With the opening of his new location in Hudson, Awaken for Wellness owner Chris Richmond feels he has come full circle.
Richmond originally grew up in Hudson, moving away seven years ago to open the first Awaken for Wellness location in St. Paul. When he had the opportunity to open a second location in his hometown, he and business partner Jesse Steinmaus jumped on it.
"It was hard for me to leave Hudson and it's been harder to keep away from Hudson," Richmond said.
Awaken for Wellness offers infrared saunas and float tanks at its new location at 411 County Road UU.
Infrared saunas use a different type of heat than traditional saunas, and are a lower temperature. Using radiation, infrared saunas reach a maximum of 158 degrees, while traditional saunas rely on convection and conduction to reach temperatures of 180-200 degrees.
The cooler temperatures mean it can be more comfortable for some users compared to traditional saunas. The infrared saunas do not generate the steam associated with traditional saunas, and the hard to breath feeling that sometimes comes with it.
Richmond said people shouldn't be put off by the word radiation, as the infrared saunas use a safe form of radiation, like the infrared heat humans themselves give off.
The benefits of infrared saunas include heart health, lower blood pressure, general muscular health, collagen generation, cellular health and detoxification through sweating, Richmond said. Studies have shown that sauna can reduce mortality due to heart disease as well as Alzheimer's and dementia, Richmond said.
A typical session is 30 minutes.
Float tanks are filled with a thousand pounds of Epsom salt to create a buoyancy where the user is completely free of gravity, Richmond said. The temperature is set to the average skin temperature of 94 degrees.
"You really don't know where your body begins and the water ends," Richmond said.
In the full tank, the lid is shut, enclosing the user within the float tank. Richmond does offer a float tub, that is not fully enclosed the way the tank is.
A 90-minute session allows people to lose spacial awareness and sense of external stimuli, Richmond said.
"It's your time to truly, really be away from all business and it allows your mind to just focus on whatever it's focusing on," Richmond said.
The St. Paul location also offers massage therapy, something he said he plans to add to the new location.
Richmond said he is most looking forward to seeing people in his new Hudson location. The grand opening for the space is March 9 from 1-5 p.m.
The space is there to provide an environment for community members to optimize their health.
"The healing is always the most important thing," he said.
Richmond said it's nice to be back home again, now as a part of the business community.
"I'm so excited to see familiar faces come in and just reconnect with the community here," he said.