Soulstice Spa Blog

Springtime Health Hacks! --- Guest Post by Brittany Carlson April 26 2017

Join us for our very first Women in Wellness Night!   Network with other women interested in health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and allied fields.  We'll mix and mingle from 6:30pm-7pm, then enjoy an interactive panel of nutrition experts. Special thanks to our partner SkinSpirit, who will gift the first 20 registrants with a complimentary B12 shot - sweet!

Glowing skin?  Radiant health?  Resilient immune system?  Vibrant energy? All of these things and more begin with your liver and digestive health. Explore the importance of detoxification with an amazing panel of three local nutrition experts. 

Brittany Carlson of Wellbeing with Brittany will present How to Improve Digestion and Repair Your Gut.  Digestive discomfort can ruin your entire day. It can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and exhausting. Brittany will share her top recommendations for improving your digestive health and creating a healthy gut so you can live your life to it's fullest.

Below, Brittany shares some of her favorite Health Hacks --- join us Thursday April 27th to learn more!

Cold Showers to Improve Digestion
Over the past 6 months, I have been ending my hot showers with 1 minute of cold water. Why would I put myself through this? My goal is to tone my vagus nerve, a nerve with many branches running from the brainstem at the back of your head to the base of your neck. The vagus nerve is the main highway in the nervous system, connecting the brain and gut. A healthy vagus nerve is essential for digestion. It stimulates enzyme secretion, increases the flow of bile to break down fat, and triggers peristalsis, which supports the movement of food through your intestines. The vagus nerve is also associated with insulin secretion and a well functioning immune system.

As someone who runs cold, I was hesitant to do this at first since I wanted to be warm getting out of the shower. I quickly realized that I was actually warmer stepping out of a cold shower versus a hot shower as cold water increases blood circulation. The last minute of my shower, I let the cold water hit the back of my neck and then rinse my whole body. It is truly invigorating! I built my way up from 10 seconds to 1 minute over time. I recommend giving yourself at least 10 days of ending on cold water before you give up— it quickly becomes a habit and is now something I don’t go without!

Collagen for Gut Support
Every day, I add 2 teaspoons of collagen to my morning smoothie. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in your skin, nails, digestive tract, muscles and bones. In terms of gut support and repair, it is essential. Collagen helps to repair the gut wall, strengthening the cells lining your intestines so you don’t absorb foods that are not completely broken down. It also promotes bile and enzyme secretion to aid in the digestion of fats. In fact, some of my most sensitive IBS clients unable to tolerate digestive enzymes and/or probiotic supplements start with collagen. It is a gentle way to assist your body in digestion, supporting the body’s overall foundation.

Check out my daily smoothie below— while it's basic, it keeps me fueled for several hours and is low glycemic to keep my blood sugar balanced. If you want a thicker smoothie, try adding avocado or banana.
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons collagen
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Green Tea for Improved Blood Sugar Balance
I gave up my daily morning cup of coffee this year and substituted it with matcha green tea, ground Japanese green tea leaves. I didn’t want to give up caffeine completely but I wanted to reduce my intake. To compare the two, coffee has 100mg of caffeine per cup while matcha has about 25-30mg of caffeine per cup— which for me, is still enough to get me going. I’m not against coffee for everyone but since I gave it up, I experience a more consistent energy throughout the day and no longer have an afternoon slump. Since my lull is gone, so is my daily dose of dark chocolate and overall cravings for sugar. A 2006 Annals of Internal Medicine study found that there is an inverse relationship between diabetes and green tea consumption; people that consume green tea are less likely to develop type II diabetes. In this particular study, green tea reduced fasting glucose levels and A1c markers. 

My morning matcha drink recipe is below, incase you want to give it a try! 

2 teaspoons of matcha (I use Two Hills Organic Matcha)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 cup of coconut milk (I use Native Forest Simple Coconut Milk)
1 cup of water 
Whisk ingredients together and enjoy! If you like your matcha extra hot, put ingredients into a saucepan to heat.

For more health tips and recipes, visit my website.

Smooth Skin, Soothe Joints with Collagen! - Guest Post by Eat Clean Marin April 23 2017

Eris Cushner of Eat Clean Marin
You may have heard about collagen and gelatin and their powerful anti-inflammatory properties.  Eris Cushner of Eat Clean Marin visits and shares more about their benefits below...


"Gelatin is a type of protein derived from collagen, which is found in animal skin, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Gelatin provides us with a specific set amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that confer a multitude of healing effects on the body.

