In this current time, during the crisis imposed by COVID-19, we find it imperative to discuss the proverbial elephant in the room in our space and industry: the concept of touch.
Our world has endured much in this global pandemic and it has caused many to retreat to home for remote work, learning, and shelter-in-place restrictions.
This limited access to community has put us in a mental, physical, and emotional state of yearning for more interaction; this overwhelming need for interpersonal connection has us figuratively starved in many ways that we may not have quite experienced before.
Having arrived here, let’s consider how we can address and restore comfortability and relief in experiencing healing touch for the purposes of our collective wellbeing.
It is a journey and process.
To start, we must understand that in these very new circumstances, our approach to becoming more comfortable with outside interactions and experiences will be a process and unique personal journey.
It is certainly not a race to normalcy, especially right now; nothing is normal about any of our routines. We must revisit the concept of learning to crawl before we can walk and then run again.
Physiologically, our central nervous system must acclimate to the understandable, reasonable stress of this time.
We have resorted to our most critical routines and behaviors and have not necessarily considered those things that we must do to support our health and wellness needs.
In our personal lives, we’re all finding ways to balance and acclimate in our behaviors. Evaluating reasonable risks against our individual need to stay safe, while also satisfying our holistic needs, is indeed the new-normal. We are all learning how to do this without compromising ourselves and our close-knit communities. There is no right or wrong in how we do this, and it will work differently for everyone.
There are wellness benefits in healing touch.
We believe that healing touch is vital to our wellbeing, and that belief is the core and mission of what drives our existence and who we are at Osmosis.
We also understand how delicate the balance of revisiting our, or any, wellness spa can be against shared, new realities.
In recent months, we’ve heard from all over just how much people are missing their wellness interactions and how they are slowly integrating their yesteryear spa routines back during this time. From physical therapy and rehabilitation to massage treatments, the nurture and healing benefits of touch should not be underestimated—nor should they be considered luxury.
In fact, California has recently approved indoor massage as an essential service when prescribed by a doctor. Massage offers relief for patients struggling with any of the following conditions, which may include chronic stress, anxiety, insomnia, sports injuries, arthritis, soft tissue injuries or strain, headaches, digestive disorders, and more.
Both indoor or outdoor massage at Osmosis may be covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Savings Account (FSA), workers compensation, or private insurance. Prior approval from your insurance company is recommended and a reimbursement would follow your submission of a receipt from Osmosis. We believe that our massage treatment is beneficial for both health and wellness.
Wellness is a lifestyle and way of living.
Currently, we are observing a notable resurgence in priority of care and wellness during the pandemic. It is becoming a way of life, more than ever now, to make every intentional effort to create the moments of peace and space that refuel us in our daily lives.
From home to work, and everything in between, we support our existing and growing community of guests and patrons in their discovery and balancing of wellness in the face of adversity. Sometimes we all wonder what true wellness should look like, but the truth is there are no hard-and-fast rules or rigidity to what wellness is; but instead simply learning to navigate the flexibility required to be well in mind, body, and spirit—especially now.
Stay well, friends. And do your intentional best to not make concessions on your wellness needs, whatever they may positively be. May the gift of healing touch continue to nurture us along the way. All our love and support to you and your community as we all get through a truly pivotal time. We are here to serve our community, now more than ever, in providing a sanctuary for healing and peace.
Currently, Osmosis offers a wide variety of massages in our inviting outdoor areas. Our creekside pagodas are an ideal place to receive the gift of therapeutic touch.
Notifications will appear here as we are able to provide additional services.
At Osmosis, we treat our guests and employees like family and take pride in promoting the health and wellness of our community. During this time of necessary closures we have upgraded our facility and installed new protocols that further insure your safety.
We are excited to announce that Osmosis has reopened and will be available to fulfill the longing for physical touch, community, and human connection you may be needing. Our extensive re-opening plans are detailed below. Please note that spa appointments will be prioritized for our loyal Vital Health Club members during our first two weeks of operations.
Your health and safety always comes first at Osmosis. Extensive cleaning protocols and our new state of the art ventilation and sanitizing system effectively reduce viral and bacterial exposure. We are also implementing a long list of safety guidelines from governmental and industry based organizations to provide further safety. Please refer below for all the ways we are working to keep you happy and healthy during your visit to Osmosis.
As always, we ask our guests and employees to stay at home if they are feeling unwell, displaying symptoms, or recovering from an illness. Our protocols are subject to change based on local and state government guidance.
We’ve always prided ourselves on going above and beyond for your health and well-being with our extensive standard cleaning protocols.
As always, our standard cleaning includes:
Hospital-grade, professional, green cleaning solutions that are 99.99% effective in destroying harmful germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Pre opening daily cleaning of all amenities and locations within the spa.
Additionally, we are implementing:
Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of each treatment room after every service.
Each Massage Therapist and Esthetician has received detailed training on topics like Health and Hygiene, Sanitation and Disinfection and Covid-19 related concerns.
Increased hours for our cleaning staff to continually sanitize and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, door handles, and shared amenities throughout the day.
Additional hand sanitizing stations for both guests and employees, along with sanitizing spray in showers and all common areas.
We Invest In Your Health and Well Being
We always strive to implement services, treatments, and experiences to enhance and maintain the health and well-being of our guests and employees.
Massage therapy modalities focused on improving circulation; studies have shown this to increase the body’s white blood cell count which works to combat viruses.
A detoxifying steam treatment with every facial to eliminate bacteria in the air, reduce inflammation, and purify the skin to remove toxins and impurities.
The ability to add an immunity boosting essential oil blend to any massage. Our customized wellness-promoting blends may help to purify and detoxify all body systems, strengthen vascular tissue, and support healthy adrenal function.
Additionally, we are implementing:
HEPA-certified air purifiers in every treatment room and common area. These filters have a 4-stage filtration system that completely replaces the air four times every hour.
Installation of hand washing sinks in almost all of the indoor massage rooms.
Contact-free payments allow you to place a credit card on file and check out seamlessly without ever reaching for your wallet.
Re-adopted our “shoes off” policy in the spa. We will provide spa slippers or socks for you upon check-in. You are also invited to bring your own.
Massage and Facial guests will now change in the treatment room.
Magazines, tester products and complimentary snacks will be temporarily removed, per government guidelines.
We Maintain the Highest Standards
Maintaining a healthy environment has always been critically important to us and following the guidance of reputable professional and governmental organizations is our standard practice.
As always, we follow the guidance of:
Masks are required to be worn at all times throughout your visit.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided to all employees.
All employees and guests will undergo wellness checks and symptom screenings, including a temperature check with a touchless thermometer before entering the spa.
Some amenities may temporarily be closed per government guidelines – when booking, please inquire about open amenities.
Physical distancing will be organized to help maintain a distance of 6-feet from other guests in the common areas.
Guests must wash hands before receiving any service.
All appointments must be made online or by phone. No walk-ins will be accommodated.
Friends or family without an appointment will not be permitted in the facility, except a parent accompanying a minor.
Bulex HEPA Air Purifiers
Currently being installed in all treatment rooms.
Quietly replaces the air 4 times per hour.
99.97% purification with a 4-Stage Filtration System that can filter particles as small as 0.01 mil, as large as pet dander, dust, pollen, and allergens.
Centrifugal Blower – Fresh air spirals up towards the ceiling, circulating 320° in all directions to fill the room before being drawn back into the purifier.
A bipolar ionization technology system has been installed in the Osmosis HVAC system. This energizes the air to form bipolar — positive and negative — air ions that flows into all of the spaces in our building.
AtmosAir’s technology proactively emits bi-polar ions that attack and neutralize coronavirus in a continuous way. Unlike many unverified products, AtmosAir Solutions is backed by science. Bi-Polar Ions emitted to ambient air by the AtmosAir System continuously disinfect both the breathing space and surfaces. It is the most effective system for continuously cleaning and decontaminating indoor air. AtmosAir has shown significant reduction of bacteria and viruses in both laboratory and in situ testing. AtmosAir is over 99.9 percent effective in reducing the coronavirus on surfaces. Bipolar ions that bond with contaminants gain size and mass and drop to the floor, or return to the filter, making them easily cleaned from the air we breathe.
Covid Policy: All guests must complete our COVID-19 form in addition to standard intake form(s).
Cancellation Policy:As a courtesy to other guests and our therapists, if you must cancel or reschedule an appointment please give 24 hours notice. ‘No Call, No Show’ cancellations will be charged the full treatment price.
*All of the aforementioned guidelines are subject to change based on the guidance of the above organizations and may be phased out as guidelines progress. All guests are required to complete a COVID-19 waiver in addition to standard waiver(s). We reserve the right to decline service to any guest who does not pass our COVID-19 wellness check or who displays symptoms of COVID-19. Those who are declined may reschedule their service for a later date.
In these times of human distancing it’s such relief to walk in nature or in a garden; to walk amongst trees with no apprehension. Feeling safe and offering no threat. Recently the thought occurred that as the human realm is swept with an invisible danger, the trees are impervious, not knowing of our dilemma, physical and psychic. (Or are they? That is a question for another time). But there is a strong sense of the shield between us and them; a boundary not to be crossed.
Then I remembered some years back when an epidemic of phytophthera invaded native trees. We called this root fungus Sudden Oak Death. Another unseen attack, but this time humans were immune, though not unaffected. Our trees were dying and scientists, arborists and foresters all scrambled to limit the damage.
The first important form of mitigation turned out to be distancing. Parks and trails were closed. Workers were advised to wrap their boots so as not to track the fungus to new areas. This rallying to trees’ defenses shines a light on the mutuality of life. And in these times of human isolation plants offer to us their own kind of solace.
Spring still drives the flower through the branch reminding us of perseverance and renewal. Floral fragrance and color stimulate insects and birds to action. While we may sit inert, separated from routine, we see that the work of the world goes on and we may in turn take action. Planting trees and flowers for a future we know will come though changed it will be.
Here at the Osmosis garden we’ve slipped into this hiatus – a chance to renovate our welcome garden. New additions of lavender, sun rose and germander complement last year’s make-over of an adjacent area where we added a prodigious Japanese lantern accompanied by flowering currant and hellebores. And as we work we see peaking around the corner the flowering crabapple, here since before the beginning, reminding us that along with the future is the past giving context to the present in time of trial.
Do you really need a reason to start scheduling your next girls’ getaway? If you don’t and are already keen on finding any opportunity to book time with your gal pals, then that’s phenomenal. But if you really do need some good inspiration on why Osmosis is your next destination for your pending girls’ getaway, then you’ve arrived.
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is located in the historic town of Freestone, nestled between river and coast, redwoods and vineyards, at the Gateway to Sonoma Wine Country. Just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, hub of gorgeous bay views, top-rated cuisine, and a booming tech economy.
We certainly cannot think of a better girls’ vacation than here!
Whether a Bay Area native or traveling into town from a further destination, we’ve got a lineup for you and your girls that will leave nothing to be desired.
Ready to unwind and spa in a Zen setting that will leave both your spirit and skin nourished and renewed? Check. Looking to experience nature in its full glory? Check. Craving to wine and dine in legendary destinations for innovative eats? Then, look no further. We’ve got the full roundup for your girls’ getaway right here.
At the heart of travel is the journey of the destination, which is where we’ll start. No matter where you’re coming from, near or far, once you arrive in the area, you’ll spot the not-to-be-missed coastline features, breathtaking views, and ventures. Delight in a truly charismatic region and rare gem-of-a-community with stunning beaches, cliff-side hiking, lush forests, and trails meant for biking and exploring.
Entrust your getaway to the Sonoma Coast via Bodega Bay or take the 10-mile, scenic roadway along Bohemian Highway, where you will find a trio of townships—Freestone, Occidental, and Monte Rio—with small-town charm that cannot be found anywhere else. Or if coming from out of town, Sonoma County (STS) Airport, in Santa Rosa, CA, will land you in the middle of pastoral tranquility. Freestone is home to Osmosis and is particularly special because it is Sonoma County’s first historic district. In this small, yet formidable community, you will find Osmosis, the highlight of your girls’ getaway.
With deep reverence for sharing and providing sacred Japanese healing rituals, Osmosis is one-of-a-kind in offering our signature spa treatment, the Cedar Enzyme Bath, and remains the one and only day spa in the US to offer this authentic, therapeutic service.
Both warm and fragrant, this particular treatment boasts a myriad of health benefits including a more balanced central nervous system, joint and muscle pain relief, and skin exfoliation. This is truly a must-do when you’re here. Cozy up for an informal tea ceremony before your session and meditation in the gardens following your 75-minute facial or massage. Then, visit our gift shop for organic skincare products and other totally unique treasures found in the boutique.
From spa onward, get ready to celebrate and support artisan food culture in what is being called the New Province among Sonoma County’s distinct and beloved small towns. Then, you and your girls can extend your relaxation from a day of therapeutic spa treatments into the night by experiencing local restaurants and wineries. You’ll immediately become a regular to some of the most innovative and diverse wining and dining scenes that California is well-known for.
This getaway is one we certainly believe you and crew will be satisfied with. It will allow you to unplug and immerse yourself into an area that is so connected to life and nature’s elements, which will beautifully surround you and your favorite girls. And, not to mention, superb Insta-worthy photos to swoon over again and again. Unapologetically cue the skyline photos, spa session, and foodie snaps for others to see and experience, too. Then, be prepared to gab about a getaway to remember for years to come.
Despite whether you end or begin your girls’ getaway with Osmosis, it’s the perfect kickstart to deeply enrich the moment for everyone involved. Experience the tremendously satisfying peace and tranquility that going inward, while being together with friends, can bring; it’s a collective moment to mindfully relish and cherish. And, hopefully, a moment you and your chosen gal pals, will agree to continue and make a tradition of.
Osmosis is here to provide a healing environment in resonance with nature that promotes clarity and connection. So, come ready for an experience of ultimate relaxation and renewal—both equal parts unforgettable and enchanting.
In our busy lives it can be hard to find time to connect with our partner in ways that strengthen our relationship and create more intimacy. Giving your partner a simple at-home massage can be a great way to boost intimacy and help your partner feel nurtured. You don’t need to be a professional; all you need is some great massage oil (we recommend Kate’s Magik Aphrodisian Fire Body Oil), relaxing music, a bed, and your own two hands. With Valentine’s season upon us, it’s a great time to light some candles, turn up the heater, and pamper your partner using these easy to follow steps for a simple whole body massage. No experience necessary!
About Kate’s Magik Aphrodisian Fire Body Oil: Alluring and sensual, aphrodisian fire enhances romance and excites the senses. Evoking Aphrodite, this exotic blend highlights wood and flower notes. Sandalwood and patchouli are deep and sensual, while sultry rose and flowery ylang ylang instill a sense of passion and romance.
Prepare your massage space
Cover your bed with an old towel or blanket that you don’t mind getting oily. Have one or two pillows on hand to make your partner more comfortable. If you’d like warm oil, you can fill a large bowl with hot water and place the oil bottle in it. Have an extra towel on hand to clean up any messes.
Your partner may be more comfortable lying face down with a pillow under their chest, then they can turn their head to one side. Have your partner put their arms along their side, with palms up.
When your partner turns face up, they may want a pillow under their knees or head.
Use your whole hand while massaging, palm and underside of fingers will be touching your partner’s skin.
Keep your back straight while massaging and use the weight of your body to put pressure, rather than just your hands.
Before you start, place your hands on your partner’s back, and take several deep breaths together. Set an intention to be the giver, and honor the gift you are about to give your partner.
Massaging in the Back
Sit at your partner’s head, preferably in a kneeling position. Sit on a pillow for extra knee support. Rub a few squirts of oil between your hands. Place your hands, palm down, at the base of your partner’s neck, with the spine between your thumbs.
Glide your hands down your partner’s back, staying next to the spine. At the top of the buttocks, glide your hands out to the top of your partner’s hips, then slide your hands up their sides and onto their shoulder blades.
Make several circles with your whole palms over the shoulder blades.
Starting with hands-on their shoulder blades, glide your hands down their back with your hands moving toward each other so they come together over the top of your partner’s buttocks. Again, glide over the top of their hips, then slide your hands back together over their low back.
Slide your hands up their back with the spine between your thumb edges.
At the top of the shoulders, slide your hands out over the tops of their shoulders and then slide them back together to the base of your partner’s neck. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Starting at the base of the neck, slide your palms out over the tops of your partner’s shoulders. Slide onto their very upper arm and then slide each palm all the way down their arms, onto their hands and then slide off their hands with your fingers going between theirs.
Repeat these strokes 3 – 5 times, varying direction and combining them as you like. Use more oil as needed.
Massaging Back of Legs
Sit at the outside edge of your partner’s lower leg. Rub some oil into your hands. Start with your hands, palm down, on either side of your partner’s ankle.
Glide your hands up the sides of your partner’s leg, all the way to their hip and inner thigh. Bring your hands together at the top of the thigh and slide your hands all the way down to their heel. Repeat 3 – 5 times, applying more oil as needed.
Now slide your way up the back of your partner’s leg making circles with each palm in an alternating pattern. (right-hand circles over middle and side of leg, left hand circles over the middle leg and inner calf/thigh, move up a few inches and repeat). Go back down the leg with the same pattern, alternating the direction of your circles.
Repeat on the second leg.
Massaging Neck and Arms
Turn your partner face up and sit above their head. Rub some oil on your hands. Place your palms at the base of your partner’s neck, with fingers facing your partner’s upper back and palms against the base of the neck where it meets the shoulders. Glide your hands out to the tops of your partner’s arms, then glide down over the outside of their arms down to the elbow. Slide your hands under their arms and then glide back up under their arms, under their upper back and up to the base of their skull. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
With your fingertips at the base of the skull, on either side of the spine, make small circles, letting the fingers move the muscles slightly. Check-in with your partner about pressure, the more you press your fingers up, the more pressure they will feel. Continue making small circles on the neck muscles, moving downward toward the upper back.
Slide your hands under your partner’s upper back, with your fingers on the muscles between the shoulder blades and spine. Glide your hands up to the base of the skull. Repeat 3 times.
Sit at your partner’s side near their hand. With oil on your hands, place one hand on your partner’s wrist. Slide that hand up their arm to the shoulder, followed immediately by your second hand. Slide one hand under their shoulder and keep the other hand over the front of the upper arm. Slide both hands down the arm to the hand while squeezing your hands slightly to create pressure. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Repeat on the second arm.
Massaging Legs and Feet
Sit at your partner’s side near their ankle. With oil on your hands, place your palms and fingers on either side of your partner’s ankle. Slide your hands up the sides of their leg to the upper thigh/outer hip.
Bring your thumb edges together at the middle of the upper thigh, with your palms and other fingers resting on the sides of the upper thigh. Slide your hands away from each other toward the sides of the leg. Move your hands down a few inches and slide your hands away from each other again. Continue this down the leg to the ankle, watching out not to press on the knee bone or the shin bone.
Repeat these two steps 3 – 5 times, using more oil as needed.
Place hands on foot, with one palm on top of the foot and other on the bottom. Slide your hands up and down your partner’s foot, from toes to heel/ankle, pressing your hands toward each other. Repeat several times.
Using fingers, make circles around the ankle bones. Rub your palm in a circular motion over the front of the ankle. Finish by rubbing your palm in a circular motion over the bottom of the foot, from toes to heel and back again. Use a loose fist to make circles if your partner wants more pressure.
Repeat on the second leg and foot.
When you’ve finished massaging your partner, place your palms on the bottom of their feet and take several deep breaths together. Take some time to snuggle up with your partner and let them give you some appreciation, in whatever form it comes. Enjoy the time you’ve spent together, even if you stumbled through, and know that moments like these are precious. And make sure to find a time when your partner can take a turn as the giver too!
Heather Bishop is the Massage Therapy Supervisor at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. She has been practicing massage and bodywork for over 17 years and performs a wide variety of modalities, specializing in deep tissue and east-west fusion massage. In addition to massage, Heather is also a Registered Yoga Teacher of 15 years and teaches at Soulstice in Santa Rosa. She loves having daily opportunities to help others and is a proud member of the Osmosis team.