If you didn’t know that the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary existed, you might just continue winding along Sonoma County’s bucolic Bohemian Highway and miss it altogether, which would be a real shame because it is literally an oasis in the middle of paradise.
A self-described “healing sanctuary,” Osmosis is a deeply spiritual retreat known for being the only destination in the United States where guests can indulge in a cedar enzyme bath – the spa’s signature rejuvenating heat treatment from Japan.
The one-and-a-half hour treatment begins in a private Japanese Tea Garden where guests are served an organic herbal tea made from more than 25 different organically grown plants blended to complement the enzyme bath treatment.
Next, an attendant directs guests to the private bath area where they are plopped down in massive wooden tubs filled with a fragrant blend of finely ground cedar, rice bran, and plant enzymes imported from Japan, and gently covered up to their chins in all that natural goodness for up to 20 minutes.
Time did not permit me to actually partake in one of the baths on my last visit to Osmosis, but the theory behind the treatment is that the ingredients heat naturally by fermentation, creating “biologically generated warmth that mimics the body’s natural metabolic process,” which ultimately delivers a deeply restful and relaxing experience.
Judging from the satisfied, stress-free faces of the patrons I observed meandering about the spa post their treatments, I would say the bath looks to be quite successful. However if all those relaxed faces hadn’t been enough to convince me of the bath’s benefits, my tour of the spa with its Zen-like owner, Michael Stusser, most certainly would have.
Stusser is a deep believer in the treatment, not least of all because he says it cured him of a chronic ailment. In fact, after discovering the cedar enzyme bath and its benefits in Japan more than three decades ago, Stusser had the vision to bring the treatment to American shores which he finally did in 1985 when he first opened the doors of Osmosis Day Spa on the grounds of what was formerly a junkyard.
Today, it is hard to imagine that the five painstakingly maintained acres that now house the Osmosis compound were once used for salvage but such is that case. Where junk once filled this corner of a picturesque valley, there now sits a stunning meditation garden designed and built under the direction of renowned British horticulturalist, Robert Ketchell; an Ox and Oxherder garden, a 10-stage walk through sculpture inspired by the famous Chinese Zen parable; and a field of over-sized, cushioned, dream-inducing swinging hammocks.
It is all quite surreal. In fact, I never thought there was much to escape from in Sonoma County until I set foot inside the Osmosis Day Spa and found myself transported to an even happier, more peaceful place.
For a romantic getaway or just because, grab your partner or BFF and book in at Osmosis to unwind, cleanse, reconnect, pamper, meditate or whatever your soul requires. Transformation guaranteed.
Find out more about Osmosis Day Spa at www.osmosis.com.
Osmosis Day Spa, 209 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, Calif. 95472, Phone: 707-823-8231