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The art of fermenting relaxation. On the way to Bodega Bay, in the small town of Freestone, is OSMOSIS Day Spa Sanctuary, a place known for its unique methods of relaxation. The spa's Japanese Cedar Enzyme Bath is an experience worth a try (on this continent, it's the only one of its kind). After changing into a fluffy bathrobe, guests warm up with a cup of Japanese tea in a private section of the Zen garden. Then they settle into a tub of finely ground evergreens and rice bran, soaking up the benefits of this live enzyme bath (here's where the magic of fermentation comes in), which include reduced tension and stress, improved digestion, and relief from body aches.
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Find your zen in the Osmosis meditation garden in Freestone. (Photo by Christopher Chung)
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You can also book a body treatment or massage at Osmosis in Freestone. (Courtesy photo)
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New Year, Renewed You. Begin the new year relaxed, recharged and ready for what's to come. Through January 31, the spa at MacArthur Place is offering a special Renewal Rate: all 50-minute treatments are $75 and 100-minute treatments $120, regularly $140+ and $235+, respectively. Choose from ten signature treatments, six massages, three body treatments and more. View the full menu here.
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Healing waters in Wine Country. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, a luxury hotel in Sonoma Valley, has a spa with indoor and outdoor mineral pools. Both visitors and locals are welcome to find their inner peace here; a day pass (reduced rates available for locals) at the Willow Stream Spa gives access to the outdoor thermal mineral baths, two indoor mineral water soaking pools, herbal steam, dry sauna, cool down showers, as well as fitness classes - for those who find exercise relaxing. Mineral pools have long been touted for their capacity to increase blood flow, circulation, metabolism, and absorption of essential minerals.
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Take a dip in one of the mineral pools at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn's Willow Stream Spa. (Courtesy photo)
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Or order a glass of bubbly while lounging poolside. (Courtesy photo)
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Matcha love. The Taste of Tea in downtown Healdsburg is a specialty tea shop that serves Japanese comfort food and teas in their lounge. In addition to ordering a bowl of ramen, or a non-alcoholic tea martini, you can enjoy a tea facial or foot soak in their Relaxation Room just behind the lounge and restaurant.
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Soak up the benefits of green tea in the Relaxation Room at the Taste of Tea in Healdsburg.
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Needle a break? In traditional Chinese medicine, the belief is that a disruption in one’s flow of energy causes disease. Acupuncture can help you re-center by stimulating the nerves in your body, potentially alleviating pain and treating various conditions. The Saxena Clinic at WELL Sonoma in Santa Rosa focuses on personalized care and has been voted “Best Acupuncturist in Sonoma County” five years in a row. If you are looking for an economical way to start acupuncture treatment, try visiting Petaluma Community Acupuncture or Santa Rosa Community Acupuncture both of which offer a sliding pay scale. (Stock photo)
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Get some fresh air. Sonoma County has miles of hiking trails for everyone to enjoy. Two favorites are Armstrong Woods in Guerneville for mindful meanderings (or a "forest bath") among redwood trees, and Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa for an early morning walk with friends. Both trails are suitable for all ages and allow you to escape civilization and enjoy nature. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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Take a “forest bath” in Armstrong Redwoods. The Japanese call it Shinrin-Yoku and it's a means to meld nature with mindfulness; a way to let nature cleanse away stress. (Photo by Kent Porter)
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Sweat it out. Bikram Yoga is a style of hot yoga created to restore your body. Sonoma County has three studios that specialize in these type of sessions, and many other yoga studios offer hot yoga classes. While this type of yoga is not for everyone—the studio is 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity—it can help your body stretch and detoxify. Visit Bikram Yoga Sonoma, Bikram Yoga Petaluma, or Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa for more info. (Stock photo)
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Float on. The Theta Wave Float Spa in Sebastopol offers two float pods, massage, reiki, sound healing, and reflexology. Flotation therapy allows (non-claustrophobic) guests to leave all the noise of daily life behind in a sensory deprivation pod. You float in a shallow bath of Epsom salt water with no sound or light, allowing your brain to unwind. (Photo via Elevate Hub)
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Kneadful things. Trendy Foot Massage Studios have been popping up all over Sonoma County over the last few years. One of these studios, Jessie Jing’s Massage Therapy, just moved to accommodate more space in their 4th Street, Santa Rosa studio. For $25 - $40, you will receive an hour-long foot, neck, and head massage - an inexpensive alternative to traditional salons that focus on more personalized massages. Pro Tip: Drink plenty of water before and after, and be very vocal about the amount of pressure you want or else you may be hurting afterward. (Stock photo)
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Consciously cultivated cannabis. Solful in Sebastopol opened their doors last November in anticipation of January 1, 2018. Now, anyone over 21 can visit Solful to enjoy the one-of-a-kind experiences they have created. Many of their locally sourced products are made with CBD and low doses of THC with a focus on creating healthy medicinal alternatives for the body and mind. (Courtesy photo)
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Therapeutic lavender and cannabis bath bombs from Canna Deva, available at Solful. (Courtesy photo)
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A shot of energy. Tru Health Medicine in Santa Rosa is one of a few places in Sonoma County where you can get a vitamin shot. Holistic Health practitioners provide B12 vitamin shots here, and patients can be in and out in under 20 minutes. At the Health First Pharmacy in Windsor, they host vitamin “Happy Hours” where customers can get injections and learn more about how to improve their overall health. (Stock photo)
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Breathe in, breathe out. Herbal and nutritional apothecary and integrative clinic Farmacopia, next to Rosso Pizzeria in Santa Rosa, offers community classes, apothecary, body oils, and a tincture bar for personalized herbal extracts, blended to fit the needs of each individual. (Courtesy photo)
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Kiss the day goodbye. The website URL for River's End Restaurant & Inn in Jenner is ilovesunsets.com for a reason. Guests from near and far come here to take in stunning Sonoma Coast sunsets from the restaurant - bubbly in hand, of course. (You can take a photo, but you'll have to wait to post it since there's hardly any cell phone reception - definitely a relaxation bonus point). The sea-to-table-food is something to write home about, too. Make a reservation early for a table by the window.