These are Esalen’s regularly available in-house massage practitioners, offering Esalen® Massage in Big Sur and Carmel. In addition to their mastery of Esalen® Massage, our practitioners incorporate a wide spectrum of healing arts that bring a valuable depth of experience to their work. Specially-invited guest practitioners are also available at times.
For a complete listing of Esalen Massage practitioners worldwide, click here.
My massage uses long, interconnecting strokes that glide with the fluidity of a dance, so we can enter that rhythm where breathing and heartbeat become transcendent, and you are infused with magic.
My massage is a meditation on presence that will bring you closer to the effortless, flowing states associated with optimal performance and self-healing. I draw on elements from Esalen Massage, tai chi, Gestalt, psychosynthesis, expressive movement, Ericksonian hypnosis, and Feldenkrais.
I use a flowing, relaxing massage to reach deep within the body and release habitual patterns, directing my attention while I work to feelings of real peace, acceptance, organic wholeness, and balance. I work as deeply or as lightly as needed to release tense areas and help you move towards aware, tension-free living. When workspace allows for sound and talk, I also offer integrative sessions using my Gestalt awareness training to combine body awareness with psychological processing.
I listen to the needs of your body with inquisitive hands, an open heart, and pure presence. Your breath and heartbeat, along with the rhythm of the ocean waves, guide me in a sacred dance of touch. With a blend of nurturing integrative long strokes and gentle stretching, you will more easily welcome slow therapeutic deep tissue work. Through my touch you have the opportunity to awaken to your breath and your own healing power, feeling more spacious, unified, relaxed, and expansive.
I listen to your needs with my hands and heart as well as my ears, so that I can support and guide you toward deep relaxation and healing. My classic Esalen Massage is a slow dance that blends long, flowing strokes and gentle rocking and stretching with precise, deep muscular tissue work. I sometimes draw on Thai massage, reflexology, yoga, and Reiki.
I have been described as using ‘a gentle strength,’ and I focus on facilitating the release of energetic blocks and deep chronic tension using the wide range of skills I’ve learned working as an Esalen bodyworker since 1980. As a senior practitioner I teach Esalen Massage, therapeutic massage, and Reiki. I also am a Chopra Center Raja Yoga teacher and a Tai Chi Easy leader.
I offer a nurturing, relaxing, and therapeutic massage experience so you can become receptive to the healing energy within yourself. I draw on Esalen Massage, Thai massage, deep tissue, CranioSacral Therapy, prenatal massage, and the Hendrickson Method, a type of orthopedic massage. I am also a certified yoga teacher, and believe yoga and massage complement each other and help us find an expanded presence and opening in our bodies.
I use deep, nurturing contact, presence, and flowing movement to induce relaxation and wellbeing. Gentle stretches, long integrative strokes, and elements of deep tissue, shiatsu, and Thai massage help open your energy pathways, increase your body awareness, and let go of holding patterns.
Through my bodywork, I offer compassionate presence and deep listening. My intention is to facilitate deep relaxation, expansion and release, through flowing Esalen long strokes, sensitive detailed work, and gentle lengthening stretches. I create a space of safety and support, allowing you to trust the natural wisdom of your body and it's incredible capability to heal. I also bring to the table a background in dance, yoga and movement.
Daniela (Dani) Urbassek
I see massage as a way to remind the body of its potential to move more freely, and I’ll create the space your body needs to release tensions and unnecessary holding patterns. I have a strong foundation in Esalen Massage, and include elements of sports massage, reflexology, and CranioSacral Therapy to help you feel relaxed and whole.
Work is love made visible. – Kahlil Gibran
I trust your body to guide me, and gradually, through my touch and quiet presence, you can become more aware of your innate ability to heal. Full body Esalen long strokes, gentle stretches, exploration of movement, and detail work provide a relaxing experience, allowing your body to soften, move, and breathe. My work is described as slow, nurturing, intuitive, and therapeutic; my intention is to accept you exactly as you are… and to be fully present with you, as I share my loving touch.
In my hands, you will feel the benefits of slowing down, diving deep, and allowing your body's wisdom to heal you. Easing into the depth your body loves, I will work with multiple massage techniques to release tension, gentle stretching to restore balance, and the power of compassionate presence to improve your total well being, mind, body and spirit. My skills have developed through a decade of teaching Yoga, studying quantum physics, working with triathletes and bringing Esalen Massage to California’s most luxurious resorts. I am comfortable working with beginners, experienced receivers, and those simply wanting to relax, de-stress, and feel better.