Traditional diets of our ancestors typically included higher amounts of gelatin, since an “eating the whole animal" approach was popular. Today, the average person’s diet tends to mostly consist of muscle meats such as chicken breast or filet mignon, while the “gelatinous” parts (like collagen) of the animals are usually discarded.

You may have heard the buzz lately around bone broth, a rich source of naturally occurring gelatin. Research shows that consuming gelatin regularly can help improve joint inflammation and decrease joint pain, improve sleep, alleviate gut and digestion issues, keep you feeling satiated longer, and improve skin health. However, many of us don’t have the time or the desire to make or sip on bone broth daily. Hydrolyzed gelatin powder, which is virtually odorless and tasteless, is a practical and simple alternative that can be sneaked into a lot of different foods and drinks to obtain the same benefits as sipping the broth itself.

Below are favorite ways to use gelatin powder:

1. Add 1-2 tablespoons to your favorite Bolognese or pasta sauce, whether homemade or store-bought.

2. Add it to your smoothie. Two tablespoons provides you with 12 grams of protein.

3. Add 1-2 tablespoons to your favorite soup or stew.

4. Add 1⁄2-1 tablespoon to a glass of warm milk (substitute with coconut milk for a dairy free option) and raw honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon before bed for the perfect “sleepy-time” drink.

It’s important to choose a high quality gelatin powder, one that has been derived from pasture-raised or grass-fed animals since these animals are healthier overall and not raised using artificial hormones or antibiotics. One of my favorites is Great Lakes, Collagen Hydrolysate."

Learn more from Eris and Eat Clean Marin when she visits Soulstice Mind + Body Spa - Sausalito on Thursday April 27th... for more info, click HERE!

Why I Meditate... from our founder, Kayse Gehret October 09 2016

As many of you know, I'm pretty passionate about massage therapy and bodywork, having dedicated much of the last couple of decades to this beautiful art, science and craft.  Soulstice Spa grew out of my own love of massage and individual practice of many years in San Francisco, a desire to make this meaningful work available and accessible to more people and wish to create a community where our clients and staff alike could relax, improve their health and well-being, and be cared for with loving kindness.  I've seen first-hand the power of touch and its ability to heal the body and spirit, and every day I pinch myself that I get to work alongside my incredible staff, do this wonderful work I believe in so much, and do so in two of the most gorgeous places on earth.

Since Soulstice Spa opened in Sonoma Wine Country in 2012, and more recently in Marin County in 2015, we have been blessed to have the most enthusiastic, appreciative and supportive customers.  Over the past few years we've listened and learned, cared for people through life's ups and downs, and tried to figure out what we can do to help bring more comfort, growth and happiness to people's lives.  Our answer is Meditation.

Personally, I've dabbled with meditation off and on over the past twenty years, but it is only in the last year or so of regular, daily practice has it had a remarkable effect on my happiness and well-being.  Massage Therapy has myriad, amazing physical and emotional benefits, but nearly all of us could use a mental "check up from the neck up," and this - more than anything else I've come across - is where meditation can change your life.

Here are a few of the reasons why I meditate:

- Meditation builds resiliency.  Research has shown that regular meditation is beneficial to brain health and healthy aging.  It keeps your memory sharp, your attention focused and ability to remain present in the face of distraction.  When you are mentally strong, you're much better able to handle and cope with stress and adversity.  You'll bounce back more quickly from disappointments and bring your best to your daily life and interactions.

Calm is a Super Power

 - Meditation yields equanimity.  Many people mistakenly believe that regular meditation numbs or sedates your emotions...  quite the opposite!  What meditation does provide is a little cushion of space between your emotions - and you.  Instead of feeling overcome by your emotions, you still feel them - purely and deeply - but no longer react to them so strongly.  Meditation allows you to feel calm, balanced and grounded, and you'll naturally notice yourself becoming more patient, tolerant and forgiving.

- Meditation, for me, has had an unexpected cleansing effect for both my physical and mental world.  Always sensitive, I've had a lifelong struggle of balancing a passionate personality with a delicate nervous system that gets easily overwhelmed with too much stimulus or stress.  I notice now that I need a lot less... of everything.  When you feel full - of love, of contentment, of peace - you don't feel the need to look to other people or to things (food or alcohol, shopping or consumerism) to fill the gap.  The gap grows more and more shallow with regular meditation; one day you'll simply notice yourself craving less of everything external as your inner self becomes fuller and fuller.

