The Therapist’s Bookshelf: My Top Five

These the five most useful books in my healing library:

Alternative medicine book cover 5 – Alternative Medicine, The definitive Guide by Burton Goldberg

The book that I consider to be the 5th best and most used book in my collection of health and wellness related materials is this one. It lists over 200 health conditions and describes various therapies that can be used to treat these conditions. I have used this book many times to look up health conditions that my clients have if I think massage is  contraindicated and I refer them to an appropriate type of practitioner as recommended by this book.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils book cover 4 – The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless

This is the next book on my list of favorites I use Aromatherapy in my practice when I think it is appropriate to incorporate it into a session and I have often looked up information in this book because it allows me to obtain the information that I need in two ways.  I can look up a health condition and see which oils are most and best used to treat the condition or I can look up the oil itself and find all of the information on that oil including all of the health conditions that the oil can be used to help as well as the contraindications that the oil might have.

Stretching Anatomy book cover 3 – Stretching Anatomy by Arnold G. Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen

This is the 3rd most used book in my collection, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post. This book is an excellent reference for me to use with my clients. The illustrations and explanations of the individual stretches are simple enough that my clients can understand exactly what I want them to do, even if they haven’t stretched in a long time, or are unfamiliar with how to stretch certain muscles or muscle groups.

 2 massage therapist's guide to pathology– A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner and Ben Benjamin

The 2nd most used book in my library has stood the test of time and proven itself over and over to be one of the most valuable tools at a massage therapist’s disposal.  I have gone to this book time and time again if a client comes to my office with an unfamiliar pathology that I feel I need to know more about. This book has detailed information on dozens of pathologies broken down by the system of the body that the particular pathology is part of. Part of each section clearly lists whether massage is indicated or contraindicated leaving no guesswork for me. I always learn something new when I open this book.

Clemente's Anatomy book cover 1  – Anatomy  by Carmine D. Clemente

 And in first place … drum roll please: This is most used book in my collection and is — in my opinion — the most valuable. This was my anatomy textbook when I was in massage school and we just referred to it as Clemente’s Anatomy.  This is the most detailed and comprehensive anatomy book that I have seen. I have shown this book to many of my massage colleagues and they have all asked me to get them a copy or if I at least knew where they can get one.  I even know a couple of Chiropractors that have this book on their shelves for a quick and easy reference. My copy is pretty beaten up because of the constant use and so is everyone else’s copy that I know. My advice to any massage therapist anywhere is to get a copy of this book if you don’t already have one and keep it handy for a good reference.

I’m sure there are many other books out there that make for great reference material. If anyone has other or better books that they prefer, please comment or let me know what they are. I am always looking for more and better reference material.

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