Esalen Massage®
& Bodywork

Practitioner, Instructor, and Consultant

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The Work

A massage session is a compilation of various textures created with hands, forearms, fists, knuckles and a variation of pressure . These distinct sensations are woven together in a dynamic choreography by the practitioner.

Through this dance, the bodywork session cultivates energetic awareness and allows the massage to have an impact beyond the realm of the physical.

Learn more

What Clients Say...

Jessica is the most skilled massage practitioner who I have ever had the benefit to experience; she has a deep understanding of the physical body, and a thoughtful connection with the emotional self, which helps to reach difficult areas and provide relief.  She is a master with her hands, and is able to profoundly affect a human being.

Patricia M.

Knots gone, physical tension relieved - many practitioners can do that.  Jessica's presence, intuition and nurturing touch reach beyond the physical, healing emotional knots and relaxing the mind.  When I leave her table, mind/body/spirit seem to remember their intricate connection again.  All is well.

Laura D.

I have had the wonderful experience of being a client of Jessica's for many years now. I have received incredible body work and have also been her massage student. I love Jessica's massage and teaching mostly because she brings such a strong in depth knowledge of the human body and spirit connection combined with a high impact healing intuition.

Judy C.

Going Deeper

  • About Jessica

    Jessica Fagan has been deeply immersed in the practice and teaching of bodywork, movement, and Yoga since 1994 having studied, practiced and taught in the US, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. She came to Esalen Institute in 1997 where she became part of the Healing Arts department and has been deeply influenced by the evolving and innovative forms of bodywork and Somatic therapies ever since.

    Jessica’s teaching utilizes her background in Eastern and Western body therapies, Psychology, the Arts, and love of making healing contact through the hands, to create a unique approach to working with the body and her students.

  • Jessica currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area and is pursuing her MFT in Expressive Arts Therapy where she aims to bring a creative method of expression into the clinical practice of therapy through dance, drama, music, visual arts, and poetry/ narrative therapy. Jessica maintains a private massage practice, teaches locally as well as internationally, and is passionate about combining her knowledge of the body as it relates to the field of Psychology in order to address a diverse population with a multicultural perspective.

  • Philosophy

    My understanding of massage has developed over twenty years of study and work with the human body. I have been deeply influenced by the holistic approach of Esalen Massage, the dynamic style of Thai, the precision of Deep Tissue/Structural Integration, and the subtlety of energetic work. Overtime I've come to believe that bodywork can have a profound effect on emotional states and the psyche-- after all, the body is where our consciousness resides.

    The approach I take, and encourage my students to take, is one of patience. By varying techniques, rhythms and integrating moments of stillness into the session the body can transition into a deeper state of rest. as well as an opportunity for the practitioner to refine their quality of presence. It's in this state that the parasympathetic nervous system will calm, and the muscles and connective tissues are more receptive to change. Ultimately, the body will integrate the work in a more sustainable way and the underlying skeletal structures can be affected. Within a massage session, it is my intention to encourage the body to return to it's natural state of equilibrium- both physically and emotionally.

  • Thinking about a Session

    "A massage session is a compilation of various textures created with hands, forearms, fists, knuckles and a variation of pressure . These distinct sensations are woven together in a dynamic choreography by the practitioner.

    A seasoned Massage Practitioner will know that there's another texture, the texture of rest, that is as valuable to the healing benefit of bodywork as any massage stroke(if not more so).

    The rest is the moment in which the mind of the receiver can 'drop in' to the experience, making deeper contact with themselves. The pauses cultivate energetic awareness and allows the massage to have an impact beyond the realm of the physical."

  • Esalen Institute, Big Sur CA

    Cranio Sacral Therapy Levels I-V

    Cranial Sacral Teaching Assistant Levels I, II

    Core Zero Balancing levels I, II

    Lymph Drainage levels I, II


    La Stone Therapy

    Table Shiatsu

    Process Acupressure

    Esalen Massage Teachers Training (5 yrs)

    500 hr Esalen Massage Certification

    Gestalt Facilitator Training

    Soul Motion Mastery Teachers Training/ Movement Therapy

    Annual CPR First Aid training

    1997 – 2011
  • Chi Neit Sang Institute, Oakland CA

    Chi Neit Sang

    Chi Gung

    2008 – 2008
  • Independent Study in Chang Mai, Thailand


    Master Pichet Boonthumme and Master Ittidet Manalat Advanced Thai Massage with an emphasis on Sen (energy line) and Therapeutic Thai Massage.

