Category Archives: Wellness

Best Bay

3 YEARS IN A ROW!!! Thank you for voting us “Best Massage”. As we all know- The SF Bay Guardian has been the “go to” source for finding the BEST of what San Francisco has to offer. We are honored to have been the pick for best massage 3 years in a row, and we are super sad that the Guardian has recently closed up shop. They have left quite a legacy though, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to have been a part of it all. R.I.P Guardian

DIY- Lavender Dryer Bags


With summer coming up, our social media pages are being bombarded with pictures of beaches, outdoor BBQs, and plenty of vacations in the sunshine. For those of us who are staying in the city this summer, we know that with the clouds and wind- some days we might just want to stay inside and bundle up with a good book, a loved one, or our Netflix account. The only thing that can make that better is to have a fresh pair of sheets that have the relaxing and comforting scent of lavender. With these DIY lavender dryer bags, you can have that year-round and for half the cost of buying pre-made ones or buying dryer sheets!

You only need two supplies: dried lavender buds and reusable cotton tea bags – both can be found at your local health food store!

Fill your bags about 1/4-1/2 way full and make sure that you tie a very tight knot to ensure that the lavender buds don’t spill in your dryer. For an extra scent try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil into the bags as well! It’s as simple as that! You’re ready to use your lavender dryer bags.

Each bag that you make should last around 10 cycles. If you prep all your bags ahead of time make sure that you keep them fresh by storing them in a jar. These aren’t just for the dryer either – try storing the bags in your dressers or at the top of your closet to keep all of your clothes smelling fresh!

-Desiree Hasley

Shhhh…please whisper inside


Step into relaxation; your first visit at Project Zen will begin at the door. A greeting from our front staff “Sa Wa de ka”, a hello from Thailand- relaxation fills the air with our blend of essential oils. Ahhh the smell of harmony! Step into our slippers- in many Asian cultures, it is customary to take off one’s shoes upon entering a home. Our sanctuary is committed to providing peace and relaxation as your step out of your everyday urban activities and into our cozy oasis.

A brief intake form will be given to you, which therapist will use to specialize your session. Project Zen’s Massage Therapists specialize in Swedish, Thai massage, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Trigger Point, Foot Reflexology, Shiatsu, Hot Stone, and Thai Herbal Press. We encourage all clients to thoroughly ask our staff while booking which therapy will be best for you. With our wide variety of massages and talented therapists we are confident we can find the best modality suited for your bodywork needs.

Starting your session 
After your therapist has reviewed your intake form, they will show you back to your room. There will be a basket for you to place your personal belongings and a hook for hanging your coat. Undress to your level of comfort for our Western style massages such as Deep Tissue and Swedish. Some people choose to disrobe completely, while others feel more comfortable with undergarments left on. Your level of comfort is most important to us, our therapists have been highly trained in our services, draping of the sheets will be used throughout your session accordingly. Exposing only the body part that is being worked on. We will provide you with a change of clothes for our Eastern Style massages such as Thai and Shiatsu- these services are fully clothed massages. You can expect a tranquil, cozy and comfortable visit- you are in great hands!

During your session 
Feel free to communicate any requests that would make your massage more comfortable (please do so quietly out of respect for others in relaxation). Your therapist will only communicate with you to check in on the level of pressure they are using. We are here to provide you with a massage that fits your personal needs, so please let your therapist know if more or less pressure should be used or if you would like another blanket or pillow to enhance your relaxation and comfort.

The end of your session 
Your therapist will step outside of the room while you dress and will meet you in our reception area with a cup of our soothing Project Zen herbal tea. Your therapist may go over some at-home techniques you can use to keep the body in balance in between massages! At this time if you have any questions, you may address your therapist for some advice.

Now that your tea is finished, the front desk staff will assist you with checking out. We will also provide a therapist tip-envelope here at the desk, so that you may leave gratuity for your therapist. Cash tips are always preferred, but we will provide the option of swiping a credit card as well. (The industry standard for tipping is between 15% and 20% depending on your level of satisfaction). Re-booking appointments at this time is also encouraged!

Don’t forget to slip back on your shoes…


-Kayla Bennett


Why is massage beneficial for athetes?

Many athletes have stated that they include massage therapy in their regular training schedules to stay at the top of their game, and they are right to do so. Massage therapy is good for athletes not only physiologically, but psychologically as well.

When receiving a massage, it affects your cardiovascular system. Massages help promote circulation which enhances blood flow and provides fresh oxygen for the body. It also helps remove wasteful products and toxins from your body.

