2013 Speakers

Glenn Perry

Glenn Perry, mentored by Dr John C. Lilly, developed the first ever commercial float tank, the Samadhi tank. Since then, he never stops tinkering, continuing to push the world of floatation forward with his own ever present brand of functional innovation and design, focusing on improving the user’s experience at an affordable price.

Glenn will be here to speak as a representative of the Floatation Tank Association, an organization that supports the success of floating.

Lee Perry

Lee Perry, as president of the Samadhi Tank Company, has spent the last 38 years working to keep the business of floating a journey into the realm of service and adventure. As chairman of the board of the Floatation Tank Association, she focuses on advocating best practices, educating health departments on regulations for this industry, and supporting new float businesses.

Along with being here as a representative of the FTA, Lee will also be giving a presentation, alongside her husband Glenn Perry, on the float environment and the future of floatation therapy.

Tom Fine

Thomas H Fine is one of the biggest names in the research of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy). He established, alongside John Turner, the Floatation REST research program at the University of Toledo College of Medicine (formerly the Medical College of Ohio), where he now is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Tom is also a member of the board of the Floatation Tank Association.

Over a twenty year period, Tom and John published numerous papers and edited several books regarding the physical and mental results of floatation therapy, focusing on psychophysiological and endocrine changes associated with repeated use of a Floatation Tank, and the effects of floating on various stress related disorders (most notably his research on cortisol level reduction in the floatation environment).

Tom Fine will present on his past REST research, and give a history on IRIS, the International REST Investigators Society.

Dr. Peter Suedfeld

Peter Suedfeld has been actively working in the field of psychology for over 50 years. With a Ph.D. from Princeton University, Dr. Suedfeld has spent a his career studying human being’s reactions to coping with the world around them. He is one of the pioneering researchers in the field of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy), and was the founding President of IRIS (the International REST Investigators Society). His research continues to be a foundation of knowledge on REST, and its effects on the human condition.

Dr. Rod Borrie

With a Ph.D. in Psychology, Rod Borrie has spent the last 40 years in the field of psychological research and practice. Rod has been working with sensory deprivation since coining the term REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) with Peter Suedfeld in the 70?s. He is the former President of IRIS (the International REST Investigators Society), and is one of the only people actively conducting float tank research today, with his Fibromyalgia Flotation Project.

Dr. Borrie will be at the Float Conference to present the many clinical uses of REST, and the importance of pursuing these applications.

Dr. Arreed Barabasz

Arreed Barabasz has a long and respected history with float tanks and REST, having worked alongside leading researchers in the field. He is a licensed psychologist, and has worked extensively with the American Psychological Society, and, among other things, has served the role of President of the Society of Psychological Hypnosis.

He is currently the Editor of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, IJCEH (the highest-ranking journal in the field), and a full professor in the College of Education at Washington State University.

Arreed will be joining us to discuss his thoughts on the use of REST and Hypnosis for enhancing performance and well being.

Ashkahn Jahromi

Ashkahn Jahromi will serve as host and MC for the 2013 Portland Float Conference. His excitement for this conference is rivaled only by the size of his mustache. As one of the owners of Float On here in Portland, Oregon, Ashkahn has amassed a huge body of knowledge on health departments and the way their regulations interact with float tank centers across the United States.

Ashkahn will be presenting about Float On, and speaking at the Float Center Workshop, a workshop to teach people how to build and run a float center.

Graham Talley

Graham Talley, another owner of Float On, will be speaking at both the conference and the Float Center Workshop aimed at helping float centers get up and running. Graham is excited to have everyone out to Portland again, and can’t wait to share what he and the Float On crew have been up to this past year.

In the very little off-time he has that is not devoted to running a float center, he runs a small business workshop in town called CAKE, aimed at providing resources and advice to help startups and small business thrive. View Graham’s presentation from last year!

Colin Stanwell-Smith

Colin Stanwell-Smith is a British engineer and technologist who decided to make float tanks in 1999 after a career in high tech product development. He owns Floataway, a manufacturing company with a range of float tanks and associated technology. Floataway pioneered couple floating to encourage commercial floating. Colin, with his wife Gini, has installed float tanks in about fifty countries and has researched and developed disinfection, automation, and design of float tanks. Colin’s other interest include consciousness, physics, and philosophy.

Peter Bell

Peter is the marketing and training Manager for Floatworks, the largest floatation centre in the world. He has spent the last 7 years working with local and international businesses to successfully attract and retain customers. Speaking at conferences, networking events and on street corners – he is happiest when spreading the word! With a degree in Human Biology and 20 years in Mind Body exploration, Peter is dedicated to promoting life altering practices to the mainstream.

When he is not promoting floatation he teaches Lucid dreaming and the physical art of parkour. He will be here to talk about Floatworks, and their successful efforts to market both their center and their float tanks.

Lara Wood

Lara Rose Wood is a teacher assistant for Stress Management at Portland State University. She is also a graduate student at OHSU in the Healthcare MBA. She has extensive knowledge in health prevention and how stress affects the body.