Deborah Anne Medow
I combine long, lengthening strokes and slow, deep work with elements of Esalen Massage, soft tissue work, quiet chanting, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Polarity Therapy, and integrative bodywork. My sessions will balance your body’s energies, release chronic tension, restore fluidity of movement, and let your body, mind, and spirit reach their natural harmonious state. I’ve been a practitioner at Esalen since the late 1960s, and I’m a certified nutrition teacher and Zumba® dance instructor. I also teach private massage, nutrition education, and yoga.
My massage is deeply nurturing, combining long integrating Esalen strokes with deeper trigger point release, energy work, and loving kindness… creating space, relaxation, and release.
I am a local Big Sur artist as well as a nurturing bodyworker, and my passion as a painter complements and supports my intuitive approach and sense of touch. I have studied a variety of therapies, including therapeutic, deep tissue, and Swedish massage, energy work, CranioSacral Therapy, and lymphatic drainage.
Heather Elizabeth James
As a dancer, percussionist, and bodyworker, my style is fluid, rhythmic, and heart-centered, and I draw on an eclectic blend of therapies including Esalen Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, acupressure, reflexology, and LaStone® therapy. Let the warmth and experience of my hands address your specific needs and nurture you into bliss.
Born and raised at Esalen, to body worker parents, I became certified in Esalen massage at a young age and have practiced massage for almost 20 years. I have been an ongoing apprentice in spiritual massage and incorporate subtle energy clearing in my sessions. I offer classical Esalen massage style, inviting your mind, body and spirit to align and balance with gentle, nurturing presence of touch.
My massage is a moving meditation, a practice of presence and awareness. With cultivated sensitivity in my hands, I love the challenge of tailoring my touch to each individual I massage. My personal practices of yoga and dance have taught me the value of incorporating movement and gentle stretching into my massage, bringing balance, spaciousness and support to my clients. I am truly honored to share the gift of loving touch.
As an avid triathlete, my love for peak performance is reflected in my work. I pay attention to chronic tension and pain by providing a journey of relaxation and release with smooth transitions from deeper body work to the flowing integrated long strokes, characteristic of a nurturing Esalen massage.
Johanna (Harmony) Alsen
In my massage, I intuitively connect gentle deep contact with long integrative strokes of Esalen® massage. My experience with Zero Balancing®, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Thai yoga massage, Craniosacral, and energy work informs my sessions. Inspired by the waves of the ocean, within the framework of your own needs, we create a symphony of loving intention, varied strokes, opening stretches, and breath-work. This supports free energy flow, inviting a sense of deep relaxation and integration.
I give a nurturing massage using strong, flowing strokes, gentle stretches, and firm pressure applied in a sensitive way to create a safe environment for the body to release blocks. I intuitively encourage fuller breathing to relax you more deeply, release more tension, and restore vitality. I can also integrate Reiki and CranioSacral Therapy on request.
I love my work and am grateful for the opportunity to connect with people and help them to heal. My massage is a balance of stretching, fluid long strokes, and energy work, and I bring more than 14 years of experience to the table, including Esalen Massage, Chi Nei Tsang, Swedish massage, CranioSacral Therapy, and a background in Continuum and Sensory Awareness.
Warm fingers of sunshine caress the forest floor. Evergreen branches sway in the breeze. Water flows gently, powerfully into curves, slowly softening hard places. Light dances beautifully across boulders resting in the stream. Redwoods stand strong and still, supporting supple limbs above, embracing earth below. My hands embody the qualities of the forest, flowing like water, rocking gently like wind, warming like sunshine, gradually moving deeper with exquisite gentleness and strength, channeling nature’s energies to lovingly awaken the body. 森
As a Holistic Health Practitioner from San Diego, California with experience in both medical and luxury spa settings, I bring a unique mixture of therapy and pampering to my massage. I use a combination of many different styles and techniques, including Esalen® Massage, Tui Na, Trigger Point Therapy, Thai, Biodynamic Craniosacral and Reflexology. The result is a relaxing and restorative treatment that also addresses specific issues or/or chronic pain. As a compassionate therapist, my goal in each and every session is to understand your needs and help you achieve balance, by gently guiding change and reconnection of your mind, body, and spirit.
I combine nurturing massage and reflexology with stretches, breathwork, and pressure-point work to encourage a deep release and balance the body’s nervous system and energy field. I am a registered nurse and a long-time member of the Esalen teaching staff.
I am a student of the waves, an avid surfer. The flow of my bodywork matches the mesmerizing waves and flow of the ocean, contributing to the deeply relaxing, restful, and calming effects of your session with me. Incorporating Thai massage, Shiatsu, and deep bodywork into my Esalen massage allows me to work at the depth appropriate for you, helping you become more grounded and in touch with your own body.
