Esalen Healing Arts
Perched on the bluff above the ocean, and nestled beside the healing waters of Esalen’s renowned natural hot springs, a deeply nourishing massage experience was born on California's Big Sur Coastline.
In my experience with Lomi Lomi, having studied under Kahunas in both Hawaii and Germany, I can see similarities with this work when I first experienced and undertook training in Esalen massage. Emerging in the 70's from a movement of free thinkers, part of the Esalen allure is freedom and the outdoors - although it is equally wonderful indoors.
Esalen Massage® is best described as the meeting and merging of form, energy, structure, and soul. With its nurturing contact, long strokes, and detailed attention to the whole body, an Esalen Massage provides a state of deep relaxation and healing. The strokes are long and slow and flowing. Gentle, graceful, nurturing. Much as Lomi Lomi has been modernly translated to mean "loving touch" it is the same for Esalen, which based on my training and experience, borrows heavily from Temple style Lomi - although this is not noted in the literature, it is easy for me to see and as well tracking the movements of the early developers / practitioners of what came to be known as Esalen - their time spent in Hawaii, how could it not influence them?
Early on Esalen was often practiced with the receiver being undraped, and at times the giver as well, owing to the naturist aspects of the Esalen Retreat Center, the massage area being proximate to the hot springs and the idea that often this massage was exchanged (in other words giver and receiver took turns). Cultural shifts have left this simple practice seeming to be out of place in the the US in the 2020s. It is not appropriate for most professional massage settings, there is a certain utopian quality to this that can be appreciated.
Like much of my work, it is designed to enhance awareness and balance and achieves therapeutic effects without deep-tissue techniques.
I am extremely pleased to be able to offer this healing experience to you on Martha's Vineyard. If you have experienced Esalen before, please let me know when you book, as we can go over the options best suited to you. Learn More
Can Fertility Massage help you get pregnant ??
As we sit at the one year mark of the arrival of Covid, I am back to writing blog posts, having been away from it for a while. Not feeling especially motivated to write while the world was shuttered and a sense of gloom sort of permeating.
Now after a year and as the world slowly re emerges to perhaps a new normal, I was inspired to write about this topic mainly because as clients start to return, I have seen and had a number of requests in a row from clients looking to massage as they experience fertility challenges.
Infertility is on the rise. Especially in the US. According to one article which cites numerous statistics, infertility in the US is increasing by up to 10% per year. Its an alarming statistic. Infertility is about as common in men as it is women, about 10%. Although infertility in men is on the rise.
Infertility and infertility complications, like miscarriages, can negatively affect a person’s overall health and quality of life. Many couples who want to start a family and are unable to conceive will experience psychological and interpersonal distress that could negatively impact their quality of life.
Should I get a massage during Covid????
Is it safe to get a massage during Covid? Yes. Let me start with the answer and work backwards, in case you don't like to read alot :)
I have been wanting to write this post for a while. The pandemic has been extremely hard on Massage Therapy. When Covid restrictions hit, we all shut down, for me it was from March 2020 until about September/October of 2020, and even when returning, I only saw one client per day; no couples massage etc. We were all scared and unertain. After all, even more so than restaurants, a massage takes place in a small confined spaced. We are in a room for an hour or more, what could sound more dangerous?
And the irony is that because of Covid isolation, massage, human contact and touch was needed more than ever. So what to make of things? Well fast forward one year, and this is what we know: People are hyper aware of Covid vs in the beginning when no one knew anything. People are masking. People are sanitizing. People are in general avoiding large crowds of strangers. People are getting vaccinated by the millions. The most vulnerable and the super spreaders sadly have passed away in large numbers. I myself lost a cousin in the first few weeks and it was beyond horrible. In short the world is adjusting to a new normal.
I don't envision a day when the government or scientists will issue an "all clear" or "its over" type of announcement. I envision more that we will roll into a period where masks are "recommended." In Japan, a densely populated country, citizens have been wearing masks long before Covid.
So what is it that makes massage so safe? Nothing really. It is a calculated risk. But the empirical evidence over the past 6 months suggest it is no more dangerous than not getting a massage. And there are huge benefits....to your immune system, to your mind, to your sense of well being. There is no statistical evidence to suggest massage contact poses any greater danger than any other activity outside the home. It is a numbers game and a measured risk. I cannot recommend that you go get a massage but I can say that more than ever I think it is needed and if you feel like you could benefit, then I would consider making an appointment and simply enjoying the experience.
