A Guide to Traveling with Your MILF (most important lifelong friend)

Thanks to the amazing, amazing Osmosis Day Spa and AutoCamp at Russian River, our time together was memorable to say the least. Osmosis Spa was kind enough to offer us time in their cedar enzyme bath followed by a couple’s massage—which was very fitting considering we’re platonic soulmates. We spent the night in a beautful  Airstream and fell asleep dreaming about never leaving.

Below is a play by play of our experience written by myself and Abby, followed by an illustrated vacation bonding guide on ways to cultivate deeper connections with your besties (curated by us), plus ways to save for and plan a friendiversary trip! We finish up with some Q&A around topics of womxn’s friendships, jealousy, and making long-distance work!

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Abby (@astclaire):

It’s hard for anyone to know me and not know Victoria. No matter who I’m interacting with, chances are I will bring up her name and a funny or sentimental anecdote within the first five minutes of conversation. As time goes by and our friendship progresses, I’ve realized how much of me is actually her. It’s nearly impossible to know my essence without simultaneously knowing hers. What started out as a friendship based on an immediate connection has transformed into somewhat of a conjoined spirit.

I often joke about how Victoria is my boyfriend, and there’s undoubtedly some truth in that. I allude to her constantly. I’ll simply refer to her as “my platonic soulmate” or “my most best friend” (even though I am aware at how grammatically incorrect that statement is). No matter what term of endearment or curious pet name I call her, it will always be followed by my beaming smile and a whole lot of joy.

The safety I feel in Victoria and my relationship is unmatched. The comfort we feel with ourselves and with each other is truly something special. She is the person who has seen me through some of the most challenging days, but still shows up and validates me more than anyone else. While a majority of our friendship is all sunshine, it is one that has required vigilant navigation during our lowest points. It’s hard and it’s beautiful. And I’m so thankful for her.

And as our friendship and spirits move closer, we physically move farther apart. We used to be neighbors in St. Louis (okay…a 10 minute drive, but now it feels like we practically lived next door!) until I moved back to my home city of Chicago. Between then and now, weekend trips to St. Louis were a staple in my life. We would pull out our metaphorical planners (i.e. cell phones because this is the twenty-first century) and see when our packed schedules would allow for a visit or two.

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This past summer, Victoria moved out to Oakland, and then I moved to Paris. Now, I’m back in Chicago and while Chicago is geographically closer to Oakland than Paris, it is still a vast distance.

Last week, I was able to visit Victoria’s new home for the first time since her relocation in August. Ever since I bought my plane ticket on Black Friday (thanks, Spirit Airlines for your odd deals, little leg room, and carry-on restrictions!), I’ve been patiently awaiting the day I get to return to Northern California and the company of my most treasured friend.

While the trip didn’t start out in any sort of ease or splendor due to my stupidity of not double checking at what time my flight departed and therefore arrived to the airport 20 minutes before the gate closed (cue public meltdown), the rest of our time was pretty damn great.

The morning after I arrived, we set off for one of the reasons for this trip: Osmosis Day Spa. We were patiently waiting for this particular Thursday for quite some time, and were looking forward to an afternoon consisting of bathing in cedar and getting all of our back kinks worked out via some massage therapists. Although a cloud of fog and light rain descended over the Bay Area, we had a pleasant drive north nonetheless. One moment that is cemented in my mind is driving down winding roads surrounded with eucalyptus trees while listening to the serene “Perpetuum Mobile” by the Penguin Orchestra Cafe—a song Victoria had introduced to me on my birthday this past June. Oh, that and the middle-aged couple that was aggressively making out behind me when we stopped for lunch.

Before you picture a tub of water infused with cedar pines, let me correct you. This therapeutic body treatment originates from Japan, but Osmosis opened the first of its kind in America—in the town of Sebastopol, to be exact. The baths are a mixture of cedar pulp and rice bran, in case you were wondering. Osmosis describes the cedar bath as a “warm and fragrant treatment offering a myriad of health benefits, from improving circulation to relieving joint and muscle pain, and the living enzymes deeply and thoroughly clean your skin, leaving your entire body exuding a radiant glow.” Sounds like the best, no?