  • $12.50
  • Institute of Traditional Thai Massage (ITM), Thailand

    120 hr Teachers Training Certification. 60 hrs Advanced Sen Theory and Therapeutic Applications

  • The Foundation of Shivago Komparpaj, Thailand

    Traditional Thai Medical Massage 60 hr

  • Ulpotha Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

    Ayurvedic Massage and Theory 50 hrs

    Acrosage/ Inversion Therapy 25 hrs

  • International Professional School of Bodywork, San Diego

    Structural Integration/Primary Principles of Rolfing

    Deep Tissue Sculpting/Therapy

    Sports Massage

    Neuro-Muscular Therapy/ Trigger Point Therapy

    Myo-fascial Release

    Swedish /Circulatory Massage / Advanced Swedish Massage

    Passive Joint Movement/Traeger Therapy

    Thai Massage (Nuad Bo-Rarn)

    Gua Sha/Chinese Friction Therapy

    Tui Na/ Chinese Sports Massage

    Seitai Shiatsu

    Oriental Theory


  • A Word on Esalen

    Esalen Institute nestled amidst the dramatic Big Sur coast line, has been fundamental in the influence and development of massage and therapy throughout the "human potential" movement.

    Esalen Massage® is renowned for its innovative and fluid style, developed in concert with pioneers of the "human potential movement" in the dramatic oceanside landscape of Big Sur, California during the 1970's. One's natural capacity to touch is discovered in the nature of the place, as is devotion to honoring the body, mind, and spirit of its clientele as a whole.

  • Esalen Massage

    The massage approach utilizes a variety of techniques and theories working "with" the body as opposed to "on" it. Influences such as Mochet Feldenkrais, Ida Rolf, Milton Traeger, and Charlotte Selver's Sensory Awareness have impacted its development, incorporating the Esalen style of using a "soft approach" to deep tissue methods, rhythmic rocking/ joint mobilizations which address the physical holding patterns in the muscles, and somatic/ personal insight. Integrating a range of techniques as well as the trademark "long flowing strokes," pauses to emphasize the energetic body, three dimensional touch, stretching, moving the body on the table, and detailed work are coalesced in what can be called a truly unique sensory experience.

    More importantly, refinement and "quality" of the practitioners' touch as well as personal presence supersedes actual "techniques." This essential foundation enables the practitioner with the ability to truly "listen" to the individual needs of the body, designing a session which not only allows the innate wisdom of the recipient to unfold but encourages personal healing.

Upcoming Workshops

May 16-18, 2023 Asheville, NC

Intermediate/Advanced Esalen® Massage (21 CE)

Jessica Fagan

This Advanced Esalen® workshop is designed for certified Esalen massage practitioners who are looking to reconnect with the foundational principles and techniques of traditional Esalen massage. This workshop builds upon those principles as we will quickly move into more advanced techniques to further your skills and address some of the common issues clients come in with. Offered in a supportive and collaborative environment where you can connect with fellow Esalen massage therapists and expand your repertoire. Jessica will skillfully customize this class for you, as each participant will have the opportunity to share their experience with Esalen massage and where they would like to expand their knowledge. PreRequisites- You must have completed an Esalen massage professional training and be practicing Esalen massage currently.

Recent Workshops

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Jan 7, 2023 Oakland, CA

Intro to Esalen Massage®

Jessica Fagan and Char Pias
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January 20–22, 2023 Esalen, Big Sur

Esalen Massage® for Couples and Friends

Jessica Fagan and Oliver Bailey
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Feb 2 - March 4, 2023 Oakland, CA

100hr Esalen Massage® Certification for Practitioners

Jessica Fagan
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March 17 - May 15, 2023 Asheville, NC

100 Hour Esalen® Massage Program

Jessica Fagan

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March 13 - 15, 2019 Esalen, Big Sur

Current Trends in Esalen Massage® and Bodywork

Jessica Fagan and Daniela Urbassek
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March - May, 2019 Oakland, CA

100hr Modular Esalen Massage® Certification for Practitioners

Jessica Fagan and Char Pias
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May 22-24, 2019 Esalen, Big Sur

Esalen Massage® for Couples, Partners & Friends

Jessica Fagan and Char Pias

Schedule a Bodywork Session with Jessica

Jessica's Massage Practice is located in Oakland, California near Lake Merritt.

First time client?

Write Jessica an email:

Online Booking

Online Scheduling is available for current clientele only. If you're a new client, please use the new client form to contact me before scheduling your appointment.

Private Workshops
& Tutorials

If you're interested in studying with Jessica individually (or scheduling a workshop for a private group) please get in touch! Customize lesson plans are available.