As I stepped into the float tank, I felt a rush of elation as my body floated right on top of the water, something I’d not experienced before. The moment that I closed the door, I laid back in absolute darkness and only a millisecond had passed before I jolted up, panicking mildly at the feeling of free floating through space and the sensation of beingcompletely unaffected by gravity. I gathered myself (and what little I could feel of my senses) and breathed into it. Okay, so I feel like I’m floating through space. I am on a giant rock floating in space after all, aren’t I? Reaffirming my safety, I accepted my sensations, and found that simply observing was just the ticket—I imagined myself among the cosmos, mirrored a million times by the light of stars from ancient futures and distant pasts. As it turns out, this would be the vision I would return to again and again in each float for years to come.
Yesterday our staff gathered at the Asheville Botanical Gardens and explored our core value of nurturing. We talked about how much of a difference it can make when everything we do in our lives and in our work comes from a place of flowing intuitively and caring truly.
I gently lifted his hand off the massage table and placed it in both of mine. I felt tears start to swell inside me. His hands were those of my father's. I mean the same size, the same muscular and bone structure, his skin was smooth yet aging with the same strawberry blond hair on the back of his hand and knuckles of his fingers. I wanted to just stare at his hands but instead found myself massaging the inside of them in the same way my father did to me as a small child to put me to sleep…the same way I lovingly touch and massage my three year-old son's hand to put him to sleep. That is the one thing my son connects deeply with to identify with his grandfather he has never known.
Once a month, Still Point Wellness massage therapists, front desk staff, spa management, and co-owners gather to deepen our connection with one another through discussion. Over the past few months we've been exploring our core values. What are they? How do we define them? What do they look like in action? This month, we talked about mindfulness.
I’d taken the first step, and like they say, the first step is always the hardest, right? Actually, showing up to what was essentially the unknown was a far harder step. Before I knew it, I was entering the pool of darkness for one hour. The door shut behind me, and then there was nothing.
Mother Nature is our greatest teacher and physician producing an array of natural medicines that support healing and inner transformation. Some of Her greatest gifts to humanity come from the plant kingdom, a domain that offers many remedies to nourish our body and mind and soothe what ails our soul. One of the many blessings that arise from these botanicals is the flowers, and from these blossoms flower essences are created.
This article originally appeared in the Florida State Massage Therapy Magazine, Massage Message.
Imagine yourself sitting on the cliffs of the Santa Lucia Mountain range in Big Sur, California looking out at the Pacific Ocean. You hear the crash of the ocean waves below and a sea otter as it floats on its back cracking shells. You see an occasional condor soaring above. The sun is shining, the air is filled with the smell of sea water and sulphur from the hot springs. The hot water bubbles up from under the earth and pours into the large bath tubs.
People from all over the world, and all walks of life, gather to bathe in these pools of healing waters and experience the beauty of nature and the magic of the place. This sacred ground, the Esalen Institute, once home to the Esselen Indians, is the birthplace of Esalen massage.
Eddie - The theme this week is The Power of Mindful Touch. Perhaps you could give us an idea of what we might be talking about this evening.
Robin - Thanks for asking Eddie. I suppose over my lifetime, really since I was a child, I’ve been really interested in touch and present touch and I’ve spent most of my life I would say dedicated to that exploration. I spent many years at the Esalen Institute practicing and learning different types of bodywork and massage as well and I’m looking forward to talking about my experiences over all these years.
Journey back in time to the beginnings of Esalen Massage with Robin Fann-Costanzo and Deborah Medow, manager of the Esalen Healing Arts Department and longtime Esalen bodywork practitioner, yoga instructor and workshop leader.
For perhaps the first time since the dark, salty silence of the womb, I found myself in a place where strain was fundamentally not required. Again, you can't know how profound that really is until you experience it.
Bring creative sounds like a lot of work. Keep in mind I’m an artist. I am also one who likes to plan, to strategize, and organize (read: INTJ Capricorn). Lets just say my passion and personality haven’t always seamlessly merged. I’ve always felt stuck in my head, trapped in an over-analytical mindset. Thinking and over-thinking everything, especially creative projects, can be torture.
As a float specialist, I have introduced hundreds of first time floaters to the world of Salt Water Floatation (or sensory deprivation). Often times, people want to know advice on how to have the best possible experience. Here are my top five tips.
In addition to participating in the walk we are also offering free massage compliments of Still Point Wellness' professionally trained Esalen Massage therapists. After walking a mile in high heels, you may be in need of a little extra TLC!
Mindfulness meditation is a research-validated method of reducing stress, coping with pain and illness, enhancing wellness, and increasing self-awareness and compassion. Mindfulness is an essential skill that can be learned as a formal meditation practice and as a natural way of peacefully relating to our mind, body, emotions, and the people and situations we encounter in everyday life. The following article addresses how mindfulness can support health, wellness, and the quality of our relationships.