You will find here some of the best books available to students and experienced practitioners of bodywork. These are books that I used in the clinic as a beginning massage therapist, and which have introduced me to new ways of working and inspired me to improve my expertise and broaden my scope of practice. Once initial training is undertaken, look for books on trigger point therapy, myofascial release and other advanced methods in the main bookstore.
"Basic Clinical Massage Therapy", James H. Clay, David M. Pounds .
A superb study guide integrating anatomical structure and massage technique for the serious student. This text will take the those beginning in the profession, and those more experienced, beyond basic massage into the realm of effectively treating pain and dysfunction, step by step and with full photographic support. This book has had rave reviews from the foremost professional bodyworkers, both in clinical practice and teaching at massage schools. The following text is taken from the preface:
"Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment is primarily a textbook for advanced massage therapy students who have already acquired the basic skills of Swedish massage and are now pursuing additional training in clinical massage therapy. In this book, I define "clinical massage therapy" as the use of manual manipulation of the soft tissues to relieve specific complaints of pain and dysfunction. As its title implies, our book integrates detailed anatomical information with basic clinical massage therapy techniques. By imbedding illustrations of internal structures into photographs of live models, we are able to show exactly what muscle is being worked on, where it is, where it attached, how it can be accessed manually, what kind of problems it can cause, and one or more basic techniques for effectively treating it. The student can clearly see the involved structures in relation to surrounding structures, surface landmarks, and the therapist's hands. This book therefore offers a truly innovative visual and tactile understanding of anatomical spatial relationships integrated with the learning of treatment technique, which has not been possible with traditional approaches."
This book is very highly recommended as a tool for learning and as a reference manual for the clinic.
"Deep Tissue Massage: A Visual Guide to Techniques ", Art Riggs.
This is the new version of Art Riggs' clear, practical manual, used both as a classroom tool and as a well-thumbed clinical reference manual. With over 250 photographs and more than 50 detailed anatomy illustrations, this 225 page in-depth manual clearly illustrates hundreds of effective strokes and massage principles. Although it addresses much more than basic massage, it uses clear language and is accessible for those who are inexperienced in deep tissue massage and are looking for a detailed guide. The manual covers guidelines for developing your quality of touch, practising safe posture and general massage techniques. It then goes on to specific strategies for different areas of the body and then offers strategies for addressing common complaints and injuries such as plantar fasciaitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and injuries to the shoulder. In addition to all this detailed guidance to hands-on clinical practice, the manual offers a section on planning your session (assessing your client and deciding what to do and in which order), areas for caution and awareness of serious conditions clients may present with, and, finally, practical matters about entering the bodywork profession and building a thriving business.
"Pocket Atlas of the Moving Body - NEW EDITION", The new edition of this little book has all the mistakes corrected which marred the last edition. This makes it the most useful, portable booklet I have seen. It covers trunk and limbs systematically with clear illustrations of the bones and ligaments first, then the muscles in their different layers. It also contains charts of muscles, origins, insertions, innervation and function for each of the muscles by area. Further short sections on joints, posture and movement patterns, types of muscle contraction and muscle fibre types, nerve supply, energy systems and common types of injury make this book invaluable.
"Handbook of Massage Therapy ", Mario-Paul Cassar DO.
This is an excellent book for the serious student of massage therapy. Outstanding are the detailed explanations of hundreds of different conditions and the effect that various massage techniques will have on the systems involved. Extensive how-tos with photos, directions on what to look out for and how to assess, notes on practitioner's posture and clear reasoning as to why techniques are suggested make this book extremely useful. This text, plus one good anatomy and physiology book, will take the student beyond what is required for massage therapy examinations such as ITEC.
"Sport & Remedial Massage Therapy ", Mel Cash.
A very useful, practical introductory guide for sports and remedial massage. Starting with the very basic principles of massage, its effects, contraindications, working posture and general massage techniques, it goes on to introduce causes and effects of soft tissue injuries and how massage can help in prevention and rehabilitation. Packed with photos and clear descriptions, this book presents many different techniques and explains when to use them, what to do and how to do it. This text covers far more than initially meets the eye, and students will find themselves returning to this text long after they have qualified. Very highly recommended.