5 Spiritual Benefits of Massage + A Pagoda Massage Experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Please note: I received the treatment described in this article at a reduced cost, but all opinions expressed are my own. Photos courtesy of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, unless otherwise noted.

Massage is a powerful way to connect with your physical body. The sense of touch is ruled by Taurus, that most sensual and earthy of signs, and experiencing massage is deeply sensual and grounding. Massage is actually a big part of my own spiritual practice, and I try to schedule treatments on or as close to the full moon as possible.

5 Spiritual Benefits of Massage + A Pagoda Massage Experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

The spiritual and physical benefits of massage cannot be overstated. From the simple perspective of health, massage reduces muscle spasms, soothes stiff and sore muscles, helps encourage healthy circulation and releases toxins from the body (which is why it’s important to drink lots of water after a massage). Massage is much more than that though: it is a spiritual journey inward. The spiritual benefits of massage are endless and might vary depending on the depth of your relationship with the earth, your body and your senses. Read on for five spiritual benefits of massage, exemplified by the wonderful spa experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, but achievable in any massage treatment or self-massage.

  1. Grounding. Engaging your sense of touch through massage gives you a wonderful opportunity to ground down. Feel the weight of your body on the massage table and the weight of the blanket on top of you. Feel the earth beneath you and bring that connection into the rest of your day.
  2. Meditation. Though it may be easy enough to fall asleep during a relaxing massage, utilize the time to anchor yourself in the moment instead. Pay attention to each stroke and sensation, focusing intently and allowing your mind to clear of anything else. For those who struggle a bit with clearing the mind during meditation, like me, massage can be a great option to give you something to focus on.
  3. Love Your Body. It can take a lot of courage to allow someone else, (often a stranger, in the case of a massage therapist), to see your nude body and to touch you in such an intimate way, especially if you are self-conscious about your body. Massage can help break down those barriers and work on building a loving and respectful relationship with your own body. If you are not comfortable being nude during a massage to start, you might try Thai massage, which is performed wearing loose, lightweight clothing!

Recently, I was invited to experience a pagoda massage at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, California. This incredible property is located in Sonoma County, a short drive from both Wine Country and the Pacific Coast. Tucked along a quiet stretch of road, Osmosis is a healing sanctuary for wellness, spiritual retreat and mindfulness.

When I first arrived at the property, I was ushered into a dressing room where I changed into a soft, heavy robe, then was encouraged to wander the property until my treatment. The property at Osmosis itself is well worth a visit. Never have I had such a relaxing, meditative and grounding experience! From the dressing room, guests walk a silent meditation path, where you can feel your footsteps grow heavy and hear the breeze whistle gently through the bamboo grove. Famous for their cedar enzyme baths, in which you are covered with a warm, steamy mixture of finely ground evergreens and rice bran, Osmosis also offers massages, facials and other spa treatments. The property features a meditation garden complete with moon gate entrance, pond, waterfall, sand for raking and natural wildlife, as well as convenient benches, boulders and meditation cushions for sitting.

5 Spiritual Benefits of Massage + A Pagoda Massage Experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

5 Spiritual Benefits of Massage + A Pagoda Massage Experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

*Meditation garden photos © The Witch of Lupine Hollow

I could have sat in the meditation garden for hours, but was eager to experience the pagoda massage. Osmosis massage therapists offer a variety of massage styles, including Swedish-Esalen, Thai, Shiatsu and Meridian. Any massage is eligible to be upgraded to the pagodas, where you experience your massage in a private, secluded outdoor pagoda, (except couples’ treatments, as the pagodas fit only one massage table). Given how grounding massage can be on its own, I was delighted to experience a massage outdoors, where I could connect with the element of earth in a whole new way.

  1. Connect With the Earth. Being touched is a wonderful way to connect with the physical world. Earth is one of the four elements and represents the physical world, the natural world and the sensuality of touch. Experiences like the pagoda massage or even a hot stone massage help to bring the element of earth into more direct contact with your body. This is unique from, but related to, grounding, which can be something of an abstract concept. Utilize massage to connect with your physical body, to notice its quirks and changes, and with the physical world around you.

My massage therapist invited me into the pagoda, which is a small, enclosed building on the banks of the nearby Salmon Creek. The pagodas are tucked away at the back of the property, in the quietest, most serene area. There are heaters in the structures when necessary, but I actually preferred the slight chill of the breeze as it rustled through the trees and the airy screens of the pagoda. I changed out of my robe and slipped under the warm blankets on the massage table, then settled in for the treatment.

5 Spiritual Benefits of Massage + A Pagoda Massage Experience at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

All of the senses are engaged during the pagoda massage. The massage therapist’s hands are, of course, warm with oil on your bare skin, while the whisper of wind touches your shoulders. The scent of the forest around you is gentle but intoxicating. What was most extraordinary to me, though, were the sounds:

Wooden wind chimes hang on the outside of the pagoda, tinkling softly with the breeze.

The babbling creek rushes by, coming in and out of your awareness.

Birds sing in the trees that surround you. Each time my mind drifted from the moment, the birds drew me back to myself and to the experience.

When my massage had concluded, the therapist mentioned that the birds which had been so vocal throughout, were actually native to the creek. What was already a deeply grounding and meditative sound became even more beautiful to me for this was a particular sound you could only experience there, in the pagoda.

Although I am lucky enough to have the luxury of regular massages, this was an experience unlike any treatment I have had before and one I would highly recommend. I left Osmosis Day Spa renewed and refreshed, full of awakened spiritual potential.

  1. Distribution of Energy. Just as massage moves and loosens toxins and helps our bodies to release them, it can also move energy through the body. Whether your interest lies in reiki, reflexology, the chakras or another spiritual wellness system, massage is an excellent way to focus energy in a part of the body or a chakra that is out of balance or to distribute energy throughout the body for an uninterrupted flow of creativity.

Do you incorporate massage treatments or self-massage into your spiritual practice? How do you feel those experiences enrich and enhance your spirituality?

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