Posts Tagged ‘raizelah bayen’

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, the Ultimate Experience and our couple’s package called the Warmth of Love.

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 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 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.

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.

The Power of Touch

 therapeutic touchWhile 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.

Mothers touch

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.

touch of massage at Osmosis

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.

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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 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 raizelah@osmosis.com 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.

Foot Reflexology: Not Just a Foot Massage

Many people believe that a Foot Reflexology session is just a relaxing foot massage.  While Foot Reflexology is indeed relaxing, it has many other benefits.  

There are ten reflex zones on the foot each corresponding to a different body area.  There are additional specific reflex points that correspond to internal organs, glands, and sense organs.  For example, in the center of the pad of the big toe there is a reflex point that corresponds to the pituitary gland; on the ball of the left big toe is a reflex point to the heart, and on the ball of pinky is a reflex zone to the shoulder.  There are over 50 reflex points such as these on the feet.  When these reflexology points are stimulated with specific massage techniques, the body’s natural healing abilities are stimulated.  Pain is reduced; organ function improves, and in some cases, diseases are resolved.  While massage therapists who perform Foot Reflexology are not medical practitioners with the training to either diagnose or treat, the practice of Foot Reflexology over recent decades shows, again and again, the healing potential of this modality.

How does Reflexology work?

Foot Reflexology works on several levels.

Research in the 1890s by Henry Head and Charles Sherrington shows us the neurological relationship between the skin and the internal organs, and that the nervous system as a whole adjusts to stimulus.  By applying pressure to the feet, the calming message to peripheral nerves is carried through the central nervous system signaling the body to relax.  This enhanced relaxation allows increased blood supply to the internal organs and their systems. This relaxation allows, additionally, the body to move naturally toward homeostasis and more optimal functioning.  

The neuromatrix theory of pain helps us to understand how Reflexology reduces pain levels in the body.  According to the neuromatrix theory, pain is a subjective experience created by the brain.  The brain does this in response to not only physical stimuli but also in response to emotional or cognitive factors.  Thus, your moods or stress levels can also affect your experience of pain.  Reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.

Lastly, Reflexology is recognized as a specific type of massage developed based on Zone Theory.  Zone Theory, developed by Dr. William Fitzgerald in the early 1900s, understands foot reflexologythe body is divided into 10 vertical zones, each zone corresponding to fingers and toes all the way up to the head.  In Reflexology, every organ, gland, or body part that lies within a zone can be accessed via a reflex zone or point on the foot or hand.  For example, if you work on the horizontal reflex zone at the base of the ball of the foot, you are affecting the solar plexus and diaphragm.  These pathways between reflex zones and other parts of the body are thought to be connected via the nervous system, as described above.

History

Modern reflexology is based on an ancient form of therapy. There is evidence of some form of foot and hand therapy being practiced in Tibet and China as long ago as 4,000 B.C. and also at the same time in Egypt, as depicted in the tomb of Ankhmahor. The North American tribes of Indians are known to have practiced a form of foot therapy for hundreds of years. While there is some confusion about the true origin of this powerful therapy, sufficient to say that it has stood the test of time and has helped thousands of people to better health.

Zone Therapy

Dr. William FitzGerald (1872-1942) is credited with being the father of ‘zone therapy’. He worked in Vienna beginning around 1899. Zone therapy divides the body into ten zones—five on each side of the sagittal plane. The hands/arms and feet/legs were also divided into five zones each. Dr. Edwin Bowers in his book co-authored with Dr. FitzGerald, Zone Therapy in 1917 writes that FitzGerald discovered zone therapy in 1909 but gives no indication where he became acquainted with the theory. From 1915 into the early thirties the subject of zone therapy was controversial but did meet with a certain amount of success with doctors and dentists as a form of pain relief or analgesia.

Reflex Work

Dr. Joe Shelby Riley (1856 -1947), trained by Dr. FitzGerald further developed zone therapy by adding eight horizontal divisions to the zones of the feet and hands. His work is accurately the beginning of reflexology as it is known today—that is, reflexes found on the feet and hands that follow the anatomy of the body. Riley’s work with reflexes and zones also included the hands and ears.

Reflexology

During the 1930’s Eunice D. Ingham (1889-1972) met Riley as early as 1919 worked for Dr. Riley in St. Petersburg, Florida and continued to refine and improve his work. From her first book, Stories the Feet Can Tell (1938) she was encouraged by Riley and others to take her work to the public and non-medical community. Eunice’s major contribution to working with reflexes was that alternating pressure, rather than having a numbing effect, stimulated healing. For forty years she lectured and traveled back and forth across the United States, and is largely responsible for Foot Reflexology as taught today in most massage schools.

Reflexology at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

At Osmosis, we recognize that Foot Reflexology could increase the healing potential of any massage experience. We offer a 15-minute Reflexology Enhancement that can be booked with any massage modality of any length.  This not only feels good and enhances deep relaxation, it also brings increased blood supply to internal organs, promoting healing and the reduction of pain.  Click here to book a massage with a Reflexology Enhancement.

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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.