Esalen® Massage and Bodywork - Nora Matten - Therapist and Teacher
About Esalen® Massage
 
Why Choose Esalen Massage?
In today's world there are so many modalities and practices to choose from why choose Esalen Massage?

Esalen® Massage is a holistic approach to bodywork in which the whole person is considered, contacted and worked with. Esalen Massage is best known for its long flowing strokes and quality of touch/contact. It integrates many techniques, including soft rocking, passive movement and joint mobilization, stretching and deeper work on specific parts of the body. It encourages a greater awareness of one's body, stimulates the skin, circulatory and lymphatic systems and relaxes the muscular and nervous systems. It invites a fuller sense of fluidity, spaciousness and vitality.

During a session we work with long, flowing strokes over the entire body, creating a sense of wholeness and deep connection to one's body. It is as if the practitioner sees the body as a canvas: the beginning strokes prime the canvas and give our client a sense of his/her whole body, then slowly fill in the colors by giving attention to specific areas, exploring the range of motion of joints and density and malleability of tissue, to then return our attention back to the whole. The receiver learns to sense and experience his body as a whole while also becoming intimately familiar with its parts.

Esalen massage was developed at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA in the mid 60's. It grew out of the exploration of the human potential movement, and was influenced by the developing Gestalt Therapy at Esalen as well as some of the worlds great masters of bodywork: Charlotte Silver - Sensory Awareness, Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Traeger, to name just a few. With the hot springs and massage rooms located right at the edge of the ocean, Esalen Massage was also very influenced by the sound and rhythm of the ocean.

Many times I have heard clients say:".... this was the best massage I have ever had" and have seen practitioners regain enthusiasm for their massage practice by learning Esalen Massage. I think what sets Esalen Massage apart from other practices is not so much the technique but the approach.


During the Esalen Massage training much focus is placed on the practitioner's relationship to him/herself: on connecting with a deeper sense of self, quieting the mind, developing good body mechanics and boundaries. The well-being of practitioner and client are equally important and attended to. While working the practitioner places his attention and awareness on his client as well as him/herself. He takes care not to overextend himself, knowing that every discomfort in his own body will consciously or subconsciously be felt by the receiver. The practitioner tunes deeply into his/her senses and experience, and contacts the client from this deeper sense of self. The Esalen Massage practice allows each practitioner to integrate the tools and practices he/she brings to the table and allows for a creative responds to the clients needs in the moment. In this way each session becomes unique and tailored to what is needed in the moment.
I believe that when touch is connected to our sensing and feeling nature and responds to what is here in the present moment, massage moves beyond technique into the art of healing.
 

 
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