- Meditation creates space and time in your life.  Many people I know are genuinely concerned about carving time out of their jam-packed days for the time it takes to meditate.  Trust me: a daily practice of just ten minutes a day will create more space, time and ease in your day and actually provide you with a sense of more, not less, time.  After months of regular meditation you'll notice yourself rushing less, stressing less, and doing everything more slowly and meaningfully.  Everything you do will deepen and lengthen very naturally, whether it's the pleasure of a meal, hugging someone you care about, even a simple hello and brief interaction becomes more significant.  It's not as though any of these things have changed; it's that your perception of them has now changed completely for the better.

Meditation Classes in Marin

- Meditation = increases joy.  For real.  I've always been an optimist to the point of idiocy at times, however I have a bit of a serious streak, a slight Scorpio intensity and tendency to take myself overly seriously at times.  Thanks to meditation, I am more light-hearted, swifter to see the humor in situations, prone to smile for no particular reason and by default more grateful and content.  When you aren't reliant on other people or external conditions for your happiness, you can be a more authentic and true partner, friend, colleague and lover.

- Glowing Health.  I have never felt healthier, emotionally strong, physically healthy and comfy in my own skin than I do today, and I credit meditation as one of the daily foundations of a healthy lifestyle.  By decreasing one's perception of stress and anxiety, all of your physical systems - immune, digestion, detoxification - are able perform in concert and at their best, keeping you feeling good & strong.  Meditation helps keep you young, vibrant and resilient... mind, body and spirit.

Meditate in Marin

Our fabulous team at Soulstice is excited to bring all of these benefits and more with the launch of our new Meditation and Mind/Body Studio in Sausalito.  Opening in November 2016, we look forward to offering diverse classes for beginning as well as advanced meditators.  Curious to learn more?  We invite you to visit our incredible team, view our class schedule online, keep in touch with us on Facebook and join our opening celebration.  We look forward to bringing all the health-affirming, life-changing and blissful benefits of meditation to our Soulstice community!






July Updates from Soulstice Spa July 06 2016

Happy July from all of us at Soulstice Spa!

The summer sun is a'blazing!  Protect your skin with our fave organic suncare line Coola, now 30% off at the spa through July 31st.  Effective, vegan and available in three delightful variations (cucumber, plumeria, unscented) while supplies last. *Offer good at spa locations, only.

Please welcome our new manager at Soulstice Spa - Sausalito, Christina! Hailing from Petaluma, Christina is enjoying Sausalito's temperatures, beauty, and vibe quite a lot!  Meeting people for the first time and facilitating a match with our exceptionally talented therapists is what she enjoys most.  She welcomes new games of Words With Friends - Petaluma Rose. 

You asked, we listened!  Soulstice customers may now receive appointment reminders and confirmations by text message.  Over the next few weeks, we will be phasing out confirmation phone calls and instead be emailing and texting you appointment reminders.  Please bear with us as we tweak our software to accommodate your preferences - email, text or both!  If you need no reminders, you'll be able to opt out of these convenient features.

While we are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays until we grow a bit more in Sausalito, we do have seven-day-a-week reception for both spas.  Sausalito customers are welcome to call any day to set your appointments; our amazing team in Santa Rosa (La Reina, Paula, Shannon and Lexi) will take great care of you on Mondays & Tuesdays.  Don't forget, Soulstice Membership is good at both locations - we encourage you to visit our sister property and meet the other half of our team!

Many of you are fans of our vegan & non-toxic nail polish, Soulstice Nail Colour --- we're very excited to announce our newest collection has hatched and will be available at the spa.  Joining our Sonoma County color collection, our newest 18 shades are inspired by the unique, beautiful cities of Marin County.  We can't wait for you to try them!

Free Massages???  Yes, please!  Did you know many of you can have your massage memberships covered by your Workplace Wellness Benefits?  It's true!  The County of Sonoma, Coppola Winery, Sonic and many more local employers cover massage as part of your benefits and flexible spending accounts.  Be sure to check with your employer; we're happy to help get you set up.  More massage = a healthier you!

Time flies!  As we head into summer, we celebrate our 4th anniversary in Santa Rosa and our 1st year anniversary in Sausalito - we can't thank you enough for all your support, enthusiasm and appreciation we feel from each and every one of you.  Our customers are the best, you really are!  Whether it's our caring, vibrant desk team or our talented, friendly massage therapists, our goal is to do the very best we can every day to care for you body, mind and spirit.  To remind each of you to take space, connect and share, and get in touch with your soul.  In the crazy whirlwind of an election year, traumatic global events, and an unpredictable economy, it's important to remember we're all in this together.  Coming together as a community is the surest way for us to feel connected, empowered and lift each other up.  We hope, in our own small way, we help you feel cared for, soothed, balanced and hopeful.  We appreciate you, and are grateful to be part of your world!  
xoxo All of us at Soulstice Spa

Happy, Healthier, More Centered - Learn Vedic Meditation in Marin with James Brown June 22 2016

We're very excited to join James Brown and Vedic Path Meditation for a special group course in Marin County July 5th-July 8th, held at a gorgeous private home in Tiburon, CA.  As a bonus, the first ten people to sign up will receive a complimentary massage at Soulstice Mind + Body Spa in Sausalito - calm your mind, treat your body and nurture your soul!