I give a relaxing Esalen Massage using whichever depth of pressure you need. I have studied deep tissue, Shiatsu, zero-balancing and reflexology, and enjoy the practice of yoga, dance, drawing, and singing as well as the art of massage. I have been an Esalen Massage practitioner for more than 25 years.
Oliver R. Bailey
I have been an Esalen Massage teacher for more than 25 years. I blend various types of bodywork including Trigger Point therapy, deep tissue massage, acupressure, CranioSacral Therapy, and Reconnective Healing. I offer deep massage, lighter energetic work, or something in between. I enjoy working with those who have chronic neck and lower back problems as well as those who just want to relax, de-stress, and recharge.
My intention is to balance, clear and nourish the currents of life that flow through the meridians of your body. For this journey I use my experience of Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, CranioSacral Therapy, Mayan abdominal massage, shiatsu, Chinese medical qi-gong, Esalen Massage, Swedish massage, and myofascial release. I also offer dedicated CranioSacral Therapy sessions.
I create a comfortable, supportive environment for my classic Esalen Massage, which uses stretches and deep muscle work to heal and relax you. I have been practicing and teaching Esalen Massage for four decades, and am the author of Connecting Through Touch: A Couples Massage Book.
My extensive studies in Somatic Experiencing and the Feldenkrais method strongly influence the Esalen massage that flows through my hands. Whether your body calls for deep tissue work, or a more sensitive integrating massage, I seek to meet you where you are. I work with presence through touch to bring more subtle levels of the nervous system into awareness.
In my sessions I listen and then respond to the messages that your body naturally gives. I use long strokes, sensitive deep tissue work, lengthening stretches, and gentle twists to create a nurturing experience of deep relaxation, expansion, and release.
Massage is a silent conversation of the body between practitioner and client. With intuition I use dynamic Breema moves, the stillness of CranioSacral Therapy, and the rhythms of breath to nurture and connect your body, soul, mind, and spirit.
Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred. – Hafiz
With slow, long strokes and intuitive, compassionate touch, I offer a sacred healing massage experience. I have a strong base in energetic healing, yoga, and Esalen Massage, and I am trained in therapeutic Hatha yoga, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, and Spiritual Massage.
By integrating sensory awareness into my Esalen massage, I create a space where deep relaxation and healing can naturally occur. I also provide a unique combination of Esalen Massage, Reiki, Craniosacral work, and Swedish Massage, integrating long flowing strokes, soft tissue manipulation, and energetic connection, facilitating a deep merging of body/mind/sprit.
I specialize in accessing the neuro-skeletal structure of the body to help you feel deeply contacted and connected. My work draws on elements of Esalen Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, and Intuitive Healing as well as BodyResonance, a form I created that uses drumming and still-point contact. This combination helps release deep holding patterns, targeting areas such as the neck, back, and shoulders, while promoting a deep state of balance and relaxation. I am also a practitioner and teacher of Transformational Kinesiology, and have been an astrologer for more than 30 years.
Thomas Attila Vaas
Since Since the mid-seventies, I have worked on the Esalen Massage Staff, developing “Balance in Motion”™ an evolved form of Esalen Massage. I incorporate techniques of long flowing strokes, sensitive harmonious rhythmic movement, and soft supported stretching, blended with Polarity Therapy, Acupressure and Cranial work with special emphasis on feet, hands, lower back, shoulders, and neck. My intuitive touches encourage a sense of peacefulness and wholeness within the body, mind, spirit, and soul.
I work deeply into areas of tension, and lengthen and open the body using pressure-point work and the integrative style of Esalen Massage. I balance this with gentle, nurturing strokes to promote relaxation, and include stretching and joint manipulation to promote greater mobility.
Trained as an Esalen practitioner since 1991, it is my honor to serve as a channel between the sacred spirit of the Big Sur Coast and the dance of intimacy in Esalen bodywork. My primary focus is to establish safety and complete trust; my intention is to soothe your body, mind, and spirit into total relaxation through intuitive healing touch. I have also been trained in Lymphatic Drainage, LaStone, CranioSacral, and Thai Massage, and a modality I’ve created called “Mystic Movement.”
My massage is a supportive, nurturing form of meditation that integrates deep, structural, spiral movements with a soft, sensitive use of somatic balancing, pressure-point and deep tissue work. I am a registered movement therapist, Body-Mind Centering practitioner, and founding member of the Esalen Massage school.
