Massage and Floating – What and Why?

History of Massage:


Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use. The ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments. And Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions. These include low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.


So What Is It Exactly?

Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies are defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body. Specifically:

Massage: The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques.

Bodywork: Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.

Somatic: Meaning “of the body.” Many times this term is used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach as distinguished from a physiology-only or environmental perspective.

There are more than 250 massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies and many practitioners utilize multiple techniques. The application of these techniques include stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, vibration, rocking, friction, and pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body. This may also include non-forceful passive or active movement and/or application of techniques intended to affect the energetic systems of the body. The use of oils, lotions, and powders may also be included to reduce friction on the skin.


Touch is one of the most fundamental and necessary human experiences; as a result, Massage Therapy is one of the oldest forms of health care with benefits proven to be diverse and far-reaching.

Mot’us offers many different modalities of Massage Therapy from well trained, independently contracted, Licensed Massage Therapists in order to offer educated touch that is intentionally focused on your health and well-being.


Benefits of Massage:


A diverse practice, the physical benefits of massage therapy have been well established in the western scientific paradigm of health and wellness. This has happened through both research and clinical observation in the field of massage therapy over the past 40 years. The most well known physical benefits include:

  • Reducing tension in the body, which can relieve tension-related pain and improve range of motion.
  • Improving fluid circulation in the body in order to increase blood flow to your tissues and boost your immune system.
  • Relieving structural restrictions in your connective tissue to restore proper body function that may have been lost due to injury, poor posture, and repetitive stress conditions.
  • Improving body awareness. Your brain forgets about parts of your body, just as it will forget about a pebble in your shoe if you ignore it. Massage reconnects your brain to your whole body. This helps us to let go of unconscious habitual tension in the body.

The energetic/emotional benefits of massage therapy are now being recognized and accepted as meaningful and powerful aspects of this field of therapy. This is important because so many of your body’s stresses arise from emotional and cultural pressures rather than physical demands. While massage is still seen as having a supportive role (rather than a direct role) in energetic/emotional health, the benefits are clear and include:

  • Improving sense of physical connection and reduced sense of isolation. This is a natural effect of touch. Having educated, intentional touch for 1-2 hours allows this process to happen more deeply then a hug or a handshake.
  • Fulfilling basic human needs (the need for healthy touch) can improve emotional and mental clarity and can encourage feelings of wholeness and calmness.
  • Reducing the fight or flight (adrenaline) response. The fight or flight response is a natural reaction to stress (physical or emotional) that keeps the body alert and ready to run or fight. This often translates to muscle tension. Massage Therapy promotes the parasympathetic or restful response in the body and disengages the fight or flight response.
  • Assisting in processing emotional energy stored in the tissues; often, we don’t have the time or ability to process this energy, and it can translate into chronic tension in the body. Massage can help create a window of time to just be with yourself, to gather your thoughts, feel your feelings, and actually relax in a deep and meaningful way.

What is Floating?


Floating is letting go of all of your senses…resting your body; exploring your mind and soul. -Dylan Schmidt


Floating is a way to pause the hectic, saturated world and enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. By giving yourself a break from the endless input of sensory experiences, your mind has a chance to recharge, rest, and emerge to face the world with renewed perspective and energy.

Otherwise known as floatation-REST (restricted environmental stimulation technique) or sensory deprivation. Floating is backed by research and offers immense potential for personal growth and healing.

During a float, you step into a quiet, warm, private spa called a float pod and lay back on water in which 1200 lbs of Epsom salts have been dissolved. The water is more dense than the Dead Sea, so you will float right on top—we promise! This means that, after normalizing to the silky water, you will have no tactile input on your skin and no pressure points running along your body. You will be fully supported, and you will expend no physical energy to maintain your position in the water. The water is kept at a constant temperature of around 93.5 degrees, which feels warm at first but soon becomes almost imperceptible.  The line between the air and the water becomes blurred. When you choose to turn out the lights, your eyes can rest in a comforting darkness that is the same if you open or close them. External sounds are kept to an absolute minimum through extensive soundproofing throughout Mot’us Floatation and Wellness Center, earplugs, and the design of the Pods themselves.