According to Health and Fitness magazine, massage can help relax muscles and reduce soreness which results in an increased range of motion and flexibility which can help lead to a better athletic performance. We at Project Zen recommend a Traditional Thai Massage which includes compression work and stretching to help keep your muscles loose.

Deep Tissue Massages and Swedish Massages can also be beneficial to athletes. With a relaxing massage you can help reduce stress and anxiety which can help you sleep better and everyone knows that the better your sleep the better your performance!

-Desiree Hasley


Good-bye Sun Damage

Remember all of those endless summer days, sailing on whoever had a boat available, the hours of laying at the beach, maybe you were out in the water catching the waves or you were out and about around the City to catch the perfect sun-kissed day. You spent all day out in the sun until it hit the waters horizon for the perfect summer sunset.

Had you stopped to think what that beautiful sun was doing to your flawless, youthful, glowing skin?

I surely did not and after my first facial, I began to pay a bit closer attention to the blemishes on my skin and the small yet noticeable traces of my sun-damaged nose. The uneven skin tones in my skin, were a clear sign that my time-less summers in the sun needed to come to an end–or atleast I needed to learn to protect and prevent anymore discoloration.

So a little research: After talking with my esthetician and reading reviews on mandelic peels I was comfortable enough to give this a go. (Hello lets remember we want to have that flawless youthful skin well into our 40s, 50s and 60s.. the time to start is now!)

Although some people reviewed to have side effects of more acne after session, most people cleared up after 48 hours and were extremely happy with the results!

Mandelic Peels are known to help repair and strengthen your skin from:

Sun damage
Treat blackheads
Fading Dark marks
Reducing fine lines

My results: An hour massage followed by an hour facial, I am feeling flawless, youthful and gorgeous!

My mandelic peel started off with a light cleanse of the skin, an application of a thin layer of the peel, which warmed and reddened my face. The next 24 hours I my skin detoxed with signs of acne, but after hydrating my body; my skin tones are showing a clearer more even skin-toned surface.

My results, I couldn’t be happier saying “Good-bye to Sun Damage”

– Kayla Bennett


Incorporating Mindfulness into Daily Life

How to Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
What does it mean to be mindful? It means to be aware, present, or in the moment of what is happening here and now. Spending too much time worrying about what we have planned tomorrow, next week, or even next month can cause us to worry – and we know that worrying can lead to stress and unhappiness! It is easy to forget that incorporating mindfulness into our every day lives isn’t a hard task at all.


We all have a morning routine that we feel actually helps us get through the day; I know that I wake up at the same time so that I can ensure I get my morning coffee, breakfast and shower in before it’s time to make my commute to work or school.


One of the easiest ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives is to take ourselves off of autopilot and actually take the time to think about what we are doing. Instead of moving from one task to the next, think about the flavors of what you’re eating and take the time to savor the taste. In addition, when waking up, take time to sit and be with yourself before you check your phone, email, or the news – you’ll feel more at one with yourself and everyone knows that waking up feeling good can set you up for a positive day!


Don’t forget that when it comes to being mindful you don’t need to set aside a large amount of time to relax. It may not be realistic for you to block out a couple of hours for a massage, yoga class, or meditation space; that’s why incorporating mindfulness into each day as a way of life will help you to feel more relaxed and fulfilled overall. Sometimes it can be more effective if you take multiple breaks to take in your surroundings and practice gratitude. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for – throughout the day take maybe 5 minutes and choose something from that list to think about- you’ll feel much more at peace.


Lastly- laugh. It’s good for you and for those around you. Everyone enjoys laughing.


-Desiree Hasley

Massage for Stress Reduction

In a perfect world we would all be carefree, enjoy life around us, and be all-around happy people. Unfortunately, we are busy and can let our hectic, on-the-go lives consume us. When we become so absorbed with juggling all of our priorities – work, family, friends, school – it can become a bit too much and we begin to stress ourselves out and carry all of that weight on our shoulders.

While there are known “good stressors” that we can feel while doing things like planning a wedding or running a marathon- it’s the negative stressors that we feel that can cause sleepless nights, upset stomachs, or angry outbursts. Lucky for us we have massage therapists who knead and stretch us into relaxation.

