The Deep Massage Book: How to Combine Structure and Energy in Bodywork


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By David Lauterstein
Trade paperback book
ISBN 9780967303482
224 pages

The Deep Massage Book singularly explores a new philosophy and practice of massage, describing an approach to touch therapy that affects clients deeply, not necessarily with more pressure, but with a more profound and vital connection. In a world where virtual reality holds prominence, hunger for the experience of actual reality becomes more pronounced and urgently necessary. The Deep Massage Book conveys a powerful therapeutic route for optimized wellness and wholeness of body, mind, and spirit.

For therapists, The Deep Massage Book enhances technique and expands understanding of the interaction of structure and energy in the human being.

For students, The Deep Massage Book offers clearly articulated and beautifully illustrated techniques that will add immeasurably to any therapeutic repertoire.

For all interested in complementary healthcare, The Deep Massage Book journeys into an exhilarating exploration of the remarkable evolution of touch therapies in the last 50 years. It shows how the principles of Deep Massage are relevant not only for individual health issues, but to greater social health issues including touch deprivation, social anxiety, and the devaluation of human connection.

Praise for The Deep Massage Book

“The simplicity of this attractive book’s title does not prepare you for the extraordinary breadth, depth, and detail of the material it contains. Unless you already know David Lauterstein, of course! His capacity to bring a philosophical perspective, a joke, a relevant citation, an anecdote, an unusual fact, or a creative counter argument into any interaction is renowned amongst his friends and students.

The Deep Massage Book is the distillation of his many years’ experience in the field of bodywork, and of special interest to us Zero Balancers because David is steeped in ZB thought and practice. Familiar principles are here expressed in new ways, backed up by precise anatomical knowledge, a poetic understanding of the human condition, and a pragmatic approach to learning. If you were never to do more than simply read the book, you would both expand and confirm your understanding of what is possible to achieve through touch.

Deep Massage is a style of massage that approaches the musculature of the body as components of psychological awareness, emotion, existential truth and personal history, whilst honouring the beauty and effort of the engineering work they do. A Zero Balancer who has learned Deep Massage can address the tensional integrity of the whole body by working with muscles as well as bones. Deep Massage affects the soft tissue energetically and structurally, and so has the potential to change consciousness much as ZB does, and for the same reasons. I can personally (and pleasurably) vouch for this from my own experience of receiving work from David! The Deep Massage Book provides an insight into how this might be done – and all the tools with which to do it, apart from the essential tool of actual experience.

The book has a varied structure, clearly laid out in the opening pages. The first four chapters put forward the theory and science of Deep Massage: a complete exposition of the thinking and experience behind the work. The middle section is a beautiful interplay of philosophical meditations on the seven dimensions of touch alternating with sections featuring precise descriptions (and perfectly drawn illustrations) of techniques to address individual muscles or groups of muscles. The tone of these sections is highly technical, yet reassuringly conversational so one feels as though David is at one’s side advising and explaining. No other ‘How To’ writing I have come across is as accessible as this.

The last part of the book looks at combining techniques into a session unique to the client under your hands. Continuing this movement to a wider view, David also explores the contribution touch can make to wider society, claiming its rightful place as a profound influence on human development. He ends by quoting the Dalai Lama, “Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way”.

Here, the young David’s revolutionary history in the 60s can be glimpsed still working in the mix – as it is within all of us lucky enough to have come to young adulthood at that time. One irreverent summary of the book might be “Don’t you want to change the world? Of course you do! Here’s how to do it”. And, no matter what your field of study or work, the world would undeniably be a better place if David Lauterstein’s book could be made required reading. Vive la Revolution!”

-Pam Geggus

“David’s gentle wisdom, attention to detail and to the potential and dimensions of loving, skillful touch, along with over 30 years of professional experience combine for a book on bodywork that is truly revolutionary. If you purchase only one hands-on book this year, make this the one. It is the most innovative book for bodyworkers in the past 30 years!”

-Bob King, national educator, industry leader Co-founder, Chicago School of Massage Therapy

“An absolute masterpiece! Written by a true master of this ancient craft; and a joy to read.”

-Robert Schleip PhD, Director Fascia Research Project Ulm University, Germany

“David Lauterstein has written a profound, poetic, and enlightened book that looks at the person as a whole being, not just the sum of the body’s parts. It is a reverent, beautifully written mixture of the practical and the philosophical. David uses vivid prose to weave together touch, massage, structure and energy into a book that emotionally connects us to ourselves and others. His love and respect for the human body and the human experience is evident on every page. This book is destined to become a classic in the bodywork field. Every massage therapist and bodyworker should read it.”

-Dr. Ben Benjamin, founder Muscular Therapy Institute Author, Listen to Your Pain, Ethics of Touch, Are You Tense?

“At the heart of this fine book is music. David Lauterstein—a voice of deep experience— sings the octave of the body’s chakras to create a melody of deep-tissue protocols, bathed in the harmony of rich therapeutic contact, steadied by the bass tones of bodywork’s place in our unfolding human story.”

