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Former Olympic Champion Uses Cedar Enzyme Bath for Training Recovery

sports massage

Enjoy riding and training on the infamous roads of Sonoma County? Are you a resident or a visitor hoping to get more out of your training and riding on our beautiful roads? Wishing you could recover quicker, more completely and get more from each workout? Try a visit to Osmosis, conveniently located in Freestone. With a bike-friendly environment and its unique offering of Cedar Enzyme Baths, Osmosis is an ideal training tool for any cyclist.

An Enzyme bath is an ideal means to totally relax and revive after a vigorous workout. This Japanese heat treatment is a biologically induced process that removes lactic acid from your muscles, reduces inflammation, and increases mobility. Former National and World Champion and Sonoma County resident Giana Roberge, AKA the Speed Queen, became a true believer following a grueling 30 European tour when she was totally resurrected after one Cedar Enzyme Bath treatment.

The Cedar Enzyme Bath was an amazing experience. It made me feel clean, energized, revitalized, more flexible and the muscle soreness that had plagued me for weeks was gone after one treatment. It became part of my training regime for my most stressful training blocks.

Choose one of our packages combining a Cedar Bath with a 75-minute massage from one of our gifted body workers and you have a post cycling experience designed to maximize your  hard work by giving your body a complete and cleansing recovery. Fully restored, detoxed, and flexible means better blood flow in your muscles which will not only allow them to work harder but they will be less likely to incur injury. With flexible and clean muscles, fatigue will be less, power output will increase, and you will, literally, be able to pedal faster.

cedar bath 2for1

Our exceptional spa services and serene meditation garden add up to a fantastic enhancement to your Sonoma cycling experience. Osmosis is extending a special welcome mat to all cyclists. Ride in during the month of August 2018 and get a FREE Pagoda Upgrade!

*Pagoda subject to availability.

The Osmosis Cedar Enzyme Bath Deepens the Benefits of Massage

Osmosis Cedar Enzyme Bath

The heat in the Enzyme Bath is produced biologically by the activity of microorganisms, which also produce their own electrochemical environment.  When the largest organ of the body, the skin, comes in direct contact with this intense metabolic activity, the heat and energy benefit your body in many ways.  

The benefits of the Cedar Enzyme Bath not only support but deepen the benefits of massage.

Heat treatment, such as the Cedar Enzyme Bath, is well known to benefit muscle soreness and pain in a variety of ways:  
  • The blood vessels of the muscular system are dilated with heat therapy, which in turn, increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal damaged tissue, such as muscle strains.
  • Heat stimulates the sensory receptors in the skin, which means the Cedar Enzyme Bath may aid in decreasing the transmissions of pain signals to the brain, thus relieving discomfort associated with muscle pain.
  • If you are sore after an increased workout, the heat combined with the metabolic activity of the enzymes will help to move lactic acid build up, which creates that sensation of muscle soreness, out of the tissues.
  • Heat will help soften the muscular tissue for your massage.  This enables your massage therapist, working on stiff, tight or “knotted” areas to reach deeper layers of tissue enabling a deeper release of muscle tension.
  • Finally, because heat will decrease the transmission of pain signals to the brain, the Cedar Enzyme Bath can address the “hurt all over” pain or discomfort associated with fibromyalgia, the rheumatic diseases, drug side effects, vitamin D deficiency and sleep deprivation.

It is important to note that while heat therapy, such as the Cedar Enzyme Bath, can aid in the relief of many types of muscular soreness, pain or discomfort, there are certain types of pain for which heat is not suggested.  Never apply heat to an infected area. Never apply heat to a fresh injury characterized by inflammation. Ice is soothing to inflamed tissue. Lastly, heat is contraindicated for the flare-up certain arthritic conditions.

Heat is primarily for relaxation, comfort, and reassurance, taking the edge of several kinds of body pain, mostly duller persistent pains associated with muscle stiffness, soreness due to lactic acid, or muscular cramping or spasm. Heat is reassuring and this reassurance, through applied neurology, is analgesic.

