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The Philosophy of Esalen Massage

With the sound of the waves in the background, Esalen massage has been developed at the Esalen Institute, at Big Sur, on California's wild north coast. An educational community dedicated to explore the 'far reaches of human potentiality', and the place where I was certified as a massage practitioner in the Esalen technique. For those of you who might be new to this revolutionary and highly respected system, Esalen massage is a marriage between classical Swedish massage and Charlotte Selver’s profound 'sensory awareness'. This technique is a flowing style working with muscles and the circulatory system and is characterised by:

Quality of touch

Long, lengthening strokes

Gentle rocking and stretching

Passive joint movement

Deep tissue approach

Gentle cranial balancing

Alongside these techniques, accupressure​​ helps in relieving muscle pain, increasing body awareness and bringing equilibrium to a life in crisis.  Tangible outcomes are experienced in the active stimulation of skin, lymph and blood, relaxation of muscles and nervous system, release of metabolic waste, stretching of connective tissues and a tranquilizing effect throughout the parasympathetic nervous system.  ​The ocean provides a slow-moving rhythm akin to the internal rhythms of the body.  The practitioner’s hands are listening, attending to breath, allowing the receiver to drop inward. The long, slow wave-like strokes open the tissues, nudge bound-up muscles with the warmth of touch.  The contact deepens while inviting awareness. ​Esalen massage is touching with purpose, led by intuition and every session is individual. The meditation of receiving touch is part of the richness which places you firmly in touch with yourself.

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