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

Raizelah Bayen, Spa Services Manager Osmosis Day SpaRaizelah Bayen is the Spa Services Manager at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. She has 25 years in the field of massage, 15 years as a massage and yoga instructor, and is additionally certified in acupressure, herbology and aromatherapy. Her teaching specialties include Eastern Massage Modalities and Acupressure, Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers, and Integrative Wellness workshops, weaving herbs, aromatherapy, self-massage and yoga into a cohesive themed workshop, such as the one above.  If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact Raizelah at For more information, connect with Raizelah Bayen on LinkedIn.

Please contact 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.

Spring Garden Journal 2018

japanese garden master pruner

By Michael Alliger

The clouds, cold and late rains seem to do what they can to stanch the onset of spring yet plums begin blooming on Valentine’s day as usual and cherries to flower by April with a host of magnolias in between. Our California natives join the fray in the form of pink-flowering currant and blue ceanothus. We meet again the urge of the world to become itself and we gardeners see to our preparations: tools are sharpened, irrigation supplies are inventoried, fertilizers applied and the weeding begins!   

Spring Pruning

magnolia at Osmosis

Spring pruning of deciduous trees like dogwood and Japanese maple usually begins around April 15th once the new leaves have come out and hardened up, that is, acclimated to sunand weather. The goal of Japanese garden pruning is to maintain an appropriate size (human scale) while instilling a look of age. This look is often a stylized version of much older trees that have been subjected to their environment’s gifts and trials: rain, snow, wind, heat, and drought. While much control and refinement is done in winter, spring follow up pruning is critical to maintaining this vision. While managing size by cutting back ends is paramount, inner foliage is thinned showing the intricacies of branching and the interplay of light and shadow.

Sheared Plants

pruning at OsmosisSheared plants are a staple in a Japanese style garden and proper shearing is an art. Along with stone, they are a fundamental grounding element bringing stasis amidst change.  While sometimes overlooked, low sheared plants, called tamamono (horizontal oval in shape) can be many. The hard-edged contour is an integral counterpoint to the more natural forms of other trees and shrubs. In Japan, azaleas largely fill this need. Here at Osmosis, for ecological reasons, we use replacements such as escallonia compacta,  dwarf berberis and euonymus microphylla. Once new growth emerges they look shaggy, blurring the crisp edge so important to their function.  Consequently, a round of shearing is necessary in spring addressing some individuals 2 or 3 times as needed.

Of all plants in our garden pines are the one group allowed to look somewhat unruly in spring.  Their new shoots emerge from buds beginning in

pruning at Osmosis

February and elongate into a tubular shape known as candles.  Though there are many approaches to pine pruning, at Osmosis we allow the candles to extend fully until needles unfold from them.  At this time they are removed (cut or snapped off by hand).  This technique controls size while the subsequent summer growth is used to develop foliage density and limited incremental extension.

The balance of plants such as nandina, pieris, flowering quince and juniper are pruned as their new growth arises.  These complementary shrubs are pruned in a more general way to add context and a natural feel to the garden.

Spring work can be busy here at Osmosis as in most gardens but the softening weather and vibrant life bring joy to every day!

All About the Cedar Enzyme Bath – And By the Way, What Are the Benefits?

The rejuvenating alchemy of the Cedar Enzyme Bath has become legendary for good reason.  The warm and fragrant treatment offers myriad health benefits.
This unique therapeutic body treatment from Japan is found nowhere else on this continent. It is a bathing ritual that involves immersing your entire body in a mixture of soft and fragrant ground cedar and rice bran with living enzymes.

The Cedar Enzyme Bath is four treatments in one:

1. Enzyme Herbal Tonic Benefits

The Cedar Enzyme Bath treatment begins with a hot enzyme tonic beverage. A highly active digestive enzyme product from Japan is mixed with an herbal tea blend comprised of nettle, peppermint, yarrow and red clover. The enzyme tonic is designed to work synergistically with the enzyme bath. Its purpose is to launch the process of invigoration by boosting your metabolism internally; this is further promoted externally by the enzyme bath itself.

2. Aromatherapy Benefits

Cedar has been used across centuries by diverse cultures—from Tibetans to Egyptians to Native Americans—for its cleansing and purifying properties.

Cedar oil vapors are released from the fragrant wood in the enzyme bath, and they flow into your body through your pores, which are dilated by the heat. It is like receiving a full-body cedar compress. Research on cedar has shown that it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, all effective for cleansing and toning your tissues. Cedar oil also stimulates the brain’s limbic system, enhancing feelings of joy and satisfaction. It is known to be a sedative because its scent induces the release of serotonin, which can promote tranquility and encourage improved sleep.

3. Heat Therapy Benefits

Heat from the bath improves circulation as it dilates your blood vessels and augments blood flow into even the smallest capillaries, permeating the cellular environment and delivering the healing properties of blood.

Heat treatments calm muscle spasms, increase range of motion and relax muscle tension, which in turn relieves pressure on nerves inside the muscles.

4. Enzyme Benefits

The enzyme bath influences your metabolism by affecting enzymatic activity throughout the body. Enzymes are a special class of proteins that serve as catalysts for biochemical reactions. There are over 3,000 different enzymes in every cell of living tissue. Even just a small increase in available enzymes can make enormous changes in an organism.

The action of the enzyme bath strengthens physiological processes that are constantly being performed by the internal organs to produce both heat and enzyme activity inside the body. When your body is immersed in this bioactive medium, your metabolism is stimulated from the outside, supporting the internal organs that usually perform these functions on their own. This is one reason the bath is both relaxing and energizing at the same time!

The heat in the enzyme bath is produced biologically by the activity of microorganisms, which also produce their own electro-chemical 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.

In a biological process similar to fermentation, the enzyme bath helps break down metabolic waste in the subcutaneous layer of your skin. It also improves digestion and organ cleansing, breaks down lactic acid in sore muscles, and reduces inflammatory fluid build-up, which can provide relief from pain including arthritis and rheumatism.

An added benefit of the bath is that the enzymes decompose dead skin cells, resulting in full body exfoliation and lustrous skin as your epidermis, your pores, and even the cells themselves are thoroughly cleansed.

After the Cedar Enzyme Bath

Bathers feel significantly revitalized, with skin that is soft, velvety and glowing with warmth. People report a sensation of profound relaxation and rejuvenation. It is especially soothing for the digestive and nervous systems, excellent for detoxification, and highly beneficial for pain and fatigue.

This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women, for individuals with high blood pressure, known infections or uncontrolled diabetes, or for those who have recently consumed alcoholic beverages.

It is recommended for people seeking a powerful energetic shift, detoxification (it’s a great way to end a fast), relief from anxiety, stress, or soreness, or just a way back to feeling fantastic and fully alive!

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 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.

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!


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.

Untitled_Artwork 37.jpg

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”).


Untitled_Artwork 36.jpg

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.

trip guide.jpg


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.”


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?
touch base.jpg


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.”


  • 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

Currently Osmosis is OPEN and air quality is usually very good in Freestone. We offer outdoor massage treatments and the Cedar Enzyme Bath in our magical natural environment. You may submit your  online booking requests now. Please note that we are receiving a very high demand for our services at this time and our response time is longer than normal. Packages are now booked 3 weeks out.