Soulstice Spa Blog
A Note from Our Founder February 13 2014
Five Fast Ways to Ruin a Great Massage January 11 2014
We talk a lot about the myriad and many amazing benefits of massage at Soulstice Spa. Physical benefits include relaxed muscles, better posture, improved flexibility and range of motion and a more resilient immune system. Mental benefits include stress reduction, a sense of calm and ease, a feeling of space and lightness, deeper sleep and improved mood. And that's just for starters! We encourage receiving a massage at least once per month to experience the ongoing and preventative benefits. With each visit we'll help you optimize those benefits with self-care tips and advice, such as drinking more water, stretching and ways to stay fluid and flexible during your work day.
On the other hand, there are a few things to avoid before, during and after a massage, lest you risk diminishing its wonderful effects. We recommend NOT doing the following... five fast ways to ruin a great massage!
1/ Drink alcohol excessively. Massage stimulates nearly all the systems in the body, and if you have had more alcohol than your body can handle or is used to, you can wind up feeling really lousy during and after your massage. We recommend avoiding alcohol altogether the day you receive a massage, or limiting yourself to a glass of wine or single beer.
2/ Drink caffeine excessively. If you're a coffee or soda drinker, try to drink those beverages at least 6-8 hours before your massage appointment. The body can achieve a deeper state of relaxation during your massage if your nervous system is not jacked up on caffeine.
3/ Rushing to and from your massage. Nothing ruins a massage faster than screaming in the door last minute or late, your adrenaline pumping, stressed to the max and muscles tightened up. Or worrying about finishing exactly on time because you have to race out the door to your next errand or back to work. Instead, schedule your massage at a time where you have plenty of time on either side of the session, arriving early and unrushed. We want you to carry the state of calm created at your visit as far as you can throughout your day and hopefully longer!
4/ Get a massage while fighting with your significant other. One of the goals of massage is to unwind and go inward... hard to do if you're in the middle of a massive argument. If you're having some personal problems (and we all go through them every now and again!) try to leave them at the door. When you're finished with your massage, give yourself some time to soak in the relaxation and benefits of a quiet mind before jumping back into reality and the "outside world." Make your massage time all about you, and you'll emerge from your session feeling calmer and clearer. Take a break from your problems for a little while - you deserve it!
5/ Eating fast food before or after your massage. It's never a good time to eat standard fast food, but it's especially ill advised to down a Big Mac and fries just before receiving a massage. After a giant, salt & fat-laden meal you'll feel lethargic, bloated and uncomfortably full. Massage tends to heighten or deepen our ability to feel and sense, so feed your body whole, clean, nutrient-rich foods before and after to get the most out of your treatment. Your body will thank you for it!
Your Five Daily Healthy Habits December 07 2013
Because of our modern, hectic schedules and family demands, it can be a challenge to make it in for regular massage therapy. The busier we are, though, the more important massage is for the mind, body and spirit. Our membership program is designed to make massage a wonderful habit - something you can commit to on a monthly basis - the benefits of which you will enjoy all month long.
There are a few things you can do to enhance and prolong the positive effects of your massage...
1/ Drink plenty of water before, after and on a daily basis. The more hydrated your muscles are, the better your body can respond to bugs and germs, recover from fatigue and injury and stay toned and healthy.
2/ Get plenty of vitamins and nutrients through food sources as often as possible, particularly B vitamins and potassium. B vitamins are particularly supportive to the adrenal system... the system that reacts to daily and sudden stressors. Excellent sources include avocado, pomegranate, dates, watermelon, and some berries are especially high in B-complex vitamins. Leafy greens and vegetables such as amaranth, bok choy, Swiss chard, kale, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, squashes and parsnips also contain significant amounts. Most legumes have a lot of B vitamins; however, soy beans, black-eye peas and edamame contain the highest amounts of B9, also known as folate. Potassium is vitally important in tissue repair and recovery. Great sources include avocados, leafy greens, bananas, apricots, dates, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy and soy foods, peas, beans, turkey, beef, salmon and cod.
3. Stretch! Don't wait until your next massage to be stretched out. If time allows, try to attend a stretching or yoga class, practice in your home with DVDs, or develop your own easy routine. Even ten minutes of stretching per day will yield terrific results. Most people will be best served by stretching the neck, shoulders, back, hamstrings and hips; those areas are typically the most impacted by too much sitting, computing, and driving.
4. Practice relaxation techniques each day. Again, even ten minutes a day is beneficial! Do whatever you can and whatever works for you... a warm bath, soothing aromatherapy, meditation, a walk in fresh air, or even several deep breaths with your eyes closed.
5. Practice self-massage techniques or trade massage with a loved one. Touch is good for you! If you receive massage therapy on a regular basis you're already a believer in the healing power of touch... But everyday touch is wonderful for your well being as well. Caring touch can be shared with the one you love, hugging a friend, holding a child or petting an animal. Touch is soothing, nurturing and relaxing for both the giver and the receiver.
Practicing the healthy diet and lifestyle tips above will ensure your body, mind and spirit stay strong between your visits to your massage therapist.
Kicking the Sugar Habit November 30 2013
Have a sweet tooth? You're not alone! Tis the season for temptation and sweet treats are all around in the form of chocolate, pies, cookies and cocktails... The holiday season is a time to celebrate & enjoy, and that means a little bit of indulging! But don't let dietary indulgences wreck your health and immune system - enjoy in moderation, control your sugar intake, and sail through the season healthy and feeling great.
Why is sugar - in particular - so hard on the body?? Read on!
1/ Sugar suppresses the immune system, making us less able to fight off cold and flu bugs
2/ Sugar stresses the adrenals, making us feel tired and lethargic
3/ Sugar can trigger headaches
4/ Sugar can worsen the symptoms of PMS, anxiety and depression
5/ Sugar contributes to mood swings and blood sugar & energetic instability
6/ Sugar exacerbates auto-immune conditions like arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
During the holidays - a time of heightened stress for many - don't stress your body even more by overloading it with sugar... Here's a short list of either/ors to help you limit the most-damaging sweet stuff and replace it with the healthier choices.
- Choose a glass of bubbly or red wine over sugar-laden cocktails
- Choose mixed nuts over chocolates, candies and cookies at holiday events and parties
- Craving something warm & sweet while out shopping? Skip the whipped cream-syrupy mocha-frappe-whatevers at Starbucks and choose herbal tea. Need a caffeine kick with a bit of sweetness? Try chai or earl grey tea with a teaspoon of stevia, a plant-based natural sugar substitute
- Choose a dense fruit such as apples or pears drizzled with a bit of honey over frosted cake or cupcakes
- Start the day off right and stabilize blood sugar with a breakfast of figs, raisins or dried apricots with granola, oatmeal or yogurt instead of packaged cereal products, pastries or sweet rolls. Sate your sweet tooth with fresh-squeezed orange juice or half a grapefruit.
- Need a midday pick-me-up? Trade the sugar-laden coffee drink or candy bar for some lean protein and healthy fat... a hard-boiled egg, half an avocado on a slice of toast, or almond butter on apple slices.
It's natural to indulge a bit more around the holidays, and a little bit won't derail your health or well-being. Just practice moderation and balance your diet whenever you can. If you're craving that pie for dessert, then skip the bread basket with dinner. Indulge in an oven-fresh cinnamon roll for breakfast? Enjoy a big leafy green salad with plenty of veggies for lunch.... Balance is the key to happy - and healthy! - holidays.
Staying Soothed and Sane this Holiday Season! November 09 2013
The holidays are a time of celebration, joyful reunions and shared meals and laughter... However they can also be a time of traffic jams, long lines and high expectations. For many, the weeks leading up to the new year can be the most stressful of the year. Stress leads to muscular tightness, lowered immune system, headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Rushing around, tense and anxious, are not what the holidays are meant to be about... so make a pact with yourself that you will float through this holiday season feeling calm, peaceful and detached from the stress that so many in our society get caught up in.
Here are some of our best tips to help you stay physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy!
1/ Unplug. Choose to turn off the television, talk radio and popular magazines that bombard you with the non-stop marketing of gift-giving.
2/ Choose experiences over "things." If you do participate in gift-giving, make a conscious effort to give meaningfully, not out of a sense of guilt or pressure from society. Shared meals, experiences, outings... these things often mean much more than widgets.
3/ Pre-plan "you time." This one is important! The holidays are a time when many are running around like mad; it's very easy to let your health and self-care go by the wayside. Now more than ever, it's important you take care of yourself, so schedule time for healthy activities like exercise, yoga, massages, and walks in fresh air. Yes, that's right! Pick up your planner right now and schedule in "you time" each week from now until the clock strikes 2014.
4/ Get your shopping done early. Avoid malls and corporate America. Shop local and buy from small businesses. Waiting till the last minute and "door-busting" big business isn't good for your sanity or your community. By shopping local, you help keep money in your community, create jobs and get to know the people who are making your goods and providing your services. You'll feel great knowing you're supporting people you actually know, and chances are you'll be much more appreciated as a customer than you will at the mall.
5/ Get a massage or two! I know, I know... I can hear what you're saying: "I don't have TIME for a massage!" But it is precisely because you're busy that you most need a massage. Massage relieves stress, reduces anxiety and makes you feel like everything in life is that much more manageable. By renewing your mind, body and spirit, you'll stay strong and healthy and better able to enjoy the true spirit of the holidays.
From now through December 24, 2013, we're offering a special Give One Get One Massage Special to help make massage convenient and affordable for you, and a thoughtful and meaningful gift for a loved one or colleague. For $99, you receive a 50-Minute Massage for yourself plus a 50-Minute Massage Gift Card to gift to someone special. To take advantage of this special package, please stop by the spa or phone us at 707-843-3539.
Cheers to a beautiful holiday season!!
Finding a Professional Massage Practitioner September 21 2013
Join our Massage Club and Save! September 08 2013
Receiving regular massage therapy is one of the best ways to improve your overall mental, physical and emotional health. Everyday stresses can take their toll... lowering our energy, depleting our body's innate ability to heal and creating imbalance in the body and mind leading to aches, pains, anxiety and mood swings. The benefits of massage multiply with consistency, and the best way to make the practice a regular healthy habit is to commit to a monthly massage visit.
At Soulstice we offer annual wellness memberships designed to make regular massage accessible, affordable and efficient. With over 800 appointments available monthly plus evening and weekend availability, our therapists can accommodate the most demanding of schedules. In addition to a discounted monthly massage, our members receive a discount on all retail offerings, VIP notice for events and specials as well as priority booking.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about Membership:
1/ Can I share my membership with my (husband/wife/BF/GF/colleague/child) ???
Yes! You sure may... You may share your membership with one other person and they need not be a relative.
2/ If I miss a massage one month, do I lose it forever?
No, if you can't make it in one month your massage will "roll over" into the following month. You may use massages yourself, or turn them into gift cards to give to others...
3/ If I move or can't continue to receive massage, am I on the hook for the rest of the year?
No, we ask for a 30-day notice when discontinuing a membership.
4/ Can I prepay for a membership, or be gifted an annual membership?
Yes, you or a loved one are welcome to prepay for an annual membership rather than having it billed monthly on a credit card.
Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you have about Membership; give us a call (707-843-3539) today!
Harvest Specials at Soulstice Spa August 29 2013
Harvest season is upon us, one of our favorite times of year in Sonoma County! Celebrate the season with us and our wonderful neighboring wineries...
Enjoy special savings on massages and complimentary wine tastings from our featured vineyards!
For just $139, you'll receive two blissful massages and complimentary wine tasting passes of your choice during the months of September and October. (Retail value up to $199)
Featured wineries include: Truett-Hurst, Rodney Strong, Peterson Winery, Dutton Estate, Amista Vineyards, West Wines, Amphora, Paul Mathew Vineyards, Siduri, Mercury, Hanna and Kokomo Winery.
Combine two of Sonoma Country's best and brightest - spa + wine! - and come celebrate with us at Soulstice...
Offer good through October 31, 2013. By appointment only. Massages are for two 50-Minute Custom Massages. Wine tasting passes are subject to availability, limited quantities.
Industry Days at Soulstice Spa August 13 2013
Soulstice Spa is celebrating our neighbors in the hospitality, wine and service industries in Sonoma County during the upcoming crush and harvest season! Relax, unwind, and enjoy savings of over 50% off your first massage.
If you work at a winery, tasting room, restaurant, hotel, travel agency, vineyard or other eligible industry, be sure to give us a call at the spa for details on this very special, limited-time offer.
Industry Day Specials are available Mondays only during August, September and October. One offer per person, by appointment only.
Please call the spa for details ~ 707-843-3539
Benefits of Regular Massage August 06 2013
Many people initially come to massage for a specific injury or problem area... A sore back, chronically tight shoulders or the zinging pain of sciatica. Massage therapy can be very effective for all these issues, but it isn't until you begin receiving regular massages that you'll experience the many other amazing benefits.
Physically, massage enhances circulation, eases digestion, improves range of motion and relaxes tight muscles. It can help improve posture, prevent and ease chronic overuse conditions and enhance flexibility. You will feel lighter and more "at home" in your body after a great massage. Mentally, massage lowers stress, relaxes the nervous system and mind and gives you a moment's pause in our fast-paced and overstimulated world. Many health conditions are brought on by stress, and controlling stress levels will go a long way toward disease prevention and enhancing your overall health.
Regular massage feeds a healthy habit cycle... When you feel great, you naturally want to exercise more. When you exercise more, you sleep better. And when you sleep better, you're more likely to reach for nutritious foods rather than the quick fixes of sugar and caffeine. You may be surprised at the wide-ranging impact massage can have on your well-being and health. For less than $2 per day, you can incorporate massage therapy into your life on a regular basis --- come visit us at the spa and ask about our Wellness Memberships!