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Making the Most of Your Visit

Esalen practitioners are dedicated to connecting deeply with each client and can usually accommodate specific requests and preferences within the Esalen massage modality. Practitioners combine a full-​bodied ​presence with long, integrating strokes and slow, deep muscle work to release everyday stresses, still the mind, and leave you feeling integrated and deeply relaxed. At the heart of all of our healing arts and massage sessions is a sense of empowering each individual to regain a sense of harmony, reverence, and balance, and to awaken inner resources for healing. It is not unusual for us to hear, "That was the most amazing massage I've ever received."

Here are a few things to know before you sink into a lovingly-imagined healing experience.


​If you are staying off-site ​you may arrive at Esalen up to an hour before your scheduled session. When you turn into the driveway, you will proceed down a steep hill. You must stop at the gatehouse and check in with the gatekeeper. They will give you a parking pass, gratuity envelope, and feedback form, and direct you to the parking area and the natural hot springs where you will receive your massage. You may notice the naturally strong sulfur smell as you approach. We recommend you keep valuables locked in your car.

Bathing in the Hot Springs

When you check in, a ​towel ​is ​provided ​for you. To limit water use and help protect our environment, please use just one towel during your time with us. Take a quick shower before relaxing in the hot springs. You’ll find two natural hot springs bathing areas: a “silent” side, where no conversation is allowed, and a “quiet” side, where you can speak softly. It’s recommended to remove silver jewelry prior to bathing in the hot springs, as the minerals in the water will instantly tarnish silver. If this happens, you can restore it with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.

Healing Arts Session

At the scheduled time of your session, your practitioner will come and find you, wherever you are in the bathing or changing areas. Your session will take place in a shared room, or possibly outside on the baths deck depending on the weather.

After Your Session

Following your massage, please shower off off the massage oil and feel free to return to the hot springs to enjoy another soak. If you're staying outside of Esalen and have come in just for a massage, you are welcome to stay for an hour after your session to enjoy the baths. Gratuities may be left directly with your practitioner or at the front office or gate.

Esalen Massage: what to expect from your first Esalen massage


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