Web Design by Peacehope Healing Arts Copyright 2007
Esalen Massage is a 21st Century approach to bodywork that has been developed over the past 45 years by a group of therapists at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The Esalen Institute was founded to explore all dimensions of human potential and self growth, integrating innovative techniques and ancient practices from all over the world. Esalen Massage was developed as the bodywork component of this work: a tool for facilitating and accelerating human healing and evolution.
Esalen Massage is not a technique, or a massage routine. It is an approach based on principles of presence, attention, intention, compassion, holism, and energy resonance. It borrows from practices like yoga and meditation, in the way the practioner uses her attention and her body, as well as the effect that the practitioner facilitates in the client.
The first time that I received Esalen Massage, from Jan Rapoport in Michigan, I was astonished. I had never received massage that went so deep, emotionally and spiritually, and felt so complete in my body. I returned once a week for three months, after which time I was so deeply healed and inspired that I traveled to the Esalen Institute the following month for my first Esalen Massage class, and continued traveling there for two years to complete the Esalen 500-hour certification program, specializing in Energy Healing. So I can understand why so many clients say that it is the best massage they have ever received, because that was my reaction too.
Every Esalen massage is different, depending on the various techniques that each therapist brings into the session, and the needs of the individual client at a given time. But all Esalen massage is characterized by exquisite attention and flow, presence, and techniques that address the body as a whole, not just a collection of parts.
More Esalen Massage Resources:
The Esalen Institute -- where Esalen Massage was developed and is currently taught.
Esalen Massage and Bodywork Association -- the official website for Esalen Massage.
Esalen Massage: Bodywork with a Place in History -- an article published in Massage Magazine by Brita Ostrom. Very moving descriptions of the work by members of the Esalen Massage Crew.
A Happy Song: Esalen Massage -- Deborah Anne Medow, Massage Magazine, April 2011.
Healing Oneself: Ellen Watson's Esalen Journey -- Rebecca Jones, Massage & Bodywork, July/August 2008.