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!