All posts by Karen

Yvonne joins Karen at Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York

Your Masseuse Yvonne - Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York
Your Masseuse Yvonne


Dear friends and clients, I am very pleased to welcome Yvonne to my Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York, NY practice. Yvonne is a friend I met when we were training together at Esalen. She is also trained in Sexological Bodywork. You can book either type of Relaxation Massage service with Yvonne. She has magic hands, and her clients in San Francisco miss her a lot!

Yvonne is a model, and she just moved to New York. I invite you to book a session with Yvonne today. I promise I won’t be jealous! Though if you prefer to book with me, Karen, that is wonderful too. We are both looking forward to seeing you soon!
Your Masseuse Karen - Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York
Your Masseuse Karen

Relaxation in stressful times

Pebble in a Pond - Blog - Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York

I have been hearing from my clients, friends, and fellow New Yorkers that the level of stress in the city is very high right now. The uncertainty of political events both in the US and globally is creating a lot of anxiety for people, and people are looking for better ways to deal with it.

Don’t forget about the basics:
  • Eat healthy, get some exercise.
  • Hug your loved ones.
  • Feel your feet on the ground.
  • Meditate if you can sit still long enough!
  • Don’t watch or read upsetting news right before bed.
These things will help you get to sleep, and feel more grounded as you go about your day.

And of course, nothing is better than Esalen relaxation massage for a time-out from the crazy, with 90 minutes or more in a quiet oasis away from the world. In this time just for you, your only care is whether you prefer scented or unscented oil, and whether you want a light touch or a deeper stroke. There has never been a time when massage could be more beneficial than right now. It is amazing what a difference a few hours away from your everyday life can make.

You will return refreshed, with a new perspective, more energy, and a feeling of well-being that will carry over into all parts of your life, and even impact the people around you.

Be the pebble in the pond that helps everyone you know feel a little more able to deal with these troubled times.

“Waiting for Spring” invitation – 10% off

Esalen Sunset - Spring Special

Spring is in the air, though it’s only February. With the temperature rising in New York City, I’d like to invite you to come experience the bliss of Esalen relaxation massage. Shake off the winter blues, and be my guest while I take you to the surging Big Sur coastline. I offer you an introductory special of 10% off the regular massage fee for the massage session of your choice.

This offer extends until the first day of Spring, March 20. Contact me today to arrange one of the best experiences of a lifetime—Esalen relaxation massage!

Year of the Rooster

Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York - Blog - Year of RoosterHappy New Year to all my clients, past, present, and future. Today it is the Lunar New Year, the start of the Year of the Rooster! If your plumage is feeling a little bedraggled, now would be the perfect time to come for a rejuvenating Esalen Relaxation Massage. I look forward to getting my hands on you!

Back in the New York Groove

Montreal-statue

Dear friends,

As some of you know, I have been away traveling for a few months. I had a fantastic time visiting some exotic destinations in Canada, including:

  • Calgary, Alberta, for the Stampede. Yeehaw! Ask to see my boots and cowboy hat!
  • The Cariboo, BC – home of the famous gold rush that began in the 1860s
  • Montreal, Quebec – for some winter chills of -9 F, with gorgeous snow and ice! And some pretty cool statues.
Now I am back in New York and accepting bookings once more. I look forward to seeing you on the massage table soon.

Warmly, Karen

Esalen relaxation massage with sensation play

Sensation Play - Blog - Esalen Relaxation Massage NYC New York

People often ask me what makes Esalen relaxation massage so special. Of course the signature long stroke is one of the unique aspects of Esalen massage that gives my clients a feeling of pleasure, wholeness, and well-being. And the long-form of sessions that I practice gives me a chance to pamper every part of your body, gently loosening all your joints and relaxing every muscle.

But it’s the element of surprise that comes with new and unexpected sensations that adds that little extra something for my clients. Esalen relaxation massage is non-scripted, meaning that each session is a unique interplay between me and my client. And this allows room for spontaneity and exploration of different sensations.

Some of my clients like me to tickle or spank them. And I recently read about an awesome masseusse who really knows about sensation play. She bites her clients’ backs! So this has opened up my mind to new possibilities for a massage session. I will be curious to see what happens in my next session!

I think the artwork above expresses this element of playfulness and fun so beautifully. An invitation I extend to you…

Mad Men at Esalen

Mad Men at Esalen

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the series Mad Men yet, and particularly the series finale, stop reading immediately. Go and watch all 92 episodes (it will probably take you about 4 months) and then get back to me.

