Ever want to escape life’s worries and drift away on a sea of bliss?
Michelle Garrett, a Norman massage therapist specializing in ashiatsu and owner of Drift Therapeutic Spa says Drift, in partnership with Float OKC, may have just what you need to find that escape.
“The whole goal with floating is to reduce sensory input during the session,” said Float OKC owner Neal Smock.
While both floating and massage help people relax, the combination, Garrett and Smock believe, multiplies the relaxation.
“They pair really well together,” Smock said.
Drift offers several types of massage, including aromatherapy, Ashi-Thai, deep tissue, hot stone, Swedish and prenatal in addition to ashiatsu barefoot massage.
Garrett said clients should first consider how much pressure they want before selecting which type of massage is best for them. Those who want something really gentle might try Swedish massage. For an extra-relaxing experience, she suggests adding aromatherapy which can be paired with all massage types.
Still, there’s nothing like ashiatsu barefoot massage to get a truly therapeutic experience, she said.
“We offer deep tissue massage, but most of our clients who like a lot of deep pressure opt for the ashiatsu,” Garrett said. “It’s what we’re known for. You still get the long flowing strokes, so it’s still relaxing.”
She recommends the ashiatsu for people with chronic tension and pain.
To pair massage with floating, the client can decide which he or she wants first. Garrett said often a client will float to release tension then follow with a massage. Other times, a person may want the deep massage first then finish unwinding in the float chamber.
It’s a personal choice, that can vary by client, she said.
Smock said people use floating to decompress, and, while some might want a totally dark, quiet experience, others may want to leave on a dim light in the chamber or have soft, meditative music playing.
People are often surprised how quickly an hour passes in the float chamber Smock said.
Garrett agreed. She said during her first experience floating, five minutes in, she thought, “this isn’t for me, I don’t think I can do this,” but then her mind disengaged and the next thing she knew the lights were coming on, and she couldn’t believe an hour had passed.
“Don’t fight the urge for your brain to jump from thought to thought,” Smock said.
As the thoughts flow through, eventually without the constant sensory overload we experience in our daily lives, the mind will relax, he said.
Some people even fall asleep which is completely safe, because of the high content of epsom salts which makes the water dense and allows people to float effortlessly. The salts also give the water a silky feel.
Each float chamber has a private shower on the outside, so clients shower before and after floating. Ultraviolet light filters and cleans the float water which is warmed to 93.5 degrees to match the surface temperature of skin.
“That’s really important for the sensory aspect, because with the water matching your skin temperature, it becomes neutral,” Smock said. “It feels like you’re floating on nothing.”
After few moments, people no longer consciously think about being in water, he said.
While the client controls the light, going pitch black to eliminate sensory input helps the mind rest, Smock said. The spacious chambers are four feet wide by eight feet long and at the lowest point are seven feet high to prevent claustrophobia.
After floating or massage, clients are welcome to decompress further with a cup of Prairie Bloom herbal tea. Drift uses cruelty free, mostly organic Prairie Bloom Botanical products, in part because of the quality of the products, but also because they’re produced locally.
Garrett, a Norman native, said she is pleased to partner with other local businesses.
Float OKC has been in Edmond for two and half years and has been partnered with Drift in Norman since mid-July.
Smock owns the float side of the business, while Garrett owns the Drift massage side of the business.
Drift Therapeutic Spa
480 24th Ave. NW, Suite 120