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Fall in love with the Oasis of Osmosis

The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is the passion and brainchild of Michael Stusser. He studied landscape gardening and ultimately Buddhism in Japan. Stusser soaked in a cedar enzyme bath to heal his sciatica and was inspired to bring this natural phenomenon back to quaint and quirky West County. He came back from Japan in 1984 and by 1989, in the fourth year of business, Osmosis moved operations to its forever home at 209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472.

The building that is now Osmosis was built in 1972 to resemble other historic buildings in Freestone. The original owner was a train enthusiast with big dreams. He was hoping to use it as a train car tourist hub. He collected many antique cars on the property, which was a task to clean up. The building itself was many things over nearly two decades. It was even an apartment complex. My youngest uncle remembers living there and I have a picture of my mom holding him as a child in front of an old train car.

Osmosis has a six-acre property built on the philosophy that nature is healing. Salmon creek runs alongside it with a meditative ecosystem. There are several trails looping amidst the trees and creekbed to peaceful sitting areas. With a background in organic farming, Stusser prioritizes sustainability. He repurposed redwood to build most of what you see in the back acreage. Plan extra time to enjoy amenities and see the grounds.

Behind the main building, discover an immense outdoor attraction. Designed and built by Zen professionals from Japan; “A whole book could be written” about the meditation garden. The breathtaking garden is the central theme and you must experience it to believe it. From the unique landscaping and beautiful fish to the circular pathway and perspective of the whole. Absorb pure tranquility and take it all in after being opened up by a treatment.

The famous enzyme bath invigorates you metabolically, inside and out. The finely ground cedar evergreens and rice bran ferments into a hot, alive and vitally healing environment. The vibrant microbiome community provides a powerfully detoxifying and energizing treatment. Stusser says the bath is the "fundamental impulse of biology at work" and it works on you from "the inside out." You engage in the process of microorganisms communicating to build your health. It's a self-cleansing celebration of life. The cedar bath has a two week lifecycle, before retiring to the soft pathways in the back.

During the shutdown period, individual massage appointments are still available. Each room has a hand-washing station. After you get a medical referral, you can choose to have it inside or outside on the back portion of the property in a pagoda, a Japanese style hut with plenty of airflow, complete with a sanitary station. Visit for information or specifically for a step-by-step on how to book a massage during the stay-at-home order. Treat yourself in this exhausting time.

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