The Esalen massage goal is to allow the body to re-connect with the mind in order to attain true peace and serenity for the client. The duration of the session is often 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
A Typical Esalen Session
Esalen practitioners usually dress in a comfortable manner to encourage the client to relax and be comfortable.
They will often incorporate other massage techniques, but will always include long, flowing strokes, similar to Swedish Massage.
It is a very detailed type of massage therapy that will usually incorporate massage of most of the undraped areas of the body.
Esalen is usually given with the client totally nude in order to provide connecting strokes, although draping of private areas is always done.
Proper draping techniques are always used...either with massage table sheets or with towels. If towels are used and you are not comfortable with just a towel, speak up and ask for a massage table sheet or blanket.
Always request to leave underwear on if you are uncomfortable with being totally nude for this massage. The therapist should always understand and never object, as your comfort is a part of the entire relaxation goal.
Outside of the boost to the immune system, this full body massage therapy has a positive affect on the mind and emotions. You will be encouraged to breath deeply and clear your mind.
The practitioner may also breath deeply to encourage and remind the client to relax.
To be certified in this technique you must go to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California or attend a class provided by a certified Esalen instructor.
Learning at Home
This Esalen DVD was produced by members of the staff of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. It demonstrates the technique with staff members working on each other in an atmosphere that is comfortable and relaxed. Their bodies are draped well with towels, not sheets, in order to show as much of the technique to the viewer as possible.
This is a clip of that DVD: