Archives for March 2013

Blessings of Light

as we Welcome the  Summer Solstice…

The summer solstice occurs twice each year, at which time the earth tilts on its axis towards the sun and the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. The Sun is directly overhead at its most northern point at “high-noon” on the summer solstice, creating more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere on this day then any other.
Solstice is derived from Latin Sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), as it appears to do at this time. The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer. This is northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, culture, and tradition, but when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.
    Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. The summer solstice occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight, except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice. Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most have recognition of sign of the fertility, involving holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time.
    In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. People take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors during the summer. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months. Water sports including water skiing, wake boarding, swimming, surfing, and tubing are popular in the warm summer sun too.
Everyone loves summer! Filled with trips to the beach, sunny skies, and lazy days, summer is the time of year when the weather gets its warmest. As the temperatures rise, the water levels in ponds, lakes, and rivers drop. Nature’s efforts in the spring to fully bloom prove fruitful as the green leaves of various trees shake and rattle in the cool summer breezes and flowers grace our gardens.

The Renewal of Spring…

        …Time for a Spring Cleanse & Detox
There is nothing better for detoxing and cleansing the body than to sweat out the toxins in our beautiful newly remodeled cedar-lined saunas. Add some of our essential oil blend that we provide to the hot rocks for a deeply cleansing and awakening experience to your respiratory system. Our essential oil sauna blend is a combination of eucalyptus and rosemary in filtered water to sprinkle on the hot rocks in your sauna and breathe in the refreshing steam that it emits. You can assist your Spring cleanse by soaking in our hot tubs, before your sauna, to relax your muscles and prepare your mind for the next step… a more invigorating experience of alternating your hot sauna sweats with a cold plunge in our Japanese Onsen soaking tub, that can be filled with fresh cold water just for that purpose. Every time you rapidly change temperature (from hot to cool or vice versa), your heart rate increases by as much as 60%, comparable to moderate exercise. This can help increase circulation and cleanse toxins from your body.

In today’s lifestyles, many of us don’t actively sweat on a daily basis, which has multiple health benefits. Regular sauna bathing provides the benefits derived from a deep sweat: In the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature begins to rise. The blood vessels dilate, causing increased blood flow. Sweat production is primarily for cooling the body, and is composed of 99% water, but deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of heavy metals and chemicals, all toxins commonly picked up from our environment. As many doctors will attest, and a big reason for the popularity of saunas in general, saunas are one of the best means to detoxify our bodies. Leave feeling cleansed, refreshed and alive.

Our Saunas are usually 120 degrees and with the steam from added water can get up to 170 degrees. Our saunas should always be used in 10-15 minute increments only, followed by a cool shower or bath. We have a variety of cedar-lined dry saunas available at Well Within Spa, from a smaller sauna that’s cozy for two or larger saunas with room for your family or friends. All our saunas have a window, a light that can be dimmed, a copper bucket and ladel to scoop water onto the hot rocks, and our essential oil blend that can be mixed in the bucket or sprinkled on the rocks for a refreshing aromatic steam.
Therapeutic Benefits of sauna bathing are numerous. Most of us who have used a sauna know the feelings after we have taken one, but many of us do not know the actual benefits. Firstly, and probably most importantly for sauna bathers is that it is stress-relieving. Medical studies clearly show stress in our daily lives affects our health. In fact, the vast majority of disease is stress-related. The sauna provides stress relief in a number of ways: It’s a warm, quiet space without any distractions. Step into a sauna, and close the door on the rest of the world. The heat of the sauna relaxes the body, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain releiving chemical that have a mild and enjoyable tranquilizing effect, providing a wonderful “after sauna glow.”
   There are many benefits that sauna bathing can provide for our us. German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduced the incidence of colds and influenza. As the body is exposed to a sauna’s heat and steam, it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn help fight illness and help kill viruses. Following sporting activity, use the heat and steam of a sauna for muscle relaxation by helping to reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid and other toxins. Saunas are one of the oldest and most famous beauty and health treatments for the skin as well. Research also shows a deeper sleep can result from sauna use. The sauna can be a private personal retreat or a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends.

PLEASE NOTE that the use of a hot sauna is not advised for the very young or elderly, pregnant women, or those with cardiovascular or other serious illness, without first checking with a medical professional. The combination of a hot sauna and the use of alcohol, drugs, or medications that cause drowsiness has proven to be fatal. Be good to your body and practice safe sauna use!

Blessings of Growth

to you as we Welcome Spring…

This is the time of year when winter slowly leaves us and the sun and rain make way for the long-dormant bulbs to emerge and the sweet-scented blossoms to begin to bloom on the trees. We hear the birds as they herald the great news that Spring is here! Spring is a time of rebirth and revival, full of new possibilities!

   This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. People have recognized the significance of the Vernal Equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of Spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also probably no coincidence that the Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly towards the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox.

