You know, the best things we do – like raising children, starting a practice, facilitating lasting benefits for our massage clients – these are things that have their own life independent of us. So I, for instance, look at this book and go – this is a wonderful book! I read in it and say to myself, “Who wrote this?” Then I remember, “Oh, I did.” It’s weird!
I began The Deep Massage Book in 1999. I planned its outline then: some introductory chapters on the theory of the art and science of deep massage; then chapters on techniques with illustrations, alternating with chapters on the “seven dimensions of touch” that I’ve written about and taught for many years; then concluding chapters on session design and the broader cultural impact of massage and bodywork.
I began writing it for a standard textbook publisher. The massage book field has become dominated by textbook publishers. They prefer just scientific language, case studies, review questions, and an exclusively medical orientation. To me this often results in books with diminished soul, little poetry, less beauty and imagination.
I was raised with poetry, the Judeo-Christian respect for the Old and New Testaments, and arsty parents, who had a wonderful library. I also had run a bookstore in Evanston, Illinois for three years during the mid-‘70’s at which time I got deeply into massage – first by reading, like so many of us, George Downing’s wonderful Massage Book, with terrific illustrations by Anne Kent Rush. As a matter of face, that’s where I got my title really – first there was the Massage Book, then twenty-five years after its publication, all our vast new learnings called for a DEEP Massage Book!
So this expectation from my initial potential publisher for a standard textbook just didn’t resonate with me. And, after a few years of writing, I got busy teaching, raising my school and family and the book went into the background.
Then in 2009 my son went off to college. To deal with the empty nest, I began journaling to sort out my feelings. I found myself deeply enjoying writing something every morning. Then I thought, “Maybe I’ll pick up the Deep Massage Book again!” So that’s how this book had its second coming. Inspired by all the learnings that I’d had in my life and particularly since 1999, the book took off. The new writing took up fully two and half years. I found an incredible medical illustrator who, fortunately, lived right here in Austin, Christy Krames, (see http://www.kramestudios.com/). And we worked together all during this time to produce some of the most beautiful technical illustrations ever, combining both anatomical clarity, accuracy of stroke depiction, and a renaissance quality, keeping them also works of art.
Having finished the writing by the end of last year, I began looking for a publisher. The first one I then approached was the one that I knew back from my days in the book business – Redwing Book Company. They had been publishing in the field of alternative medicine for all that time. So I approached them with my book and within two days they responded, “Yes, we’d love to publish it! This is an important book!”
So now it’s here. And to say so brings chills up my spine. I truly want every one to read it. I’ve put my heart and soul into every word. The deeper approaches to massage bear a message that the whole world desperately needs right now.
And – like a grown child doing great things, like a child who grows up and teaches us things we never knew before – I want you to experience the truth, beauty and goodness in your own work and self that is deeply and genuinely supported by The Deep Massage Book.
p.s. – Bookpeople in Austin will host a book signing/reading on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:00 and we’ll have a reception/reading/book signing at Lauterstein-Conway School on Thursday, May 3rd at 6:30 (I’ll also be doing signings at each of conferences, conventions and workshops I’m presenting this year). We just got our first large shipment today, so, if you’re in Austin, drop by soon to pick up your copy.
For orders from outside of Austin, order directly through Redwing Book Company or call/email me at our school 512-374-9222 ext. 20 – DavidL@TLCschool.com.