The next time you book a Cedar Enzyme Bath at Osmosis, try one of our packages that couples the bath with a massage, and find out for yourself how much the bath deepens and enhances the benefits of your massage. The combination of services in our package offerings is no accident. Osmosis offers the Cedar Enzyme Bath in a variety of spa packages combining the bath with a massage.  These include the Rejuvenation Package, the Transformation package, the Specialty Package, Bath as Medicine, the Ultimate Experience and our couple’s package called the Warmth of Love.

Raizelah Bayen, Spa Services Manager Osmosis Day SpaRaizelah Bayen is the Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. She has 25 years in the field of massage, 15 years as a massage and yoga instructor, and is additionally certified in acupressure, herbology and aromatherapy. Her teaching specialties include Eastern Massage Modalities and Acupressure, Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers, and Integrative Wellness workshops, weaving herbs, aromatherapy, self-massage and yoga into a cohesive themed workshop, such as the one above.  If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact Raizelah at raizelah@osmosis.com. For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.

Please contact raizelah@osmosis.com for information on upcoming trainings in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology, and Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers scheduled in Sebastopol, California.  Or book Raizelah for an on-site training in your massage school or spa in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology or Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers.

Spring Garden Journal 2018

japanese garden master pruner

By Michael Alliger

The clouds, cold and late rains seem to do what they can to stanch the onset of spring yet plums begin blooming on Valentine’s day as usual and cherries to flower by April with a host of magnolias in between. Our California natives join the fray in the form of pink-flowering currant and blue ceanothus. We meet again the urge of the world to become itself and we gardeners see to our preparations: tools are sharpened, irrigation supplies are inventoried, fertilizers applied and the weeding begins!   

Spring Pruning

magnolia at Osmosis

Spring pruning of deciduous trees like dogwood and Japanese maple usually begins around April 15th once the new leaves have come out and hardened up, that is, acclimated to sunand weather. The goal of Japanese garden pruning is to maintain an appropriate size (human scale) while instilling a look of age. This look is often a stylized version of much older trees that have been subjected to their environment’s gifts and trials: rain, snow, wind, heat, and drought. While much control and refinement is done in winter, spring follow up pruning is critical to maintaining this vision. While managing size by cutting back ends is paramount, inner foliage is thinned showing the intricacies of branching and the interplay of light and shadow.

Sheared Plants

pruning at OsmosisSheared plants are a staple in a Japanese style garden and proper shearing is an art. Along with stone, they are a fundamental grounding element bringing stasis amidst change.  While sometimes overlooked, low sheared plants, called tamamono (horizontal oval in shape) can be many. The hard-edged contour is an integral counterpoint to the more natural forms of other trees and shrubs. In Japan, azaleas largely fill this need. Here at Osmosis, for ecological reasons, we use replacements such as escallonia compacta,  dwarf berberis and euonymus microphylla. Once new growth emerges they look shaggy, blurring the crisp edge so important to their function.  Consequently, a round of shearing is necessary in spring addressing some individuals 2 or 3 times as needed.

Of all plants in our garden pines are the one group allowed to look somewhat unruly in spring.  Their new shoots emerge from buds beginning in

pruning at Osmosis

February and elongate into a tubular shape known as candles.  Though there are many approaches to pine pruning, at Osmosis we allow the candles to extend fully until needles unfold from them.  At this time they are removed (cut or snapped off by hand).  This technique controls size while the subsequent summer growth is used to develop foliage density and limited incremental extension.

The balance of plants such as nandina, pieris, flowering quince and juniper are pruned as their new growth arises.  These complementary shrubs are pruned in a more general way to add context and a natural feel to the garden.

Spring work can be busy here at Osmosis as in most gardens but the softening weather and vibrant life bring joy to every day!

All About the Cedar Enzyme Bath – And By the Way, What Are the Benefits?

CedarBath
The rejuvenating alchemy of the Cedar Enzyme Bath has become legendary for good reason.  The warm and fragrant treatment offers myriad health benefits.
This unique therapeutic body treatment from Japan is found nowhere else on this continent. It is a bathing ritual that involves immersing your entire body in a mixture of soft and fragrant ground cedar and rice bran with living enzymes.

