Float Tanks Relieve the Mind, Body & Spirit

float tank

Floating is one of the best forms of self care available.

The first time I floated was when I was in massage school in Portland, Oregon. I was a little nervous, and didn’t know what to expect. About 30 minutes into the float, I found myself in the middle of a lucid dream… I was shooting out of a volcano and flying high above Mayan temples. I was completely out of my body and enveloped in this amazing experience. I know that sounds really cosmic and woowoo, but I was hooked. I never had that same experience again, each float is very unique. Sometimes it was about my body just unwinding, relieving tension patterns and muscular pain. Sometimes I could not turn the monkey brain off and was thinking about what I was going to get at the grocery store. Other times I felt like a mermaid, a koi fish in a giant river, or primordial ooze melting back into the earth. I know, woowoo.

Floating quickly became one of my favorite forms of self care. A few years after that first float I opened a multi-disciplinary wellness center in Astoria, Oregon and brought the first float tank to the Oregon coast.

The first floatation tank was invented by physician and neuroscientist John C. Lilly in 1954 in order to study the effects of sensory deprivation. Present day floatation tanks are designed to create a space that is ideal for relaxation and the rejuvenation of your mind and body. Research shows that the effects of a two hour float session are equivalent to eight hours of deep sleep, making it one of the most effective and comprehensive relaxation techniques available. Perhaps one of the greatest qualities of the tank is that it helps to stimulate the body's own power of healing and regeneration. This helps promote homeostasis within the body, strengthening the body's resistance to the effects of stress, illness and injury.

Float tanks styles are continuing to evolve. They are essentially an enclosed tank that is filled with 10" of water and hundreds of pounds of medical grade Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), making you extremely buoyant. It is warmed to skin temperature and you are completely free from light, noise, and the outside environment. You float in the tank for a glorious 60 or 90 minute session. When your session is finished, you feel a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

Floating is an opportunity to alleviate the body and mind of the stresses of daily life.  The benefits of floating are endless!

Benefits for the body

  • Promotes complete relaxation

  • Helps reduce addictive behavior

  • Normalizes blood pressure

  • Improves skin tone

  • Improves sleep patterns

  • Reduces migraines

  • Relieves inflammation in joints

  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Increases magnesium absorption

  • Helps release endorphins-the body’s natural opiates

  • Provides pain relief from injuries and ailments

  • Increases athletic performance (energy, stamina, strength, quicker recovery)

  • Eliminates the pressure of gravity, allowing the body to free up healing energy

  • Increases your body’s ability to detoxify with the mineral rich salt bath

Benefits for the mind

  • Unlocks the creative centers in your brain

  • Helps achieve effortless visualization

  • Alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety

  • Creates an environment for meditation and lucid dreaming

  • Enhances your learning capabilities, i.e. concentration, memory, and focus

  • Stimulates right brain activity which allows us to absorb and learn information on a larger scale

  • Helps the brain produce theta waves which are mirrored in the advanced art of meditation

  • Theta waves promote productivity, creativity, and a sense of inner peace

  • Floating creates a harmony in the brain on all levels: the reptilian brain, the limbic system, and the neocortex. This balancing between the brain layers creates an exhilarating experience for the body, including vitality and a feeling of “oneness” with the universe

5 Ways to Stay Hydrated


Drinking water is especially important after a massage.

One of the questions I always ask clients if they are tight and sore is if they are drinking enough water. And no, coffee does not count, it is actually a diuretic. Sweet tea? Sorry, doesn’t count! The rule of thumb for daily water intake is to drink half your body weight in ounces, even more if you are physically active or in a warm climate.

Massage increases circulation and eases tight muscles and adhesions. The metabolic waste that has been hanging out in your system then gets released and travels to your kidneys. Drinking water will assist the kidneys and other internal organs to effectively eliminate the waste, allowing your body soak in the full benefits of your therapeutic bodywork session.

