Our desire to be happy is our most basic urge, but physical or emotional trauma can get in the way. Traumatic responses, especially from old painful unresolved experiences, are embedded in our body and in our behavior, and have the ability to blindside us and sabotage our happiness. These responses often produce stress that no longer serves us in our present day-to-day life. Is it possible to recognize the traumatic responses in your body? How can you recognize the non-verbal traumatic responses in your reptilian brain?
Upcoming Massage Workshops
We all want to be strong, flexible, and full of energy and vitality, yet so many of us experience pain and limitation and are less fit than we would like to be. We may believe that it is due to prior injury, our age, or some missing “talent.” In our efforts to be pain-free and fit, we often overlook our brain, which actually organizes all action, including movement, thinking, feeling, and emotion. We now know that the brain can easily change for the better at any age when given the right conditions and information.
There is a powerful connection between your emotions, intuition, and empathy. The magic comes when you learn how to tap into each of them to fully access your sensitivities without going on overload or becoming drained. Judith Orloff, a UCLA-trained psychiatrist, NY Times best-selling author, and empath, will show you how to awaken your intuition and empathy to enhance your health, work, relationships, resilience as a parent, and emotional and physical well-being.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you—don't go back to sleep. -Rumi
All methods devoted to human potential emphasize the importance of awakening to the present moment. All that we long for—love, joy, peace, harmony, truth—require the fundamental capacity for presence.
This seminar uses ancient and modern methods for directly and simply uncovering this natural capacity. Put simply, we need the capacity to: 1. Sit quietly with our own thoughts. 2. Mindfully welcome our feelings/emotions. 3. Find comfort in our own bodies.
“As women we have a unique power of creativity in our reproductive systems,” Suzanne Scurlock-Durana writes. “That power is used not only to create new life, but also to bring personal projects into being. However, that energy can be blocked by physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma to the pelvic floor and the female organs.
This Visceral Manipulation course focuses on the pelvis, with participants studying the relationship between functional and structural mechanics of the pelvic area.
During this course, students will:
• Be taught to identify, receive, and conduct Jean-Pierre Barral's method of evaluation and treatment for the organ systems of the pelvic cavity, including the integration of the pelvic organs with the complex ligament systems of that body region
• Discover techniques for differentiating between somatic and visceral causes for pelvic and low back problems
CranioSacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive, hands-on technique to help detect and correct imbalances in the craniosacral system that may cause sensory, motor, or intellectual dysfunction. It is used to treat a myriad of health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ dysfunction, chronic fatigue, motor coordination difficulties, eye problems, endogenous depression, hyperactivity, and central nervous system disorders.
“The acceptance of this invitation carries with it the responsibility of daily presence in both group discussions and hands-on practice sessions,” writes Chas Perry. “During the week, participants will do “multiple therapist” work as therapeutic/facilitative participant on the table as the recipient of the work, and as a contributor to the group discussions. This class structure creates cohesiveness and bonding in the group, which is not easily duplicated under any other circumstances.
This workshop is packed with useful skills for rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul, including practical tools to energize your daily life, skills for meeting life’s challenges with new resources that grow stronger over time, practices to help you tune into your body’s wisdom in the face of stress, and steps for re-charging your system to calm physical tension and quiet your mind.
The more present we are in ourselves, the more present we can be with someone else.
Zero Balancing (ZB) is a nondiagnostic system of healing which clarifies and coordinates energy fields in the body, balances body energy with body structure, and focuses on bone energy and the skeletal system. Science has shown that energy and matter are fundamentally coupled; psychology has shown that the mind and body are interconnected. ZB embodies both perspectives. It is based on the experience that balancing the body’s energy with its structure has a direct positive effect on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
We live in a culture that extols constant productivity. From sunrise to sunset, we move at a breakneck pace in order to meet the day's demands. Is it any wonder that we have distanced ourselves from the body's signals of discomfort? Such signals may be a particular chronic ache or perhaps a more abstract sensation of overall stiffness. This path leads to decreased energy and an inability to embrace each day with optimal vitality.
Medical Qigong has powerful roots in ancient healing traditions and also in modern science. The Healer Within™ Practices, developed from a Chinese Medical Qigong known as Bu Zheng Qigong or Vitality Enhancement Method, help your body utilize its own extraordinary medicine through these four essential practices:
• Body practices - posture and movement
• Breathing practice
• Self-applied massage
• Mind focus practice - mindfulness meditation
Deep Bodywork, as created by Perry Holloman over the last twenty-five years at Esalen Institute, is a method that integrates the qualities of a flowing Esalen® Massage with the therapeutic effectiveness of deep tissue work. Using deep tissue methods, massage practitioners can enter the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, freeing previously dense, hardened areas, which may have become chronically painful due to a lack of fluid exchange and energy flow.
In today’s demanding world, we all need full access to our inner and outer resources in order to survive and thrive. Are you tired of feeling scattered and pulled in too many directions? Do you love feeling grounded and mindfully aware? Would you like to experience more resilience under stress and access your creativity and joy to your deepest potential?
Tai Chi Easy is a practice that combines gentle exercises, breath practices, self-massage, and meditation to help you experience a refreshing, healing boost to body, mind, and spirit. Developed by master teacher Roger Jahnke, Tai Chi Easy enhances energy (qi) to strengthen and cleanse the body and mind. According to Chinese Medicine and philosophy, qi is the vital essence that creates health, well-being, and harmony.
