Posts Tagged ‘massage modalities’

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.

Top 5 Benefits of the Cedar Enzyme Bath at Osmosis Day Spa

Osmosis Cedar Enzyme Bath

Over 30 years serving West Sonoma County, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary’s Cedar Enzyme Bath continues to remain a favorite among many. Do you ever wonder why people continue to come back, again and again, to get buried up to their neck in cedar and rice bran? Osmosis guests have reported experiencing a wide range of wellness and health benefits over the years. The following are the top five most celebrated.

Reduced Tension and Stress

For centuries, heat has been used as a simple and effective way to manage tension and stress. Upon entering the bath you will quickly feel the warmth that is generated by biological fermentation, mimicking your body’s’ own natural metabolic processes. You may perspire, as you feel this extraordinary heat radiate through your body helping your muscle fibers to loosen and relax while reducing muscle tension and pain.

Breaks Down Lactic Acid in Sore Muscles

Overworked muscles and a buildup of lactic acid are what causes the pain associated with exercising. Heat helps your muscles to relax and encourages blood flow to the area which can reduce pain. Increasing blood flow to sore muscles helps in eliminating lactic acid waste buildup which contributes to pain.

Beautifies the Skin

Cedar Enzyme Bath

Rice bran, a key ingredient in the Cedar Enzyme Bath, is high in enzymes and has a wonderful deep-moisturizing capability. This is due in part to its combination of vitamin E and fatty acids. Vitamin E improves the functioning of the endocrine system by balancing the release of hormones in the body. Beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, is also found in rice bran in significant amounts, which promotes the health and vitality of your skin. Rice bran also adds revitalizing nutrients to your body’s largest and most sensitive organ.

Detoxification and Improved Digestion

The tea and bath work together to metabolize waste, cleanse organs and facilitate absorption of nutrients. Enzymes are the catalytic force in all change in the living tissue. They are mostly known to help digestion, but they also conduct a whole symphony of functions from the exchange of oxygen from the lining of the lungs into the bloodstream and the whole movement of energy through your nervous system.

Improved Circulation

Heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow and removes toxins from cells. Increased blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to the area. The bath dilates the cardiovascular system and increases blood flow to even the smallest capillaries.

If you have not experienced the Cedar Enzyme Bath for yourself, it is time to book a visit now! You can improve your health as well as your skin while reducing overall stress. Doesn’t get much better than that. This unique experience is also a great way to prepare your body for a relaxing massage. Osmosis Day Spa offers numerous packages to take advantage of the full experience! Convenient online booking can be found at the following link www.osmosis.com

 

Essential Meridian Massage

By Raizelah Bayen

Osmosis Day Spa continues to be a pioneer in the spa industry, blending bodywork modalities to develop unique services that are unmatched by other spas.

Two years ago, Osmosis launched an Eastern massage combination, exclusive to our spa, called the Essential Meridian Massage.  This modality combines T’ui Na, which is Chinese Meridian Massage, with Essential Acupressure, utilizing the potency of essential oils to activate acupressure points.  

What is T’ui Na?T' ui Na Massage

T’ui Na is an ancient form of meridian massage developed over 5,000 years ago in China. T’ui Na Meridian Massage is comprised of several massage techniques performed along the Meridians of the body to build and balance Chi flow, or the bioelectrical currents of the body.  The Chinese have taught us that tension or pain in the body is the physical manifestation of blocked or stagnant Chi. Chinese Meridian Massage techniques increase the flow of Chi through the channels, clearing blocked energy, what we may refer to as tension, pain or soreness.

To understand T’ui Na, you must first understand the premise on which this massage was developed.  The first premise is that the physical body is only part of your entire being. The Chinese understand the human being to have 3 aspects:

  • The Yang aspect of one’s being, the physical body which manifests as activity or movement in the world.
  • The Yin aspect, the inner Chi or bioelectrical aspect of the body.
  • The refined product of the Yin and Yang relationship, which is the mental and spiritual body.   

In T’ui Na, all 3 aspects of a person’s being are addressed, nourishing health on every level.

What is Chi?

To many Westerners, Chi may be a difficult concept to grasp. Because it is invisible, people often wonder what it is or if it even exists. Ancient China knew little about the science of electricity. Electromagnetic science has been a field of growing knowledge in recent decades. Both Eastern and Western practitioners of Chinese medicine and massage have recognized that this energy referred to as “Chi” is the same thing as what what today’s science calls “bioelectricity.” Dr. Robert Becker has done important research in the field of bioelectricity.

It is understood now that the human body is constructed of many different electrically conductive materials and that it forms a living electromagnetic field and circuit.  

The body’s bioelectrical energy, Chi, is not only responsible for maintaining life, but also for repairing it. It is the healing force when tissues of the physical body are damaged or body systems are limited.

The Healing Benefit of T’ui Na

The Chinese understand that Chi circulates throughout the body through 12 organ Meridians, each of which connect to a different organ systems of the body. Through T’ui Na Massage, Chi or energy flow to the internal organs is increased helping to heal tissues that may be weak, strengthening our organ functioning.

T’ui Na takes massage from the level of relaxation to the next level: deepening  health and well being. T’ui Na recharges the batteries of life. It not only clears tension, promoting ease in the body and life, it also builds Chi, bringing increased energy to the tissues and organ systems of the body.  And as the Chi body (Yin) nourishes the physical body (Yang), we begin to feel more balance between the Yin and the Yang aspects of being. There is a sweet sense of well-being that emerges from this feeling of balance. This feeling of well-being penetrates the physical, emotional and spiritual realms. This is the deepest healing that any spa service can offer.

Essential Meridian MassageWhat is Essential Acupressure?

In Essential Meridian Massage, we dedicate the first half of the session to T’ui Na, recharging our batteries and rebalancing the Chi flow over all. In the second half of the session, we apply specific essential oils to specific acupressure points, addressing expressed health concerns. Acupressure points are vortexes of energy located along the meridian pathways.  Devices that measure bioelectricity measure higher at these points. There are various methods traditionally used to stimulate these points, such as acupuncture needles or Chinese massage techniques. In Essential Acupressure, the points are stimulated by the essential oil. The oil is carefully matched with the point, so that the healing properties of the oil complement the healing function of the point for a greater synergistic effect.  

What Health Concerns can be Addressed with Essential Acupressure?

There are wide variety of health concerns that Essential Acupressure can address, such as:

  • Release shoulder-neck tension
  • Deepen sleep
  • Calm and center a scattered mind
  • Ease digestive tension
  • Increase mental focus
  • Build energy
  • Build immunity
  • Lift low spirits
  • Clear swelling
  • Clear frustration/agitation
  • Warm cold, stiff muscles or joints
  • Ease menstrual tension
  • Relief of menopausal hot flashes

When combined in one session, Chinese Meridian Massage and Essential Acupressure address the whole person. While the Meridian Massage is brisker paced and more nourishing to the organ systems, Essential Acupressure is more meditative, promoting greater balance and health.  

How can I learn more or book an appointment in Essential Meridian Massage?

To book an appointment in Essential Meridian Massage, contact Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. To learn more about Essential Meridian Massage, click here to view our video explanation.  To learn self-help tools in Essential Acupressure, Follow our YouTube Channel to view our upcoming series.

 

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Raizelah Bayen, Massage Therapist Supervisor and Trainer at 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.

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.