-Thomas Myers, Director: Kinesis Author, Anatomy Trains and Fascial Release for Structural Balance

“The great bodywork pioneer Ida P. Rolf described her work as “a series of principles that leaves behind it a trail of techniques.” I cannot think of a better way to explain David Lauterstein’s seamless way of presenting the principles of his Deep Massage method and the precise and innovative techniques that are organically birthed from them. Part poet, part philosopher of healing, and part master clinician, David—and his new text—comprise an invaluable resource to all sincere students of bodywork and manual therapy.”

-Dr. Jeff Rockwell, D.C., clinician, author, educator Santa Cruz, CA.

“Finally, a book that explores the dimensions of touch through philosophy, psychology, structure, energy and solid technique has been published! In The Deep Massage Book, David dares to use a holistic approach to define deep massage through logic, careful description, and the powerful link of touch to structure and energy. This book is a welcome addition to essential bodywork literature and is a must read for all students and practitioners. Well done, David!”

-Nancy Dail, BA, LMT, NCTMB Director Downeast School of Massage Instructor and Author, Kinesiology for Manual Therapies

“In The Deep Massage Book, David Lauterstein imparts a rich offering of valuable knowledge and experience. An artist both of word and touch, he delightfully informs the reader. This is an important book for every therapist and student of the healing arts, and for any person curious as to the deeper benefits of massage therapy and bodywork.”

-Dr. Fritz Smith, MD, founder of Zero Balancing, author of Inner Bridges and Alchemy of Touch

“In The Deep Massage Book, David Lauterstein shares decades of dedication to the art and science of massage. The book is a reflection of the energy and structure of its subject. It is inviting; it communicates with clarity and assurance; it sings its wisdom from its roots. It extends the boundaries of our knowledge, enabling us to learn, with humanity, about our humanity. This is a very different kind of massage book but then Deep Massage is a very different kind of massage.”

-Zanna Heighton, Acupuncturist and Zero Balancing faculty member Bristol, UK

“In his new work, The Deep Massage Book: How to Combine Structure and Energy in Bodywork, David Lauterstein has created not only a wonderful tool for massage therapists, but also a book that will be of interest to any bodyworker, including yoga teachers. The language is both functional and poetic and the illustrations are clear and easily understood. As a yoga teacher I especially enjoyed his chapters on Movement and on Breathing.”

-Charles MacInerney, Co-founder, Living Yoga Teacher Training Program

“David Lauterstein’s The Deep Massage Book examines the central act of touch, providing us with a clear and useful vocabulary for it. Most books on massage are oddly reluctant to talk about touch— what it is, how it feels, why we do it, how it goes right and how it goes wrong. Deep Massage is exceptional: it is a massage book that talks about massage. Using its language I can describe, with fair accuracy, what succeeded and what failed in the massage I did today.”

-Dale Favier, LMT, author, Opening the World

“In The Deep Massage Book, David Lauterstein gives equal weight to approach and technique in joining together structural and energetic bodywork. By emphasizing both observation and action, sensing and doing, he skillfully demonstrates that the deepest knowledge comes from bodily felt experience, not only the intellect. Blending bodymind philosophy with clear explanations of techniques and fine illustrations, The Deep Massage Book introduces the reader to the best of both worlds and revives the personal, growth oriented, whole person focus that energized the popularity of massage therapy in the 1970s and 80s that seems to have gotten lost in the technique and modality-bound 2000s.”

-Elliot Greene – LMT, psychotherapist, author, Psychology of the Body, former president, American Massage Therapy Association and United States Association for Body Psychotherapy

“This is an informative educational resource that resonates with the humanity and depth of knowledge of the author—a book for enjoyment and learning.”

-Leon Chaitow ND DO Honorary Fellow, University of Westminster, London Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies

“It’s easy to appreciate The Deep Massage Book as David Lauterstein’s compendium on his soulful, in-depth modality, but even he says, “We don’t need modalities, we need each other.” So I also suggest reading his text as an insightful, intimate, and often-delightful exploration of how he perceives his profession of more than three decades, makes sense of human and cellular energy, and articulates the sacred influence of human connection.

I take away from “Deep Massage” the reminder of how essential it is to be present with each other, the importance of interacting with love, and the resulting harmony that comes when we celebrate all aspects of the human experience with open hearts and minds.”

-Leslie A. Young, Ph.D. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals/VP Communication Massage & Bodywork Magazine/Editor-in-Chief

“The young revolutionary David Lauterstein knew he could change the world, and change it he has. His visionary and tireless dedication to WAKING UP the human body, mind, and spirit has inspired generations of fellow seekers and students. The Deep Massage Book is the culmination of his life’s work, and it is a beauty. Inspired and inspiring as always, David has put a great book into our hands and into the world. Buy it. Read it. Read it to your children. Make the world a better place.”

-Julie Harper Lauterstein

Additional information

Weight 1.25 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 8 × 1 in


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