Esalen Tissue Work
Esalen tissue work is a style of massage therapy that combines the classical techniques of Swedish massage, with stokes specifically designed to target the muscles and the circulatory system.
However, Esalen massage has less to do with technique then it does with touch. In fact, the effectiveness of an Esalen massage greatly depends on the practitioners intuitive connection with their client.
A body-mind bond must be established in order for the therapy to be effective according to Esalen originators - Charlotte Selver and Bernie Gunther two sensory awakening teachers, who first brought Esalen therapy from Germany to North America.
So Esalen tissue work differs from Swedish massage in its philosophical approach. The effectiveness of the treatment is largely dependant on the massage therapist, who will create an environment that helps to create a meditative and intuitive-connection between themselves and their client. Esalen massage practitioners are expected to be able to intuitively tap into their clients physical and non-physical clues. This way they will be able to identify where their clients body is injured or in pain and locate any blockages that are within the body without their client having to verbally express it.
The techniques of Esalen therapy consist of long sweeping strokes, combined with an intense connection between the therapist and client that Esalen practitioners often compare to a moving meditation. An Esalen massage may also consist of periods when the practitioner rocks the clients body, or stretches particular muscle groups. It can also include passive manipulation in order to move a joint through its full range of motion, and a therapist may also sculpt the deep tissues particularly the extremities and torso, followed by periods rest. The entire Esalen process is meant to encourage total body awareness and relaxation.
The most vital element of Esalen tissue work is the massage therapists focus on their client. The principals behind Esalen therapy state that every human being desires to be touched. So in order for the therapist to intuitively touch their client they need to clear their own energy, and center themselves so that they respond exactly how their client intuitively tells them to.