Army is looking for volunteer bell-ringers for various sites around San Luis Obispo County from Nov. 25 through Dec. 24. You know, the joyous individuals who wear red aprons and ring a bell near a kettle in front of your local supermarket. If you want to join the ranks of bell-ringers for a two-hour shift, call (805) 544-2401 or email [email protected]. Volunteers are not required to solicit donations, just ring the bell and greet passersby with a smile. The annual Kettle Campaign is The Salvation Army's most important fundraising event of the year. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or The Salvation Army, visit Δ

Staff Writer Karen Garcia wrote this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send tidbits to [email protected].

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