18 Must-Read Massage Books for Becoming the Best Massage Therapist

  • Post last modified:May 12, 2022
  • Post category:Books

Looking for the best massage books? I’ve got you covered.

The list below includes books from classic massage bibles to modern massage techniques.

Let’s get right in!

Massage books: The Complete Guide to Modern Massage by Ryan Jay Hoyme

This premise of this book is that anyone can learn how to massage, the natural way of easing pain and reducing stress. 

The Complete Guide offers a modern source for learning famous techniques and reaping the emotional and physical benefits of massage.

What’s in it for you:

  • Popular massage techniques from across the globe, such as reflexology and deep tissue
  • Step-by-step illustrated instructions to master every technique
  • Effective applications for healing lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, PMS, and more.

2. The New Book of Massage by Lucy Lidell

The Book of Massage by Lucy Lidell

Recognized as a classic, The New Book of Massage offers a clear, in-depth guide covering all aspects of massage, complete with detailed illustrations.

Perfect for both the beginner and expert, this book explores several massaging techniques, including shiatsu and reflexology.

What’s in it for you:

  • Full-color photos and illustrations
  • How to understand the language of touch and develop your healing powers
  • How to reduce stress and tension and experience health and vitality
The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies

Lauded as one of the fastest-growing, most effective pain therapies globally, trigger point therapy is increasingly being used by doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists.

Trigger point therapy helps relieve patients’ previously undiagnosable joint and muscle pain. 

This book focuses on myofascial trigger points, tiny contraction knots in an injured or overworked muscle, making it a must-have for anyone who suffers from or treats individuals with myofascial trigger point pain.

What’s in it for you:

  • Clinical technique drawings/descriptions to help professionals and regular readers assess and treat trigger points
  • Muscle tests and postural assessments
  • Illustrated symptoms index

4. Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel

Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel

Used by over 2,500 programs globally, Trail Guide is an essential resource for students preparing to practice manual therapy in various bodywork, movement, and healthcare professions, such as occupational therapy, massage therapy, and physical therapy, 

What’s in it for you:

  • Foundational manual therapy resource for palpation and musculoskeletal education
  • In-depth anatomical illustrations and detailed explanatory sketches and examples.
  • Easy-to-follow, clear descriptions and palpation instructions
  • Access to an excellent repository of tools for studying, such as videos, images, reference guides, and interactive mobile apps.
A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner

A Massage Therapist’s Guide focuses on the etiology, symptoms, and treatment of over 500 ailments and teaches students how to use massage therapy to improve the healing process. 

What’s in it for you:

  • An invaluable reference guide for practicing therapists
  • Updated text covering new research on pathologies
  • Helpful case studies

6. The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy by Shannon Gilmartin

The Guide to Modern Cupping Therapy by Shannon Gilmartin

Repopularizing an ancient alternative technique, this book focuses on massage cupping body therapy, a modern version of cupping therapy using suction and negative pressure via stationary and moving cups to relieve pain and inflammation and help with blood flow and deep relaxation.

What’s in it for you:

  • Step-by-step instructions and full-color images 
  • Comprehensive overview of massage cupping therapy
  • Applications for everyday conditions and specialty areas such as prenatal therapy and athletic performance
Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain by Donna Finando

Trigger Point Therapy simplifies vast information on treating myofascial pain, making it accessible to a wider audience of healthcare practitioners.  

The book provides valuable information for professionals and individuals dealing with myofascial disorders.

What’s in it for you:

  • Comprehensive clinical reference manual for evaluating and treating muscle pain
  • Step-by-step illustrations of trigger-point locations and pain patterns

8. Massage Therapy by Susan G. Salvo

Massage Therapy by Susan G. Salvo

Massage Therapy offers a clear, simple approach for understanding complex information about massage in clinical settings such as hospitals, medical offices, and nursing homes.

What’s in it for you:

  • Reference guide covering massage techniques, fundamentals, physiology, and anatomy
  • Student-friendly with over 700 illustrations and sections on special populations, neuroscience, and research
  • Easy-to-understand core principles of massage therapy for students and professionals
  • Case studies to promote open-mindedness and allow easier understanding of realistic scenarios

9. The Complete Book of Massage by Clare Maxwell-Hudson

The Complete Book of Massage by Clare Maxwell-Hudson

The Complete Book offers wide-ranging information on massage techniques, with photos on every page.

What’s in it for you:

  • In-depth massage guide with clear instructions
  • Fully illustrated for easier understanding

10. The New Sensual Massage by Gordon Inkeles

The New Sensual Massage by Gordon Inkeles

The New Sensual Massage introduces readers to the pleasures of massage, offering hands-on experience and guidance.

What’s in it for you:

  • In-depth massage guide
  • High-resolution photos to make learning easier and fun

11. Deep Tissue Massage by Art Riggs

Deep Tissue Massage by Art Riggs

Deep Tissue Massage teaches the fundamentals of biomechanics, touch, and positioning options for several strategies to treat conditions related to the body. 

What’s in it for you:

  • Over 250 photos and 50 anatomical drawings
  • Readily available and easy-to-use information for massage therapists
  • How to incorporate deep-tissue massage into your bodywork practice
  • The mindset of treating injuries

12. The Massage Book by George Downing

The Massage Book by George Downing

Published in 1972, this book introduced Swedish massage to a wider audience and revolutionized how we thought about our health and our world.

What’s in it for you:

  • A classic book on massage

13. Save Your Hands! by Lauriann Greene

Save Your Hands! by Lauriann Greene

Save Your Hands! teaches therapists how to prevent musculoskeletal injuries due to the physically demanding nature of their work.

The book offers reliable injury prevention and ergonomics tips and techniques to help therapists guard their health while prolonging their careers.

What’s in it for you:

  • An indispensable guide to help treatment professionals enjoy a long and healthy career
  • How to work safely and efficiently by redesigning your workspace
  • How to recognize and address early symptoms effectively to prevent injury
  • How to reduce stress and increase comfort by improving your body mechanics while working
  • And so much more!

14. Job’s Body by Deane Juhan

Job's Body by Deane Juhan

An extensively used reference guide in therapeutic bodywork, Job’s Body offers a detailed, easy-to-understand explanation of why and how the body responds to touch.

What’s in it for you:

  • Reader-friendly book on massage therapy
  • Includes research on advances in physics and neurophysiology, cell biology, energy medicine, and biochemistry
Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage by Mark Beck

Theory and Practice offers the foundational knowledge and techniques required to become a successful massage therapist.

What’s in it for you:

  • Essential reference guide for beginners and experts
  • Covers  lymph massage, athletic massage, spa massage, and more

16. The Magic Touch by Meagan R. Holub

The Magic Touch by Meagan R. Holub

In The Magic Touch, Meagan Holub offers her personal experience in massage therapy to inspire you to attain your career goals. She offers simple, easy-to-follow steps and warns you of the inevitable pitfalls on your journey to a successful career. 

What’s in it for you:

  • How to earn $100,000 per year as a massage therapist
  • How to achieve your professional goals as a massage therapist

17. Thai Yoga Massage by Kam Thye Chow

Thai Yoga Massage by Kam Thye Chow

This ultimate guide for practitioners teaches you every aspect of Thai yoga massage and includes a detailed presentation of a complete massage session.

Physical therapists, massage therapists, and medical professionals will find this book to be a useful complement to their practice.

What’s in it for you:

  • An authoritative guide to Thai yoga massage
  • Covers pressure point therapy, breath work, stretching, and assisted yoga postures 
  • Over 30 charts and 80 illustrations

18. The Massage Bible by Susan Mumford

The Massage Bible by Susan Mumford

The Massage Bible will teach you every technique for mastering the basics of massage, including Shiatsu, Chinese massage, and Indian head massage.

What’s in it for you:

  • Large, easy-to-follow photos
  • Perfect guide for beginners
  • How to relieve common ailments
  • Sports and holistic massages and lifestyle tips

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