Touching Essence



with Ellen Watson, Elena Gilli, Daniela Urbassek


The September 10 – 17, 2023 training at Tactus, Turin, has successfully concluded; introductory and experiential workshops designed to explore Touching Essence will be activated in 2024 in Italy and abroad in order to allow participants to learn about and get in touch with the practice, in anticipation of a new training in creation and evolution.


Touching Essence is a multi-sensory, multicultural, approach to healing through touch. Touching Essence combines the physical with the metaphysics, engaging the energies of chakras, meridians and the cosmos. We engage the five physical senses, the three subtle senses of imagination, intuition and inspiration, specifically chosen essential oils, sound, song and mantra creation. Each session is individually crafted in support of highest good and desired outcomes of the client.

Developed over the last 30 years at Esalen Institute – California
Tactus studio in Torino and Centro d’Ompio – Italy
Bali – Indonesia
Touching Essence is a multi-sensory, multi-cultural, Neo-shamanic approach to healing through touch. Inspired and nurtured by Ellen’s plant medicine work, sound healing, and breathwork practices and teachings, by Elena’s (founder of Tactus), art of touch and energetic work, and by Daniela’s study and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Touching Essence uses the Indian Map of 8 Chakras, the Chinese map of 12 meridians, along with specific essential oils, vocal and sound healing, visualization and affirmation in support of desired outcomes. The philosophy of Touching Essence includes an exploration and understanding of the chakras and meridians. These act as conductors through which the body, mind, emotions and energy interact as a holistic system. Any imbalance at the level of the chakras and meridians is closely correlated with tensions and disharmonies on the physical level. The intention of this course, is global fusion of highly effective approaches and protocols that address patterns of holding in the physical and energetic bodies. ​ The focus of the work is to access these powerful energy centers through a combination of the five physical senses and the three subtle senses.
We teach students how to direct breath and sound to release holding patterns
throughout the physical and metaphysical bodies.


This Program is perfect for Everyone!! Whether for personal development or professional training, this healing and somatic arts program, will enhance your life. If you are new, a novice, perfect. A great way to begin. If you are a seasoned professional, this continuing education program will add to your likely more clinical and traditional training in massage and bodywork.


Our Goal: Give and receive an effective, enjoyable and transformative Touching Essence session. Cultivate deep listening skills, personal presence, awareness and attentiveness. Develop your vocal skills through breath and sound exercises, craft mantra based on client’s desired outcomes. Enhance Awareness of your 8 Sensing Centers. Use our specifically chosen essential oils in support of desired outcomes. Learn the basics of Gestalt Communication Practice. Develop and practice appropriate professional boundaries. Fall in love with Touching Essence as a practice. Open your heart, engage the breath and free your spirit.


Teachers profiles

Elena Gilli – Since 1995 deals with self-knowledge and personal growth in Italy and abroad, today more than ever strongly interested in disseminating the experience of contact. Founder and President of the TACTUS Social Promotion Association; PI398P-OP Holistic Operator and PI223-CO Professional Counselor registered in the national Siaf Italian registers; Reiki Master; Vibrance® operator; Teacher of Esalen® Massage at Esalen Institute – Big Sur, California; Certified in Touching Essence ™ at MovingVentures- Bali, Indonesia; Graduated in Political Sciences, Social Address; Massage in Schools Program Operator; Bodyworker & Aquatic Bodyworker.
Ellen Watson Celebrates her 35th year in the staff and faculty of the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, California, where she studies, practices and teaches various ways of meditative practice, massage and movement. Ellen is a teacher of Esalen® Massage & Bodywork, 5Rhythms by Gabrielle Roth, Holotropic Breathing, SpiritDanceSoulSong®, Vibrance®, Touching Essence ™, Wake Up & Roar. From 1984 to 2003, Ellen developed and administered the Movement Arts Program in Esalen. In 1996 she founded MovingVentures (, which offers workshops, retreats and training courses in Esalen, Bali, China, Italy and other parts of the world.
Daniela Urbassek L.Ac. Has30 years of professional experience as a licensed massage therapist and instructor, specializing in Esalen Massage, Meridian Massage, Aroma Therapy, Cranio Sacral Therapy, and Hatha Yoga. Her services have been offered at internationally renowned holistic and healing centers, 5 star hotel resorts and spas in the US, Europe, Asia and through private practice in Carmel, California. She is passionate about the powerful impact of somatic and holistic practices.