Our muscles are almost 80 percent water. If they become dehydrated, they turn into something like ropey beef jerky, and cannot properly perform their job. Water not only hydrates the muscles, it also lubricates joints, regulates body temperature, maintains blood pressure, boosts skin health and appearance, improves brain function, and aids the digestive system.

Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, brain fog, muscle cramps, dry skin, and weakness. How do you know if you need to drink more water? Look at your pee! If it is a light yellow, you should be good to go. Anything that is darker than that or has an odor means you should go drink some water. And although this may sound obvious, if you are thirsty, you are dehydrated.

Here are some easy tips to help you stay hydrated:

  1. Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning. That will help your system rehydrate after a night of sleep, boost your metabolism, and get things moving.

  2. Infuse your water with fruit or herbs. If one of the reasons you don’t drink water is because you think it tastes boring, try infusing it with some cucumber and mint, pineapple and cilantro, or a little lemon or lime. It will spruce up the taste and you will soon be craving more!

  3. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Invest in a great water bottle to take with you to work, in the car, or for after your workout. Stop buying the single serving plastic water bottles at the grocery store and use a reusable, BPA free water bottle. This will help you save money and time, as well as looking out for the planet!

  4. Eat water-rich foods.  Add foods like cucumber, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, zucchini, celery, and greens to your diet. They are healthy and hydrating!

  5. Try other hydrating alternatives. Sparkling water, seltzers, and herbal teas are a great option to switch it up a little bit.

Piñon Pine Magic


The piñon pine is a sacred high desert tree.

The air was thick with the smell of piñon pine the first night I arrived in New Mexico from the Oregon coast with 2 cats, a dog, and all of my material possessions. The crisp night air smelled sweet and delicious and the stars were out in full effect. I knew I had made the right decision to come to the Land of Enchantment.

The piñon pine is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico and is the state tree of New Mexico. It grows in arid climates at high altitudes between 4500-8500 feet and can be found alongside junipers, sagebrush, and rabbitbrush in the high desert. They are slow growing, usually taking 180 years for their trunk reach one foot in diameter.

They have been revered in native cultures for thousands of years for food, shelter, spiritual, and medicinal needs. They produce a crop of delicious and nutritious pine nuts every 3-7 years which are a great source of protein, and high in niacin and riboflavin. Legend has it that Moctezuma, the Aztec king, was born from a piñon nut. The needles are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and can be made into a yummy, grounding tea. The wood is used to heat homes and as a building material. Which brings us to my favorite part of this amazing tree, the resin.

Piñon pine resin has been used in Native American medicinal and spiritual practices for centuries, and is known for it's healing and high vibrational properties. The tree produces the resin to heal itself from damage, disease, or pest infestation, and can help us humans heal our own wounds. The resin is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Piñon pine salve can be used to treat abrasions, bruises, inflammation, burns, eczema, dermatitis, and bug bites. It is incredibly soothing and moisturizing for cuticles and dry skin, keeping hands and feet nice and soft in the harsh winter months.

If you want to transport yourself to the sunshiney mountains of the high desert, get some piñon pine goodness in your life. Make some pesto with pine nuts, drink some immune boosting pine needle tea, prune a little guy into a bonsai tree, burn some piñon pine incense to bring about a peaceful, grounded state of being, or use a nourishing salve made from the resin. The piñon pine is truly a tree to be cherished.

If you would like to get some of my yummy wildcrafted piñon pine salve, click here:


How to Soothe Dry Winter Skin


Give your skin some love from the inside and out.

The winter air is dryyyyyyyy dry dry here in the high desert. These are some tips to help your skin from turning into a lizard:

Dry brushing: Every day before I get into the shower, I dry brush my skin. Dry brushing is just like it sounds… you use a dry bristle brush and starting at your ankles, lightly brush the skin in circular motions up towards your heart. This exfoliates dry skin and and helps promote blood circulation and lymph flow. When you are done you feel more energized and your skin feels nice and smooth.

