Please join us in this day-long, Springtime retreat in an exploration of tools useful in cleansing the body.
According to Chinese Five Element Theory, Spring is the season best suited for cleansing. This is a time when our Liver Chi, responsible for detoxifying the body, is strongest.
Included in this retreat:
- Qigong practices to clear and cleanse
- Presentation of herbs, essential oils and food to cleanse the body
- Skills in dry brush and lymphatic self-massage to cleanse and detoxify
- Skills in self-acupressure to cleanse and purge
- Cedar-Enzyme Footbath and 75-minute Swedish-Esalen massage to relax and unwind
- Healthy Organic farm-to-table lunch
All Inclusive: Morning Session, Organic Lunch & Spa Treatment $239
Raizelah Bayen is the Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. She has over 25 years in the field of massage, and over 15 years as a massage and yoga instructor. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- 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 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 email@example.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.
While massage is becoming more recognized for its therapeutic benefits, any kind of touch including a simple handshake, congratulatory pat on the back, or a warm-hearted hug has the power to transform you both physically and emotionally. Touch triggers the hypothalamus to produce oxytocin, both released into the bloodstream and stored in the brain. This hormone has a range of physiological functions, including reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing pain tolerance and boosting your mood. There have been a range of studies, each with a different population including infants, cancer patients, mental health patients, the elderly, and pregnant women, all of which point to the same conclusion:
Touch not only makes you feel better, it is vital to our emotional and physical health.
Science-Based Benefits of Touch
Edmond Ross found that physical touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, linked to feelings of reward and compassion. His studies show that simple touch triggers the release of oxytocin, known as the “love hormone.” This fosters greater trust between individuals and builds stronger teams of people working together. Touch is the foundation for connection and community.
Studies at the Touch Research Institute found that prenatal massage lowers stress hormones and increases serotonin and dopamine, in pregnant women, reducing the incidence of intra-uterine artery resistance, making it easier to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the baby. This means less premature deliveries, and with healthier birth weights. The women in this study also experienced shorter delivery times, and with fewer complications.
Infants and Touch
And how does loving touch affect the babies? A study carried out by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital measured the brain responses of 125 infants and showed that a baby’s earliest experiences of touch have lasting effects on the way the young brains respond to gentle touch. Preemies that spent more time in gentle contact with their parents and healthcare providers, had a stronger brain response to touch than those who were in incubators. Preterm babies who receive positive supportive touch, such as skin-to-skin care by parents, have brain response to touch similar to those babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside mother’s womb.
Dr. Ruth Feldman carried out a 10-year study which shows the lifetime impacts of physical contact with preterm babies. “In this decade-long study, we showed for the first time that providing maternal-newborn skin-to-skin contact to premature infants in the neonatal period improves children’s functioning 10 years later…” said Dr. Feldman. Compared against standard incubator care, the baby held skin-to-skin against the chest of an adult, showed better cognitive and executive skills in repeated testing from 6 months to 10 years of age, such as more regular sleep patterns, better neuroendocrine response to stress, a mature functioning of the nervous system, and better overall cognitive performance.
Hospice Patients and Touch
Kutner’s research on the effects of touch on 380 hospice patients, half of which received regularly scheduled massage and half of which received a simple untrained touch from hospice volunteers, gave us evidence that while massage is extremely beneficial, untrained touch is also helpful. Both the patients who received massage and those who received untrained touch all reported decrease in pain, and elevated mood and quality of life. The patients who received massage reported those results more immediately than those who received untrained touch, showing us that all is helpful.
Dr. Tiffany Field, Director of Research at the University of Miami Medical School says,”Moderate pressure massage has a huge variety of benefits because it stimulates the vagus nerve, which has branches all over your body, so for example, it slows the heart rate and relaxes your nervous system.” This is huge. The vagus nerve interfaces with our parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs and digestive tract, so can lower blood pressure and reduce digestive or respiratory stress.
Mental Health and Touch
Several studies show that touch therapy can be helpful to people who suffer from mental health issues such as eating disorders, anxiety or depression, or physical pain. Why? Massage can reduce levels of stress hormones like cortisol while simultaneously increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that fights depression and pain. Serotonin is a natural way to reduce physical discomfort and uplift the mood.
Six Facts Why Simple Touch or Professional Massage will Benefit your Well-Being:
- Neuroscientists now know that physical touch is processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, and is thus vital to your emotional health.
- Psychologists explain that simple touch stimulates receptors under the skin that lower cortisol levels, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
- The Thymus gland, which regulates your body’s production of white blood cells, strengthening the body’s immune system and helping to maintain optimal health is stimulated through touch.
- The Hippocampus, an area of the brain that is central to memory, is also stimulated.
- Touch can, of course, rub away tension, and when administered by a trained massage therapist, can increase the range of motion and circulation while reducing pain or spasm.
- Finally, all touch including professional massage releases endorphins in the body to reduce pain and elevate mood.
Healing touch has become a widely respected way to prevent and ease health issues. Doctors of all kinds recommend massage to their patients to ease both emotional and physical symptoms of dis-ease.
Raizelah 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 training in Freestone, California and on-site training at your massage school or spa. For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on upcoming training 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.
Do you feel stressed?
While most people would answer “yes” to this question, very few realize the implications of stress on their health. In 1984, Dr. Kiecolt-Glazer performed a controlled study of the effect of the stress hormone cortisol on the functioning of the immune system. Results of this study indicated a reduced functioning of the immune system.
According to Dr. Mary Meagher, “People exposed to chronic social conflict experience high levels of stress and consequent dysregulation of the immune system, thereby increasing vulnerability to infectious and autoimmune disease.”
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is presenting a workshop on building immunity, giving you tools to both relax your nervous system if you are feeling stressed and self-help techniques for building immunity.
Included in this day-long experience:
- Qigong Do-In practices to manage stress
- Presentation of essential oils, herbs and foods to strengthen the immune system
- Self-massage techniques, including lymphatic self-massage and self-acupressure, to increase immune functioning
- Cedar Enzyme Footbath and 75-minute Swedish-Esalen massage to relax and unwind
- Healthy farm-to-table lunch
Space is Limited! Reserve Early!
All Inclusive: Morning Session, Organic Lunch & Spa Treatment $239
Raizelah Bayen is the Director of Training and the Massage Therapist Supervisor at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. She has over 25 years in the field of massage, and over 15 years as a massage and yoga instructor. 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 email@example.com.
Are you feeling stressed? Recovering from trauma or loss? Does your nervous system feel upset by recent occurrences or frazzled by ongoing pressures? Or might you feel agitated by Holiday expectations?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, this workshop will provide support for you. In this full-day retreat, you will learn self-care tools for managing acute or ongoing stress, releasing tension from the body, calming the nervous system, and nurturing a feeling of well-being. You will learn:
- Meditation Practices for Centering
- Techniques in Chinese Self-Massage for Clearing and Calming Tension
- Gentle Yoga Stretches to Quiet the Bodymind
- Application of Essential Oils to Relax the Nervous System
- Self-acupressure Points to Restore Balance
- Adaptogenic Herbs to help the Bodymind Recover from Stress
This day includes a Cedar Enzyme Foot Bath, a 75-min Swedish Massage or Facial, and an Organic Farm-to-Table Lunch.
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 training in Freestone, California and on-site training at your massage school or spa. For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.