Did you know that in addition to your massage therapist loosening your sore muscles, they are also helping to lower your stress levels? A massage can help increase the circulation of your blood flow and lower your heart rate. Why would you ever want to take an anti-anxiety medicine again when you can get a massage instead? Setting aside time for regular massage sessions on a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly basis is a step in the right direction towards maintaining lower stress levels. And if you aren’t able to afford massage on a regular basis, make sure to set aside some regular time to do other stress reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or even setting aside some white space in your schedule to read a book. All of these activities should not be looked at as luxuries- when honored on a regular basis and treated as a priority, they will actually help you to become more grounded, efficient, and productive in all other aspects of your life.

Instead of looking at your next massage as a “spa day” or a way to “treat yourself”, look at it as taking a step into a new and healthier you – your body will thank you.

-Desiree Hasley

DIY ROOM SPRAY using essential oils


Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and are great for a variety of things ranging from stress relief to digestion.   At Project Zen we like to use a proprietary blend of Orange oil, Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus to promote an uplifting and relaxing mood for massage.

Some of my other favorite essential oils are:

Bergamot: Uplifting, inspiring, confidence building

Clary Sage: Centering, euphoric, visualizing

Fennel: Nurturing, supportive, restorative

Grapefruit: Refreshing, cheering

Ylang Ylang: Sensual, euphoric

There are hundreds of DYI ways to incorporate oils into your daily life, from making your own perfume, scenting your own aromatherapy lotions, blending your own oils to burn- the list goes on, but my newest favorite use for essential oils is making my own room freshener / body mist. Store bought air fresheners often contain a long list of carcinogens, toxic corrosives, and even pesticides. Sure- they might smell good, but the payoff is not worth it. Why inhale toxic chemicals when you can make your own blend that will smell even better AND have healthy and therapeutic effects?

It’s incredibly easy as well.  The recipe I am sharing below is my personal favorite blend that took me less than 5 minutes to make. I call it my “Bliss Spray” because it combines the uplifting qualities of Bergamot with the euphoric qualities of Ylang Ylang.


You will need distilled water, Ylang Ylang essential oil, Bergamot essential oil, spray bottle.

 STEP 1: Measure 4 oz of purified water (tap water is fine too) and pour into your spray bottle

 STEP 2: Add 7 drops of Ylang Ylang and 5 drops of Bergamot

 STEP 3: Shake and spray!!

It’s that easy. Have fun experimenting with your own blends of oils.  The possibilities are endless.


Staying on Track

9318863436_94aa7fd9d6_z(1)You’ve done so well achieving your new New Years Resolutions- you feel the change in your daily routine, energy has increased, stress levels are down and incorporating wellness into your new year has made you feel balanced.
Project Zen Massage and Bodywork is here to keep you on track throughout the year. Creating a sanctuary of relaxation to de-stress through massage or facial services. 
Stress can trigger so much dis-ease in the body, from tension tight muscles, upset stomach, headaches, sleeping problems and even high blood pressure. Massage is beneficial for increasing endorphins in the body releasing our “feel good” chemical, while lowering blood pressure, heart rate and sending those endorphins to relax the muscles in the body. 
Facials, though not a full body massage, can deliver anti-stress benefits as well, such as increased facial circulation which triggers relaxation. Your face will have a healthy new glow for all to see.
Engaging our bodies in balanced wellness practices is important for living a long and healthy life. 

‘Tis the season to keep up with health!

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As you unwrap that final Milky-Way from your leftover indulgences at Halloween, let’s not forget that butterball turkey, piles of mashed potatoes, pies, pies and more pies will be coming within the next couple of weeks. Before we know it tis the season shopping is here & the lists are ginormous; 3AM black friday shopping, coupons, sales, savings, THAT SWEATER IS NOT IN STYLE, put up the tree, deck the halls, holiday grab bags, holiday cards, holiday caroling, volunteering, baking, cooking and OH! you’ve forgotten the cranberry sauce!… Through all of this stress you’ve stress drank every gifted bottle of wine straight through to that glorious hang-over of the New Year!

Project Zen would like to remind you:
         “There is more to life than increasing its speed…”
-Finding 5-10 minutes for daily meditation, will help focus your mind, slow your breathe, collect your thoughts and begin to organize your day.
-Do not push aside last years resolutions of this years healthy eating habits; look up recipes now on how to eat healthy through the Holidays.
-Keep up with your exercise, it will help strengthen your daily routine.
-Water, water and more water; holiday coffees, lattes, mocha’s and hot chocolates can lead to dehydration, which can result in fatigue.
-Plan a family day! Shutdown the computers, television and hang up that cellphone; it can wait for tomorrow. Planning a day of fun family games, baking or traveling for a favorite drive.
& most importantly, at the most wonderful time of the year, if things are feeling chaotic;

breathe it in and count to Zen.