Spaces are limited to 15 participants... please reserve your spot here:

Here James shares more about the amazing benefits of a daily meditation practice...

"Ongoing scientific research on meditation continues to show remarkable benefits in terms of both health and happiness. If you’re interested we could talk about this stuff for hours. For now, here’s a quick summary of some of the practical, real-world benefits that students report from regular practice of Vedic Meditation. The best part is that most feel some positive effects within just the first couple days of learning, and it just gets better after that.

Stress release

This is the big one for most people. That’s because the single greatest obstruction to our health and well-being is stress. Medical research estimates as much as 90% of all health problems are caused or aggravated by stress. The unique state of rest that is achieved during meditation allows the body to launder years of accumulated stress physiologically. It also allows the body’s natural healing mechanisms to function fully and in doing so promotes a state of balance and health. People who practice the Vedic Meditation technique say they have less stress, more energy, and less tension in their lives. Many find it easier to reduce alcohol use, stop smoking, and let go of unhealthy habits. Research also shows that they have lower medical costs, fewer doctor visits, and less hospitalization. All from closing your eyes for 20 minutes twice a day and silently repeating your mantra. Sounds amazing, but it’s true.

Better sleep and more energy

About half of my students come to the course complaining of poor sleep. And it’s no wonder because when we’re stressed, one of the first things to be compromised is the quality of our sleep. The unfortunate paradox is that sleep is also our first line of defense against the harmful effects stress. Fortunately, very soon after learning to meditate, most people report an improvement in their quality of sleep which means they arise rested, with more energy, ready to get things done. It’s also interesting to note that, after a year or so of meditation, many people report needing about an hour less sleep a night.

More creativity

A recent study showed similar brain-wave patterns in babies, jazz musicians in the middle of improvisation and meditators. What this shows is that meditation allows us to cultivate a way of being that opens us up to all possibilities, without the negative effects of fear and anxiety. Not a bad thing to have in your toolbox when you’re trying to come up with creative and innovative solutions to the challenges of modern life.

Less reactivity to stressful events

One of the most comforting, real-world benefits of learning this technique is that we find it’s harder to knock us off our game. We simply begin to lose the ability to lose it…especially in situations where it’s really not appropriate. Like when we’re behind the wheel. Or dealing with our kids. Or customer service people. And if we do get angry about something we find it easier to let go of that anger and return to an even keel.

Live in the moment

Most of us spend a good part of our lives regretting or rehashing the past and worrying about the future. This non-stop brain chatter is what both prevents us from being in the moment and adds an unhealthy amount of drama to our lives. Vedic Meditation allows us to turn down the volume on that brain chatter so that it’s less distracting, allowing us to focus on what’s happening right here, right now. The most interesting thing is the Vedic Meditation allows you to be more in the moment without asking you to focus on doing that. The benefit arises as a consequence of the practice, not as the goal.

Better mental clarity and focus

Clear thinking is vital for everyone, because it’s the state of our minds that determines the overall quality of our experiences.  During Vedic Meditation the mind gains direct access to the deeper, quieter, more powerful and intuitive levels of thinking. This experience systematically expands consciousness and infuses the mind with creativity and intelligence, bringing improvements in all aspects of mental performance and perception. After meditating, the mind is fresher, quieter, more alert and happier. Awareness shifts and one finds they begin to respond in a completely different way to demands and pressure. Studies show that in the brains of long-time meditators the connective fiber between different areas of the brain, including the corpus callosum, get thicker. Meditation is like a push-up for your brain…and this isn’t just a colorful metaphor, it’s the conclusion of a recent study at UCLA.

Better Decision Making (especially under pressure)

Within just six weeks of learning this technique meditators have shown measurable increases in performance in something called “executive function.” What this means is that their ability to stay calm, while making accurate decisions under pressure improves. This has all sorts of relevant real-world benefits for actual executives, high-performance athletes, and the people who really need it the most – parents.

Freedom from addictive behavior

When we engage in addictive behavior we are trying, in vain, to fill a hole we feel in ourselves. But no matter how much alcohol or drugs or sex or food or video games or gambling or whatever we try to pour into our lives it’s a hole we can never fill. The 11th step of every 12-step program is meditation. Why? Because the only substance with which we can fill the hole we feel in ourselves is with love for ourselves. The practice of Vedic Meditation gives us a direct experience, twice a day, of our essential self. It’s a very healing and nourishing way to better know and love ourselves.

Better relationships

It’s not exactly difficult to understand why when we’re healthier, happier and living more in the moment we’re a lot easier to be around. And that ends up being a good thing for the other people in our lives, and attracts better people to our life.

Better knowledge of self

Twice a day, Vedic Meditation gives you a direct experience of your most essential self; of that unique kernel of awareness that lies at the core of your being. And it gives you this knowledge not through hours of exhaustive talk therapy, but by allowing your mind to settle effortlessly into it’s own depths. What results is that you feel more grounded in the person you truly are, and are more able to both hear and honor the impulses that rise from within."

Embracing Change in your Massage Experience June 06 2016

When it comes to massage therapy, your rapport with your Massage Therapist is a meaningful part of your overall experience.  In order to fully relax - both mentally and physically - it's important to feel at ease and place trust in your therapist.  Each individual therapist brings their own unique skills to the table, but they also bring their own energy, personality and communication style as well.  It is our job at the reception desk to try to match each client to the very best therapist for them on any given day - this massage matchmaking is perhaps the most important part of our job!

Sometimes a perfect match is made on the very first visit; other times it might take a bit more 'shopping around' and trying different therapists and massage styles.  Once a client really 'clicks' with a particular therapist, they frequently prefer to request that therapist for all of their future visits.  For weeks or months, the client will love coming in, typically seeing amazing progress on whatever issues originally led them in --- their rotator cuff shows greater mobility, their knee is less inflamed, their sciatica flare has disappeared --- until hopefully the issue is completely resolved. 

This is ideal, but it also might mean you're ready for a new massage therapist!

When we are growing, we are changing... and with those changes come changes in our individual bodywork needs.  For example, the physical issues that originally led you to massage therapy may now be much improved, but now you're experiencing anxiety or mental stress more than physical pain.  While all massage therapy will benefit you, each therapist has different strengths and excels at working with different types of people and issues.  One therapist might be a wizard with neck work, while another is magical with migraines.  As your body and mind change over time, so may your needs and therapist.

How do you know when it's time for a change??

If you've been receiving regular massage from the same therapist, over time you may experience feeling in a rut, a plateau or strange disconnect from your therapist.  You may not leave feeling the same euphoric feeling you have left with in the past.  You usually won't be able to quite put your finger on why, but you may have an innate feeling that your body needs to mix it up or try something new.  More often than not, your therapist is feeling it too!

If you have been experiencing a lot of transition and change in your life, our goal as therapists is to meet you where you are in any given visit.  Many of our clients worry that if they want to try a new therapist that they may hurt the feelings of their current therapist - you won't!  Our therapists understand that people's needs change over time...  Moreover, our therapists work as a team, respect each other's talent immensely, and encourage clients to experience the unique skills and healing touch that everyone brings to the table.  The goal for all of us at Soulstice is for you to get the perfect care you need as your body, mind and spiritual needs grow and shift over time.  If you need help, our caring reception team is here to help your bodywork and massages reflect the needs of evolving you...    See you soon!



Let Freedom Ring! ~ Mind, Body + Spirit May 29 2016

Massage Brain.  Massage Daze.  Spa Stupor.  We jokingly call it many things, but the contented, blissed-out state that our clients emerge from their sessions in are an important opportunity to soak up all the amazing benefits of massage.

A great massage reorganizes your senses and brings you into touch with your body.  It's not unusual during the course of a massage to be surprised by how tight or stressed certain parts of your body really are...  Likewise, you may suddenly feel neural sensations or energetic connections from one part of your body to another, leading you to feel a brand new sense of wholeness.  As overworked muscles and knots are unwound, your entire body will shift to accommodate this newfound sense of freedom and ease of movement.  Once your focus shifts from the processing, thinking, analytical mind and deepens into the physical, intuitive, heart-centered realm of the body, you will experience what it means to really be "in your body."  At times and for some, this sensation can occasionally be a disconcerting feeling.

Touch, more than any other sensation, holds the key to bringing us into greater physical awareness and wholeness.  It's that head-to-toe warm fuzzy feeling you feel when holding a brand new baby, snuggling your beloved pet, or while in the embrace of an amazing kiss.  Most of us dwell in our minds most of our waking hours - thoughts of the past, present and future flow together in an unending stream.  Touch can lead us deeper, beyond the plane of mental chatter, and open us physically, mentally and spiritually.

All of the positive effects of massage - enhanced mobility and range of motion, freedom in your joints and tissues, a spacious and peaceful mind, a calm, contented heart - will be prolonged if you can create space following your session.  

Whenever possible, schedule special free time to follow your massage where you may continue to feel and experience these shifts and changes.  Give yourself space, freedom and time to absorb and integrate the transition.  Here are some tips from our team of therapists: 

1. If you live near the coast or a body of water, plan a gentle stroll nearby.  Natural elements - water, soil, sand - soothe and calm the spirit.  Being outdoors in nature, catching some natural sunlight and fresh air will nurture your massage's effects.  

2.  Don't. Do. Anything.  The best thing you can do is just, well, be.  Take a few minutes to sit and remain in a state of non-thinking.  Listen to your breath.  View the clouds, the trees, the landscape and just feel.

3.  Ground yourself.  The sensation of truly being in your body and feeling at a deeper level can leave you feeling out of sorts, confused and unable to think clearly.  It's a great time to kick off your shoes and ground yourself to the earth, perhaps in your garden or a nearby park.

4. Schedule at least an hour of nothing after your massage.  No phone calls, no meetings, no tv or reading.  Just let your mind remain in the "off" position a little longer.

5. Embrace silence.  Feeling fully in your body will make you feel whole and complete in a way you may have never felt before.  The more you're grounded within yourself, the less outside stimulus you will need to feel fully - colors will be more vibrant, tones will be richer, feelings will be deeper.  Enjoy the new level of internal sensitivity that comes with quieting your external surroundings.


Health from the Inside Out! ~ Oil Pulling May 06 2016

Reducing inflammation in the body through diet and daily practices will help keep you strong and healthy.  Oil swishing (also known as oil pulling) is an easy & effective way to reduce inflammation, beginning at the source - in your mouth!

Eris Cusher, of Eat Clean Nutrition, shares more about the practice below...

The Health Benefits of Oil Pulling by Eris Cushner, co-founder of Eat Clean Nutrition

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic detoxification practice. It involves swishing oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes (note: if you’re a beginner, start with 5 minutes and build up from there). There are potentially many benefits to oil pulling, or oil swishing as it’s sometimes referred to, such as strengthening your gums, whitening your teeth, reducing inflammation and bacteria in the mouth, re-mineralizing the teeth and reducing plaque. My personal favorite oil to use for oil pulling is coconut oil with essential peppermint oil (Skinny Oil makes a great version). Coconut oil has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties and, as an added bonus, it tastes and smells good too!
How to Oil Pull:
  1. First thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth or drink your lemon water, or have your cup of coffee, put 1 teaspoon – 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth (I would start with 1 teaspoon and build up gradually).
  2. Gently swish it around for 15-20 minutes ideally, but if you’re just starting out then 5 minutes might be a good goal. You will feel the coconut oil melt in your mouth as you do this. You can be doing other things that are a part of your morning routine as this helps pass the time along.
  3. Spit the oil in your trash can!  Don’t swallow the oil as it’s full of bacteria and toxins, and don’t spit it out into the sink as it may clog your drains.
This art may take some practice getting used to, but similar to flossing, once you get in the habit of doing it, it becomes part of your daily oral health routine. To find out more about Eat Clean Nutrition and their different offerings, please visit



Our "Best" Massage Therapist March 29 2016

“So, who is your best therapist?”

Our “best therapist.”  As the founder of Soulstice Spa, I get asked this question pretty often, and it still makes me smile nearly four years after we opened in Santa Rosa with just four therapists.  We didn’t have a “best” therapist then, and today with over two dozen therapists in two locations… we still don’t!

In our competitive and achievement-oriented society we like to rate and rank, well, just about everything.  As kids we’re awarded stickers and stars, then given grades and ribbons… As adults we’re conditioned to judge people by their degree, their alma mater and their title, as if these things signify meaning, value, or importance.  We weigh, we analyze, we think-think-think.  We’re influenced to look for superficial markers of success and stamps of approval – degrees from top-rated schools, certifications for all kinds of specialties, and an assumption that things that cost more are better and more worthwhile.  The problem with all of this weighing and ranking and thinking is that it gets in the way of what the human experience is all about = being and feeling in the present moment.  It’s impossible to go deeply within, relaxing the body and opening the heart, while constantly judging the external with our thinking mind. 

Individuals come to massage therapy for all kinds of reasons… Some reasons are physical (pain, discomfort, range of motion limitations and muscular knots) some are mental (stress, overstimulated nervous systems, anxiety) while others seek a spiritual connection (deeper self-awareness, connection, healing.)  There is no one “best” therapist because what is “best” will be different for each and every person, and it will change over the course of one’s lifetime.

Traditionally and historically, spas have offered a menu of services where guests can choose between types of massage like Swedish, sports massage or deep tissue.  It’s more about the process, and less about the person.  A client’s choice from a menu tells us a little bit about their preferences in a massage, but is only one page of a larger, more important story.  We have a different philosophy at Soulstice:  we listen and focus on the type of massage each client is seeking, but we also want to know who you are.  We strive to create an experience that addresses how you feel, not only what you think.  And for each person this is going to be unique, personal and vary in any given moment.

How do we learn who is the “best” therapist for you?  By listening.  You can help us learn what and who is best for you by giving us time with you and sharing a bit of yourself with our caring staff.  We believe massage therapy has a special, meaningful role in everyone’s life.  To be silent, still and connected to another person who has no intention other than to provide you with caring, healing and love is a special thing.  We can provide you with your best experience – and the “best therapist” for you – the better we know the authentic you.  Thank you for trusting us to care for you… mind, body and spirit!

Finding Your Perfect Massage Match! March 01 2016

An important part of what makes an amazing massage therapy experience is having a wonderful rapport and connection with your therapist. Each of our therapists at Soulstice is unique and brings his or her own individual skills, training and background to the table. We embrace the diversity of our team, encourage them to be themselves and support them in customizing their massages for each client.

Our fantastic reception team excels at matching each customer to the perfect therapist according to their needs. They are trained to ask questions… What type of pressure do you prefer for your massage? Are you seeking therapeutic bodywork for a specific physical pain, or looking for a more relaxing experience? Are there any modalities that you especially love, such as shiatsu or reflexology? A basic understanding of the type of massage you enjoy provides our team with the minimum information we like to have while booking your first massage with us.

Just as important though, our team wants to know how you hope to feel and gauge your expectations for your visit. Are you experiencing a great deal of stress and need to calm your nervous system? Are you feeling low energy and hope to leave uplifted and revitalized? Are your back and hips locked up from sitting in a desk chair and need to be unwound? Each of our therapists excels at easing different mental, physical and emotional conditions, and we encourage our customers to communicate with our team in order to get the best result.

Here are a few hints and tips to help you receive your best massage ever!

- Take your time when booking your introductory massage at Soulstice. Please don’t rush through booking your appointment, book while driving or multi-tasking, or book your first appointment over email. We can do our best job of matching you if you give us an ability to get to know you, please do!

- Cushion your massage time with special “you” time… If possible, please don’t pack your massage day to the gills so you’re rushing into your massage or racing out the door afterwards. The benefits of your massage will be enhanced exponentially if you arrive early and have time to unwind, relax and clear your head before your session. Afterward, give yourself some space to soak up all the amazing vibes you just received, hydrate your body and ease back into the world.

- Give us some time to get to know you! We care about our customers very much, and want you to have the best experience possible. Let us get to know you both over the phone as well as during your visit. If you can come in a bit early, please do! Our reception team enjoys getting to know you, learning about your work and lifestyle, and hearing about your hopes and expectations for your massage. The better we know you, the better we can create a great experience for you.

- If you’re booking a massage for a spouse or loved one, please keep in mind that they may enjoy an entirely different type of massage than you do. In the case of many couples, one of you may adore very deep tissue work while the other prefers a gentler, nurturing touch. Whenever possible, we love to speak directly to the person receiving the massage to ensure we’re matching them with their ideal practitioner.

- For your best massage match, please give our team some time and flexibility by booking in advance. All of our therapists are amazing in their own way, but it is likely there are a select few that will be the absolute best matches for your needs. When you book last-minute, it limits our options for you. We understand that life is busy, but give this gift to yourself. By giving us some lead time and allowing us to listen carefully to your preferences, we can create a special experience just for you.

We look forward to caring for you soon!

Soulstice... What We're All About! September 07 2015

Here are a few questions we've been asked recently by our new & established customers, hope this helps answer many of them!

Is my Soulstice Membership good at both locations?

Yes, absolutely!  Whether you sign up in Santa Rosa or Sausalito, you're welcome to visit and use your Membership at either location interchangeably.

I'm not a Member yet, but I'm curious...  How does it work?

Soulstice Membership is a fantastic way to receive all the benefits of massage on a regular basis at an affordable price.  Plus, it's as easy as pie!  Please click on the "Membership" tab above to learn more...  You may become a Member online, or in person while visiting us at the spa. 

