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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Technique Paperback – January 2, 2001

113 customer reviews

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The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Technique + Kama Sutra Massage Oils, (2 Oz) 59 ml Set of Five + The Art of Sensual Massage: 40th Anniversary Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

About the Author

Lucinda Lidell is a well-known healer and professional masseuse. She has contributed to many books on massage and natural healing, as well as the original Sivananda Companion to Yoga and The Sensual Body. She lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 2nd edition (January 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743203909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743203906
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By U. Stutsman-hubbel on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
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....
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171 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Watkins on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
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.
From a professional perspective, I had some problems with this book though. One big probelm is the book discounts knowledge of anatomy as unnessicary for massage, and I strongly disagree with that. Massage is applied anatomy, and the study of anatomy is essential for anyone who wishes to be a massage therapist, or even a good ameture. Without understanding what it is you are pressing, kneading, rubbing, and tapping you're not going to be able to be very theraputic.
I was dissapointed that the book hardly touched on contraindications(cautions, conditions in which massage can be harmfull) such as cancer, diabeties, AIDS, alcohol consumption and others. Where it does mention contraindications, it's more of a short sidenote than anything.
The book has full nudity in most of the books pictures. While this isn't a bad thing nessicarily, I didn't see any information about draping procedures and protecting client modesty. Also, most of the massage is done on the floor, rather than a massage table and there was little discussion of body mechanics of the therapist. I get the feeling the book was actually meant for 'sensual' couples massage, rather than a guide for someone who is out to become a good massage therapist. In that light, it is a decent book for couples sensual massage.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
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 they were stressed out, and they kept coming back for more, which is the best praise you can get. :-)
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S. J McCartin on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted a basic book of massage techniques, this is it. I also bought another book with photos that I don't find nearly as good. This one has drawings with helpful diagrams as to direction etc. This book also covers the basics of shiatsu and reflexology but by far the most extensive section is on massage. I learned a lot just from scanning the text and studying the diagrams/drawings. This is a great book and worth the money.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MassageM4M.com on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a connoisseur of massages and a practitioner I thought to get this book for a friend of mine who is beginning their own massage practice. Although the title promises alot, it really just gives you the following information:

-Basic Western Massage (Basic Body rub techniques)
-Shiatsu
-Reflexology

There are many of other disciplines I would have liked to see covered, but for fundamentals it is a good beginners book. It gives you the basics and some common sense advice on creating an environment and why human touch is so important. The illustrations are easy to understand, and the artist conveys the sensuality of touch very well. If you want an introductory book this is one to get, especially for the novice and beginning masseur/masseuse.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tamara Sack on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fibromyalgia patient, I've found massage to be a great help in managing my disease. When my husband indicated he'd like to learn how to help me through painful moments, I began looking for a book to help teach him the basics. The combination of clear instructions, multiple suggestions for customizing massage experiences, and fantastic illustrations made this a winner (and I checked out about twenty or so different books). For someone who started with movements similar to what you'd use to pet a cat, the techniques absorbed from this book greatly increased not only his skills but his creativity in working knots out of sore muscles. I also found myself suddenly figuring out exactly how mysterious moves (from the client's perspective) were pulled off, such as using forearms or elbows instead of just palms or fingers. A few combinations of area-specific instructions intrigued me, and once suggested to a massage therapist, ended up being just the ticket for sore shoulders.

Althought you can learn incredible things from this book, it's not a substitute for actual training. Even my middle-ground position as having learned from several talented massage therapists and being able to replicate their results on friends and family members do not make me nearly as adept or knowledgeable as the professionals. It's a resource and perhaps a "Layman's Guide," but not nearly enough to open a business on or to claim expert status. It's not at all comprehensive of all the techniques out there, but it's a great place to start.

Although some of the illustrations are not youth-appropriate (I would not give this to a teen curious about massage), they are still handled tastefully and within context most of the time, especially considering when this was published.
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The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Technique
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