Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
December 23–25, 2022
December 23–25, 2022
with Deborah Anne Medow and Vicki Topp
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Touch is our forgotten language. In this introductory massage course, participants learn to listen to each other, gain the sensory skill of initiating touch, experience the felt sense of touch and muscle release, and leave with some balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during the supervised practice. The simple principles of Esalen massage – presence, connection, attending rather than fixing, self-care, receptivity, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body, build a heartfelt experience with a partner or a friend, and perhaps most significantly, ourselves.

The wavelike motion of the ocean inspires the pace of Esalen Massage. Its methods include the following: Connection to the earth, self, and massage partner; an emphasis on presence rather than fixing; a respect for our natural impulse toward health and healing. Students learn to sense into the body and encourage release of muscular tension. The effects of this massage reach deep, often repairing old wounds and awakening our joyful vitality.

By the final session participants will share a simple yet comforting Esalen® massage. Experienced practitioners and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its healing effect as their pace slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact rather than only rely on technique.

Touch can evoke an opening to spirit through our innate ability to move into healthful balance or a broader sense of nature surrounding us. The edgy wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop invite this deeper natural connection. The group may include an optional evening massage ritual in the baths. This is the birthplace of Esalen Massage.

Recommended reading: Connecting through Touch, by Peggy Horan

Continuing education for this course is available through the leader.

View the course learning objectives.
Deborah Anne Medow

Deborah Anne Medow

Deborah Anne Medow, long-time Esalen workshop leader, yoga instructor and bodywork practitioner, has spent more than fifty years studying, learning, practicing, and teaching various forms of massage, bodywork, yoga, meditation, movement, and awareness practices, drawing from Eastern and Western traditions.

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Vicki Topp

Vicki Topp

Vicki Topp is a senior practitioner and instructor of Esalen Massage® and somatic bodywork. She teaches workshops and training groups internationally, and is a registered Movement Therapist and practitioner of Body-Mind Centering.

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Workshop Schedule

Friday
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday
9:30 am – 12:45 pm
3:00 pm – 6:15 pm
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Optional
Sunday
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

All guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
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