Her focus as a graduate student is bringing more of a preventive and integrative focus into the healthcare system. Lara has meditated for over 25 years and she now teaches meditation in Portland. She also had training at Heartmath Institute in Heart Rate Variability, Coherence with the body system and the use of a biofeedback tool.

In her presentation she will go over the effects of stress on the body and the need to bring the body back into coherence, which means a balanced system. The use of float tanks for further study in this area is recommended.

Stephen Johnson

Stephen W. Johnson RN,LMP,CSP,BME has worn many hats over the years. Stephen has been a boxer, modern dancer, actor, coach and trainer. He has worked as a Psychiatric Nurse for 27 years, conducted a private practice as a Structural Integrator for over 20 years. He is an Anatomist specializing in Fascial Anatomy, has conducted research, and taught at various schools. He is a Bio Somatic Movement educator, a yoga teacher in the Ashtanga style, a long time meditator in both Soto and Rinzai traditions and a practitioner of Tai Chi/ Qi Gong.

En route to an ordination in Interfaith and counseling with an emphasis in the science-spirit uinterfaith, eco-spirituality and somato-spiritual practices. He is the director of The Spirit Assemblage, which is an educational forum for the definition and exploration of non-religious spirit as it manifests in the self and culture.

Stephen Johnson will be at the Float Conference to present a view of float tanks as a key tool for anatomical and spiritual integration. Watch his talk from last year!

Dr. Russell Marz

Dr. Russell B. Marz received his naturopathic doctorate from the “National College of Naturopathic Medicine” in Portland, Oregon in 1983. Upon graduating from naturopathic school he completed a 10,000 mile bicycle tour around North America with a group of naturopathic physicians, where he appeared numerous times on radio and TV, giving over 120 lectures on nutrition and naturopathic medicine.

Dr. Marz is an associate professor of nutrition at “The National College of Naturopathic Medicine,” is the author of a 600 page clinically oriented textbook in nutrition, “Medical Nutrition from Marz,” and, in 1985, founded Omnivite Nutrition Inc., a company that formulates unique nutritional formulas. He has a masters degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Since 1990 he has been in private practice at the “Tabor Hill Clinic” in Portland, OR where he serves as the medical director.

Russell Marz will be at the float conference to give a detailed breakdown of Magnesium, and its effects on the human body.

Carl Jessee

Carl is currently completing a full-length documentary on flotation called “Float Nation,” along with his life-long friend Jory. Having collaborated with float enthusiasts, tank center owners, tank manufacturers, doctors, and researchers across the country and world, Float Nation will work to comprehensively exhibit what has been experientially reported and scientifically tested in regards to the flotation experience.

The goal of the documentary is to showcase most of what floating can be, so viewers can take what they will and experience the tank space in whatever fashion they choose. Once the movie is complete, Carl hopes to do much more to contribute to the expansion and legitimization of floating.

Carl’s career background is in television and video production and his interests include economics, sociology, cognitive science, and dogs.

Dr. Jeffrey Bruno

Jeffrey Bruno, inspired by John Lilly’s book The Deep Self, built his first floatation tank in the basement of the Dean’s Building at Lawrence University, in 1977. Over the next seven years, Jeffrey assisted in the construction of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) facilities in Madison, Wisconsin, and Toledo, Ohio. He completed a Master’s thesis on the use of REST with a Values Clarification Approach.

He managed the non-profit REST and Self-Regulation Institute in Toledo, Ohio during which time Jeffrey assisted Tom Fine and John Turner at the Medical College of Ohio with REST research. Currently a licensed psychologist from Pacifica, California, Dr. Bruno will present a brain-based model to help explain the phenomenology of floating and the possible use of light and sound to accelerate emotional processing.

Briant Nierstedt

Briant Nierstedt, M.A.,BCN is a mental health professional with over 20 years experience. He has worked in numerous clinical settings including inpatient, outpatient, residential, community and private practice. He is also a board certified fellow through the BCIA as an EEG Biofeedback practitioner. He currently works as a commitment investigator and maintains a private practice in Neurofeedback.

In the past, Briant was a professional distance runner, worked on developing infrared remote technologies using Brainwaves, and conducted workshops on Alpha-Theta Brainwave training at the world renown Esilan Institute at Big Sir. He, along with Dr. Julian Isaacs, were the first to create the technology to train a group of 15 individuals together in Alpha-Theta Brainwave training. He has a keen awareness of the Theta state of consciousness and how this awareness can be put to use in the real world.

Briant will introduce the radical idea of merging brainwave biofeedback training, specifically Alpha-Theta protocols, to train and enhance the Theta experience during floating.

Dr. Justin Feinstein

Dr. Justin Feinstein is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at the California Institute of Technology and expert in the study of fear in the brain. His research has been published in a number of top tier scientific journals and has been featured in the popular press including the New York Times, NPR, New Scientist, and the NBC TODAY Show.

His presentation will focus on a new research project aimed at exploring the use of floatation tanks in the treatment anxiety, including Panic Disorder and PTSD.

