What is Deep Bodywork®?

Deep Bodywork is a form created by Perry Holloman over the last 25 years at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. This method combines the integrating qualities of a flowing Esalen® Massage with the therapeutic effectiveness of deep tissue work. Using these healing modalities in combination opens realms of possibility to the bodywork practitioner unavailable through the application of one or the other alone. Using deep tissue methods, massage practitioners can enter the body’s deeper soft tissue layers, freeing previously dense, hardened areas, which may have become chronically painful due to a lack of fluid exchange and energy flow. As such areas soften and ‘re-organize”, their chronic tension patterns release, revitalizing living tissues with blood, lymph, and “Chi” (life) energy. Because living systems like the human body require a constant flow of Chi energy to self-organize and heal, blockages to that flow within our tissues can create longer term health problems like joint and soft tissue pain, movement restriction, and circulatory problems to name some of the most common. As chronic tension patterns held in the deeper soft tissue layers begin to open and change (often called “unwinding”), reservoirs of previously held life energy become available to promote the process of healing. This energy can help clients overcome stubborn, seemingly intractable physical conditions, which have failed to yield to other therapeutic methods. The Deep Tissue component of Deep Bodywork, when applied slowly, is one of the most effective means available for alleviating acute and chronic suffering in our clients.

The long, flowing strokes characteristic of Esalen Massage add an integrative component lacking in most connective tissue approaches. In my 26 years of bodywork experience, I have noted that flowing, soothing touch, either gently resting on, or gliding over the surface of the skin, creates profound relaxation. As we release deeper tension patterns through the application of deep tissue techniques, we touch equally as deeply, although differently, with a long flowing stroke across the body’s surface. Because the skin can be thought of, literally, as the surface of the brain (skin, brain, spinal chord and nerves all evolve from the ectoderm in embryonic development), gliding slowly over the brain’s outermost periphery has a deeply integrating effect. The essence of the long, flowing stroke lies in connecting the mind to its different physical segments through the sensations generated at the surface of the skin. Combining deep tissue work with the flowing quality of Esalen Massage creates an holistic method concerned not solely with unwinding soft tissue lesions, but also restoring to the mind a sense of organismic integrity often lost through physical injury, emotional trauma, and the everyday stresses of life. Deep Bodywork I, II, III, IV, V, and The Mastery Class are seminars designed to teach bodywork practitioners how to use this effective combination with clients in an integrated session. Each seminar focuses on different key areas of the body, like the back, neck, shoulders, and hips. Click here for a complete list of seminar dates »