Who Is Sean Sparks?
Sean Sparks, LMT, CPT, is the owner and operator of Float Away Spa in Highland Village, TX. Sean is a Texas native who grew up in Plano and has lived in the North Texas area his entire life. His journey to the owner and operator of Float Away Spa is long and winding.
The Young Sean
Sean was an active kid. He became involved in martial arts and loved it so much, he immersed himself in it as much as he could. After school, he would spend the rest of the day at the martial arts dojo, typically for three to four hours, six to seven days a week, and kept this routine for nearly ten years.
It was during this time he was exposed to meditation, which sparked a curiosity for Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, and herbal remedies.
Getting Serious About Health and Wellness
When he began classes at the University of North Texas, Sean was a Biology major, and started working as a personal trainer in his spare time. At first, personal training was only to be a fun summer job, but it ended up putting him on a path to learn how the human body moves and works. Sean found himself earning several personal training certifications, including:
- National Strength & Conditioning Association – Certified Personal Trainer
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Sports Performance Specialist
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Integrated Flexibility Specialist
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Performance Enhancement Specialist
- National Academy of Sports Medicine – Corrective Exercise Specialist
- USA Weightlifting – Sports Performance Coach
- CrossFit – Level 1 Certificate Course
- CrossFit Speciality Course – Running
- CrossFit Speciality Course – Weightlifting
- CrossFit Speciality Course – Gymnastics
After completing his training at the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Integrated Flexibility Specialist program, Sean found a desire to learn more about mobility and recovery. He determined that massage therapy would be a perfect fit for his next level of education. Sean Found himself earning several more certifications in massage therapy, including:
- Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified Myoskeletal Therapist
- Dalton Myoskeletal – Posture Pain Performance
- Dalton Myoskeletal – Upper Body Treatment the Neck, Shoulder and Torso
- Dalton Myoskeletal – Dynamic Lower Body Course
- Dalton Myoskeletal – Motion is Lotion
- Integrated Manual Therapy & Orthopedic Massage – 5 Day Intensive
Sean graduated with honors from Texas Massage Institute, Plano in 2005. It was in massage school that he first heard about flotation therapy. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a location close by where he could go experience it for himself and discover what it was all about. It would be several years later that floating would show back up in Sean’s life.
The Professional World
After getting his massage therapy license, he took advanced coursework in deep tissue, orthopedic massage, and myoskeletal alignment therapy, as well as several continuing education courses. He spent seven years as a personal trainer before moving on to manage a neighborhood gym.
A friend he knew from his involvement in martial arts introduced Sean to CrossFit. It took him some time to understand this new way of training, but eventually he went to get certified in the technique as a level-one coach.
Sean was fascinated by CrossFit because he found it to be very much like playing a competitive game with a group of friends. The group atmosphere seemed to help hold people accountable and it allowed him to work with several clients at one time.
Sean the Entrepreneur
Sean took a leap of faith when he quit his regular job and started his own CrossFit affiliate business. He started in a 600 sq ft office building before expanding into a 5000 sq ft warehouse. After four years, he and his colleagues sought to expand the gym and double the space.
Unfortunately, the endeavor seemed more like a “quantity over quality” venture, which didn’t feel right to Sean. That was when he and his colleagues decided to part ways.
The year leading up that point was a turbulent one for Sean. His father experienced a head injury that put him in ICU for a few months, during which he contracted pneumonia and had to be intubated. A week later, he was transferred to a care facility where he had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. Sean spent as much time as he could going to see his father and helping with his therapy.
Introduction to Float Therapy
Needless to say, Sean wasn’t sleeping well during that time. Serendipitously, a member of Sean’s gym told him about a recent float experience. Sean’s interest was sparked and he decided to give it a try.
The impact on him was profound. Sean felt like he had a full night of sleep after spending only one hour in the float tank. He researched float therapy and found out that it was being studied as a treatment for anxiety and depression at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Research had also been published on the benefits of floating with regard to insomnia and pain, as well as a possible treatment for PTSD.
The more Sean looked into floating, the more he found ways that it could benefit many people experiencing these problems. He knew he had to become involved in the float business. Sean sold his CrossFit gym, and with support from his family, he entered into a lease for his new business… Float Away Spa. Nine months later, the doors officially opened.
More Troubled Times
Fate dealt Sean’s family a cruel hand during this time when his father experienced several severe health issues and his mother was feeling the stress of losing her job, as well as caring for her husband. Trying to get a business started while taking care of his parents, Sean was understandably going through a stressful time, as well.
A Renewed Outlook and Passion
Floating helped him get back to a regular sleep schedule, but it also became a kind of therapy for him. Sadly, his father passed in July 2017. Since then, has focused on Float Away Spa, with the goal of providing a calm, relaxing, and safe space for those that may be going through tough times in their lives.
Sean experienced it for himself and discovered that floating is a great way to relax or meditate, but it can also provide amazing relief for people that suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia, and pain. Life can take a toll on our mental health, and Sean’s vision for Float Away Spa is to be a unique place that can help people deal with some of these stressors in a natural way.