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Building the ultimate massage book collection

The ultimate guide to building your massage book collection

Here’s a great selection of books to begin adding to your collection.  These are books that will provide you with technical skills and knowledge right away.  These books are well written, highly researched and will help you get better in your craft.  

I will update this list as I find books that add true value to one’s practice.  

Recommended books

Books by Thomas Myers

1. Anatomy Trains

This book is recognized by every health professional worldwide as a must have.  I couldn’t agree more. I have all versions of this book because it’s just that good. Each version improves on the next. Get it.

Anatomy Trains

2. Facial Release for Structural Balance

I often find myself referring to this book to see if I’m doing it right.  This is the best book I’ve come across that ties body reading and facial restrictions together.  It’s for an experienced practitioner that works on clients who need focused bodywork.  Excellent book.

Facial Release for Structural Balance

Books by Leon Chaitow

Leon Chaitow’s books are always clear and accurate with a lot of research to back his teachings.  If they are technique books, they come with DVDs and/or access to an online video library.  These have helped me tremendously in providing thoughtful-therapeutic massage to my clients.

3. Modern Neuromuscular Techniques

Simply understanding that the nervous system controls the muscles and the muscles control bone is can help your clients make real progress.  This books tackles how to address complex conditions with this simple approach.

Modern Neuromuscular Techniques

4. Positional Release Techniques

If you want to add a gentle but effective therapy to your massage this is a good one.  This book focuses placing limbs into various positions can effect a release in the body.  

Positional Release Techniques

5. Muscle Energy Techniques

MET.  One more way to effect change in the body.  It will take your practice to another level.

Muscle Energy Techniques

6. Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders

As you deepen your desire to learn about the body and release restrictions in it you will eventually come to a persons breath.  Learning to release restrictions in the thoracic chamber will help with a handful of other conditions.

Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders

Other Books

These are books I would consider helpful to understanding the body and assisting you in guiding your clients into a maintenance program.

7. The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being

The psoas has come to be known as the core body part that can affect upper body and lower body pain.  So it’s no surprise that massage therapists are intrigued by it.  

The Vital Psoas Muscle: Connecting Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-Being

8. Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition

This book catapulted my practice into another level.  I often see people who are serious about rehabilitating their bodies.  This book taught me to teach my clients self rehabilitation techniques and programs.  Dr. Starrett uses stretching & mobilization techniques to alleviate myofascial pain & restrictions.

Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance

9. Atlas of Human Anatomy

This book covers all systems of the body.  It’s all hand drawn in color and simply delightful to read.  You want to pick up this book and study the systems.  

Atlas of Human Anatomy: Including Student Consult Interactive Ancillaries and Guides

10. Craniosacral Therapy

Becoming a craniosacral therapist is probably one of the best certifications a massage therapist can get.  It’s super beneficial to a wide range of people and it’s techniques are purposeful and specific.  This is an excellent source if you are studying or practicing craniosacral therapy.  Most likely you will have this book on hand if you’ve taken any of the Upledger courses.  If you don’t, you should.

Craniosacral Therapy

11. Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain

Knowing trigger point therapy is a win-win for you and clients.  Comes very handy in identifying trigger points and effectively dispersing pain related to them.

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain

12. Lymphedema Management

This is a good book to pick up.  You don’t have to be a lymphatic therapist but it’s good to know about the lymph system and how it affects your clients.  If you have been in the field for sometime, it’s possible you have come across clients suffering from lymphedema.

Lymphedema Management: The Comprehensive Guide for Practitioners

13.  Muscles: Testing and Function, with Posture and Pain

Where you’re ready to get into problem solving ones pain tolerance or lack of function.  This is a great book to have on your self.

Muscles: Testing and Function, with Posture and Pain