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Your First Esalen Massage or Healing Arts Session: What to Expect

Making the most of your Esalen® massage or healing arts session

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

You may arrive at Esalen up to an hour before your scheduled massage or bodywork session. When you turn into the entryway, you will drive down a steep hill. Please 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 or healing session.

Please keep your valuables locked in your car and proceed down the path to the hot springs – you may notice the naturally strong sulfur smell as you approach.

Bathing in the hot springs
Towels are provided in the changing areas – to limit water use and help protect our environment, please use just one 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 not a good idea to wear silver jewelry in the hot springs, as it will instantly tarnish – if this happens, you can restore it with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.

Your massage or healing session
At the scheduled time of your massage or healing session, your practitioner will come and find you, wherever you are in the bathing areas. Your session will take place in a shared room or outside on the baths deck depending on the weather. Afterwards, shower off the massage oil and feel free to return to the hot springs to enjoy another soak. You may stay at Esalen for an hour after your session. Feel free to leave a gratuity directly with your practitioner or at the front office or gate.

For our non-massage (alternative modality) clients
If you have scheduled an "alternative" healing session other than massage, your session will likely be scheduled in the Somatic Center, located in a private bungalow on the hill above the lodge. The Somatic Center is about a five minute walk to the hot springs. Feel free to arrive an hour early and meander down for a soak before your session. Just remember to meander back, as  your practitioner will be waiting for you.

The patented Esalen Massage: what to expect from your first Esalen massage


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