Kaylie Sanders is a Certified Massage Therapist and an experienced Certified Posture Alignment Specialist (PAS). She graduated at the top of her class from the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage and specializes in relaxing Swedish, deep tissue, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (a must try!) and prenatal massage techniques. She is now based in Oakland and her website is here.
Tell Us About Yourself:
My name is Kaylie Sanders and I practice Therapeutic Massage and Posture Alignment Therapy on Piedmont Avenue. I am passionate about educating my clients about their bodies’ innate ability to heal itself given the appropriate (stress free) environment. Being an athlete my whole life, I have always been in touch with my body and aware of the importance of self-care. It is my goal in my practice, to not only assist the body’s healing process, but also to empower clients to take responsibility for their health.
What were your thoughts and assumptions about floating before your first float?
I purposely did not do any research on the benefits of floating so as not to have an opinion going into it. I wanted to be open to whatever my mind and body would experience. I will admit that I was concerned about the space being too small and stuffy but I soon discovered this was not a problem. I have tried meditation in the past to little success, so I thought floating would be even more distracting. Again, I was mistaken.
Describe your first experience floating:
My first float was surprisingly relaxing! I actually felt comforted by the darkness, the body temperature salt water and the silence and didn’t really want to move much! I used the pillow because I couldn’t get comfortable with my ears submerged. I felt the spinning sensation a few times and reached out to feel where I was in the tank. Hadn’t moved!
I was hyper sensitive about my body position or at least where I thought my body was in the tank. As a posture specialist I was finding myself trying to adjust my body to ‘correct’ the position but decided to just ‘let go’ and let my body relax in the weightlessness.
It was nice to just be present with my body and I found that my thoughts never strayed from my current situation and its unfamiliarity. I left feeling relaxed but also unsatisfied, like I needed another go to somehow get better at floating! I do not recommend over analyzing your first session or any session at that. Just commit and be present. Whatever happens happens.
I booked another session for a week later.
Did your float experience change after the first float?
I made a mistake on my second float and had coffee that morning! Do not do this, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine like me. I had trouble relaxing at first and even had a nightmare! I eventually relaxed, ended up losing track of time and stayed in for the full length of the session.
My third session was the best because I knew what to expect and eventually fell asleep! I did not expect this but really gave into the void and redeemed the deep relaxation that I yearned for. This made me want to tell everyone about the importance of being present in a quiet space with no one else. No judgments, no obligations, no pressure, no overwhelming stimuli….NO STRESS! It may take some practice but it’s worth it!
What sort of lasting effects did you feel after a float? Any impact on your work, habits or hobbies?
I always feel relaxed and centered after floating. I essentially ‘float’ through the rest of my day. As a healer, I enjoy working with people but this takes its toll on me both physically and mentally. After floating I feel fully recharged and accomplished that I took care of myself. I enjoy this feeling and will continue my self-care so that I can help others.
How would you explain the experience of floating to someone who hasn’t?
I try to relate it to what I wish for my clients to achieve during a relaxing massage: “parasympathetic bliss”. Our daily lives have us stressed and over stimulated. This constant sympathetic, or ‘fight or flight’ mode, challenges our bodies to make even the simplest attempts to maintain a healthy balance. Being in a space without such stresses for even a short time on a regular basis could have a huge impact on your body’s ability to heal itself. Oakland Floats makes this extremely simple and easy!
Anything in particular about Oakland Floats that you like?
Oakland Floats is my first floating experience but I thought the facility was very pleasant, clean and calming.