Esalen Massage is a nurturing, flowing massage that incorporates long strokes, gentle rocking, passive joint mobilization stretches, and the flow of breathing. Flowing, light-oiled strokes are intrinsic, and therapists switch between using hands and elbows for deeper work and stretches. Founded at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, this approach supports the whole person, rather than disjointed parts.
The technique is effective on several levels: slow, flowing strokes promote a sense of ease in the recipient; specific muscle kneading releases tension; passive joint movement reaffirms the sensation of spaciousness; and a nurturing, supportive relation between client and practitioner encourages the recipient to consciously sense into self, resulting in fuller breath and a deeply energized and relaxed state. Esalen massage is widely effective for clients seeking pain relief, energy release, or stress reduction. It is especially efficient in bringing back a deeper sense of wholeness in the body and mind.