If you have seen the finale, you may not have realized that the retreat center that Don/Dick went to with his free-spirited semi-niece Stephanie is Esalen. That’s right, the same Esalen that gave birth to Esalen massage.

I loved the show, and thought the ending was the most perfect ending imaginable. (Even better than the weepy future-deaths finale of Six Feet Under and the ordinary-family-life ending of The Sopranos.) Of course it makes perfect sense that Don Draper would go to Esalen, deal with his issues (people really do that in the encounter groups there—I’ve seen it, I’ve done it), and then find peace meditating on the grass. A creative peace that leads to mid-meditation inspiration and the greatest commercial of all time—Coke’s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” Of course he came out of retirement, right?

I too have had amazing creative inspiration while on meditation retreats in California, though in my case, it was my entire master’s thesis on green funerals. Not quite as catchy as the Coke commercial.

So, to my Esalen massage clients, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still thinking of you from the road, and that the final episode is realistic—this kind of thing happens at Esalen all the time! And it happens to people on my massage table too.

I’m working on creative projects while away, and just did this tribute to Mad Men as part of my Another New York Love Affair video series. Check it out! Save

Esalen relaxation and renewal

Big Sur coastline at Esalen
I’ve been at Esalen in Big Sur this past week, catching up with friends in the Esalen community, giving and receiving amazing Esalen massages, learning some new techniques, and taking in the beauty and freedom of this wild, outrageously stunning place.

I’ll be back in Manhattan, New York City next week to share the vibe and some new strokes with you! See you soon. Warmly, Karen

Esalen relaxation massage and Reiki

Zen garden

Reiki is an energetic healing art that complements Esalen relaxation massage in a subtle way. I am an attuned Reiki master, and the healing energy of Reiki naturally flows through my hands when I give an Esalen relaxation massage. I often use Reiki explicitly for energetic balancing and healing at the completion of an Esalen relaxation massage.

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by laying on hands (in a specific pattern) and is based on the idea that an unseen life force energy or ki flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s ki is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

A Reiki treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Like Esalen relaxation massage, Reiki treats the whole person—including body, emotions, mind, and spirit—creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being.

If you have particular injuries that you are currently healing, I can bring additional healing Reiki energy to the injury during the massage. Let me know when you schedule your appointment, and we can discuss your needs in detail during our chat in my Manhattan studio before the massage begins.

Jazz magic in Esalen relaxation massage

Jazz magic in Esalen relaxation massage

I usually play jazz while giving an Esalen relaxation massage. I started doing this intuitively when I began my massage practice, mostly because it was the only type of music in my collection that seemed to have the right feeling and flow for the massage. I love going to the Village Vanguard and other jazz venues around Manhattan to hear the incredible abundance of world-class jazz musicians that play here in New York, and I’ve been learning from listening to the music and talking to the musicians.

Today I realized that what I love about giving an Esalen relaxation massage and what I love about listening to live jazz is the thing they have in common—infinite variety and improvisation. It’s possible that no two performances of a song are the same, and this is definitely true of Esalen relaxation massage.

Jazz feelingsWith jazz, there is a framework that the musicians work within, so that the thing comes together as a cohesive song, but there are times within the song when the musicians take off with elements of the song and the vibe in the audience and whatever they are channeling through their soul in that moment, and they create and express something new and unique. This feels magical, and the audience is transported on a journey with the musician. I have really felt like I’m flying with the music, and never wanted to come down. (And no, it wasn’t the appletini!)

This is the same type of groove that makes me and my clients love Esalen massage. There is a framework I work within—certain elements that I bring into every massage, because they are essential. And I make sure to give attention to every part of the body, and hopefully do roughly similar things on each side, so the body feels in balance and harmonious. I forgot to do a practice client’s foot, back in the beginning when I was still learning, and he wasn’t too happy about it. I said, “Imagine that I did it.” And he said, “Then why not just imagine I had the whole massage.” Point taken! 🙂

But within that framework there is an infinite variety of strokes, and variations of sequence, pressure, and so on. And then there is that mysterious element of improvisation that just takes over, causing me to explore a whole new way of touching a finger, or a face. This is the magical aspect of Esalen relaxation massage that I can never predict, but that I love to discover with each new client. It is a response in the moment between our two bodies and souls, unique each time, even with clients I massage regularly.

For me, the integration of a John Coltrane extended note as I flow with a stroke down a limb is one of the juiciest, jazziest things I can imagine doing. It satisfies my heart.