Without the need to pay attention to changing stimuli, keep yourself vertical, navigate traffic, or have a conversation (unless with yourself). Resources which are otherwise devoted to these and other tasks are free for use in problem solving, creative exploration, learning.Or simply meditation, rest, and relaxation. Floating is a 45 to 120 – minute savasana in a powerfully relaxing environment. Gentle music indicates when the end of the session has arrived.

Emerging from a float is an experience in itself. Senses are sharpened, the mind is refreshed, and the world may appear more vibrant. The feeling is often one of peace, relaxation, happiness, and calm attentiveness. We encourage you to explore this state with a cup of tea or in conversation with our staff and others coming out of floats in our lobby. The effects of floating last for hours to days afterwards, and have the potential to last much longer.

The Benefits of Floating:


Relaxation:

The most consistent and widely experienced effect of floating is a sense of deep, lasting relaxation. As humans, we are often brought down by stressful sensory experiences. Dealing with problems at work, home, and in the wider world can cause us to lose sight of the beauty and positivity that life offers in every moment. Floating is a way to pause all of these stressors for 90 minutes and provide the mind and body a needed space for relief and reflection. After leaving the pods, one often finds their tension eased, optimism restored, and ability to appreciate the richness of life revived. This shift in perspective has the ability to follow you into all corners of your life. It’s not uncommon to hear a first-time customer come out of their float and say, “I have never been so relaxed!”


Psychological Benefits:

Imagine your mind being cleared of its clutter and all of its mundane housekeeping put on hold. With this space suddenly free for other brain activity, you are able to focus on whatever you please. This allows you to deepen your perspective on any topic, concentrating on solutions to problems or new ideas. Creativity can also be vastly heightened—it is very common for floaters to dip into a theta state, which we normally cross briefly as we fall asleep. This waking dream can be a wonderful place for spontaneous creative inspiration, and we have talked to people who have written songs, books, or math equations while floating. Some of our clients use floating as an exercise in memory, pleasantly recounting past experiences or tackling negative ones. Others use floating as a tool towards learning and meditation, taking advantage of the total lack of distractions to achieve deep focus and awareness. Regardless of where your brain goes during this blissful experience, almost everyone steps out of the tank feeling optimistic and balanced, ready for the world outside.


Physical Benefits:

We believe that where the head goes, the body will follow. As the mind enters a deep state of calm, your body cannot help but experience similar effects. The body has an opportunity to reset and realign itself, and it is common for neck, back, and joints to pleasantly pop during a float. Blood pressure reduces as the body moves away from physical tension related to the “fight or flight” instinct and enters its natural state of rest. Research has demonstrated floating reduces pain of multiple types, whether caused by an acute injury, physical exertion, or chronic condition—including tension-related muscle pain and fibromyalgia. Muscles feel especially positive benefits from floating, as the combination of support and Epsom salt work together to give them total relief. The body absorbs magnesium from the Epsom salt-infused water, which facilitates flushing of lactic acid from tired muscles. An additional benefit enjoyed by many is an excellent night of sleep following a float, which serves those with insomnia or recovering from shift work and jet lag.


The most important point is that, after a float, you’ll feel good. The loose and relaxed feeling of the post-float glow is something that has to be experienced to be understood.


Additional Benefits:

Some people have told us after their floats that they gained an enhanced awareness of spiritual connectedness. They have described a variety of spiritual insights, including increased knowledge of a higher self, bonds with others, and clarification of personal meanings related to growth and loss. Each float is a unique experience with possibilities to delve into various areas of existence and wellbeing.


‘Both massage and floatation therapy have many benefits. Some of the similarities are obvious but some of the ways in which they achieve these benefits are the complete opposite of each other. One provides intense sensory input, whereas the other takes it all away. However, they both help to reduce pain, promote detoxification, invoke a relaxed and rejuvenated state and help balance out your mind, body and spirit. Incorporating them individually into your lifestyle is an extremely valuable tool for your whole health and wellbeing, but utilizing them together can increase their effects and make the overall impact much further reaching and longer lasting.’

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