Nurturing the Mom-to-Be

By Raizelah Bayen

Pregnancy is a beautiful but delicate time in women’s lives.  While the life of their baby-to-come is growing inside, women can feel challenged by many changes: changing bodies, changing hormones, and changing moods.  As women move through pregnancy, they may experience physical or emotional stresses due to these rapid changes.  Pregnancy Massage can benefit a mother’s physical and emotional well-being, easing a woman’s transition into motherhood.

5 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

While reducing tension and increasing relaxation is a benefit to everyone, it is especially important for mothers-to-be.  Challenged by hormone-related mood swings or anxieties related to life transitions, pregnant women feel re-assured and taken care of by the nurturing touch of an experienced massage therapist, allowing stress to melt away.  

Health care professionals agree that a relaxed mother is a more fertile environment for the growth of the baby.  The relaxation response experienced in massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, releasing norepinephrine and nitric oxide, resulting in decreased blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption, and increased blood flow.  This means greater oxygen and nutrient circulation for both mom and baby.

Reduces Aches and Pains

Pregnant women’s bodies are growing fast.  As the baby develops and the uterus expands, women are carrying increased weight, resulting in greater pressure on the joints of the lower body, including the hips, knees and ankles.  Massage can help ease the discomfort in these weight-bearing joints. Additionally, the tendons which help to stabilize the uterus, attach at both the sacrum and pubic bone.  The growing uterus is continually pulling on these tendons, creating tension in the low back and pelvic region.  Prenatal massage is useful  in relieving this tension.  Sciatica and calf cramps are also commonly associated with pregnancy. Massage techniques, combined with gentle stretching help to relieve the pain associated with these symptoms.

Improves Blood Circulation

Women’s blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy to provide for the needs of a growing baby.  By the 6th month of pregnancy, a mother’s blood volume has almost doubled! This dramatic increase may result in symptoms such as swelling, varicose veins or increased blood pressure.  Swedish and lymphatic massage techniques are known to increase and blood and fluid circulation in the body, relieving swelling and increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to baby, and accelerating the removal of waste.

Balances Hormones and Moods

Studies have shown that massage during pregnancy significantly improves the regulation of hormones: norepinephrine, cortisol and serotonin.  A study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that massage both reduces stress hormones, and increases the “feel good” hormones. These improvements in hormone regulation help expectant mothers balance mood swings. Studies also show that women with decreased stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increase norepinephrine, have fewer complications during pregnancy and birth, and a decreased rate of low birth weight of the baby.  Massage is vital to the well-being of mother and, in turn, nurtures the life that grows within her.

Preparation for Labor

Childbirth requires both strength and flexibility, particularly in the low back, pelvis and legs.  Prenatal massage techniques and applied stretches are effective in increasing muscle and joint flexibility in the lower limbs and pelvis, important in the preparation for childbirth.  Recent studies from the Touch Research Institute in Miami Florida indicate that massage provides more than just symptom relief, but also fewer complications in delivery.  The women studied showed lower levels of anxiety, stress, sleep problems and back pain, in addition to reduced rates in labor complications.

Pregnancy Massage at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

At Osmosis, we have specialty cushions, designed for pregnant women, allowing them to receive massage lying face down through the ninth month of pregnancy.  Our specially trained massage therapists are also able to perform a full-body massage in a side-lying position for those who feel more comfortable that way.  Our Pregnancy massage therapists are knowledgeable of the techniques most effective in relieving pregnancy symptoms, such as low back pain, sciatica, calf cramps and aches in the joints of the lower limbs.  Our massage therapists are also aware of which techniques, acupressure points and aromatherapy oils, are contraindicated for use during pregnancy.

Is Pregnancy Massage for Me?

If you want to experience greater ease in pregnancy and childbirth, the answer is YES!

Women experiencing complications in their pregnancy, such as but not limited to diabetes, heavy bleeding, preeclampsia, high blood pressure or unusual pain, should consult with a doctor before pursuing massage therapy.pregnancy massage

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Raizelah-Bayen-Osmosis-Day-SpaRaizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor 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.

 

Deepen Your Experience of Yourself with Thai Yoga Massage

Are you looking to experience more from a massage?  

By Raizelah Bayen

Thai Yoga massage is truly a unique massage experience.  Developed in Thailand, this style is influenced by other Eastern massage modalities, but is unlike any other massage you may have experienced.  

Thai Massage soothes the nervous system with rhythmic compression along the energy pathways of the body. Like other Eastern massage styles, this modality offers the benefit of revitalizing and balancing the the energy flow through the body. More than that, Thai massage offers a variety of stretches in every session, offering you a yoga class in a massage.

