My hands and my heart have always been drawn to massage: to touching people in a healing and therapeutic way. When I was training as an athlete, I needed massage on a regular basis to keep my body healthy. Back then I thought that kind of sports massage needed to be painful to be helpful; that the work must be very deep in order for the muscles to relax. Most of the bodywork I had experienced had been either of that style or of the mode that works each body part separately, usually not as deeply as I had wanted, never treating the body, much less the person, as a whole, . Although the deep work kept my muscles somewhat limber, neither style was really what I wanted, and I didn't know how to describe what I wanted.
In 1996 I went to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, for the first time and experienced what is known worldwide as Esalen¨ massage. The therapists there worked on my body as a whole, not just its individual parts. They took the time to connect with me before they began: not just by asking questions; also by breathing; by centering themselves; by placing their hands gently on my back, by feeling my energy and allowing me to feel theirs. I felt totally safe on the massage tables at Esalen: safe and cherished and seen.
Whether working deeply or gently, Esalen bodyworkers invited
my muscles to relax rather than forcing them. They used long, flowing
lengthening strokes that integrated my entire body, even while their focus
was on a particular area. Each therapist used her/his own variety of deep
tissue work, gentle rocking, stretching, passive joint movement, always
feeling with their hands and their heart what I needed. Invariably I felt
deeply relaxed after a session, my muscles having softened in places I
hadn't even been aware needed softening.
It was the kind of massage I had always wanted and not found elsewhere.
In the fall of 2001, I took a 28-Day Massage course at Esalen. I have added several advanced courses to that basic learning and am now a Certified Esalen® Massage Therapist, doing the same kind of deep, healing, connected, nourishing, relaxing bodywork that I discovered almost 10 years ago.
I give yummy 75-90 minute massage sessions in my home sanctuary in Santa Cruz, California. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831-462-6111 for more information or to schedule an appointment.