Float Your Cares Away at Blue Mesa Float Center
Started by Paul Cooper in December 2006, Blue Mesa Float Center is one of the many health and wellness outlets that make up the eclectic and ever-changing Montrose Downtown.
Cooper first moved to Colorado from the East coast in the early 90's. Living, studying and working on the Front Range and at CSU in Fort Collins, it took him two decades and an Asian odyssey before he returned to Colorado and eventually settled in Montrose with his wife and daughter. Cooper says he always wanted to return to Colorado and when his daughter was born he knew western Colorado was the prefect place to raise her. Cooper says Montrose had everything he was looking for: location, affordability and the size of the town – small enough to feel homey and yet big enough to provide enough resources and opportunities for his daughter.
When it comes to being located in Montrose’s downtown, Cooper is passionate. “I would like to see downtown Montrose retake its place as the heart of the community, in the economic sense as well as socially,” he says. “I want to be a part of the move towards revitalizing downtown and re-establishing it as the center of life in Montrose.
“Downtown still seems a little sleepy, but there's more and more going on. Already there are great options for food, shopping and music, and it's all very convenient – everything is close by and parking is easy,” he says. “I feel like there's an energy developing downtown with more and different kinds of businesses opening... like mine.”
As for Blue Mesa Float Center (24 North Uncompahgre Avenue), Cooper has not only brought something unique to Montrose, but he has brought a wealth of experience with him, too. “I lived and traveled in Asia for over 14 years, starting back in the late 1980's,” he says. “I spent a couple years in Nepal when I was in my 20s, but I spent the bulk of my Asia years in northern Thailand.” It was here that Cooper began his spiritual journey. “ I went to Chiang Mai, the main city in northern Thailand in 2003. At that point, I was in a period of transition in my life, I decided to spend a year in Thailand teaching English and pursuing my interest in Buddhism, Asian martial arts, and massage therapy,” he says. That one year turned into 12. In the intervening period, Cooper got married and started a business running a dance studio. With the birth of his daughter, Cooper and his wife started to think about relocating to the US.
Cooper was a practicing Buddhist and a working massage therapist before he moved to Thailand, but after more than a decade there his understanding of consciousness and holistic health deepened alongside his pursuit of formal education in related subjects. Cooper shares that experience and education with those who visit him at Blue Mesa Float Center.
Although Cooper will be adding a number of new services in the coming months, massage and possibly other complementary natural therapies, flotation therapy is, as the name suggests, the main draw at Blue Mesa Float Center. “Flotation therapy is a powerful, natural way to counter stress and chronic pain,” Cooper says. “There's a lot out there about floating and sometimes the claims sound too good to be true. When I promote floating, I like to emphasize the benefits that have been scientifically documented. Floating encourages deep relaxation of both the mind and body, and studies show real benefits for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and chronic pain. It is also great environment for meditation and elite athletes are increasingly using floating to help with psychological preparation and physical recovery from competition.”
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