Whispers from the Well – Winter 2018

Welcome the Winter Solstice….
This is the time at which the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, thus the shortest day, the longest night, and the darkest time of the year. Humans have been observing, experiencing, erecting monuments to, and performing rituals around this cycle of light since the very beginning of us walking upright. This is an inward time when we go within and find our deepest self, a time of deep relaxation.
Hidden away in our cozy warm homes, so many of us are painfully disconnected to any form of ritual unless it involves shopping and organized religious practices, much which have lost meaning. It would be better for our health to slow down, stop and take a moment to relax.
The Winter Solstice is a time to honor the magical, miraculous planet we inhabit through lighting of candles, being in joyous celebration with others, acknowledging that all is well, and that the light is indeed returning. We remember the light of the sun that sustains us, as we turn and begin our journey of returning back to the light.

— Holiday Blessings —
Relax and enjoy the healthful pampering of Well Within Spa

Enjoy a Warming Relaxing Soak
Well Within Spa
— this Winter —

Sauna Therapy…

Having a heated body has more benefits than ever before, thanks to new scientific findings on the role that elevated body temperature plays in helping fight infections and ward-off disease…
A 2018 study examining the role that temperature plays in the body’s inflammatory response has demonstrated that the hotter our body temperature, the more effective our immune system becomes at fighting tumors, healing wounds, and fighting infections.
Researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Manchester in the UK recently published a paper about the effects of heat on the body. Acknowledging that inflammation is often accompanied by changes in body temperature, researchers sought to close the gap of information on how these phenomena may be linked. Researchers concluded that cellular response to inflammation may be “mechanistically and functionally regulated by temperature.”
Bring the Heat to Boost Immunity…
Fever is a normal part of a healthy immune response that is often met by over-reaction. Fever is produced when we come into contact with toxins that introduce pyrogens into the bloodstream. These toxins can infect the body and stimulate a fever-response. The immune system identifies pyrogens as threats, alerting the hypothalamus to signal the body to generate and retain heat in the form of a fever.
But what about microtoxins that we are exposed to everyday? Persistent organic pollutants such as chemical fertilizers, heavy metals and plastics are in the soil, air, and water of most places in America. Our bodies need to fight off these toxins regularly, or they can lead to disease.
Thankfully, we don’t need to become sick with fever to reap the disease-fighting advantages of a body temperature boost. There are natural ways to hack our body heat that also speed detox, and are often downright enjoyable! Here are three healthful therapies that will help you turn up the heat.
Break a Sweat…
Your body has a powerful, natural system for detoxifying that doesn’t require you to suffer the discomforts of being under-the-weather. All you have to do is pick your favorite exercise and break a sweat! Sweating is one of mankind’s primary mechanisms for eliminating toxins and purifying the body. Sweating naturally raises body temperature, dumps wastes, and stimulates biochemical activity, including increased circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Getting a deep, purifying sweat several times per week can greatly enhance the efficiency at which our bodies remove these everyday toxins.
Sauna Therapy…
Another low-impact option for increasing body temperatureis sauna therapy. Saunas can be enjoyed in many forms, including traditional dry sauna, steam sauna, and infrared sauna. In a dry sauna, humidity is kept between 10-20%, with temperatures reaching as high as 185℉. Body temperatures easily reach elevated levels during sauna, and can be safely sustained for around 15-30 minutes, for most individuals. We have four saunas to choose from at Well Within.
Dry or Finnish sauna is the standard in many countries and is widely regarded as a healthful way to purify and relax the body. But the benefits of sauna extend well beyond relaxation. A 2002 study introduced twenty patients suffering from chronic heart failure to daily 15-minute dry sauna sessions. Results showed that 17 of the 20 patients had improved vascular and cardiac function after just two weeks of sauna therapy.
Wet or steam sauna has a different host of health benefits. Steam is healing for many respiratory ailments, and can deeply penetrate sore, aching muscles. Hot tubs can reach temperatures of 104℉, and for some, is a gentler way of achieving increased body heat. According to Harvard Health, “a study of 15 men with coronary artery disease showed that 15 minutes in a hot tub produced less circulatory stress than 15 minutes on a stationary bike.” Hot tubbing has also been shown to safely lower high blood pressure.
Whatever form of sauna you choose, you can achieve an even greater immunity boost by plunging into cold water in between bouts of heat. This quick temperature shift agitates body fluids that have become stagnant from periods of inactivity and is great for enhancing circulation. Our Onsen Tub, at Well Within Spa, can be filled with cold water for this very purpose. Whether you add Epsom salts to a hot bath for deep muscle relaxation, or do cold plunges after the sauna, your body will appreciate the hot-cold constrasts for greater health.

Morning Bliss
— from 10am to 12 Noon —
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Cecily‘The Well’ Spotlight…
Our Massage Therapist Cecily Heath
I truly believe in the work that I do and I put my heart and soul into every massage. My passion comes through in my touch. I have a very compassionate and intuitive touch that allows me to feel patterns of tension in the body, often finding tight spots my clients didn’t realize were there. I use intuition, breathwork and mindfulness techniques to increase my clients’ awareness and assist the body in its natural ability to heal and relax. The work I do is rooted in my belief that the body already knows how to heal itself, all I do is facilitate that process.
My love for massage began very early in life. I come from a family of massage therapists and grew up giving and receiving massage and understanding its therapeutic benefits. I decided to turn my interest in massage into a career. I graduated from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in Boulder, Colorado in 2010 and have been loving my career ever since.
I lived on the front range of Colorado for four years while attending massage school and college, but I couldn’t stay away from my home state for long. In 2012 I decided to move back to California and surround myself by the beauty of Santa Cruz. Since moving here, I’ve worked in several high-end spas, including The Ritz Carlton, but none have ever been as nice and as welcoming as Well WithinSpa. I love looking out onto our tranquil Zen garden and hearing the trickling of water while I work. I have built a community of clients, colleagues, and friends at Well Within, that I hope to nourish for years to come.
When I am not at work, I likely have my nose in a textbook or my feet in the sand. I am currently studying Nutritional Science at San Jose State, and will be a registered dietitian by 2020. The relationship between food and health is fascinating to me. My education allows me to have a more holistic perspective on the body and informs my approach to massage. I also enjoy walks on the beach, meditation, running on West Cliff drive, hiking in the redwoods, and cooking for family and friends.
I am so delighted to be a part of the Well Within family and to be contributing to this beautiful sanctuary for our community.