All wellness routines take consistent practice to ensure maximum benefit and floating is no exception. Before unlocking the full benefits of float therapy, new floaters may struggle to let go of their thoughts and plunge deep into a meditative state. One effective solution is to preempt your float with some relaxing massage therapy.
Waya and Inoli are two of Solitude’s licensed massage therapists and avid floaters. They have spent years combining their massage skills with float therapy to help countless people in their wellness journeys.
Waya explains the conundrum, “It can be difficult to mentally adjust straight from the busy streets to a float session. All of the external influences that constantly demand our attention can follow us into the float. Instead of rest, meditation, and relaxation, we end up spending 30 minutes of our float trying to get to a relaxed mental state. It’s so much better to enter your session with a calm mind - ready to dream and with the external stimuli removed.”
It’s an interesting debacle. Float therapy strives to bring wellness to the mind, but the mind itself impedes that progress. Inoli contends that massage therapy is “the often-overlooked sequel” to float therapy. She says,“Massage before your float successfully transitions you to the dream like state needed for sleep, meditation, and introspection. You get much more value out of your float session if you fall into a dreamlike state via a massage therapy transition.”
On the other hand, floating before your massage decreases muscle tension and blood lactate resulting in amore supple body which is perfect for massage. If you want to get the maximum benefit from your massage, a float session precursor is just the thing.
Solitude Float and Wellness has been offering massage and float therapy combo packages for some time now.“We’ve had a ton of success with our massage offering since we opened in 2020and we were looking for creative ways to expand our services,” notes co-founderMatt Davis.
Enter two Kyota M898 Yutaka 4D massage chairs. Purchased in March of 2022, the move was intended to improve the overall wellness offering at Solitude. “We understand that there’s really no substitute for a licensed massage therapy session, but we felt that adding this new technology would really be a benefit to our clients,” adds Davis.
Kyota, whose tagline is “TheWorld’s Most Advanced Massage Chairs,” is known for high quality massage products that offer lots of bells and whistles. “Massage chairs can certainly aid in the pre-float transition process,” notes Waya. “Massage chairs increase blood flow, relaxation, and can even be used to address superficial muscle knots. They also help with the mental wind down before entering your float.”
Inoli shares her approval,“Massage chairs are very good for general bodywork. The shoulder, upper back, and neck work of a massage chair is probably the most effective part of the chair. Massage can also be time (or cost) prohibitive, and the chairs make massage accessible to everyone!”
“Our goal was to add an affordable and convenient means of getting some body work done in concert with floats,” Davis continues, “We researched tons of chairs on the market and decided to spend up, for top-of-the-line chairs to ensure maximum benefit for our users.”
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the chairs now and the auto programs are great, but my favorite is going into manual mode and using the ‘kneading’ setting. You can do your whole back, or have it work in a single area by using the up and down arrow keys. You can also turn on the air bags for arms, calves, shoulders and hips as well as the foot rollers which feel amazing.”
While convenient, affordable and beneficial, massage chairs aren’t the end all be all. Waya notes four key benefits that massage therapy offers over the mechanical chairs: Customization,Position, Stretching and Knowledge.
Customization: A MassageTherapist can listen to your needs and customize your massage. For example, sciatica relief requires much different work and pressure than a neck injury.Pressure can be adjusted accordingly, and more attention can be given to problem areas.
Position: When you are lying on a massage table (instead of in a sitting position), your body is in amore neutral, relaxed position. Your therapist can also position you for maximum muscle relief.
Stretching: Your therapist is passively stretching your muscles in every stroke. From muscle origin to insertion, pressure along these lines stretches you.
Knowledge: Your therapist has been trained and licensed in Anatomy and Physiology. They have been trained in pathology, injury, and recovery. When a client can explain what they're feeling (and if it was initiated by an injury), your therapist can apply their expertise to understand what is going on underneath your skin, address the issue, and even advise you on further care.
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About Inoli and Waya
Waya has been a Massage Therapist since 2002. His experience as an Emergency Room Technician (Licensed in 2010), and as a combat medic in theArmy (1986-2000) has given him tremendous insight into the human body, its mechanisms, operations, and structure. He is experienced in Medical Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, and Reflexology, as well as the basics: Deep Tissue, relaxation/Swedish, and Trigger Point.
Inoli has been a Massage Therapist since 2017. She is experienced in Deep Tissue,Medical Massage, Swedish, Reflexology, and Trigger point.