Esalen Bodywork

Road to Wellness

Nov 17, 2004 at 2:06 pm

Esalen (pronounced ESH-a-lon) is a Japanese style of full bodywork with many uplifting benefits. I spoke with Maria and John, who practice this technique.

Esalen incorporates a rocking motion of full body strokes and effleurage using 50 to 60 strokes in each body area before moving on to the next. Also included are deeper kneading and cross strokes; full arms (sometimes even elbows) are used in stroking creating more of a feeling of warmth and comfort than only using hands and fingers. The heat that's created also aids in the healing process, along with giving feelings of stress relief, overall wellbeing and euphoria. This is a very aerobic, up-tempo style of work that demands great strength and commitment from the practitioner. The huge amount of physical and mental effort involved requires a fee of $150-$200 per session.

John says that this massage-like technique reached him at a low point in his life and helped him recover. His practice has been rewarding, and his clients have said that they feel freer, more energized, lighter, more accepting of their bodies and relieved of burdens. His goal is to give the best experience and highest quality of bodywork available while expressing his care and concern for others and sharing what's made such a huge difference in his own life.

Maria says that in our busy world we become numb and don't take time to truly get "in touch" or reconnect with our bodies; Esalen is a way to do something healthy only for you. Client and therapist must trust each other, and in order to keep a sacred space and receive the full benefit of the work quiet should be maintained.

Their exclusive style also includes "the best of massage" techniques. Each session is thorough, including extensive time spent on the scalp, face (opening sinuses), hands, feet, fingers and toes. This work is not for those with physical injuries or who are inhibited about touch.

John and Maria work separately or together, and they come to you. Call them at 513-477-1735 or [email protected]

CONTACT JANET BERG via her Web site,