Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
The Healing Touch of Esalen Massage
Category:
Healing
Photo by Cameron Jordan

When Esalen Massage School Director Brita Ostrom arrived at Esalen in 1967, massage already was a part of the Institute’s culture. “It was blossoming out of collaborations among visionary faculty of the time including Charlotte Selver, Bernie Gunther, Molly Shackman, Ida Rolf, and Moshe Feldenkrais, to name a few,” recalls Brita.

Yet it was not until the early 1980s that the concept of the school was conceived – and under less than ideal circumstances. “There we were, sitting in the Lodge, writing up the proposal,” says Brita, speaking of herself and colleagues Deborah Medow, Vicki Topp, and Peggy Horan. “A gigantic landslide had covered Highway 1 and the road to the north was closed. And so the Esalen Massage School was born out of a disaster.”

As Esalen emerges from yet another season of slides, the massage school remains the longest operating school of its kind in the state under original leadership. It continues to draw aspiring practitioners worldwide with its focus on mind, body, and spirit integration and through an approach that incorporates long, flowing strokes inspired by the ocean’s waves.

This month, students will have a unique opportunity to enroll in a six-week massage certification program at Esalen with a special $1,500 reduction on standard accommodations.

The six-week experience will be co-lead in parts by familiar Esalen faces including Deborah Medow and Perry Holloman. Each leader brings a long history of teaching and practice both at Esalen and worldwide.

“This time of year can be a quieter and more intimate experience at Esalen,” observes Deborah of the upcoming January 26 start date for the 250-hour certification program. “It’s amazing what happens in the six-week program. The group develops a deep bond; we become family. By immersing yourself, you’re really learning how to bring a full-hearted presence to massage, but also to anything you do in life.”

While Esalen offers a variety of massage workshops, it is through the signature certification programs that Esalen massage teachers pass on an incredible legacy to new generations of massage practitioners. “This program really holds the vision of Esalen co-founder Dick Price in that Esalen massage is one of the core teachings that came out of what we call ‘The Stream’,” says Perry. “[These are] teachings unique to Esalen that came out of its first decade – Gestalt as an awareness practice, sensory awareness, and intellectual teachings from Abraham Maslow, Virginia Satir, and later Stanislav Grof, among others.”

The 250-hour certification program provides training in Esalen massage and includes the core curriculum as required by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). It is ideal for those in the healing professions in working with their patients and clients. Upon completion, and after documenting 30 additional massages at a home site, participants receive a Certification of Completion for 250 hours that can be applied toward the 500 hours required to receive the California Massage Practitioner Certificate. The Esalen Massage School is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education and accredited by the CAMTC and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

“There is a very deep mind/body/spirit integration — that great triangle of being, including our emotions,” adds Perry. “This is why Esalen massage is such a powerful awareness practice.”

Learn more about the different certification levels available.

Call 831-667-3003 to inquire about the January 26 program and $1,500 offer.

Photo by Jens Wazel

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing
Photo by Cameron Jordan

When Esalen Massage School Director Brita Ostrom arrived at Esalen in 1967, massage already was a part of the Institute’s culture. “It was blossoming out of collaborations among visionary faculty of the time including Charlotte Selver, Bernie Gunther, Molly Shackman, Ida Rolf, and Moshe Feldenkrais, to name a few,” recalls Brita.

Yet it was not until the early 1980s that the concept of the school was conceived – and under less than ideal circumstances. “There we were, sitting in the Lodge, writing up the proposal,” says Brita, speaking of herself and colleagues Deborah Medow, Vicki Topp, and Peggy Horan. “A gigantic landslide had covered Highway 1 and the road to the north was closed. And so the Esalen Massage School was born out of a disaster.”

As Esalen emerges from yet another season of slides, the massage school remains the longest operating school of its kind in the state under original leadership. It continues to draw aspiring practitioners worldwide with its focus on mind, body, and spirit integration and through an approach that incorporates long, flowing strokes inspired by the ocean’s waves.

This month, students will have a unique opportunity to enroll in a six-week massage certification program at Esalen with a special $1,500 reduction on standard accommodations.

The six-week experience will be co-lead in parts by familiar Esalen faces including Deborah Medow and Perry Holloman. Each leader brings a long history of teaching and practice both at Esalen and worldwide.

“This time of year can be a quieter and more intimate experience at Esalen,” observes Deborah of the upcoming January 26 start date for the 250-hour certification program. “It’s amazing what happens in the six-week program. The group develops a deep bond; we become family. By immersing yourself, you’re really learning how to bring a full-hearted presence to massage, but also to anything you do in life.”

While Esalen offers a variety of massage workshops, it is through the signature certification programs that Esalen massage teachers pass on an incredible legacy to new generations of massage practitioners. “This program really holds the vision of Esalen co-founder Dick Price in that Esalen massage is one of the core teachings that came out of what we call ‘The Stream’,” says Perry. “[These are] teachings unique to Esalen that came out of its first decade – Gestalt as an awareness practice, sensory awareness, and intellectual teachings from Abraham Maslow, Virginia Satir, and later Stanislav Grof, among others.”

The 250-hour certification program provides training in Esalen massage and includes the core curriculum as required by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). It is ideal for those in the healing professions in working with their patients and clients. Upon completion, and after documenting 30 additional massages at a home site, participants receive a Certification of Completion for 250 hours that can be applied toward the 500 hours required to receive the California Massage Practitioner Certificate. The Esalen Massage School is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education and accredited by the CAMTC and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

“There is a very deep mind/body/spirit integration — that great triangle of being, including our emotions,” adds Perry. “This is why Esalen massage is such a powerful awareness practice.”

Learn more about the different certification levels available.

Call 831-667-3003 to inquire about the January 26 program and $1,500 offer.

Photo by Jens Wazel

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

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