The Cedar Enzyme Bath is four treatments in one:

1. Enzyme Herbal Tonic Benefits

The Cedar Enzyme Bath treatment begins with a hot enzyme tonic beverage. A highly active digestive enzyme product from Japan is mixed with an herbal tea blend comprised of nettle, peppermint, yarrow and red clover. The enzyme tonic is designed to work synergistically with the enzyme bath. Its purpose is to launch the process of invigoration by boosting your metabolism internally; this is further promoted externally by the enzyme bath itself.

2. Aromatherapy Benefits

Cedar has been used across centuries by diverse cultures—from Tibetans to Egyptians to Native Americans—for its cleansing and purifying properties.

Cedar oil vapors are released from the fragrant wood in the enzyme bath, and they flow into your body through your pores, which are dilated by the heat. It is like receiving a full-body cedar compress. Research on cedar has shown that it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, all effective for cleansing and toning your tissues. Cedar oil also stimulates the brain’s limbic system, enhancing feelings of joy and satisfaction. It is known to be a sedative because its scent induces the release of serotonin, which can promote tranquility and encourage improved sleep.

3. Heat Therapy Benefits

Heat from the bath improves circulation as it dilates your blood vessels and augments blood flow into even the smallest capillaries, permeating the cellular environment and delivering the healing properties of blood.

Heat treatments calm muscle spasms, increase range of motion and relax muscle tension, which in turn relieves pressure on nerves inside the muscles.

4. Enzyme Benefits

The enzyme bath influences your metabolism by affecting enzymatic activity throughout the body. Enzymes are a special class of proteins that serve as catalysts for biochemical reactions. There are over 3,000 different enzymes in every cell of living tissue. Even just a small increase in available enzymes can make enormous changes in an organism.

The action of the enzyme bath strengthens physiological processes that are constantly being performed by the internal organs to produce both heat and enzyme activity inside the body. When your body is immersed in this bioactive medium, your metabolism is stimulated from the outside, supporting the internal organs that usually perform these functions on their own. This is one reason the bath is both relaxing and energizing at the same time!

The heat in the enzyme bath is produced biologically by the activity of microorganisms, which also produce their own electro-chemical environment. When the largest organ of the body, the skin, comes in direct contact with this intense metabolic activity, the heat and energy benefit your body in many ways.

In a biological process similar to fermentation, the enzyme bath helps break down metabolic waste in the subcutaneous layer of your skin. It also improves digestion and organ cleansing, breaks down lactic acid in sore muscles, and reduces inflammatory fluid build-up, which can provide relief from pain including arthritis and rheumatism.

An added benefit of the bath is that the enzymes decompose dead skin cells, resulting in full body exfoliation and lustrous skin as your epidermis, your pores, and even the cells themselves are thoroughly cleansed.

After the Cedar Enzyme Bath

Bathers feel significantly revitalized, with skin that is soft, velvety and glowing with warmth. People report a sensation of profound relaxation and rejuvenation. It is especially soothing for the digestive and nervous systems, excellent for detoxification, and highly beneficial for pain and fatigue.

This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women, for individuals with high blood pressure, known infections or uncontrolled diabetes, or for those who have recently consumed alcoholic beverages.

It is recommended for people seeking a powerful energetic shift, detoxification (it’s a great way to end a fast), relief from anxiety, stress, or soreness, or just a way back to feeling fantastic and fully alive!

13 Therapeutic Benefits of Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is one of the most common and effective massage therapy modalities.  A wonderful combination of light to firm gliding strokes, integrated with stretching and ranging of the joints, it is a process that promotes total relaxation and muscle tension release.

History of Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage was developed by Peter Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a  Swedish physician and athlete who combined Chinese medical massage techniques with sports medicine to create a technique for decreasing muscle soreness, increasing flexibility and promoting general health.  Strokes used in Swedish include long and gliding movements generally applied with an oil or cream as a lubricant, kneading, vibration, tapping and friction.  Massage therapists also incorporate stretching to elongate the musculature, and joint mobilization or open and soften the joints.

