So many books! Where to start?

My favorite books for LMTs

We are supplied with a pretty killer reading list while in massage school. But there are certain books that I returned to again and again as resources, long after graduation. I recommend these books for LMTs in all stages of development.

How about you? What’s on your bookshelf that you could not do without?

Trail Guide to the Body


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I have two books that I absolutely could not function as a bodyworker without. The Essential Oils book (which I reference constantly) and the Trail Guide to the Body. So far, I have yet to walk into the break room or back office of a spa, wellness center or clinic and not see this book. The author, Andrew Biel has poured such loving attention into the Trail Guide. His images are overlaid with pencil sketches of palpation techniques that allow you to get a visual image of a tactile process. I’m pretty sure this is where I learned how to access the Subscapularis. 

Wonderfully organized and easy to use, this book will be your best friend long after you graduate school and pass your boards.  Which you will do! Check out the publisher’s website for a full list of their fabulous books, flashcards, ebooks, videos and even an app! (Wish I had that when I was studying for my boards.)

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy

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All I wanted to do was take a simple little aromatherapy class, and I balked at the pricetag on this required reading. Seriously? An 8 hour CE class and you want me to pay $100 for a book? Welcome to the ultimate example of “you get what you pay for.” If you’re willing to throw some money down, this will be the last aromatherapy book you will ever need.  My money has never been better spent.

I love this book. It is brilliantly organized, giving you the chemistry, the history, and the production of each essential oil, with a huge section on oils that are potentially dangerous and why. For each oil, there is a section on physical, emotional, and chi influence properties, making it a complete resource for well-rounded knowledge.

The section I reference the most is one of the appendices in the back, with different ailments and pathologies organized by body system, listing the oils that could be beneficial for each. Then I head back to the page specific to that oil to find the best application method.

If you have ever wondered how aromatherapy works, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy will get you well on your way. The chemistry is fascinating!  

The Anatomy Coloring Book

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When I saw this book appear on the “required reading” list for my Anatomy and Physiology classes, I rolled my eyes. Hard. But, I’m a good little student who does everything that is required of her.

So I bought this book, got myself ready for a nice “Lost” marathon, and started my week’s homework.

Oh. My. Gosh. If you have an appreciation for detail and a heart that has a dash of OCD, this book is for you. This will sound crazy to anyone out of the medical/bodywork field, but it is hugely satisfying finding exactly where the SCM originates at the Mastoid Process, and coloring it a bright fuchsia, all the way down to it’s insertion at the sternum and clavicle. 

The Anatomy Coloring Book goes into enormous detail, covering far more than is necessary for your average bodyworker, but if you want to get intimate knowledge of the muscles, from multiple view points, you will not be disappointed. Or, if you are starting pre-med or general anatomy classes and want to see different planes of the brain and make them all manner of fun colors, I truly believe this will be valuable to you. Happy coloring!

What I’m currently reading: