Vital People – Vital Planet

Creek-path at osmosis

By Michael Stusser

We are deeply impressed with the stellar work of an international tree planting organization. WeForest, the source of the content below.

Our question is: How can the Osmosis community of staff and guests support this vitally important work?

“We are a global tribe of Climate-conscious citizens committed to Making Earth Cooler with trees. Why plant trees? Forests represent one of the largest, most cost effective climate solutions available today.”

With the Paris Agreement (COP21 in December 2015), world governments committed to limiting carbon emissions to keep global warming “well below” a 2°C rise above pre-industrial levels, and possibly below a 1.5°C rise. In order to achieve this we must achieve carbon neutrality by the second half of this century.

While reducing carbon emissions is critical, research suggests that even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in the Earth’s atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years. Therefore, the challenge is to not only reduce future carbon emissions, but to actively remove existing carbon from our atmosphere.

The solution

Trees are the best technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse global warming.

  • Forests balance the Earth’s water-cycle essential for cooling our climate.
  • In addition, forests play another vital role in stabilizing the climate by sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and fixing it into soils and biomass.
  • 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon which remains stored, acting as a ‘carbon sink’, unless the tree decays or is burned.
  • Global forests are estimated to hold more CO2 than the atmosphere.

THE OPPORTUNITY

More than 2 billion hectares of land  (or the equivalent of 50% of the world’s forests) are degraded and have been identified as having potential for Forest Restoration. Restoring 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded soils by 2030 (the equivalent of 41% of the size of Brazil’s land surface), whilst at the same time reducing deforestation rates by half, may be enough to limit global warming to +2 °C The timing and extent of action is critical.

THE BENEFITS

FOR PEOPLE

Women make up 70% of the world’s poor and earn only 10% of its income. Planting trees creates jobs. Restoration activities such as establishing tree nurseries, seed collection, tree planting and aftercare, create jobs that are inclusive of women and provide opportunities for them to become entrepreneurs.

Livelihood: often the problems of poverty and forest degradation are intertwined. Restoring forests, coupled with sustainable forest management, can help lift economies and provide business opportunities which depend on the protection and nurturing of natural resources.

FOR PLANET

Water: trees maintain a healthy soil filtration system which helps ensure water quality. They enhance water quantity by promoting cloud formation and precipitation, slowing surface ‘run-off’, stabilizing water course flow, and helping recharge groundwater reserves.

Soil: trees restore soils by enriching the organic content and protect them, preventing erosion and landslides. This benefits both climate and agriculture, yet 75% of world’s soils are considered degraded.

Biodiversity: forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and house over two-thirds of known terrestrial species, including the largest share of threatened species. By restoring forests we help expand habitat ranges for both flora and fauna.

Oxygen: Forests are the lungs of the Earth, producing oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. They play a key role in generating air moisture content, generating air flow, and improving general air quality.

FOR CLIMATE

Clouds: Tropical forests are critical for regulating the climate because they not only absorb carbon, they increase cloud cover through transpiration and cloud nucleation, which helps cool the planet.

Carbon: 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon which remains stored (unless the tree decays or is burned), acting as a ‘carbon sink’. In addition, trees are essential for preventing soil degradation and loss of carbon stored in soils.

This information is taken from the http://www.weforest.org/ website

Osmosis 2017 Photo Contest

DebraWand_1stplacewinner

Send us your favorite Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary photo that you captured during your visit!

It can be of the garden, of you and your friends having lunch, a moment in our Cedar Enzyme bath… Email your photo to marketing at osmosis.com or post on Instagram using #osmosisphoto2017! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see the photos that have been submitted.

Our first place winner will receive our most popular Transformation Package – A Cedar Enzyme Bath, followed by our unique Osmosis Fusion Massage, blending the long, relaxing strokes of Swedish-Esalen with the revitalizing techniques of Shiatsu, Thai, and Chinese massage. Two and a half hours of complete bliss!

Second place will receive a Cedar Enzyme Bath for Two.

Deadline to enter is April 30. There is no limit to how many photos you submit. Winner will be announced the 2nd week in May on our Facebook page & Instagram as well as in our newsletter.

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram and show some love to your photo when it is posted. Tell your friends to “like” your photo and possibly influence our decision! Be sure to use #osmosisphoto2017 when posting on Instagram

We look forward to your photos!

 

Nurturing the Mom-to-Be

By Raizelah Bayen

Pregnancy is a beautiful but delicate time in women’s lives.  While the life of their baby-to-come is growing inside, women can feel challenged by many changes: changing bodies, changing hormones, and changing moods.  As women move through pregnancy, they may experience physical or emotional stresses due to these rapid changes.  Pregnancy Massage can benefit a mother’s physical and emotional well-being, easing a woman’s transition into motherhood.

5 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Relaxation and Stress Reduction

While reducing tension and increasing relaxation is a benefit to everyone, it is especially important for mothers-to-be.  Challenged by hormone-related mood swings or anxieties related to life transitions, pregnant women feel re-assured and taken care of by the nurturing touch of an experienced massage therapist, allowing stress to melt away.  

Health care professionals agree that a relaxed mother is a more fertile environment for the growth of the baby.  The relaxation response experienced in massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, releasing norepinephrine and nitric oxide, resulting in decreased blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption, and increased blood flow.  This means greater oxygen and nutrient circulation for both mom and baby.

Reduces Aches and Pains

Pregnant women’s bodies are growing fast.  As the baby develops and the uterus expands, women are carrying increased weight, resulting in greater pressure on the joints of the lower body, including the hips, knees and ankles.  Massage can help ease the discomfort in these weight-bearing joints. Additionally, the tendons which help to stabilize the uterus, attach at both the sacrum and pubic bone.  The growing uterus is continually pulling on these tendons, creating tension in the low back and pelvic region.  Prenatal massage is useful  in relieving this tension.  Sciatica and calf cramps are also commonly associated with pregnancy. Massage techniques, combined with gentle stretching help to relieve the pain associated with these symptoms.

Improves Blood Circulation

Women’s blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy to provide for the needs of a growing baby.  By the 6th month of pregnancy, a mother’s blood volume has almost doubled! This dramatic increase may result in symptoms such as swelling, varicose veins or increased blood pressure.  Swedish and lymphatic massage techniques are known to increase and blood and fluid circulation in the body, relieving swelling and increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to baby, and accelerating the removal of waste.

Balances Hormones and Moods

Studies have shown that massage during pregnancy significantly improves the regulation of hormones: norepinephrine, cortisol and serotonin.  A study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that massage both reduces stress hormones, and increases the “feel good” hormones. These improvements in hormone regulation help expectant mothers balance mood swings. Studies also show that women with decreased stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increase norepinephrine, have fewer complications during pregnancy and birth, and a decreased rate of low birth weight of the baby.  Massage is vital to the well-being of mother and, in turn, nurtures the life that grows within her.

Preparation for Labor

Childbirth requires both strength and flexibility, particularly in the low back, pelvis and legs.  Prenatal massage techniques and applied stretches are effective in increasing muscle and joint flexibility in the lower limbs and pelvis, important in the preparation for childbirth.  Recent studies from the Touch Research Institute in Miami Florida indicate that massage provides more than just symptom relief, but also fewer complications in delivery.  The women studied showed lower levels of anxiety, stress, sleep problems and back pain, in addition to reduced rates in labor complications.

Pregnancy Massage at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

At Osmosis, we have specialty cushions, designed for pregnant women, allowing them to receive massage lying face down through the ninth month of pregnancy.  Our specially trained massage therapists are also able to perform a full-body massage in a side-lying position for those who feel more comfortable that way.  Our Pregnancy massage therapists are knowledgeable of the techniques most effective in relieving pregnancy symptoms, such as low back pain, sciatica, calf cramps and aches in the joints of the lower limbs.  Our massage therapists are also aware of which techniques, acupressure points and aromatherapy oils, are contraindicated for use during pregnancy.

Is Pregnancy Massage for Me?

If you want to experience greater ease in pregnancy and childbirth, the answer is YES!

Women experiencing complications in their pregnancy, such as but not limited to diabetes, heavy bleeding, preeclampsia, high blood pressure or unusual pain, should consult with a doctor before pursuing massage therapy.pregnancy massage

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Raizelah-Bayen-Osmosis-Day-SpaRaizelah Bayen is a California Certified Massage Therapist, currently employed as the Director of Training and Massage Therapist Supervisor at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, California.  She has been practicing massage for over 25 years, and teaching T’ui Na, Acupressure, Sports and Pregnancy Massage in massage certification programs for 15 years.  Raizelah is an approved CEU Instructor by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), offering trainings in Freestone, California and on-site training at your massage school or spa.  For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.

Please contact raizelah@osmosis.com for information on upcoming trainings in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology, and Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers scheduled in Sebastopol, California.  Or book Raizelah for an on-site training in your massage school or spa in T’ui Na, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology or Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers.

 

Haiku Contest Winners 2017

Thank you for all the amazing Haiku’s submitted to our Osmosis Haiku contest last month! It was not easy to narrow it down to our top three with nearly 100 submissions! Congratulations to the following winners:

 

Haiku Winner first place

Embraced by cedar

Releasing, an ebb and flow

My soul is renewed.

~Heidi Margocsy, First Place Haiku Winner

 

 

 

 

Haiku Winner second place

 

My outdoor massage

Wind chines ringing in the trees

This is bliss to me.

~Kelly Dillman, Second Place Haiku Winner

 

 

 

Haiku Winner runner up

Nestled in soft bliss

My skin is gently renewed

I am young again

~Leah, Runner up Haiku Contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation: The Return to Presence: Rest Your Mind In What Is

By Tara Brach  Tara Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. The result is a distinctive voice in Western Buddhism, one that offers a wise and caring approach to freeing ourselves and society from suffering.

It’s natural that our attention wanders, and the more we relax back, the more that becomes our habit…returning to presence. This meditation opens with conscious breathing and awakening through the body. We then rest in open awareness, and when the attention drifts, guide ourselves to rest our minds, over and over, in the aliveness and presence that is right here.