This “yoga massage” is beneficial for those experienced or inexperienced in stretching.

The practitioner adjusts each position to your level of flexibility, gently encouraging the joints to open and the muscles to elongate.

thai-massage

Thai Massage is about not only relaxation, but also surrender, trust, opening, and settling into a deeper experience of yourself.  It is referred to a “yoga massage,” because of the many stretches and yoga poses applied throughout the massage.  Your Thai Massage practitioner will be lifting your limbs and moving your body into various positions to allow your joints to open, your muscles to lengthen and the connective tissues to soften.  While your body relaxes into the experience, you will also notice the quality of surrender and trust emerge, allowing the yoga massage to happen effortlessly to you.  

 

thai-massage

 

The applied stretches of Thai Massage are woven into a slow, rhythmic style of massage that opens the energy pathways of the body.  While in the Chinese tradition, these pathways of energy are referred to as “meridians,” in Thailand they are referred to a Sen lines.  As the massage therapist massages, opens and stretches these pathways, you will feel tension clear, your nervous system relax, and your energy lift.  This massage is both sedating and rejuvenating.  Thai Massage replenishes your energy reserves and opens you to freedom of movement.

 

thai massage

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Raizelah-Bayen-Osmosis-Day-SpaRaizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor 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.

 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

A massage that promotes health in the deepest sense.

By Raizelah Bayen

What is the purpose of our lymphatic system?Lymphatic-System

The Lymph system serves as our first line of defense against disease or foreign particles by circulating immune cells throughout our bodies.  The lymph nodes filter fluid by using lymphocytes (immune cells) which can recognize and destroy invading pathogens or foreign particles.  These immune cells create antibodies for each disease they encounter, and for the rest of a person’s life, will recognize and destroy those organisms each time they invade.

History of Lymphatic Drainage Massage (LMD)

Lymphatic Drainage Massage was developed in France in the 1930’s. Initially it was used to address sinus infections, enlarged lymph nodes and acne.  There are now countless approaches to the ways in which Lymphatic Drainage Massage can be used.  At Osmosis, we may encourage our clients to explore the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage if they are interested in cleansing or detoxifying, wanting to build their immune systems, or even healing from edema or soft tissue damage.

What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle, rhythmic style of massage that mimics the action of the lymphatic system.  It uses precise rhythm and pressure to open the initial lymphatics and stimulate the lymph vessel contraction to move fluid toward the lymph nodes.  Because the initial lymphatics are located just under the skin, LDM uses light pressure.  While the gentle touch of LDM is soothing and relaxing, it is also deeply therapeutic.  LDM has a number of important functions, which include: distributing immune cells throughout the body to defend against disease, ridding the body of excess proteins and toxins, helping to repair damage to injured tissues, and regenerating lymph nodes in areas of chronic infection.

How does Lymphatic Drainage Massage work?lymphatic system

When performing LDM, the massage therapist will move the client’s skin in different directions, which stretch the microfilaments just below the skin that control the openings to the initial lymphatics.  As the initial lymphatics are opened, they fill with interstitial fluid. This initiates a pumping response which is similar to peristalsis, moving the fluid toward the lymph nodes.  Within the lymph nodes lymphocytes cleanse and purge the lymphatic fluid of any microorganisms, foreign particles, and excess proteins, enzymes or hormones in the blood.  From the lymph nodes, the cleansed fluid is emptied into the lymphatic and thoracic ducts for return to blood circulation.

While Lymphatic Drainage Massage works directly on the superficial circulation of lymph fluid, it affects the deep circulation, including toward the nodes within the intestinal and respiratory organs, because lymph flow is increased through the whole lymph system.  The pumping response of the initial lymphatics moves like a wave through the entire lymph system to the deepest layers of the body.

Who can benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Everyone can benefit from LDM.  It cleanses the body and boosts the immune system, something everyone needs on a regular basis.  Lymphatic Massage is especially useful for those who suffer from:

  • Edema
  • Soft tissue injury accompanied with inflammation
  • Recent surgery
  • Recent or recurring illness
  • Lowered immunity

How often should you receive Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

You will benefit from Lymphatic Drainage Massage in any frequency.  Some people choose to start their new year with a cleanse incorporating LDM.  Others will choose to receive LDM as they move into cold and flu season to boost their immunity.  While others, who suffer from stress or other factors that lower immunity, will choose a monthly Lymphatic Massage for health maintenance.

