Tag Archive for: best ways to unwind in sonoma county

Experience Whole Body Relaxation with an Osmosis Facial

Usually, when you think about getting a facial, you think about the benefit to your skin. It cleanses the pores, helps reduce wrinkles and swelling, and can give you that extra hydration boost you need. But have you ever considered how a facial can affect your immunity, release tension and lower stress levels?

Our face is the part of ourselves from which we meet the world. We both express and protect ourselves through the structures of our face. It is home to almost 20 different surface muscles that control our expressions and help us communicate. These muscles hold tension from daily stress, whether it be in the forehead, jaw or around the mouth. When these muscles are massaged in a therapeutic way, this tension is released, and your face is able to let go of the stress it has been carrying.

Our face is also where we bring in air and food, and thus is where the majority of germs are able to enter our system. This makes our face a major player in our immune system, and it is home to dozens of lymph nodes and white blood cells. These lymph nodes, along with their associated vessels, are not only important players in our immune system, but also help to filter and clean our blood and fluids.

When our skin and muscles are touched and massaged, our parasympathetic nervous system is activated. This is the part of our nervous system that stimulates our digestive system, causes us to release hormones that relax the mind and body, and induces a state of peaceful awareness. It is one of the reasons that human touch feels so relaxing to us ‒ our body literally reacts by shifting toward a restful state.

We can also look at the face from an eastern, Chinese medicine perspective. Our face is home to many acupressure points ‒ almost every single meridian in the body starts or ends somewhere in our face or on our head. Stimulating these points can create a wide variety of effects, from clearing the sinuses, to getting rid of a headache, to calming the mind.

In addition to addressing the above, we also include aromatherapy as a part of our facial experience. The different scents can trigger a variety of emotional and physical responses ‒ such as an elevated mood, a clear and focused mental state, and release of tension.

All of these systems ‒ muscular, lymphatic, nervous and energetic ‒ are stimulated and affected when you receive a facial. From the moment your esthetician has you take a couple deep breaths, to the first touch of a warm cloth on your face, your nervous system will start to relax. As they massage your facial muscles, layers of stress will have the opportunity to melt away. When acupressure points are stimulated, you might feel a relief of pressure in your sinuses or your head. Or you might feel a release of tension that translates through your whole body.

At Osmosis one of our deeply held values is a dedication to continued growth, both professionally and personally. As such, our estheticians have many opportunities throughout the year to increase their skills through a variety of training. In the past 6 months alone they have undergone a facial massage skill sharing class, a cupping training, and product knowledge workshops.

Our goal is always to be offering more than just skincare, but rather a relaxation experience that not only brings you to a state of tranquility but also induces a whole body therapeutic experience.


Written by Heather Bishop, Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, April 2023

 

Wine Optional: The Five Best Ways to Unwind in Sonoma County

by Katie Chang

Forbes

Pagoda massage osmosis day spaWhile most people flock to Sonoma County for its world-class wines, low-key vibes, and exquisite natural backdrop – it encompasses more than 1,600 square miles, with seemingly endless lush, rolling hills and stretches of clear sky – there’s more to chilling out in wine country than, well, wine.

The area also happens to be home to a bevy of exceptional spas, and other surprising sources of well-being and health. So here, I share the five best ways to unwind in Sonoma County (wine totally optional)

Pools and Cabines at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Plan in advance to score a reservation (especially during weekends) at this sparkling, 3,600 square-foot swimming pool, located at one of Sonoma’s most celebrated wineries. Why? For starters, it’s among the few truly family-friendly spots in the area. Plus, the European-inspired Cabines – there’s 28 available – offer private changing rooms and showers, towels, shaded lounge chairs, and 4 complimentary Sofia Mini singles. If you’re in the mood to burn some calories, try your hand at bocce ball at one of the adjacent regulation-sized courts. And when the pool closes in the evening, beeline to RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites for dinner. The winery’s bustling restaurant features the celebrated director’s favorite dishes, including Habit-Forming Ribs, Marrakesh Lamb, and Mrs. Scorsese’s Lemon Chicken. If you can snag a table outdoors when the weather’s fine, you’ll be rewarded with some pretty breathtaking views, too.

Sonoma Golf Club and Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

This storied Sonoma property is practically faultless on all counts, and its spa and neighboring golf club are no exception. The Willow Stream is a spacious and airy oasis offering an extensive list of specialty treatments, which fall into three categories: relieve,restore, and results. No matter what you select, though, arrive at least an hour early to take advantage of the signature bathing ritual, which includes use of an exfoliating shower, mineral water soaking pools, herbal steam, dry sauna, and cool down showers. In a more active mood? Set up a tee time at the Sonoma Golf Club. The scenic course is lush and immaculately maintained, very walkable, offers water – so you don’t have to lug around your own bottle – at each hole, and plays fast. (It’s mostly local players who know the course well).

The Spa at Farmhouse Inn

Understated yet luxurious, this spa is totally one of a kind. The space has a rustic design – think whitewashed wood, paintings of horses by artist Tina Wainwright, and sliding barn doors. Naturally, the treatments also draw inspiration from the farm, and many of the ingredients used are sourced from the inn’s gardens and neighboring purveyors. Seeking a custom-tailored experience? Try The Personal Apothecary, so you can select your favorite blend of oils for a wrap, scrub, or massage. I opted for the house best seller, Catherine’s Favorite. It’s a blissful duo combining a lavender-orange hair and scalp treatment with a lavender-tangerine body massage and foot treatment. I was lulled into such a deep state of relaxation, I snoozed off mid-session more than once.

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Founded by Michael Stusser in 1985, Osmosis is so much more than a spa. Over the years, it’s evolved into a true haven of well-being, complete with meditation gardens, a Japanese tea garden, Field of Hammocks, and even pagodas – where you can experience bodywork in true privacy and peace. But Osmosis’ claim to fame is the Japanese-inspired Cedar Enzyme Bath Experience. Exclusive to the spa, it involves being submerged in a tub filled with a finely ground mixture of fermented evergreens and rice bran. An attendant periodically checks in with cool water and towels for your forehead – the fermentation process naturally creates heat, so you’ll start sweating quickly. After 20 minutes, you shower off and can continue with a massage, sound therapy (music intended to lower brain wave activity for a calming effect), or a light, healthful lunch.

The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg

They aren’t the first to pioneer the farm-to-spa movement, but the spa at Hotel Healdsburg is certainly raising the bar when it comes to using the natural bounty of Sonoma – like wine grapes, meyer lemon, lavender, and honey – to nourish your skin and soothe your soul. In the Meyer Lemon Massage, for example, your therapist works out even the toughest, most stubborn knots with a whipped, lightly fragranced body cream – as opposed to oil, which can leave you feeling uncomfortably slick. While the facilities themselves are fairly fuss-free and standard, the care and technique delivered is top notch. And when the weather’s warm, retreat to the charming courtyard to unwind even further post-treatment, or take a dip in the pool and jacuzzi.

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