Must-have books for the Massage Therapist Career – By Vanessa Ragains

The past 3 weeks we discovered different types of Yoga. One of the grooviest elements of Yoga is that there is a “type” for everyone. Whether you are just starting your Yoga journey or you are ready to progress your current practice, you can always find a class nearby or find a class on YouTube! Bottom line, Yoga is everywhere! I hope that you will be open to trying out different classes and not hesitate to challenge yourself to a Bikram class too! Coming up next is a list of must-have books that I use as a regular reference as  a Massage Therapist!

In 2005, I graduated as Valedictorian of my Massage Therapy class in Pomona, CA. School was always a bit of a challenge for me until I signed up for the program. Anatomy, Physiology, bones, muscles, it all clicked! Studying wasn’t such a hassle anymore. I actually enjoyed studying and absorbing everything about Massage. Since then, I have done a pretty marvelous job at collecting numerous books about this career. these are mostly anatomy books that I geek-out at, but when I decided to quit the spa and venture out on my own as an entrepreneur, I had to read everything I could about running a biz. The first few books on my list are those ones I typically pull from the shelf to geek-out over. These have really become my  go-tos for reviewing muscles or just testing my knowledge.

1) The Anatomy Coloring Book – This book is one I purchased when I was in school. One of my favorite parts of massage school was that we did a ton of coloring! That’s right, we had homework that involved coloring of certain muscles in the body. It was one of the features that supported my learning the location and attachment points of each muscle. In the end, we had all the muscles in our notebook and could easily flip through our notes to use them as a quick reference. This was also a huge reason for my success on every single test! The Anatomy Coloring book is a must have for any Massage Therapist.

2) Trail Guide to the Body – This beautiful spiral bound book uses magnificent anatomical drawings that really paint a solid picture of how our bodies work on a regular basis. The leg bones connected to the ______??? If you don’t know, it’s the HIP bone, folks! Anywho, this book shows the many layers of muscles and tendons. It provides awesome pictures of our 206 bones, most of which are in our feet. You can also purchase flashcards which are basically a breakdown of the book that you can use as reference, study guide, or a quick refresh of what you already know.

3) A Massage Therapists Guide to Pathology – Not everyone understands this, but sometimes massage can make certain conditions worse or contraindicated! When you think of a massage we typically think it is the best choice no matter how we feel or was dis-ease we may encounter. This book is an incredible guide for Massage Therapists to make the best judgment call when it comes to whether or not your client should receive a massage. I will be doing a Blog series on common contraindications as well as some more challenging ones in the future as a guide for MT’s (Massage therapists) to use. From personal experience, it is also a wonderful tool to show your client if they do not believe that massage can make their situation worse. I have had a couple clients who did not believe me until I showed them in my reference book. I encourage all MT’s to get a copy.

4) Save Your Hands – This book is not a reference for Anatomy, but a guide to a long career as a Massage therapist! My goal is to Massage for as long as I can. How can you achieve this? YOU MUST TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY! Inside you will find information on how to maintain your body with diet, exercise, and stretches that you can use in order to ensure your longevity in this demanding career. Practicing these habits on a daily, (yes, I said DAILY!) basis will make your body able to function with enough stamina and endurance you will need to become a successful Massage Therapist.

5) MASSAGE a career at your fingertips – No pun intended! I also use the Business Mastery book, however, I found this book to be a bit more updated and modern to this day-in-age. The information in this book is a guide for Massage Therapists and helping folks that are interested in beginning their journey. It shares about choosing a massage school, licensing, insurance, taxes, partnering, how to open a massage office,  state laws, all the way to planning for your retirement! Basically, you have altho details you need to think about seriously. Especially if you plan on venturing out on your own along the way. Bottom line, you have to have this book. I believe it even is an e-book so you can download this and keep it on your phone at all times! In fact, I believe I did just that on my iPad.

Lastly, I believe everyone should purchase a large anatomy book like The Complete Anatomy Book, by Dr. Alice Roberts. It shows anatomy in a large sort of way. They use computer generated images that are detailed and enlarged. I really enjoy the vivid colors that make Anatomy really come to life!

I hope you enjoyed reading about 5 books that I use regularly as references for running my business as a Massage Therapist! If you want some other resources to use, I enjoy looking up articles about the field on This field is growing in the many possibly paths you can take during your career. I hope to someday be a part of this shift in this lifetime as we unveil all the wonders of how massage can be more recognized as a serious way of healing!

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog. My hope is this will guide you on your way to contemplating which path you will take on your journey. Don’t be afraid of taking that leap. I promise it is totally worth it!

I LOVE YOUR QUESTIONS!! Please feel free to ask me a question or comment about what you read today. Looking forward to hearing from radical Folks like yourself!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s