   The first day of Spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. In Greek mythology, it was the time when Persephone returned from the underworld, and everything bloomed again. April 1st, in fact, used to be considered New Year’s Day, and anyone who didn’t realize this was considered an April Fool. Most of us love to celebrate the season. We observe Arbor Day by planting trees and on Earth Day we clean up our parks, riverbanks, and wilderness areas. We take trips to see the tulips or cherry blossoms in bloom. We‘re not alone in that spring tradition; In Japan, millions of people flock to their parks for “Hanami” their cherry blossom festival. And all over the world, major religious events are celebrated in the Spring. Easter, named after the ancient Saxon goddess Eeostre, commemorates the resurrection of Christ. Passover marks the Jewish peoples flight to freedom from Egypt. Spring in all its beauty is indeed a time of rebirth and renewal.

‘The Well’ Spotlight . . .

Our Skin & Body Care Department Founder, Andrea Patti was the co-creator of our Skin & Body Care department at Well Within Spa. Twenty years ago, she gathered together her love for natural organic skin and body care products with her many years of experience in herbalism and aromatherapy, to create those wonderful aromatic herbal products for our Skin & Body Care treatments. Andrea believes these treatments to be rituals that enhance our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. She has taught many of us at Well Within to appreciate this philosophy and pass on the delights of sharing these fragrant uplifting sessions with our community. We are pleased and proud to have Andrea continue to share her radiant smile and vast knowledge of the aromatic herbal realms!

This Winter, Warm Yourself to the Bone

 …in our Hot Tubs & Saunas

relax tubThere is nothing better on a cold winter’s day or night, then to slip into a tub of hot water, circulating around your tired limbs and seeping deep into your bones. The bamboo gently sways so gracefully in the cool breeze beyond the shoji screen of your tub room. The sounds of the waterfall and wind chimes coax you to let go of your day and relax deeply inside your private serene retreat. Aaahhhh!….. Welcome to Well Within Spa 

Our Hot Tubs
are kept at 103-104 degrees. Our water is filtered every ten mintues, using diatomaceous earth. Few people are familiar with these single-celled marine micro-organisms that are found in abundance in large bodies of water. However, when these tiny organisms die, their skeletal remains settle to the bottom, become fossilized over time and accumulate to produce one of nature’s most beneficial and healthful substances. We use bromine as a sanitizer, which is safer and less harsh than chlorine. The water is constantly monitored by an automated system and checked manually 6x/day to ensure proper chemical balance.
[Read more…]

‘The Well’ Spotlight

Dave LeVan

Our Founder, David LeVan… With ‘a wing and a prayer’ and several loans, Dave began the process of creating Well Within Spa in September of 1984. Despite a few major obstacles, he and his partner Suzanne persevered and the doors opened on January 11, 1985. From day one, the spa has enjoyed great success in providing a vital service to the community: warmth, relaxation and retreat in a beautiful oasis in downtown Santa Cruz. Dave said he was often poor in order to ensure the success of this business, and in fact is still driving the business truck that he purchased in 1987.
Eleven years after opening Well Within, Dave purchased property near the original location and built what is currently the ‘new’ Well Within Spa. Only one day of business was lost in the transition from the old location. From the first day he opened the doors on Cedar Street, it has been an overwhelmingly successful expansion. [Read more…]

Summer News sidebar

Ahh!…The Sun

‘Give me the splendid silent sun  
with all his beams full-dazzling.’
Walt Whitman (1819–1892)
Leaves of Grass
(1855; 1891–92)

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Morning Bliss 
— from 10am to 12 Noon — 

Enjoy $10 off Massages
Monday through Friday only 

Enjoy our Outdoor Tubs
During Summertime

The bright light of the summer sun beams down on our decks and into our outdoor hot tubs this time of year, allowing you to bask in penetrating heat that soothes your muscles and reminds you why you come to relax in our waters

Welcome to Well Within Spa

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Gift Certificates
available for all services  

Give your loved ones and friends the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation
at Well Within Spa
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Like Well Within on Facebook

Spring News sidebar

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“Together” Wednesdays
 from 10am to 10pm  

Bring a friend or loved one
for two 50-minute massages and a 50-minute hot tub and sauna for two .. . special $165

— on Wednesdays only — 

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Introducing Our
New Organic Products
  — Try our fresh new —
Lemongrass Organic Lotion & Lemongrass Organic Shower Gel  

Both are 10% off thru April

Lemongrass Organic Lotion
is a super-antioxidant hydrating moisturizer, with naturally uplifting fragrance, rich in certified organic botanicals including therapeutic organic aloe, citrus and flowers. Proven age-defying antioxidants of grape seed, green tea plus vitamins C and E offer vital protection, while the oils of olive, shea and jojoba pamper your skin for nourishing relief and results.

Lemongrass Organic Shower Gel
is ultra-hydrating with a naturally uplifting fragrance, that cleanses, soothes and softens the skin. The pure, natural cleansers derived from coconut and sugar are blended with certified organic aloe, citrus and flowers, plus oat and apple proteins. Shea butter, vitamin B-5 panthenol, and vegetable glycerin add extra vital nourishment for supple skin. Enjoy the rich lather and skin comfort in bath or shower!


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high
o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing
in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads
in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced;
but they out-did the sparkling
waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed and gazed
but little thought
What wealth the show
to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart
with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
    — William Wordsworth

◊ ◊ ◊
Gift Certificates
available for all services  

Give your loved ones and friends the gift of relaxation and rejuvenation
at Well Within Spa

◊ ◊ ◊
Like Well Within on Facebook