Research Shows Both Mental-Emotional and Physical Benefits of Swedish Massage

The effects and benefits of Swedish Massage have been well researched and documented with controlled studies.  Research performed by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine and International Journal of Neuroscience shows that 45-minute massage increases serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin that help to balance and elevate the mood.  Serotonin and dopamine are both neurotransmitters.  Lowered levels of either serotonin and dopamine have been linked with depression, anxiety and overall lethargy.  Increased levels,  as with massage, will bring about a feeling of emotional well-being and balance. Oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “cuddle hormone,” has been shown to release while cuddling, as well as while in massage.  While it is technically a hormone, it tends to act like a neurotransmitter making a sweet little neuropeptide that makes you feel warm and soft on the inside.  

A more recent study looked more at the physical benefits of massage.  This study was done with 400 adults who complained of moderate to severe low back pain, lasting 3 or more months. These adults were divided into 3 groups. The first group received a weekly full body massage. The second group received a more targeted massage that focused on specific muscles of the low back and hips. The final group did not receive massage, but instead were prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxants.  After 10 weeks, participants in both massage groups reported a greater average improvement in pain and functioning than those who received medication. The type of massage, either full-body or focused, yielded equally beneficial results.  At the end of the study, 36-39% of the massage recipients reported that the pain was nearly or completely gone, while in the medicated group only 4% reported that significant decrease in pain level. This bodes well for not only focused but also a full Swedish “relaxation” massage.

There are at least 13 Benefits of Swedish Massage!

 

  • Relaxation.  Swedish Massage both calms the nervous system and relaxes muscular tension.swedish Esalen massage
  • Reduces Stress.  Many of us live demanding lives, both overscheduled and over-worked.  Stress can manifest in the body with increased muscle tension and sometimes pain.  Stress can manifest in the mind with increased worry or anxiety. Swedish Massage helps to clear the body and mind of unwanted responses to stress.
  • Increase Flexibility.  Swedish Massage will elongate the muscles, open the joints and decrease swelling, all of which will ease movement and increase flexibility.
  • Improve Posture.  While postural imbalances have many sources, including overworked muscles due to repetitive strain, overcompensating muscles to ease stress on overworked muscles, prolonged sitting, or injury, Swedish Massage helps to ease the muscular holding that underlies postural imbalance.
  • Improve Blood Circulation. Massage dilates the blood vessels and widens the membrane pores in the body, improving your body’s ability to deliver fresh blood to muscles and organs.
  • Endorphin Release to Improve Mood.  Research shows increased serotonin and dopamine in massage recipients, improving their mood and feeling of emotional well-being.
  • Flush out Metabolic Byproducts.  As massage stimulates circulation, it flushes out lactic acid and uric acid that build up in muscles due to overuse.
  • Increase Range of Motion. Swedish Massage, incorporating stretching and range of motion techniques, will open and lubricate the joints for increased range and more fluid motion.
  • Support Healthy Immunity. Because Swedish Massage also encourages the flow of lymphatic fluid, it increases lymphocytes, immune cells that are produced in the lymph nodes.
  • Increase Nutrient Supply to Muscles.  By increasing circulation, Swedish Massage increases the blood supply and nutrients to the muscles.
  • Increases Energy.  Increased circulation also means more oxygen delivered through the body, resulting in a boost in energy.
  • Improve Sleep.  Studies show that getting a massage increases serotonin levels in the body, so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Relieve Headaches.  Many headaches or migraines are a result of stress and/or poor circulation. Swedish Massage relieves the stress associated with tension headaches and improves circulation.  

The significant benefits of Swedish Massage make it clear that a regular massage regimen is more than a luxury, but indeed an important ingredient in the cultivation of physical and emotional well-being.  Maybe you just want a “relaxation” massage.  But know, that in your relaxation, you are also taking care of both your body and mind in fundamental yet important ways.  

Are you ready to discover the benefits that a massage regimen could bring to you?  

Raizelah Bayen, Spa Services Manager Osmosis Day SpaRaizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, California.  She has been practicing massage for over 25 years, and teaching T’ui Na, Acupressure, Sports and Pregnancy Massage in massage certification programs for 15 years.  Raizelah is an approved CEU Instructor by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), offering trainings in Freestone, California and on-site training at your massage school or spa.  For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.

Please contact raizelah@osmosis.com for information on upcoming trainings in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology, and Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers scheduled in Sebastopol, California.  Or book Raizelah for an on-site training in your massage school or spa in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology or Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers.