Monday, August 29, 2016

What is a Swedish Massage?

One of the common misconceptions of the massage industry by the public is what constitutes a massage. One of the comments heard by massage therapists from clients when a Swedish massage is through is, "You didn't work on my knots". To which the reply is, you asked for a relaxing Swedish Massage. In order to alleviate this common problem good communication is needed both on the part of the client and the on the part of the receptionist and the massage therapist.

At the intake process, I always tell the client what will take place during the massage. And what modalities I use during their massage. When the client is booking the massage it may be necessary to explain the difference between the modalities of massage. And for the client to decide what type of massage is best for them at the time.

The client must take into consideration what their health and mental status is. If they're stressed to the max, they might want to consider a nice relaxing massage. If they have a lot of knots (adhesions), tightness in their muscles or a limited range of motion, they might wish to receive a therapeutic massage. Or they may wish a combination of the two. That being said, the client must consider what's best for them.

The first thing is to consider is what do you want the massage to accomplish? Are you looking for a nice relaxing massage or do you need the massage therapist to focus on certain sore, strained, tight or injured muscles? Why don't we take a look at the first choice of a nice relaxing massage.

The Moves of Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage consists of five types of strokes. The first is effleurage which are nice long flowing strokes with light pressure which warms up the muscles. This move is probably the most common when a massage is thought about.

The next is petrissage. Petrissage is a kind of a scooping motion that effects the surface muscles and the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that covers the entire body. Sometimes it becomes bound or stuck and needs to be loosened.

Another move is vibration. Vibration is the rhythmic shaking of the body to it's own rhythm. It feels very good and can actually put one to sleep.

An additional move is called friction. Friction is done to the muscle fibers in either a circular pattern or perpendicular to the way the muscle fiber runs.

The final move is called tapotement and can be one of several moves such as cupping, chopping, quacking or hacking and is probably the second most thought of move when one thinks about massage. It can be quite noisy so it's not done for very long and usually at the end of the session as this helps to awaken the sleeping client.

All of these moves are part of the basic Swedish massage and can be used by the massage therapist in any order at any time.


The flow of a Swedish massage is at a nice relaxing pace. No rushing or quick movements in this type of massage, except for the tapotement component. The recipients of a good Swedish massage usually fall fast asleep. And snoring is a compliment to the therapist.


The benefits of a Swedish massage are; hyperemia or a reddening of the skin or a blushing of the skin, increased blood flow which helps the body' s metabolism, the release of endorphins the amino acids that work as the body' s natural pain killer, and finally enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow which is part of the body' s natural defense system.


A Swedish massage session usually has a musical component to it as well. Nice relaxing music is played during the massage. The music varies according to the place of massage. For instance a massage franchise will play all of the same music approved by corporate. In a private or group practice, the therapist picks the music or in some cases lets the client pick their music or bring in their own CD's to play.


Lighting is an important factor in a relaxing massage. After all, it's hard to relax when you're under spotlights or those God awful fluorescent lights. Side lighting or lamps are a good source of lighting as long as they have a dimmer control on them. Some therapists may even use candles in their practice, although fire laws may prevent the use of candles in an office building.


There are other things the therapist may add or add for an additional charge, such as aroma therapy, Reiki, scrubs or wraps, hot stones and massage cupping. There you have it, all the components of a nice relaxing Swedish massage. In the next article, I'll cover the topic of a therapeutic massage which uses deep tissue moves as the primary means to accomplish the massage.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Nature is Everywhere -- We Just Need to Learn to See It | Emma Marris

How do you define "nature?" If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, we won't have any left, says environmental writer Emma Marris. She urges us to consider a new definition of nature -- one that includes not only pristine wilderness but also the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces -- and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it, so that one day they might love and protect it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Experience a Facial Especially Tailored to Men

Men's Facial 

A very relaxing treatment to brighten and purify your skin. This treatment is especially tailored to men to thoroughly clean your skin. Your skin will regain its radiance and vitality and be visibly brighter. 

45 minutes - $75 

Call 36 Oaks Country Retreat today to schedule your appointment to try this facial or any other of our relaxing spa treatments. 

(707) 447-8037

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Give Yourself a Break - Spend Some Time in Nature

Today life has become so fast, so stressful and busy that we often overlook someone very important - Ourselves.
We try to find time for everyone else - Classes, lectures, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, siblings, and rarely think about spending some time alone. This over busyness is costing us something profound - peace of mind. We have everything but peace of mind.
Work is Important But So is Peace of Mind.
I know work is important, we cannot do without it. We need to put food on table and cover all kinds of costs-shelter, transportation, education, medical, clothing and like. All these things require us to earn money and money comes to us when we work. So work surely is important but we can't work optimally if we are not grounded. Nature can help us become grounded so we can live a happy and healthy life.
Nature Can Help You
Nature is so serene, so beautiful and wonderfully calming. It's my personal experience that nature can bring you back in present moment. It can relieve tensions and stresses.
Nature gives you pure energy, it revitalizes you, makes you happy and joyous. It is the irony of our modern world that even when we have some spare time, we spend it either watching television or playing games on mobile phone or reading newspapers and then we wonder..
Why there is hollowness inside us?
Why do we feel frustrated?
What is missing?
Why life has become meaning less?
Why there's no joy and awe in our lives?
What is it that we are doing wrong?
Everyone Needs a Break and You Are No Exception
Everyone needs a break from the pressures of daily life and if you really want to take a break, then do this - Switch off your television and radio, leave your phone at home (sounds scary, right? what if something urgent needs my attention? Let go, trust the universe) and walk away some where in the lap of nature-A park, fields, country side, near a tree or even your favorite plant in your balcony (but this should be the last option)
Spend some time with nature - ALONE.
Let this time be reserved for you only; don't ask any one to give you company. Sit, relax and enjoy the silence surrounding you.
Nature is one of the most powerful healing forces in the universe. It can help you feel centered, calm and balanced. Go out in nature and reconnect with the most important person in the world - You!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Some Like it Hot - How Hot Stone Massage Can Benefit You

If you are looking for a massage session to warm your bones during the cold winter months, a hot stone massage may be just for you. Hot stone massage is the use of smooth, heated stones during a relaxation massage. The use of hot stones in massage can be traced back over 3,000 years ago in India and China. More recently, a renowned massage therapist from Arizona brought this ancient art of massage to therapy offices and spas everywhere. If you are curious about hot stone massage, read further about what to expect, benefits and contraindications, and how to get the most out of your hot stone massage treatment.
So, what can you expect during a hot stone massage? The massage therapist will heat the stones in preparation for your session. The stones used in the massage are either basalt or river rocks, which are both smooth in texture and retain heat well. The stones are immersed in water and heated in an electric pan. Once the stones reach a specific temperature, the stones are placed on specific points of the body, such as the back, abdomen, legs or hands. Meanwhile, other hot stones are incorporated in massage over other parts of your body. Massage oil is used during a hot stone massage. This allow maximum glide with the stones as well as letting the therapist quickly manipulate the stones over your back, arms or legs during the massage. Your therapist will check the temperature of the stone on their skin before using the stone in the massage.
Always communicate with your therapist of the stone is too warm on your skin. Your skin may have a pinkish hue after the stone is removed, showing improved circulation. The heated stone warms and relaxes the muscles only using light pressure during the massage. The heated stones are also used to relieve tension in the neck, upper back and feet. The treatment sequence will then be repeated on the opposite side of your body. The massage is generally 90 minutes in length. Also, expect you therapist to step away from you as stones are rotated from the heating appliance, to you and then returned to electric pan. The therapist will also take an extra effort to keeping any noise caused by the stones at a minimum during you massage.
Hot stone massage can be a beneficial treatment approach for several reasons. This modality allows for deep relaxation of the soft tissue without significant pressure applied from the therapist. All other massage benefits apply, such as improved circulation helping in flushing out metabolic waste from your soft tissues. Hot stone massages are also beneficial in pain relief, alleviate stress and improved flexibility. As with any other massage, your therapist should perform a thorough health information interview before a massage. Certain diagnoses are contraindicated for massage. They include: high blood pressure, open sores or skin lesions, and any diagnosis where decreased sensation occurs, such as diabetes. Pregnancy is also another condition contraindicated for hot stone massage.
Preparation for a hot stone massage is similar to getting ready for any other massage. Tips include:
o Eat a light meal and avoid indulging in alcoholic beverages before your massage.
o Take your time, allowing for ample time before and after to get the full benefits from your hot stone
o A tip to relax quicker is following the rhythmic movement of the stone on you back or other body part. You will move into deep relaxation before you know it.
o After the massage, sit up slowly onto the edge of the table, as there is an increased possibility of dizziness post massage. Your therapist may offer to help you sit up before leaving the room for your safety.
This winter, indulge in a hot stone massage. It's a special treat to enjoy in solitude or alongside a loved during a couples massage.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Soften the Signs of Aging with an Anti-Aging Facial

If you want to soften the signs of aging, treat yourself to this deeply nourishing and revitalizing experience. Throughout this exceptional treatment, you will feel the youthfullness returning to your skin. Noursihed, your skin will be smooth and visibly younger. You will feel very relaxed and rejuvenated! This treatment is designed especially for those 40 and over. This treatment includes cleansing, exfoliating, gentle stone and hand massage, derma fill mask and eye treatment, tight firm and fill eye and lip area treatment, as well as defend and restore moisturizing cream. 

60 minutes - $95 

Call 36 Oaks Country Retreat to schedule an appointment to try this facial or any other of our relaxing spa treatments.  

(707) 447-8037

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Deep Tissue Massage - Muscle Tendon & Ligament Relief

Deep Tissue Massage or myofascial release is a massage technique that focuses on releasing restrictions in the deeper layers of the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Deep tissue massage releases chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas.
Using slow strokes and deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain, deep tissue massage first warms the soft tissue before targeting deeper muscles groups.
Deep Tissue Massage - How Does it Work?
Deep tissue massage is both corrective and therapeutic. It uses two methods, direct or indirect and is effective in releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, relaxing and soothing muscles.
The direct method applies pressure to the muscle with the intention of finding resistance in the body, and maintaining the pressure until the resistance is released.
The indirect method moves in the opposite direction of the resistance.
With both techniques the amount of pressure applied is dependent on the amount of resistance.
Fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms are all used with long, slow strokes.
Because of the focus on a specific area some clients find deep tissue massage uncomfortable and it may cause some soreness during or after.
Providing the massage is carried out correctly any soreness should disappear in a day or two.
Deep tissue massage does not require great strength, nor does it need to be painful and applying pressure for the sake of it can be ineffectual if done incorrectly.
Of the two methods, direct and indirect, there are many different combinations.
Some of the more well known include:-
o Polarity Therapy
o Thai Massage
o Triggerpoint Therapy
What are the benefits of a Deep Tissue Massage?
Unlike a regular relaxation massage, deep tissue massage works effectively on the skeletal structures that lie deep within the body.
Many people seek a deep tissue massage to help in treating crippling diseases, muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.
When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue.
Through controlled manual manipulation, deep tissue massage breaks down scar tissue and crystallization, loosens muscles, releases toxins and allows blood and oxygen to circulate properly.
It is important to drink plenty of water afterwards to flush away the toxins released during massage.
The key benefits of deep tissue massage include:
o Elimination of the blocks that cause muscle tightness
o Increases circulation of blood, lymph, cerebro-spinal and interstitial fluids
o Can resolve many chronic pain patterns by releasing deeply held emotions that cause tension
o Helps improve the functioning of the internal organs and any associated symptoms or diseases
o Improves posture and mobility
o Helps to reduce tension and the automatic reflexes to stress
How effective is Deep Tissue Massage?
Deep tissue massage can be very effective, but one has to be realistic about how much can be achieved in one session.
Simply asking for more pressure and thinking that if the therapist pushes hard enough, all tension will be released within an hour is unrealistic.
Chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime can only be addressed with a series of treatments.
Most therapists will offer advice on a program that includes exercise, work on your posture, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage.
Is Deep Tissue Massage Safe for Everyone?
As with most massage treatments, deep tissue massage is not recommended for certain people.
Massage should not be done directly over bruised or inflamed skin, open wounds, tumors, areas of recent fracture, abdominal hernia, rashes or skin disease.
It should also be avoided by:
o People with cardiovascular conditions and heart disease especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis and oedema
o Pregnant women and people with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before considering a massage
o Immediately after surgery
o Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
Deep Tissue Massage - Choosing a Therapist
When considering a deep tissue massage, ensure you choose a therapist you feel comfortable with and one that comes from a reputable organization.
Salons, spas, health and fitness clubs typically offer deep tissue massage, or you contact a mobile spa and have a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Benefits of Facials

