Tags: esalen


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Does anyone have the Esalen Massage dvd?
I'm thinking about ordering it. Has anyone trained at thier institute in California? Gotten a massage there? Gotten an "Esalen" massage in general?

Thanks for your input :)

edit: Alright, it's settled, I'm ordering the dvd now!
Thanks to all who replied :)

Being more than our pain and stress

I gave a great massage this evening to a friend in need. I'll call him Ben.

Ben's been trying to get disability coverage for about a year, and is now going through the legal system to do so (apparently this is all too common now in the USA - gotta love our managed care system). His body is in constant pain. He's seen doctor after doctor, been on almost every kind of pain medication their is, and the topic of conversation for he and his partner seemed to always be Ben's health situation. I'm sure with anyone with chronic pain, it's just not something you can ignore easily.

So, his physical therapist suggested massage therapy, and he called me.

I think that Ben became very interested once I started talking about the techniques of Esalen Massage, how long and connecting strokes integrate the body into a whole, and how just as we as humans are more than our pain, and more than just our body, with mind, spirit, emotion, energy, etc - that I approach massage in that manner. We talked a lot about how his pain was sometimes the only thing he and his partner talked about some days, and how he sometimes just wanted to feel "useful" and "whole" again.

While giving the massage, we both deemed that the topics of doctors, medications, sickness, and chronic pain (unless the pressure I gave was too deep) was off topic. We talked about cooking, his sisters, his cats, etc.. And you know what...after about a half hour, his shoulders released, and I was able to get to the muscles underneath the scapula. The range of motion in his arms and legs increased, and he started taking long and deep breaths, and he seemed to just "sink into" the massage table.

Ben commented on how I was never really "chasing" the knots in his body, because if I was running my arm or hands on his legs, I would continue the stroke up his back, across his shoulders, and back down again. He said I was the first professional (of any kind) he had seen that actually treated his body like a "whole" body. He liked how I held a point on his hip (GB 30) while my other arm and elbow traveled up his back, then kneeded his neck and shoulders, and that no one had ever done that. He said he felt nurtured and "put together" afterward. It was a great compliment.

Then after I helped him off the table, his cat jumps up onto the top sheet and sprawls out, as if to say "My turn!" It was priceless! I had to give his cat a couple minutes of massage too!

It was one of those great moments that I thought I'd share.
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An introduction - and thoughts on Licensing Laws

Hey all!

I just joined this group a few days ago, and I'm enjoying reading peoples' posts. I don' t know if you do introductions, but I thought I'd do that.

I'm Scott Schumacher, and I've been a Massage Practitioner since about 2000, so 6 years now. I've gone to two schools, the Minneapolis School of Massage and Bodywork, and the Saint Croix Center for the Healing Arts. I'm a Reiki Master and a classically trained vocalist.

I currently practice in Minneapolis in a small and growing independent practice. I share an office with two other bodyworkers, and I work from home and go to client homes on occasion.

In Minnesota, since 2001, we've had a Freedom of Access law for complimentary and alternative healthcare providers, and Massage Therapy falls underneath that law. Basically, while there are no standard educational requirements, you are required by law to disclose your education and training, follow a code of ethics, and give your clients a Client Bill of Rights conscent form. This tells them where they can file a complaint with the state should they face harrassment, have a bad experience, etc. The code of ethics prohibits practitioners from doing things they have no training in as well. Massage folks have the freedom to practice, clients have the freedom to see who they want to see, there's a code of ethics practitioners have to follow, the public gets adequate disclosure, as well as public protection with a place to report bad practices.

I'm sure I'll start the debate with this posting about how folks feel about licensure, state control of our industry, the NCBTMB handing down arbitrary educational requirements, and having a monopoly on certifying massage therapists nationally, etc.

I'll just say that I have some very strong opinions about that, and when I hear the pain that folks go through studying for an exam that their career is dependent on, I repeat to myself continually, "I'm happy I live in Minnesota." I like the law, and I think it's very fair to everyone involved (except maybe to massage schools or NCBTMB's pocketbooks - heh.) in my opinion. I have about 480 hours of training, and have been imbittered with the NCBTMB folks about how they handle hours for Anatomy. Apparently, my 3 credit course from a university is not good enough for them for a portfolio review. None of the schools around me have reasonably priced anatomy courses, and I'm not paying for another 120 hour class, let alone will many allow someone to "just take anatomy". Plus, I can learn all of the information on my own to ace any exam of arbitrary facts about the human body. Grrrr... sorry..hot button, and I'm glad I live in Minnesota. That's my rant..heh.

My approach is most like Esalen Massage (we were trained in Eselen Massage back in 1997 until the Eselen Institute trademarked the name and techniques I'm told). I treat the whole person. Body, Mind, Spirit, Emotions, Energy field, etc. I integrate Acupressure and Reiki into a session, with the long and integrative strokes that connect the body that are very characteristic of Eselen Massage.

It makes it tough for me to find another massage therapist with the technique I like, and sometimes it makes me unpopular with my peers who do massage, as we debate "Massage: is it a SCIENCE - or is it an ART?" I'm in the ART camp.

I guess that's a lot for my first post. I'd love to hear how others feel about these issues, and if there are folks from other states who operate under Freedom of Access Laws.

Thanks for listening!