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Saturday, July 31, 2010

A very good description of "Esalen Massage":

This description excerpt was provided by:


Esalen Massage

It's So Nice To Be Kneaded

Esalen massage is a variation of a century-old Swedish Massage Developed by Esalen Institute of Big Sur,California.

Esalen Massage vs. Swedish Massage
While the strokes are similar, the philosophy and intent are quite different. Swedish massage was developed as part of gymnastics, Esalen as part of Gestalt psychotherapy.

Swedish seeks to affect specific muscles, joints and organ and relieve pain and increase mobility. Esalen does this but also seeks to help the person live more comfortably in his or her own body and integrate body, mind and spirit into a more harmonious whole person.

The strokes and manipulations of Swedish massage are for a specific therapeutic benefit. Esalen massage is set apart us a unique style because it also reflects an attitude about touching, caring, energy awareness and emotional, spiritual healing besides just physical manipulation.

Part of the attitude of Esalen is that touching is a basic need, as essential as air, food or water: that caring about others is natural; that getting in touch with one's own body leads to a more effective way of loving and relating to others, and that healing comes from within as well as from the outside.

In Esalen massage the social differences between the giver and receiver is reduced. No white uniform as a symbol of authority. Esalen massage is often practiced as an exchange - alternating between who gives and receives - and is traditionally done in the nude. However when done by professional therapists, this of course, is not done. At the hot spring baths in California where it originated, getting dressed when it was your turn to give massage seemed not only superfluous but downright silly.

In public practice Esalen practitioners usually dress very informally and the client is usually covered with a towel or sheet, but since one of the aims of Esalen style massage is to tie the parts of the body together, coverings are moved aside to permit long flowing "connecting" strokes that are among its hallmarks. In exchange groups and retreats for" (masseur/masseuses) "clothing is usually optional for everyone. Having options places responsibility on each individual rather than on some external authority, and that's what holistic health care is all about.

A" (masseur/masseuse) "who has a nervous preoccupation with keeping certain parts of the body covered conveys the nonverbal message that not all of the body is acceptable. Conversely, a receiver who cannot confidently and with trust put his or her body in the hands of a" (masseur/masseuse) "is unlikely to benefit from Esalen massage. One who is afraid to be seen nude will communicate tension to the giver and both will find relaxation difficult. People who are not comfortable around the body should not be in bodywork, just as people who don't like children should not teach kindergarten.

There is also a difference in conception of what therapy is. Sometimes it is said that Esalen "only" makes one feel good, as if that were a frivolous self-indulgence, whereas Swedish is more "therapeutic". But Esalen is intended to feel good; its creators believed in the wisdom that feeling good is good for you in body as well as emotions and spirit. Esalen" (masseur/masseuse) "believe that pleasure itself is therapeutic.

Few Esalen" (masseurs/masseuses) "practice 100% pure Esalen but use a blend of strokes and techniques for maximum physical as well as relational touch and good feelings.

Within the profession there is great diversity which provides a choice for clients. The largest massage organization, the AMTA, is very nurse and physical manipulation oriented. Emphasis in workshops is often proper draping of the body and the importance of the clean white uniform. More holistic therapists believe this is very cold and impersonal.

'Holistic' comes from the Greek 'holos', meaning 'whole'. When applied to health it means the belief that an organic or integrated whole has reality independent of and greater than the sum of its parts. In bodywork that means viewing health as a balance of physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. It does not mean treating only muscles and ignoring feelings.

Emotional Relating

-An act of physical caring expressing trust, empathy and respect.

-Unique way of communicating inner love and God's Spirit even to a stranger, without words, beyond touching and hugging.

-Nurturing touch makes people more whole, more fully ourselves and each person's hands have the power to give this joy to another.

Our Sexual "Hang-ups" And Touch

Massage has an undeserved bad reputation since it has been improperly used as a cover up for sex and prostitution. Therefore we are often hungup over massage and touching.

Touch has been shown to be a very basic human need. Skin hunger is as real as stomach hunger, yet it is so restricted by our society and equated with sex, that Americans have lost the ability to nurture through touch.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could openly touch and show affection without our hang-ups? Most of us were taught to express such intimacy only in sexual relationships. But intimacy doesn't necessarily include sex, any more than sex necessarily involves intimacy.

God designed our bodies for sensual enjoyment through touch but we often confuse wonderful sensual feelings with sexual acts.

Esalen massage breaks the barriers to touch and allows us to grow in a new awareness of the feeling, caring, and pleasure our bodies were meant to express to one another.

Unfortunately I do not have any contacts with Esalen therapists to refer anyone too (other than myself!). It is very popular in California and can be found in other areas. You might also check in New Age or alternative newspapers where therapists may advertise their Esalen specialty. The name Esalen Massage has now been trademarked and only those certified as Esalen therapists may use the title.

Not To Be Confused With Tantric or Sexual Massage

Some book writers have mixed Esalen style massage (often without proper credit) with sexual massage. Sometimes the properly name Esalen techniques but then don't make it clear when they shift to non-Esalen sexual techniques such as Tantra etc. With it being trademarked, hopefully people will be more careful with the use of the use of the term Esalen.

People that have experienced Esalen Massage agree that it is extraordinary. Its holistic approach is unique."

Liberated ChristiansPO Box 55045, Phoenix AZ 85078-5045

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Benefits of Thai Massage

Thai MassageImage via Wikipedia

Traditional Thai massage induced acute changes in bone formation and resorption markers, according to new research.

Researchers from the Department of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand, had noted that mechanical loadings by active exercise or passive low-amplitude vibration have been shown to enhance bone mass or delay bone loss, and that "traditional Thai massage might be anabolic to bone due to the application of physical loading on the body in a rhythmic fashion," according to a report published on

They studied the skeletal effect of Thai massage by examining the changes in biochemical markers of bone turnover immediately after the massage, the report noted. Subjects consisted of 30 healthy females aged 20 to 40 years, each of whom received Thai massage for two hours by a single therapist.

The researchers found increases in levels of serum P1NP, a marker of bone formation; and lower levels of serum CTx, a marker of bone resorption, following the massage.

"Study on the more prolonged effects of Thai traditional massage is warranted to explore its implication in the enhancement of bone health," the researchers noted.

The research is published in the July issue (Jul;93(7):771-5) of the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand.

Related articles
 Traditional Thai Massage Beneficial for Patients with Low-Back Pain

 East Meets West: The Value of Learning Asian Bodywork Therapies

 The History of Thai Massage: An Oral Tradition

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Water Therapy

Recently, I have been ill and tried out some water therapy which seems to have helped. So now I think I will share some things that worked to help me endure an acute attack of nausea. Please, check with your doctor first in case you have a condition that might contraindicate this therapeutic treatment.

1. I made a deep warm bath and dropped in about 15 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil.
2. I put an ice pack on the nape of my neck right at base of my skull.
3. I put another ice pack over my solar plexus in the center of my chest right below the ribs and over the top of my
abdominal cavity (just under the xiphoid process).
4. I relaxed back in the tub and allowed the ice to sit on their respective positions for 15 to 20 minutes.

Then, I removed the ice, relaxed my head back and did some small slow circular motions in a clockwise direction making small gentle circles into the soft tissue under my rib cage moving under the left ribs with my right finger tips and along the right side of the abdomen under the ribs with my left hand. Be gentle and slow. Breathe slowly and deeply too.

When you are finished with your treatment relax in bed with some Chamomile tea to slowly sip as your appetite returns.

Try this the next time you feel nauseous and let me know what results you have.


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