Taking the time off to get a facial is a chance to enhance your skin while you relax in a spa atmosphere. There are a variety of facials offered that address problems such as dry skin, inflamed pores, acne, and even just tense faces. Both men and women, as well as teens, can partake in this skin-saving and rejuvenating process.
Even if you wash your face regularly, your pores still accumulate the dirt and grime that are associated with everyday life. The skin of your face is also susceptible to smoke and sun damage that can be treated with a good facial.
Facials consist of a process where a skincare technician first assesses your skin condition. After this consultation, the technician will help you choose the best type of facial for you. The skin specialist will look at a number of factors to determine your skin type. He or she may take pore size, skin texture, tone, and oil production into consideration.
During the process, the skin expert will deep-clean your face, as well as exfoliate the grime and dead layer of skin on the surface. Your skin will be softened and treated specifically during the whole ordeal, and afterward. Some facials include special add-ons that focus on things like relaxing your face with special massages, or enhancing your face with eyebrow dye or other such products.
No matter your add-ons, facials work to detoxify your skin by extracting the impurities that build up in your pores. Additionally, they help to hydrate your face and lock in moisture. A facial targeted for your skin type can actually help fight the aging process by promoting cell turnover and hydration, protecting you from fine lines and sagging.
There are several different types of facials that have been created to address the different needs of different people. This helps the aesthetician tailor the facial to help you as much as possible, protecting your skin from the ravages of dirt and even time. There are calming facials that use gentle products while still cleaning out your skin. Also, you may get a facial massage during this process to help relax the muscles of your face and smooth out worried puckers. Acne-fighting facials may include special extractions in addition to the deep cleansing to fully remove built-up blackheads.
Some spas offer facials just for men that focus on cleaning out ingrown hairs. Others offer teen facials to set teenagers on the right track in skincare. Also, there are lunchtime facials that give people who are pressed for time a quick chance to still impact their face in a beneficial way.
As you can see, the benefits of facials are numerous. Not only do you target your skin issues, but you also get a chance to relax and enjoy the treatment.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Enjoy Pre-Wedding Pampering with Our Bridal Retreat Package

A perfect place for a bridal group day of pampering. Bring your own picnic, or we can cater it for you.

Cost is: Each of you choose your package from retreat packages or choose A La Carte and add $20.00 day fee.

Or... the Bride and Groom might enjoy an evening of pampering before the big day!
*call for pricing

 36 Oaks Country Retreat, nestled in a grove of majestic oak trees on Gibson Canyon Road, is an oasis of relaxation and natural beauty in the Vacaville countryside. A lovely country cottage setting on two and a half acres with wild ferns growing in the shade, deer wandering through, and even an occasional fox or raccoon.

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, August 2, 2016