The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Technique

A beautifully illustrated introductory guide to the healing powers of a massage, from traditional massage to shiatsu and reflexology.

The Book of Massage is the classic guide to the relaxing and healing skills of the hands. Featuring both Eastern and Western methods, it presents step-by-step, beautifully illustrated instructions on everything from traditional massage to shiatsu and reflexology. The Book of Massage offers easy-to-follow techniques for giving the perfect massage, including advice on creating the right setting and suggestions for using aromatic oils and lotions. Now revised and updated with fresh color photos and drawings throughout, The Book of Massage is a simple and comprehensive handbook that reveals how you can experience the myriad benefits of giving and receiving a soothing massage.With more than 650,000 copies sold, massage therapist Lucinda Lidell’s Book of Massage has been updated with new photos and instructional drawings. Not for the prudish, as the subjects in most of the photos are completely in the buff, the book presents an intense, information-packed, step-by-step guide to traditional massage, shiatsu, and reflexology.

No matter which method you choose to focus on (you’re advised to choose one at a time), Lidell is thorough in her explanations of the strokes and techniques necessary to give relaxing, therapeutic massage in the privacy of your own home. Detailed drawings, diagrams, and photographs help to further demonstrate how to address each individual body part.

Divided into distinct chapters for each of the three methods, The Book of Massage also includes several sections that Lidell stresses are fundamental to all types of massage. The first is “Beginning,” with information such as creating the right atmosphere (a warm room and soft lighting), applying oil, and finding a comfortable position. Additionally, Lidell suggests that everyone should review sections on the human touch and anatomy, both of which oddly come at the end of the book.

As thorough as The Book of Massage may be, do not expect to walk away from it an expert. As with any skill worth learning, giving good massage takes time, study, and practice, practice, practice. –Bree Altman

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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  1. A great book for learning at home I’m not interested in massage professionaly, just for my boyfriend and I to have a way to treat each other. And this was the perfect book for us to learn. It goes over the three main types of massage in a clear precise manner, describes each kind of stroke, the positions the massuesse should be in for each stage of massage, everything! This is a great book for trying at home. It would be a cool if they did it with a spiral bound though so that you could leave it open to a certain page….

  2. A good start in massage, but lacking a medical perspective As someone who is about to graduate to be a Massage Therapist, I find the techniques in this book to be good, and the massage sequences outlined in the Sweedish Massage quite similar to the sequences I learned in school. The pictures and diagrams are thorough, and the instruction on Shiatsu is good as well. 

  3. Very good intro to massage I borrowed this from a friend a while back, mostly on a whim. It’s a very good introduction to massage, with illustrations that are helpful, and interesting sections such as child massage and self-massage. Like the title says, it covers different methods of massage, which is helpful, and then you get to pick and choose because some work better than others. There’s nudity in the photographs, but it’s nothing very risque. After reading the book I applied the techniques to my friends when…

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