How does Dry Brush Self-Massage help the lymphatic system?

Dry Brush Self-Massage is like a mini Lymphatic Massage that can be done at home. You can increase the benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage by incorporating Dry Brush Self-Massage into your daily self-care. The dry brush can be used to move the skin over the initial lymphatics to open and to stimulate the lymph vessel contraction.  While Dry Brush Massage offers cleansing benefits, Lymphatic Drainage Massage performed by a professional will affect the lymph system and our immunity more profoundly. You can learn more by reading our blog post about how to Dry Brush, HERE.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage at Osmosis

We offer 75-minute and 90-minute Lymphatic Massage at Osmosis. It can be booked as a stand-alone service or within one of our packages.  The Specialty Package includes a Cedar Enzyme Bath and any specialty massage, including a 75-minute Lymphatic Massage. Seasonally, we offer the Bath as Medicine Package which includes a 90-minute Lymphatic Massage, Cedar Enzyme Bath and Sound Therapy. Please call 707.823.8231 for more info.

Bath as Medicine Package

This exceptional package is designed to offer an synergistic blend of treatments for optimal detoxification, beautification and relaxation.
Synergy with the Cedar Enzyme Bath.

Fermentation is the fundamental impulse in biology. It generates the heat and dynamic energy in our signature  Cedar Enzyme Bath. This healing bathing ritual stimulates metabolic activity inside and out. It helps to break down toxins mobilized by your lymphatic massage and metabolize waste accumulated in the cleansing organs. This enzymatic activity also provides relief from aches including arthritis and joint pain leading to increased mobility. Lactic acid in sore muscles is broken down in this process as well.

This warm and fragrant treatment also improves circulation as it dilates the cardiovascular system and increases blood flow to even the smallest capillaries while the living enzymes deeply and thoroughly clean your skin, performing a full body exfoliation –  leaving your entire body exuding a radiant glow!

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Raizelah-Bayen-Osmosis-Day-SpaRaizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor 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.

Shiatsu Massage

By Raizelah Bayen

Shiatsu massage, an Eastern-based massage modality not only relaxes, but revitalizes you.  It provides not only the calming and quieting that you would expect from a Western massage, but so much more.  It moves and balances our Chi, our vital life force, increasing our vitality and building the foundation for health.

History

This style of massage, developed in Japan, is influenced primarily by the Chinese understanding of the body, asserting that we are comprised not only of flesh, but also a network of energy channels called Meridians. According the the ancient Chinese medical text, Nei Jing, “The function of the channels (Meridians) is to transport Chi (energy) and to nourish the body.”  While we cannot see Chi, it can be measured with devices that detect electromagnetic fields, and it can be felt by each of us. When we feel elated, we feel a surge of Chi moving through our bodies. When we feel depressed, we feel the stagnation of Chi, making us feel inert, stuck or unable to motivate.

meridian-shiatsu-chinese acupuncture12 Meridians

There are 12 Meridians that circulate Chi throughout our bodies. The Chinese understand that the the unobstructed or balanced flow of Chi through the Meridians in the foundation of health. Chi blockages are the foundation of tension, pain or dis-ease. These blockages may be the result of stress, injury, trauma, or bad living habits (in diet, addictions, or lack of exercise). The key to strong immunity, vitality and health, is to keep the Meridian pathways unobstructed and flowing with abundant Chi.

Shiatsu Builds Health

Shiatsu Massage is a technique developed specifically to balance the Chi flow through the Meridian pathways. In a full-body Shiatsu massage, each of the 12 Meridian channels are massaged using rhythmic finger and palm pressure along these pathways. This slow, rhythmic compressive style of massage will engage the parasympathetic nervous system, relaxing the nervous system, while simultaneously opening Meridian blockages and revitalizing Chi flow.  This is a massage that offers not only the sedating benefit of our Western Swedish Massage, but also the deeper benefit of increasing our Chi or vitality, and building a foundation for health.

Clothing Optional?shiatsu-massage

As all Eastern styles of massage, Shiatsu is received with soft, comfortable clothing on.  Traditionally, this style of massage is offered on a thick, cushy floor mat.  At Osmosis, we offer this traditional style, referred to as Floor Shiatsu, as well as a Western version, called Table Shiatsu. These are equally beneficial and can be booked with one of our highly trained and skilled massage therapists.

If you have never experienced Shiatsu Massage, you are in for a treat!  

Book your appointment today! 

 

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Raizelah-Bayen-Osmosis-Day-Spa

Raizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor 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.