My Techniques & Training
A holistic evolution of swedish massage developed at the world renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Known for its flowing, sensuous style and long integrating strokes, Esalen Massage emphasizes conscious touch and quality of contact to address the needs of the whole human being— body, mind, and spirit. Each massage is tailored to the individual client; some clients enjoy integrating deep tissue work to release rigid muscle structures, others prefer a more gentle, soothing experience to facilitate deep relaxation and subtle body awareness. This form of bodywork is traditionally practiced with massage oil on bare skin, with the client securely draped under a sheet.
Deep Tissue Therapy
I've trained in a variety of deep tissue methods, with special focus on the Deep Bodywork method taught at the Esalen Instutite. This deep tissue technique is slow, safe, and careful, and always tuned to the experience of the client. Every person is unique in terms of what amount of pressure feels right, and I don't believe that pain in deep tissue therapy is always a good thing. Rather, I seek to find that place where any pain is balanced by the pleasure of finally releasing long held tension. Getting rid of chronic tension patterns frees up energy in the body, often with a palpable feeling of increased vitality afterward.
The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California
Working with Elephants in Cambodia, 2015
Raised by a psychotherapist and a christian minister, my journey into the healing arts has been a gradual integration of body, psyche, and spirituality.
At UC Berkeley I began my initiation into deep body awareness through intense training in modern dance: exploring the relationships between muscles, movement, gravity, sensation, & consciousness. Gradually my focus shifted from dance to Yoga, which I practiced for over a decade becoming a yoga instructor in 2011.
I had the privilege of training as a massage therapist at the Esalen Institute, a 50 year-old organization dedicated to human potential and healing. At Esalen, the therapist is encouraged to work with the whole person - body, mind, and soul - rather than merely focusing on functional parts. This training included signature Esalen Massage (a holistic evolution of Swedish Massage), deep tissue therapy, holistic and spiritual approaches to healing, and detailed study of anatomy & physiology.
After Esalen, I was certified as an advanced practitioner in Thai Massage through the DeonThai School in Ojai, and completed yoga teacher training at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement. Meanwhile I returned to Esalen annually to train in the Deep Bodywork method of Perry and Johanna Holloman, and was certified in their method of deep tissue therapy in early 2015.
To further expand my knowledge of the mind-body connection, I completed my PhD in somatic (body-oriented) psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. This degree emphasized the intricate links between mind and body, and the healing that can come from consciously working with them.
My intention as a therapist is to support you in healing pain & stress, and equally important, to awaken a deeper, more meaningful sense of embodiment - one that I hope will stay with you for many years to come.
Volunteering with special needs children in Vietnam, 2014