100-Hour Esalen Massage® Certification Program


This Program is Held at Esalen, Big Sur, California 

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The 100-Hour Professional Certificate in Esalen Massage program offers a comprehensive training for certified bodyworkers who wish to add the Esalen approach to their professional repertoire.

Esalen Institute pioneered many approaches that integrate body, mind, and spirit, and Esalen Massage builds on this rich history in the depth of its curriculum. It also offers an experience of the “bigger picture” of how to use simple human touch to support healing within the whole person.

The course begins with training in centering, grounding, awakening the senses, and developing the art of being present. The initial focus is on quality of touch, Esalen’s holistic approach to massage, and the signature long strokes.

By means of lectures, demonstrations, and supervised practice, the course moves into detail work and assisted movement, with attention to body mechanics and somatic considerations. Relevant anatomy and physiology concepts are also highlighted.

Students will learn communication skills for interacting with clients in a clear, compassionate manner. This certificate in Esalen Massage is open only to massage practitioners with 150 hours of massage training at a state-approved school, and some massage practice.

Upon satisfactory course completion, successful evaluation sessions, and documentation of thirty additional massages at your home site, an Esalen Institute-recognized Certificate in Esalen® Massage for 100 hours will be issued.

The certification fee is $115. Esalen is an approved School by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (school code 2700571) and the California Massage Therapy Council (school code SCH0010).

This course is especially useful for those in the healing professions in working with their patients and clients. This is a professional training with limited admission.

Tuition is $5,110 for standard shared accommodations and $3,690 for a limited number of bunk-bed accommodations. Bunk bed and other scholarship are awarded based on financial need and social impact. 

Please request an application form by contacting massagecert@esalen.org.

(An additional $20 materials fee will be added to the workshop cost) 

General Pricing Information  

Click here for General Pricing Information and Accomodation. 


This workshop offers credits for massage therapy. Click here to learn more. 


Ellen Watson

Ellen Watson travels extensively, sharing the essence of her 26 years at Esalen. Ellen founded MovingVentures, whose mission is vocational education in the fields of breathwork, and somatic and movement arts. Since 1998, she has focused on supporting the people of Bali, Indonesia. 


Rob Wilks

Rob Wilks is a full-time bodywork practitioner and yoga teacher at Esalen. He specializes in Deep Bodywork®. He has taught experiential leadership education in the US and Eastern Europe.

Ingrid May

Ingrid May is a German-trained physical therapist and since 1986 has been an Esalen Bodywork practitioner and massage teacher. The founder/co-director of Oasis School of Massage and Healing Arts in Buenos Aires, she teaches trainings and workshops internationally. 


Vicki Topp

Vicki Topp is a senior practitioner and instructor of Esalen Massage and somatic bodywork. She teaches workshops and training groups internationally, and is a registered Movement Therapist and practitioner of Body-Mind Centering.