In my own practice as I said, I am vaccinated, I see half the number of clients I used to see to spread out the space in between. We perform extra sanitation measures. We are masked when you come in and leave. Masking while on the table I have found to be largely unnecessary so it is your personal choice. I do wear a mask.
Covid has robbed us of much of the rhythms and simple pleasures of daily life. Covid is here like an unwelcome relative its not going anywhere. Everyone is doing their best and it is time, I believe to start to return to activities like massage. Of course things could change; a new strain, or different outbreaks, in which case the world may have to hunker down again. Until then, please consider returning to your favorite massage therapist if you have been thinking about it. Ask questions of their practices, feel safe and enjoy being human again.
This is one therapists opinion. I am not a scientist nor am I giving medical advice, It is simply my personal opinion.
As of this month (November 2020) I have decided to remove "Deep Tissue" from my offerings. To be fully transparent, it was only there to help with Google searches as it remains a popular query. However - Deep Tissue is not a "thing" despite its tremendous popularity. Further it has been responsible for injuring, and prematurely ending the careers of many good therapists, more so than any other factor.
Deep Tissue is not really its own massage, but the incorporation of deeper pressure into any treatment can be done. Further some bodies; muscular bodies, or those with much adipose (fat) tissue may require deeper pressure to reach muscles. In addition, and this is just a theory of my own, based only on empirical evidence, I have found that many clients are not as sensitive to touch and require deep pressure or threshold pain to simply "feel" anything. However, the biggest driver, in my opinion of Depp Tissue is the "no pain no gain" mentality or that somehow you are really getting your moneys worth if a therapist puts you in pain.
It makes NO SENSE to leave a massage with more and or different pains then the ones you came in with. If you get some nonsense explanation that "pain is a sign the massage is working" - run for the hills.
I have decided to remove Deep Tissue as an option from my offerings for the moment mostly because I don't believe in it, and it is not my strong suit.
Deep Tissue started as a marketing gimmick (the term was invented by a therapist to differentiate his practice from the pack by way of ads and flyers) and remains so. However, it remains a popular request; every client should receive the work they love. It is often sought out and this is not to take away from any of the talented therapists who specialize in deep pressures.
My work is unique, and extremely well received but it is more mind body focused and relaxation/stress management oriented. I love what i do and I love that every therapist is unique and every client should get what they seek.
I invite you to look over my offerings and experience thoughtful caring bodywork with attention to detail looking out for your physical and mental well being.
- By Ginny Vickers
I've wanted to write a blog about cancer and integrative therapies. But what was holding me back was trying to figure out what to write about first, since there's so much information I want to share.
So here I am - ready to share my passion for oncology massage, which truly feels like my mission. In my blog posts I’ll talk about what originally led me to this work, what happens when one receives a cancer diagnosis, cancer and its side effects, living with cancer, end of life care, care giver support, research supporting oncology massage, and healing versus curing...
But where I want to begin is to talk about “healing versus curing." I bear witness to this all the time. I see it here at work,. I see it with my patients in hospice and I see it with the kids at Tufts Floating Hospital.
Let's face it, when one receives a cancer diagnosis, it's a game changer. After the initial shock, when the dust begins to settle, a cure is what one aims for. And because we are at an unprecedented precipice in cancer treatment (i.e. immunotherapy), this is a real possibility in many scenarios.
I've seen people "cured" - or more accurately the term NED (no evidence of disease) is used. My brother is one such medical miracle; over 10 years now remission from stage 4 metastatic melanoma. His oncologist is still scratching his head, albeit with a huge smile...
Some cancers of the blood are deemed curable, in particular ALL (the most common form of leukemia in children), with a very high survival rate. In the short time I've been working in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic at Tufts, I see this extraordinary chain of events played out weekly.
Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy - all lifesaving - come at a cost. The stories I hear from my patients and clients all share a similar theme; their bodies are not the same. Yet oncology massage can bring bodies to a place where they move easier due to an increased range of motion, it can soften tissues that are rigid and scarred, and it can decrease pain and help to relive feelings of anxiety. It can indeed begin to change the body. These bodies and minds eventually come to accept this as their new normal...and this can be called "healing."
The simple and timeless act of "laying of hands"on another, is for me what this is all about and where the healing occurs. There is something so profoundly sacred in this exchange. It does not need to be proven nor researched. I trust this process and I am beyond fortunate and humbled to call this my work.
"Touch was never meant to be a luxury. It is a basic human need. It is an action that validates life and gives hope both to the receiver and the giver." ~ Irene Smith
A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.