Esalen is a retreat style getaway in a tranquil and secluded area of Big Sur, California. Known for its workshops in health, spirituality, agriculture, and arts, the seaside landscape lends itself perfectly to an incredibly peaceful place to escape for a vacation or even just a few hours.
The Esalen Massage technique developed here is intended to view the body as a whole, connecting it equally to the spirit, mind, emotions, as well as the physical. Here, massage is escalated to a “healing art” that was first developed back in 1962. The overall concept is much like that of meditation, in that it aspires to integrate several forms of healing and wellness to bring profound relaxation and balance to the client.
Practitioners focus on connecting to the client on a deeper, more spiritual level, as they concentrate on “integrating strokes and slow, deep muscle work to release everyday stresses.” The focus remains centered on relaxation, but many forms of massage are integrated into one holistic experience. And as each practitioner is trained to view the body as a whole, they attempt to genuinely tune into each person, in efforts to “accommodate specific requests and preferences.”
It is firmly believed that massage aids each person with connecting to their higher, most positive sense of self. Healing the body also heals the mind and vice versa, creating an infinite circle of health and happiness, where one area constantly nourishes and feeds the other. When one system is lacking, massage can help to realign it to best serve overall optimal functioning.
Esalen believes that the purest, most natural state of the human body is that of wellness. When functioning properly, the body has an impressive ability to heal itself from many ailments. The goals of the Esalen massage are to reintegrate and realign the body and its natural abilities to ward off stress, illness, and life’s myriad challenges. This is so that each client can feel they are running effectively, much like a car that has been taken in for an oil change and tune-up at a reliable mechanic’s shop.
This breathtakingly beautiful and unique faculty not only offers massage therapy appointments, it is also available for more intensive workshops about healing massage, as well as certificate programs. Esalen reiterates that it’s naturally “inspired and influenced by the rhythm of the ocean waves” as well as its “spectacular and deeply nourishing” surroundings.
In addition to massage, Esalen also offers access to their highly prized and renowned natural hot springs, a favored spot by not only people staying at Esalen, but also those who are just passing through town on their way home from visiting the Hearst Castle, Monterey/Carmel, Los Padres National Forest, or hiking in Point Reyes. This entire coastal region encourages a feeling of invigorating peacefulness and health, much like the entire concept of massage itself.