360° Panorama at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa

This past weekend I enjoyed a marvelous getaway at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. At about a half hour before dusk I set out to capture photos of the famous “pink moment” a phenomenon that occurs when the setting sun casts a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the nearby Topatopa Bluffs. Alas, due to inclement weather the pink moment was elusive but my visit to the inn was fabulous just the same. For more splendid panoramic views, click on the images below.

Update: Oops, sorry folks. Looks like there’s an issue in displaying the images below so I’m featuring the direct link here just in case.

ojai valley inn and spa
Above: The courtyard of the Spa Ojai Village features a Morrocan style fountain,
a 50’ bell tower and outdoor fireplace.

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa

Above: The Artist’s Cottage & Apothecary 

Above: Steps leading to the Shangrila Pavillion, named after Frank Capra’s film “Lost Horizon”. 
It is believed that the film was lensed in the Ojai valley.

Spa Ojai Village
Above: Rosemary, basil, and lavender are harvested from the the Herb Garden at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.

Wall Street Journal: Studies prove massage therapy to have medical benefits

While it’s common to think of massage therapy as just a mere a luxury, recently the Wall Street Journal touted the medical benefits of massage in an article published earlier this week entitled Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants to Be Medicine.

The article and accompanying video (above) posted on WSJ’s Market Watch stated that massage is growing in popularity among U.S. consumers despite the economy due to studies indicating it has scientifically measured medical benefits including reducing cortisol, decreasing proteins related to inflammation, increasing white blood cell count and promoting muscle recovery.

“Research over the past couple of years has found that massage therapy boosts immune function in women with breast cancer, improves symptoms in children with asthma, and increases grip strength in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome,” stated the article. “Giving massages to the littlest patients, premature babies, helped in the crucial task of gaining weight.”

It’s great to see new research supporting the benefits my humble vocation, however I feel the article completely ignores Western medical studies that has been out for well over 100 years (see my comment to the WSJ article here), and the empirical evidence of the benefits of massage that have been documented since the beginning of history from almost every culture on the planet.

Also, the article’s position that massage is a wanna-be medical modality is somewhat disappointing to me since throughout history massage therapy has always been used as an adjunct to coordinated medical care.

After all, it was the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460 to 377 BC), who is considered to be ‘the father of Western medicine’, that once said “anyone wishing to study medicine must master the art of massage.”

To learn more about the benefits of massage therapy, I invite you to download free informational PDFs about it from my website here.

Kiva – Make a Loan for FREE with Kiva & Me!

As some of you may know, I am a lender at Kiva.org, an organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world and in the United States, which in turn lend the money to small businesses and students.

It was many years ago that Otto Schutt initially introduced me to this organization. Since his death and in loving memory of him, I lend about 90% of my portfolio to women to help them acquire and maintain a small business in Ecuador, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia, Samoa, the Phillipines, the Ukraine and Pakistan.

Today you can help someone escape poverty by trying out microlending platform Kiva, and it won’t cost you a dime.

I’m inviting you to participate in the Kiva Free Trials program which hopes to introduce people to the positive impact of microfinance philanthropy, and get them to lend their own money next time.

All you have to do is go to kiva.org/free where Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn has put up $1 million of his money to enable 40,000 people give $25 microloans to help those in need start farms and general stores that can support their families.

Once again, the link is https://www.kiva.org/invitedby/tanjabarnes