I'm new to Soulstice?  What are you guys all about?

We offer customized, quality massage therapy and bodywork at affordable, accessible prices.  We're passionate about massage and its amazing and many healthy benefits for the body, mind and spirit.  Our therapists are talented, skillful, diverse and kind.  Whether you're recovering from a rotator cuff injury, had a stressful week at work or going through a challenging time in your personal life, we are here to care.  Our hope is that your visit with us will be a consistently safe, warm and loving place where you're encouraged to be yourself, relax, unwind, laugh, heal and leave your troubles behind for awhile.

Do you provide facials, nail services or anything else?

Now that we've been at this for a few years, we're convinced more than ever that massage & bodywork is the heart of what we're about.  We want to focus on the inside - on your heart and soul - and believe that we can best serve our community and customers by staying true to the heart of our purpose.  We purposely don't have a complicated menu of services because we customize every massage for each of you;  no cookie cutter massages here! 

Let's face it, life is complicated enough.  We want to be one place you can always come - no matter what curves life may throw at you - and receive genuine care, kindness, good vibes... and a terrific massage.  Whether you're celebrating the highs, or need support through life's challenges, we are here to help and care the best we can through the healing power of touch. 

Massage Therapy for a Healthy Holiday Season November 15 2014

Short days, long nights… there’s no better time to begin a self-care and wellness routine than during the chilly, damp winter months. Winter is the ideal time for reflection and nurturing, conserving energy, and planting the seeds of good health and wellness for the new year ahead.

At Soulstice Spa, we believe regular massage therapy is vital to optimal health and wellness and our local residents and members receive special pricing for monthly massage services. The benefits of massage – improved flexibility, circulation, more restful sleep – are imperative for a high-functioning immune system and increase tenfold by making massage a regular habit.

During the notorious cold and flu months, stay well hydrated by drinking at least your body weight in ounces of pure, filtered water each day. Many of us commute and work indoors with the heat blasting all winter long, which is very dehydrating to the body and skin. Keeping hydrated will help your immune system perform at its best and defend you from germs and bacteria. We also encourage getting more hours of deep and restful sleep by taking well-deserved naps on the weekend and getting to bed earlier in the evenings. Scheduling a massage in the hours preceding your bedtime is a wonderful way to unwind and deepen your sleep.

Eat dense, warming and nutritious foods such as soups, dark leafy greens, lentils, quinoa and nuts. As sunshine grows scarcer, make sure to include plenty of vitamin D from food sources such as egg yolks and fish. Cookies, pies and baked goods are part and parcel of the festive holiday season, but try to eat sugar and alcohol in moderation as they are extremely taxing to the immune system. If you’re feeling especially run down, tired or stressed, skip the sweets and indulge in flavorful fruits, roasted veggies with winter spices and herbal teas.

Along with our massage therapy offerings, we provide sugar scrub treatments to exfoliate and refresh tired winter feet. Chock full of antioxidants and essential oils such as blood orange, eucalyptus and artisan organic honey, our sugar scrubs moisturize as they exfoliate… unlike traditional salt scrubs which tend to overly dry the skin. Clients may also incorporate enriching add-ons into their massages such as extra virgin organic coconut oil - perhaps the world’s most perfect all-over moisturizer – and warming ginger oil, a beautiful blend of ginger-infused jojoba and almond oils.

In the spa as well as at home, we adore the naturally anti-bacterial essential oil of lavender. In addition to being a cold-and-flu preventative, lavender is deeply calming to the nervous system, reduces stress and calms inflamed or chapped skin. Our Lavender Hot Stone Massage is a wintertime favorite, and a few of our top sellers are a beautiful chamomile-lavender dry skin balm, a convenient lavender roller-pen that tucks into your car or purse, and a luscious lavender and vanilla room spray, all locally made here in Sonoma County.

It’s important to stay active over the winter with regular exercise and movement to keep your immune and circulatory systems humming. It’s a beautiful time of year to catch the morning sun and hike or bike the beautiful hills of Wine County. Explore hatha or yin yoga – both of which encourage stretching, meditation, reflection and turning inward, perfect for damp winter months. Take extra time to warm your body up before engaging in exercise or strenuous activity. If you’re prone to muscle and aches and pains, you’ll love our offering of Sombra warming lotion. This natural pain-relieving formula eases creaky joints, stiff necks and arthritis, and we often incorporate Sombra into a deep tissue or sports massage. A balanced winter wellness plan of massage, rest, movement and nutrition will keep your body, mind and spirit healthy and nourished throughout the season.  We look forward to seeing you at the spa soon!