Chaz Rollins

Ever since Chaz Rollins heard about sensory deprivation tanks, he has been on a mission to get the whole world floating. At Washington State University he presented to a group of administrators as to the benefits of floating and how it could augment the school’s Wellbeing program for both students and staff. After receiving a BS in Environmental Science, Chaz has gone on to pursue a Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington. Chaz has worked in libraries for 5 years- first at WSU and now with Seattle Public Library.

Chaz will be at the Float Conference to present a vision for the future of libraries, one that places floating at the forefront.

Nick Janicki

Nick Janicki’s journey through the wellness industry began with True REST Float Spa in Tempe, Arizona. Deeply moved by the profound benefits his clients experienced after each float, he became inspired to push this incredible product to the next level. He felt that he could create a pod that was more efficient and reliable. He recognized the potential and great necessity for a US Based Float Pod and Float Pod Therapies was born in 2013. The Float Pod was developed with the careful consideration and feedback from thousands of clients, friends, and family members over the years.

Mike Zaremba

Mike and his brother and business partner, Andy, are the newer kids on the block within the float industry. Together they opened Float House in May of 2013, a 5-tank float center based in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Mike’s past experiences includes running the family restaurant business, having a short stint as a professional strength and conditioning coach, and traveling a good chunk of the globe.

He has owned a float tank for 3 years, which was purchased after just a single float, and believes floating is a phenomenal avenue to aid in the expansion of consciousness.

Mike will be here to share some of his stories from running the Float House, and running a successful float center.

Dylan Schmidt

Dylan Schmidt, Portland native and co-founder of The Float Shoppe, has a passion for community, teaching, and personal development. Floatation therapy offered a natural way to combine these things, and in 2011, the Float Shoppe opened with 2 float tanks and big dreams. The Float Shoppe has since expanded to offering 3 float tanks (including one lidless tank), acupuncture, massage, and counseling. In October, The Float Shoppe will further expand their offerings by opening a community and wellness center next door.

Dylan’s recently launched www.theArtofFloating.com, a blog dedicated to helping individuals start, run, and refine their float centers.

Sandra Calm

Sandra Calm MS, RN, CNL is a co-founder of The Float Shoppe in Portland, Oregon. With experience in neurology, oncology, psychiatry, and other fields of medicine, she comes to floatation therapy with respect and hope for the potential it has to support healing and positive change. She aims to bring the therapeutic benefits of floating to everyone she can within an integrative environment which fosters health, holistic wellness, and the prevention and management of disease.

Beyond the purpose she shares with her partner Dylan of growing and sustaining The Float Shoppe as an integrative wellness center, her primary interest is in expanding knowledge of floatation therapy by means of research, ongoing educational efforts, public outreach, and working alongside the medical and nursing community. In addition, she cultivates a garden at The Float Shoppe, teaches nursing students at two universities, and studies martial arts, yoga, and aromatherapy.

Anthony Natale

All it took was one float. Anthony had suffered from PTSD for years, and hadn’t slept well in over a year and half. After one float, something just changed inside and he could sleep at night again. After that, the float space became a sacred place for him. A 9-year veteran counselor, former copywriter, bodyworker/massage therapist, painter, and martial artist, Anthony holds degrees in the Philosophy of Mind and Cognition as well as Creative Writing. Anthony is on a mission to expand the uses of the float tank for developing and enhancing human potential.

Shoshana Leibner

Owner of Float Dreams, Shoshana Leibner is a professional ballet dancer, yoga teacher and sports trainer, and has floated from the beginning. Her family and mentors, Samadhi Tank Company, successfully pioneered the floatation tank business. This led Shoshana to manage Tranquility Tanks, the first float center in New York City. There she introduced Michael Hutchison, the author of “The Book of Floating” to floating and worked with Dr. Rod Borrie. Shoshana continues to build a global community of floaters worldwide. She is currently working on bringing floatation to Burning Man 2013.

Sophia Emigh

Sophia Emigh is a Vermont-born, Portland-based dance artist and camerawoman. She plays in the intertwining worlds of dance, film, photography, yoga, and community work: diverse paths which approach the same mountain of inquiry into one’s innate wisdom, interconnected nature, and stillness within.

Given her background of choreographing, performing, and creating films based on the tenet that there is stillness within all movement, and absolute creative potential in the quietest places, collaborating with Float On for the Float Dance Project was a perfect opportunity to dive even deeper into this realm of ongoing investigation and surrender.

Sophia and a few of the dancers will present their experiences of fusing floating with the choreographic process, and screen the project’s resulting 7 short dance films.

Dan Elmer

Dan is the co-owner of the San Francsico Salt Company. Originally from Manchester, England, his background is in physiology and sports science. In 2002 he came ‘on a visit’ to help his childhood friend establish the San Francisco Bath Salt Company, and has made the Bay Area his home ever since. The business has evolved to become a specialist provider of salts for a wide variety of applications including gourmet food ingredients, bath & spa, therapeutic & holistic treatments, nutritional supplements and, of course, float tanks.

After his presentation at the 2012 conference, we have invited Dan back this year to give a thorough presentation on Epsom Salt and its uses.