A practitioner for the past 8 years, I use long flowing strokes and Reiki energy work to calm & prepare you for the deeper pressure & detailed work that helps release tension from tight places in your body. I have been active in sports for much of my life, and when appropriate, I also enjoy incorporating elements of sports massage into your massage session. My massage is nurturing and deep; my goal is to help you relax and let go of the everyday stresses and tensions of life.
Yoko (Kayo) T. Streeter
I provide a deeply nurturing massage that invites the receiver to relax and release, and I meet each session with a grounded presence that you’ll find as reassuring as the waves. I am fluent in English and Japanese.
I like to give a complete and thorough massage, and attend to every part of the body so you feel whole and complete in body and spirit. I integrate deep tissue and energy work, classical massage techniques, the Trager Approach, and Trigger Point therapy in one continuous flow, and I see my hands as a medium to convey unconditional acceptance, loving attention, and a healing touch.
I blend deep tissue, reflexology, CranioSacral Therapy, and LaStone® techniques in my massage to help you recognize and release tension held in your body. I use muscle manipulation, stretches and breathwork to assist you in your experience.
In our session, you and I will dance through fluid movements with caring and loving energy. I listen and respond, bringing my full-hearted presence to the table and a phenomenal touch influenced by Trager, Watsu, and Thai massage.
My massage style incorporates passive movement to bring flexibility to the spine and joints, and gentle, effective muscle work to address specific problem areas. Long, flowing strokes add a sense of integrated wholeness to your body; energy balancing leaves you resting in a place of deep relaxation and peace. My special interest is in helping people develop and refine their abilities to care for and heal their own bodies.
I have studied, practiced and taught massage and movement at Esalen since 1984. My massage style reflects my love of movement, singing and chanting, essential oils, spiritual healing, music, breathwork, and the natural sensuousness of the human body. While developing my own style, The Art of Essential Touch, I received over 1,000 professional sessions with bodyworkers, healers, ministers, movement artists, breathworkers, shamans and gurus. In creating the best session for each client, I call on all my experiences as both giver and receiver. My wish for you is to end our session deeply relaxed, refreshed, and in closer touch with your essential well-being.
A massage practitioner since 1994, I utilize the therapeutic principles of Eastern and Western modalities, Deep Tissue/Structural Integration, Neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, CranioSacral Therapy, shiatsu, Tui Na, and Thai massage to address injury and the source of holding patterns. Range of motion, rhythmic rocking, stretching, and cradling encourage deep relaxation and a nurturing environment for the body to find its own equilibrium. This creates space in the body for increased ease, openness, and expansive awareness.
Jud (Thomas) Varner
I listen quietly to support unwinding and release and to stimulate healing and spiritual renewal. My work combines the long, flowing strokes, gentle stretches, and strong quality of presence of the classic Esalen Massage with elements of acupressure, energy work, and deep tissue.
Breathe. Let go. Unfold. Heal. I blend the nurturing, long strokes of Esalen Massage with the therapeutic, detailed work of deep tissue and shiatsu to leave you feeling both deeply relaxed and physically integrated and whole. I will help you heal by bringing your awareness to the ‘holding’ areas of your body, and working with your breath to allow deep tensions to release.
Kristie Jo Brogan
For fourteen years, the art of massage has been my medium. I bring to the table an integration of many modalities, from Deep tissue to Swedish to Energy work, including a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. Each session is a unique individual experience tailored to your needs. Through my ability to listen with my hands, I am able to meet you at the exact right depth, allowing a comfortable and safe space for release.
I bring over 15 years of bodywork experience to each session, along with strong hands, firm support, and careful perception. Utilizing classic Esalen® massage techniques to connect the whole body, creates the framework for the more detailed work of deep tissue release, joint mobilization, stretching, and whole body balancing.
My massage is very loving, nurturing, and deep. Working from my heart, my intention is to create a space of acceptance and safety in which change can happen through awareness. Through a dance of listening and responding, breath and movement, I will help you feel a sense of wholeness and wellbeing.
My work touches the deep structures of the body to help release tension and patterns of holding. I pay special attention to supporting the release of chronic tension and pain, helping you to find greater room and freedom to breathe and to increase the flow of vital energy.
Reynolds Paul Wehrman
With sensitivity and an open heart, I welcome the opportunity for contact through massage. My skills combine detailed deep tissue work with receptive, listening hands, and allow for an integrated experience on many levels.
My background is in dance, yoga, and meditation, and my massage work is a continuation of these practices. I use my training in Esalen® Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, and Breema bodywork, as well as my intuition to create a dance that is unique and individual with each person. My intention in every session is to create a safe and supportive environment to evoke the innate wisdom and healing powers of each individual.