Our sedated state was set in stone after we brushed ourselves off (literally) and got ourselves ready for the even deeper relaxation of a 75-minute full body massage. If our platonic getaway wasn’t romantic enough, our massage followed the word “couple’s” and the predestined essential oil blend was appropriately titled something around sensuality (ultimately we opted for the blend with the least romantic title: “Lymph and Lung Decongestant”).

 

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Victoria (@victoria.emanuela): 

We had the joy of working with Leah and Micaela as our massage therapists, which we highly recommend their magical hands and energy if you ever visit Osmosis. As our time together came to an end, Leah and Micaela left the room, so Abby and I could slowly rise in privacy (we were nakey). I wish I could say that Abby and I rose from our massage tables like glowing goddesses, but we looked more like glowing drunk trolls, with our hair flying in every direction and eyes halfway shut from being so relaxed. Quite honestly, I think about that cedar bath and massage on a weekly basis, especially while driving into San Francisco in early morning traffic (cue road rage). The whole experience at Osmosis is something I’ll always treasure and the generosity they extended to us was incredibly kind.

*What Abby didn’t tell you, however, was the special moment we shared while being submerged under pounds of cedar. Although we couldn’t move, we still managed to find a point of contact. I could only wiggle my pinky finger and started digging a little hole, to which I then discovered Abby’s pinky finger! There we laid nakey, under the warm steaming cedar, with our pinkies interlaced. Amidst the absolute preciousness and awkward laughs, I’m very thankful it was her pinky finger I found and not something else!
After our amazing couple’s massage, we stumbled downstairs into the changing room and said goodbye to our robes. Osmosis provides its guests with these luxuriously soft, oversized robes, and we shed a couple tears upon letting them go. Once we had our clothes on, we took a stroll through the zen garden Osmosis had on its property, eventually finding ourselves in the quiet oasis that was the meditation garden. As a meditation teacher and longtime practitioner of meditation (aka how I keep sane), I was low key freaking out from excitement (not very zen). Upon taking a few deep breaths, I calmed myself down, and took a gentle seat on the meditation cushion. Abby sat on one next to me and we meditated together in front of a serene pond, which was oscillating from the delicate raindrops falling onto its surface. I remember how fresh and earthy the smells were and how quiet it was, you could almost hear the rain falling through the air. It would’ve been the most perfect opportunity to propose (hint to all you lovebirds out there looking for ideas), but instead of proposing, we walked back to my car and took off to AutoCamp at Russian River.

AutoCamp is the equivalent of a design hotel, but with restored vintage Airstreams that have a gorgeous, minimal, and chic aesthetic. Abby and I were both drooling over the camp’s aesthetically pleasing surroundings because we’re minimalists and huge design enthusiasts. Don’t get me started on the feng shui of an interior space and don’t get Abby started on type fonts, you’ll never leave and we’ll most certainly talk your ear off all night. The main gathering space at Autocamp is incredibly well designed and has a modern fireplace with a Scandinavian look that feels something like a hip Norwegian cabin. It’s a great place to go hang out, play a board game, share a bottle of wine, and gaze at the roaring fire. The surrounding town is also quite lovely and quaint! Abby and I ventured out to explore and ate at Boon Eat + Drink—the food and wine were the bomb dot com. AutoCamp is also nestled in the forest and the smell of pine takes over the air, it’s honestly magical and we slept like babies. The bed in the airstream we stayed in was very comfortable, but I’m only saying this specifically because I want to tell you another story about Abby and I that relates to beds…

During our annual friendiversary trip last year, we went to Copenhagen and decided to hop over for a couple days to London. Abby had never been to London and I lived their in my early twenties (study abroad), so I was massively excited to show her one of my favorite cities. After a long night out and navigating through crowds of people, I got some essential things stolen out of my purse, like my phone. Abby and I had separate flights and the thought of traveling without being able to reach anyone made me very anxious. That night, we rode back to our Airbnb and I couldn’t manage to shake the disappointment from the evening’s unfortunate situation. Even though we constantly profess our love for each other with words and occasionally strokes of the arm, Abby and I aren’t really the cuddling type in our friendship. But that night, my body clearly needed some tender support, and in my sleep I koala hugged Abby ALL night (like low key cuddled the shit out of her).. I completely tied myself around her body, and of course I have zero recollection of this, but what makes me laugh the most is picturing Abby just laying there like a pencil unable to move. It goes to show how much she loves me that she let me gently suffocate her all night because I felt so anxious.

Despite the anxiety of theft, Abby is my favorite person to travel with and the stories we rack up on our adventures are enough to scar our future children for life. We both love to adventure and live to travel, hoarding every penny we save to go on trips.  We vibe so well while navigating new spaces together, mostly because we act like our lives are a comedy stand-up show and never take ourselves seriously. When Abby and I take on new cities, we love making lists of all the best concept stores, well designed coffee shops, design hotels, and restaurants we want to be inspired by and experience. We then walk around for miles on end visiting each one and soaking in their energy—even if that means just spending a few moments in a stunning lobby. If you ever want to check out some of the places we’ve been, Abby illustrates gorgeous city guides that include our trips to CopenhagenLondon, and Barcelona.

One of the things that bonds us more than anything is our shared sense of humor, which I mentioned a bit ago, we quite literally could banter for hours on end. One of my favorite things in this world is making Abby laugh—honestly, I live for it. I look forward every year to planning our annual friendiversary trip because we talk about the memories forever after (and by memories, I mean all the painfully awkward situations we get ourselves into). Abby never seizes to amaze me with how much she constantly shows up for me and supports my growth. We’ve been through quite the ride together, deep dives and high climbs, but it’s truly been a blessing. We’ve put our friendship through the test of dismantling internalized misogyny and the ways women have been conditioned to relate to one another (and yes, there’s always more work to be done). Luckily, I can say with a full heart that we’ve set quite the foundation for a very solid connection, which has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have no shame around being my best self because she sees me, supports me, and loves me unconditionally—she gives me wings, and that’s exactly what friends should do for each other. We passionately work towards creating a secure center within our relationship, by creating a secure center within ourselves, and that is key because people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.

I love Abby, so much, she deeply inspires me and is an amazing human being that I get to spend my life growing alongside and learning from. Abby reminds me of my mom in many ways, and through our relationship, I’ve been able to heal many of the wounds from childhood that I experienced with my mom. Why? Because there was enough distance and yet a familiar ground. I felt safe to process vulnerability, forgiveness, create boundaries and ask for my needs to be met. The framework Abby and I created in our relationship helped my mom and I create a stronger framework within ours, which I’m very grateful for. This is exactly why humans need each other because we serve as mirrors for one another, and sometimes, the ones who change our lives for the better, are the ones who show us exactly where we need to heal the most. They’re the ones who show us that we are not hard to love, but still hold us accountable in our pursuit to become the best version of ourselves.

Friendships, just like romantic relationships, take work. They are only cultivated through radical presence, owning our insecurities, and healthy communication. In any friendship, you get two very complex human beings with their own set of belief systems, baggage, and needs. It’s two people, like Abby and I, coming into a space where we must navigate trust, intimacy, conflict, and love in ways that meet our needs and support each other’s growth.

It ain’t no magic carpet ride, but if two people have the genuine intention of making it work, then it’s absolutely worth it.

So. damn. worth. it.


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BOOK TRAVEL

Make sure you exchange schedules months (maybe even a year!) in advance, so you can both be prepared.

Don’t know where to go? On a budget?

You don’t have to plan a fancy excursion to travel with your friends. Here are things you can do locally:

Visit GlampinghubHipcamp, or Airbnb and find a cool apartment or cabin to split! You can find something in your downtown area and have a weekend “staycation,” or take a roadtrip a few hours outside of your city to a rad little cabin.

Try Secretflying for cheap flight deals! You can get deal to many amazing destinations from major cities, like $380 round trip tickets to Paris, or even Venice during certain parts of the year.

If you want to celebrate an annual friendiversary and take a trip, try starting a friendiversary savings account. We both have a travel savings account for our annual trip that we dedicate a small weekly amount to until it builds to cover many travel costs. Remember, you’re splitting costs! If you both commit to putting $10 a week into your travel savings for a year, that’s almost $1,000 you can use towards travel expenses and an annual trip.

Depending on where you end up going, especially if it’s abroad, be sure to do some research on public transportation and how to best navigate it.


CURATE A CITY GUIDE

  • Create a list of what restaurants, museums, shops, and places you’d love to see together!
  • Start a Pinterest board in advance to get excited for your trip.
  • Get the most out of your trip by planning out what you’ll do each day, so you can see everything you desire without wasting time or stressing.
  • Allow time for rest and space. Be sure to check in with each other about needing alone time, space, or stillness. Just because someone needs space, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be around you. We’re both huge introverts, so we don’t take it personally because alone time means we can recharge and be more present with each other.

MUSIC

  • Curate a playlist with your favorite songs and theme it — i.e. Friendiversary London 2018
  • Sing at the top of your lungs.
  • Record Videos.
  • Pictures are easy, but sometimes the best footage is recorded. Try recording experiences while the other person isn’t aware, so down the road you can surprise them with little moments they didn’t know you captured.
  • Get Weird.
  • Play games like “what are the odds.”
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CULTIVATE INTIMACY

Ask questions to understand each other on a deeper level. Who knows, you might learn something new!

  • Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  • What would constitute as a “perfect” day for you? Describe it.
  • If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  • What do you value most in a friendship?
  • What does friendship mean to you?
  • When do you feel the most empowered?
  • If you were presented with two buttons, one that allows you to go 5 years into the past, the other 5 years into the future, which one would you press? Why?
  • What’s something challenging that happened to you this year and what did you learn from it?
  • What’s a memory of us you often revisit that brings you positive feelings?
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TOUCH BASE

Relationships can’t grow to their utmost potential if we resist vulnerable and uncomfortable conversations.

People change and so do their needs.

Check in and ask each other these following questions to strengthen your relationship:

  • What are your needs in a friendship?
  • How can I help meet those needs?
  • How would you like me to approach a conflict with you? (Discuss conflict/resolution styles)
  • What do I do that makes you feel most loved?
  • What do I do that makes you feel most validated?
  • What do I do that makes you feel most appreciated?
  • What situations recently or the past gave you anxiety about our friendship?
  • How can we take better action to create less tension if something like that comes up again?
  • Is there something that I’ve done that has deeply hurt your feelings that you still have a hard time letting go?
  • How can we heal and move forward?
  • Discuss the balance of emotional labor in your friendship, or who tends to be the one who has to be there for the other more, or hold space more frequently. It’s important that we create balance, so both people can feel heard, seen, and held space for. Friendship wouldn’t work for us if it was always the “Abby Show” or “Victoria Show.”
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MAKE GOALS

  • Create goals for the year ahead.
  • Think of ways to be more present in each other’s lives: more brunches, shared new experiences, monthly video chat dates, random gif wars, care packages, or whatever is sustainable.
  • Acknowledge how you can better show up for each other.
  • Help hold each other accountable towards a personal goal.
  • Day dream about your next friendiversary and where you might like to visit next!

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

A Greener Valentine’s Day: 5 Ways to Align With Your Love for the Planet

by  | Best Practices and ToolsClimate ChangeSustainability

You survived the holidays. But are you ready for the next big consumer-oriented holiday: Valentine’s Day?

I am a romantic at heart (I painted the heart painting above), but the tradition of celebrating love with chocolate, roses, and jewelry leaves a wake of environmental destruction that is not so romantic. Greenhouse gases, unfair labor practices, and waste are left in the wake of shipping roses from Ecuador, sourcing chocolate overseas, and mining for minerals. According to TerraPass, Americans spend about $2 billion on flowers for Valentine’s Day and purchase over 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate (75% of them sourced from Africa).

Over 80% of cut flowers are imported, creating a carbon footprint of over 20 million pounds of CO2. According to The Guardian, “The majority of those flowers will come from Colombia and Ecuador, two of the world’s leading producers. But these countries, and their flower industries specifically, have troubled records of abusing workers or hiring children, and your well-intentioned roses might go toward supporting some of these practices.”

Show the planet some love this Valentine’s Day and consider these five ideas for a greener day of love.

1. Make Your Own Card

Americans are expected to spend $1 billion on cards for Valentine’s Day, according to the Greeting Card Association. Be a rebel and make your own card. This idea came from my boyfriend, a third grade teacher, who has his students make cards for each other—no store bought cards allowed. Each is personalized by completing the statement, “I like (or admire) you because…” Get out some old cards, images from magazines, colored paper, glue, crayons/markers, and scissors, and make a card the old-fashioned way.

Image: Janice Sandeen

2. Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative, so this Valentine’s Day make time to get outside and take a walk on the wild side. Living in the Bay Area, it is easy to get outdoors and reconnect with nature and a date, or yourself. According to a study from Stanford access to natural areas is “vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.” Here are some of the best hikes in the Bay Area, according to KQED.

3.  Be Present Instead of Buying a Present

Mindfulness isn’t just for robe-wearing monks; it can be a gift for your relationship as well. Instead of buying your sweetie a gift, consider spending the day together at a local gem, Spirit Rock Meditation CenterOn February 17, Spirit Rock is offering Heart Practices for Couples“An opportunity for couples to awaken the heart of joy and love together…Through partner meditations, verbal and nonverbal communication exercises and group sharing, couples will practice the art of intimacy and learn skills to deepen the shared journey.

4.  Just Don’t Spend

We spend over $18 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day, with 20% of consumer’s buying jewelry. Mining for precious metals and gems for jewelry can have serious environmental and human rights implications. Here are a few gift ideas from the heart that don’t require major consumption:

  • Give a massage (add a few drops of organic essential oil to sesame oil);
  • Take some time to answer the New York Times’ 36 questions, known to cultivate love and intimacy;
  • Make a homemade meal from local, fresh ingredients;
  • Plan an activity to do together; or
  • Write a love letter.

5. Eat Ethical Chocolate

If you can’t resist buying your sweetie something sweet, take a moment to pick an ethical brand.  According to an article in Grist, for the world’s biggest chocolate makers, practices like child slave labor, rainforest demolition, and heavy reliance on GMOs are just a part of doing business. When it comes to chocolate, it is not so simple as looking for organic or fair trade label.  A great resource is Rainforest Alliance, which certifies chocolate that’s better for the environment and that ensures cocoa farmers have good living and working conditions. Grist recommends a visit to San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate, which exemplifies an ethical brand.

Chocolate is also fueling climate change. The HuffPost recently stressed, “Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fueling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests.” Deforestation-linked cocoa has entered the supply chains of some of the biggest players in the chocolate industry; A report from Mighty Earth, Chocolate’s Dark Secret, found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Mars, Nestle, Hershey’s, Godiva, and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in dwindling national parks and reserves in Ivory Coast and Ghana.

The good news is that 22 major chocolate companies recently made a promise to stop destroying forests in West Africa, a huge step to save our planet’s rainforest. But this is just the start. Please consider signing the petition to tell Cadbury and Ferrero to commit to no new deforestation for cocoa worldwide.

Haiku Contest 2018

Haiku Winner runner up

February is National Haiku Writing month and once again we are hosting a Haiku Competition!

Haiku poems have been an important part of Japanese art dating to the seventh century. This form of poetry, consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5,7, and 5 syllables respectively are meant to capture an inspiring moment or a thoughtful reflection.
Write about Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, an experience you’ve had here, a place on the property, a feeling, a moment…
  • Post your Haiku on your Instagram or Facebook page,
  • Tag us and use the hashtag #OsmosisHaikuContest!
  • Be sure to follow us to see posts of Haiku’s submitted.
  • Tag your friends. If they follow us, you get bonus consideration!

Our first place winner will receive a Cedar Enzyme Bath AND an Osmosis Fusion Massage!

The runner-up will receive a Cedar Enzyme Bath for Two. We look forward to your poems!

Haiku Winner first place Haiku 2nd place winner 2017
No purchase necessary to enter. Each entry must be a separate post. Entrants may only submit one (1) unique post per day during the entry period. Winner’s account cannot be set to private. Employees of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. The contest will go through Feb. 28, 2018. Winners will be announced Friday, March 2, 2018, via. Facebook and Instagram. Winners will also be announced in March mid-month newsletter. 

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.

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