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The origins of Esalen massage


Esalen massage was created in the 1960’s by a group of therapists who created the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California. It has its origins in Swedish massage and is rooted in Gestalt psychology and Charlotte Selver’s pioneering concept of Sensory Awareness. Over time, it has adopted additional elements from other healing modalities which all go to make Esalen a fascinating experience both to give and to receive! One client said it is like a 7-course meal - full of delicious surprises!


The benefits and beauty of Esalen massage


We all know the power of touch. But Esalen touch goes way beyond the skin’s surface and meets us most profoundly at physical, emotional and spiritual levels too. It doesn’t just relieve the stresses of daily life by releasing muscle tension and loosening the body. It opens the heart and touches the core of our being. It enables you to drop out of your head and into your body and feel all sorts of sensations and feelings that start to connect you with your essence, your real self. Once integrated like this, you will begin to make deeper and more meaningful connections with others and the world around you. I have witnessed this kind of transformation and empowerment with many of my clients. Esalen massage is a deeply nourishing and nurturing experience on all levels.


The uniqueness of Esalen massage


My clients say that Esalen is so much more than just a massage. It is not a routine or a technique, it is a healing art. The elements that are vital are the quality of touch, the intent, the attention and presence, and a deep reverence for the human being. When these things prevail, the experience can be felt at a profound level. In addition, Esalen massage has its own unique beauty in the slow elongated strokes on the oiled body. These sensuous flowing movements create a feeling of intense relaxation and wholeness besides having a strong ‘feel good’ factor. Indeed, the word healing derives from the Greek word Helios which means becoming a whole. Esalen massage also differs from other types of bodywork in its philosophical approach. Like Gestalt therapy, there is no intent to ‘fix’ anything - the focus is on the ‘here and now’ and the process itself. Although Esalen massage is not goal-orientated, the outcome of the session is often powerful, as many will testify.


An Esalen session 


Every session is different, even with the same client. An Esalen massage practitioner also brings her or his own style to the work. Mine is based on the ‘classical’ Esalen approach, with some elements that I have adopted from other types of massage. A typical session consists of beautiful, wave-like flowing strokes alternating with troughs of stillness; gentle rocking, stretches, deep tissue work and energy alignment. Before the session, I take some time to gently connect with you and find out about your personal history. After the massage, there is always time to rest and remain with the experience awhile, and even to share some of it with me if you so wish. Allowing this space afterwards is an important part of the healing process.


I work mainly from home where the candles, aromas and specifically chosen music create an ambiance just right for Esalen massage. I have a selection of good quality oils like organic coconut, sesame or jojoba to soften and nourish the skin, adding still further to providing the ultimate in luxurious and pampering massage.


My love affair with Esalen massage continues to deepen. To me, giving is receiving, and I feel humbled and grateful to be delivering this beautiful form of bodywork to you. Indeed, it is an honour to touch another human being.


With love, Satu


Please note this is not a sexual massage.


Contact Satu


01453 753635

07792 687 085

[email protected]


The Cotswold Health Centre, Stroud

01453 767600

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'It is through our senses that we experience life

      and it is through our senses that we can reawaken

            to a fuller and more authentic way of being.'    Charlotte Selver