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Osmosis Spa, Freestone California

Cancel your trip to Italy, bella...

The path to enlightenment - or at least bliss - starts with a trip to Freestone, California.

Osmosis Zen GardenPeace and tranquility await you in Freestone, California at the Osmosis Spa. Michael Stusser, founder and owner, understands that the faster we connect, the more we need his unique stress relief.

I couldn't agree more.

Zen gardens define Osmosis, dialing down distractionMeditation Entrance as soon as you pass through the gates. Cobblestone paths wind through pockets of flowers, outcroppings and meditation areas, mirroring an inner path to quietude.

Surprisingly, the property was once an abandoned junkyard. Michael left an old jalopy covered in vines as a reminder, which I think is fabulous in a Zen sort of way.

The real reason to visit, though, is the cedar enzyme baths, which are big sandboxes filled with hot, moist cedar, rice bran and enzymes imported from Japan. The baths are heated, but the ingredients cook and ferment on their own, reaching temperatures as high as 140F. Because of FDA regulations, Michael can't make health claims, but a short 20-minute "soak" can help release toxins, improve circulation and, not surprisingly, ease tension.

Cedar Enzyme BathThe full treatment takes close to 3 hours and begins with an enzyme tea in one of the meditation rooms. My girlfriend and I shared a bath, suddenly seeing more of each other than we'd ever anticipated - you have to climb into the bath naked.

After being buried up to our chins, I immediately felt caged in, trapped. It took concentration to settle, but within minutes I lost myself to the rhythm of my own heartbeat, becoming part of the living, pulsating enzymes I'd been buried in.

After climbing out of the bath, brushing off and showering, we were kneaded and rubbed during a 75-minute Thai massage. Afterwards we floated to a quiet room to rest. I'd like to say I fell into a deeply meditative state, but my girlfriend said all I did was snore.

Cedar Enzyme BathIn all honesty, I haven't felt this scrubbed clean of all my cares and worries since I was 12.

Freestone is a very small town with one main street and a definite hippie vibe. If you're enjoying your state of bliss, check out the home-style bakery and quaint B&B.

Treatments and Spa Menu:

  • Cedar Enzyme Bath with tea service and blanket wrap is $109 US. Do it with your partner and you'll each save $10.
  • The Rejuvenation Package adds a 75-minute massage ($229 US)
  • The Ultimate Experience  - a frelaxing 4.5 hr experience includes a facial ($399 US).

Connect with the Osmosis Spa:

Close by:

  • Inn at Occidental: A charming, delightful B&B that fulfills that longing to linger after a day at Osmosis
  • Wildflour: Woodfired brick oven and espresso bar in a renovated bar will remind you why you love tree-hugging hippies.
  • The Freestone Country Store: An old-time country store stocked with local wines and produce and home-made picnic lunches.
  • What to Do in the area: Osmosis Itineraries including Wine Trail and small towns to explore in the area.

Read all of GoGirlfriend's spa stories and just say ommmmmmm ....

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OMG! I love this spa! My girlfriend and I were just there last month and it's the most zen-like spa I've ever visited.The cedar bath, the massage - I felt like a complete dishrag. I had driven, but my friend had to drive home. If I were any more relaxed I would have been comotose! Definitely going back when I'm in California again!

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