During this workshop, you will be taught tai chi principles including breathing, relaxation, and mindfulness.
Empathy is possibly your most essential skill. It helps you understand yourself and others, and it is the core skill in your ability to communicate and relate to the world around you. However, many of us trip over empathy because we were never taught how it works. In this workshop, you’ll be taught new ways to work with your empathy and your emotions in order to create more successful connections. You’ll explore:
• The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, which makes empathy clearly understandable
“In our previous classes, we’ve focused on teaching the practice of Deep Bodywork for specific segments of the body,” write the leaders. “In this seminar, we will focus on giving a full body massage, and integrating Deep Bodywork into the session as a whole. We will show you how to apply deep work on both sides of the body while maintaining the flowing, integrative quality which is the signature of Esalen Massage.
This workshop is a wonderful opportunity for you to enjoy the beauty of Big Sur and the healing waters of the Esalen hot springs, while gaining a foundation in the art and practice of Esalen Massage. During the week, participants will be taught massage methods that address the whole body: Esalen’s signature long, flowing strokes that support feelings of wholeness, connection, and integration; passive joint movement; and a variety of techniques to work with the major muscle groups of the body.
Esalen Massage is a moving meditation, a practice in presence and mindfulness, and a loving healing art. When practiced with focused attention, massage comes from a deep, quiet place that resides inside each of us. The practice of meditation can help access the parasympathetic nervous system, where healing originates. As we give a massage, this healing state of mind can permeate the field that practitioner and receiver create together.
Our stress and its symptoms are maintained unconsciously as a distraction from emotional issues and harmful thinking. By addressing these issues, the body can let go, thereby improving physical health and enhancing performance and the ability to feel joy.
This weekend is an opportunity for people practicing Zero Balancing to reconnect with Fritz Smith, with Zero Balancing, and with each other.
“It is critically important," says Fritz, "to periodically meet with like-minded people and to openly, freely, and safely discuss problems, insights, and successes of your work—in this case, the leading-edge therapy of balancing energy and structure.”
During this course, you will learn about the physiological mechanism of disease and will participate in hands-on training to facilitate the SomatoEmotional Release process. By the end of the course, you should be able to dissipate residual effects of past trauma and negative emotional experiences from the body and mind of your patients/clients. In order to observe closure for sessions you are involved in, please make sure the instructor is aware of any pregnancies in the group.
During an Esalen Massage, we experience a remarkable web of interdependence: a listening touch, a deepening breath, our nervous system soothed in connection with another. When we receive a massage we remember an easier time and "come home."
Using principles of experiential anatomy, this workshop explores the balance between sensitive and structural touch, and the interplay of nervous system, skeleton, and muscles. These concepts serve to awaken sensory awareness, fine-tune physical skills, and deepen personal connection with self and others; all are skills that enhance the ability to give good bodywork sessions.
Spinal awareness is a combination of the Feldenkrais Method®, Taoist energetic science, and the Esalen experience. In this workshop, participants will experience movements that help bring new awareness as well as maintain health and assist in the rehabilitation of pain, tension, stiffness, limitation, and injury.
The use of joy and humor will be the undertone of this time together. Real freedom in the body is also freedom of spirit and fun.
Esalen offers numerous levels of basic massage certification. For an overview of these offerings, please visit www.esalen.org/page/esalen-massage-certification-programs-overview.
This workshop is designed for loving partners who wish to bring the nurturing practice of massage into their daily lives and spend a special weekend together cradled in the beauty and intensity of the Big Sur coast. It is also for couples who want to deepen already existing skills and for those who want to create more time in their lives for healing and intimacy. This weekend intensive will focus on teaching couples to give and receive a pleasurable full-body massage.
Deep bodywork, practiced with great sensitivity, is one of the most effective healing modalities available to the bodywork practitioner. Through slowly opening the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, we connect the mind to normally unconscious "stuck" areas of the physical body, which can release enormous amounts of previously held energy. This energy then becomes available to support the body’s innate capacity to self-organize and self-heal, enabling practitioners to support clients in overcoming previously stubborn, seemingly intractable physical conditions.
Join Master Mingtong Gu for a week dedicated to healing and balancing body, mind, heart, and spirit through the powerful movement, sound, and visualization practices of qigong. This retreat is a great way to take a vacation for yourself, journey inward with deep nourishment, and recharge with renewed energy, clarity, and vitality. Qigong supports you in releasing limitations and expanding into new possibilities for balance, wellness, deep fulfillment, and lasting joy.
Esalen offers numerous levels of basic massage certification. For an overview of these programs, please visit www.esalen.org/page/esalen-massage-certification-programs-overview.
Work Study - Upledger Institute International’s CranioSacral Therapy Level One Intensive: Presence, Palpation and Protocol
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) utilizes very gentle touch to assess and correct imbalances in the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluids protecting the brain and spinal cord. CST is a powerful hands-on modality that addresses numerous sensory, motor, and intellectual challenges; central nervous system disorders; and chronic pain. Participants will be taught detailed anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system, its functions in health, and its relationship to disease.
The ancient, rich traditions of Asian healing arts are based on what is best described as an energetic paradigm of human existence. The healing techniques vary among cultures (for example among Japan, China, Thailand, and India) but at the core of each healing model is the understanding that human beings are simultaneously physical and energetic. In this Legacy program, participants will deeply engage in the study and practice of traditional Thai bodywork (Nuad Bo’Rarn).