The Esalen Institute is nestled amidst the dramatic Big Sur coast line, has been fundamental in the influence and development of massage and therapy throughout the "human potential" movement.
Esalen Massage® is renowned for its innovative and fluid style, developed in concert with pioneers of the "human potential movement" in the dramatic oceanside landscape of Big Sur, California during the 1970's. One's natural capacity to touch is discovered in the nature of the place, as is devotion to honoring the body, mind, and spirit of its clientele as a whole.
The massage approach utilizes a variety of techniques and theories working "with" the body as opposed to "on" it. Influences such as Mochet Feldenkrais, Ida Rolf, Milton Traeger, and Charlotte Selver's Sensory Awareness have impacted its development, incorporating the Esalen style of using a "soft approach" to deep tissue methods, rhythmic rocking/ joint mobilizations which address the physical holding patterns in the muscles, and somatic/ personal insight. Integrating a range of techniques as well as the trademark "long flowing strokes," pauses to emphasize the energetic body, three dimensional touch, stretching, moving the body on the table, and detailed work are coalesced in what can be called a truly unique sensory experience.
More importantly, refinement and "quality" of the practitioners' touch as well as personal presence supersedes actual "techniques." This essential foundation enables the practitioner with the ability to truly "listen" to the individual needs of the body, designing a session which not only allows the innate wisdom of the recipient to unfold but encourages personal healing.