Try not to take hot showers: Even though they feel absolutely amazing in the winter, hot showers really dry out the skin. Try to take showers with warm water for no more than 5 minutes. Use a mild cleanser rather than a harsher bar soap, and slather up with a thick moisturizer when you get out.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Shea butter or oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil are great moisturizers. The piñon pine salve that I make has a blend of avocado oil, shea butter, and vitamin E oil. I leave it on my hands and feet overnight and they feel amazing! Argan oil is great to put on your face before bedtime. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and E, fatty acids, and beneficial nutrients. It is light and absorbs easily into the skin.

Stay hydrated: Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces, especially if you are physically active. To spruce it up a little, you can infuse water with some fruit, herbs, or citrus. Eat lots of moisture packed fruits and veggies, and good fats like avocados and salmon.

Benefits of CBD Massage


Take your massage to the next level of relaxation with CBD oil.

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is the latest buzz in health and wellness for good reason. Massage on it’s own is incredibly soothing and therapeutic. Adding CBD oils to the mix will not only put you into an even deeper state of relaxation, it will also help relieve muscle pain, tension, and inflammation.

Cannabidiol is one of over 80 chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Unlike it’s cousin THC, it does not possess any psychoactive properties. Studies have shown that CBD oils possess many medicinal properties including reducing nausea, relieving pain, combatting depression, suppressing seizures, easing fibromyalgia symptoms, and helping combat inflammation and free-radical damage. It works with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, which is important in a wide variety of biological processes, including maintaining homeostasis, metabolism, and healthy immune functions.

CBD oil enhances a massage in many ways. It is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory which helps with muscle and joint tension, chronic pain, and discomfort. It sedates the nervous system, making you feel incredibly relaxed, and allowing you to get sound, restful sleep. It accelerates muscle recovery and the healing process of injured connective tissue, making it an essential part of a well-rounded athletic regimen.

Big Sky Bodywork offers CBD oil massage enhancements for an extra $10. Our yummy custom blended CBD oil is created by Kit’s Apothecary in Astoria, Oregon and contains hemp CBD infused organic olive oil, magnesium oil, and lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint essential oils. To schedule a CBD massage, click “book now”. See you soon!

Why Cupping Is So Amazing


Cupping is an incredible healing technique that has been around for thousands of years.

Many acupuncturists use this therapeutic technique in their practice, and more and more bodyworkers, physical therapists, and athletic trainers are using it as a tool in their arsenal. It is one of my favorite things to incorporate into a massage, it is pretty much magic!

Cupping is an ancient 3000 year old healing tradition that originated in China. It was recommended by Hippocrates, found in ancient Egyptian texts, and has been used in the healing and medical communities of Middle Eastern, European and Asian cultures for centuries.

Cups can be made of glass, silicone, bamboo or plastic. (Or horn back in the day!) The cups create a vacuum by suctioning out air, which pulls the skin, fascia, and superficial muscle layer up into the cup. Cups can be left in place for up to 10 minutes, or glided across the body. Think of it almost as an inverse massage.

It is incredibly effective at releasing stubborn muscle adhesions and energy blockages. It releases toxins and stagnant blood, and encourages lymph, blood, and energy flow. It also aids in muscle recovery, inflammation, and is super relaxing!

Cupping can help with many other health issues. It assists in clearing lung congestion when you have a cold, and aids in relieving asthma. It can also help ease certain digestive issues by sedating the nervous system, and helps to relieve migraines. Cupping may leave little marks that look like an octopus gave you a hug. Not to worry, though, they only last up to a couple of days!

There are some contraindications for cupping. You do not want to do it if you have a severe illness or a hemorrhagic disease, slipped discs, extreme skin conditions, or broken bones. Pregnant ladies should avoid cupping on their lower abdomen and lumbosacral region.

If you are ready to jump into the amazing world of cupping, you can schedule an appointment by clicking “Book Now”. See you soon!