The History of Massage: An Illustrated Survey from around the World

Excerpts & Samples

By Robert Noah Calvert

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Robert Noah Calvert

Robert Noah Calvert
Robert Calvert, founder and president of Massage Magazine, has been a leader in the field of massage for more than 20 years. He is author of the International Massage and Bodywork Resource Guide, and his work has appeared in numerous publications including Body, Mind, & Spirit magazine More...



The first comprehensive history of massage.

• Written by Robert Noah Calvert, the founder of Massage Magazine.

• Includes 200 black-and-white illustrations.

• The definitive resource for all students and professionals in the fields of massage and bodywork.

From the people of ancient Greece to the tribes of the Pacific Ocean, massage has been a significant element in medicine, midwifery, folk healing, and athletics. Yet the rich presence of healing touch is rarely manifest in the telling of human history. Now, for the first time, Robert Noah Calvert offers a comprehensive history of massage that spans the globe. Starting with the healing art's ancient foundations, Calvert's History of Massage leads us through Greek temples and Middle Eastern bathhouses, Chinese martial arts traditions and Native American sweat lodges, to discover the significant role of touch therapy in the life of the world's people.

With rich use of anecdote and illustrated text, the author details the cross-cultural healing and sensual applications of massage, the development of massage technologies, and the emerging trends of massage in the twenty-first century. The History of Massage is groundbreaking work that should not be missed by anyone interested in massage and its benefits for healing. 

"Robert Calvert's History of Massage is a groundbreaking and innovative contribution to bodywork culture. I enthusiastically recommend it to all practitioners."
Robert K. King, Founder and president, Chicago School of Massage Therapy

"Robert Calvert provides a unique, exhaustive, and invaluable study of massage. The History of Massage should be required reading for every student of massage therapy."

D. Van D'Elia, Director, Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage

"A pioneering contribution from one of the pivotal figures in the contemporary massage movement. This volume stands as the foundation upon which the past chronology of massage will be interpreted and its future identity as a profession will be built. The History of Massage is required reading for every serious practitioner and student."
David Palmer, President, TouchPro Institute of Chair Massage

"Robert Calvert tracks down important sources and fascinating facts. The History of Massage examines the bigger picture, connecting massage with subjects as diverse as medical history, religion, advertising, exercise, and healing traditions around the world. While detailing massage's past, this book also advances the debate about where the profession might go from here."
Jadi Campbell, L.M.P.

"The History of Massage is an example of outstanding research and scholarship. Massage is often referred to as a trade and an industry; it will not be a profession until massage therapists learn the history of what they do. Robert Calvert has made it possible for massage to be a profession in the full sense of the word.
Albert Schatz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Editor, Journal of Spiritual Bodywork

"Intended for the serious student of massage, Calvert's book will also appeal to those interested in the history of alternative medicine in general."
John Anderson, Alternative Medicine, August, 2002

"A fascinating coverage of the evolution of massage techniques."
The Midwest Book Review, November 2002

"Every massage therapist should read this book. . . .I suspect this book will remain the classic source in the area for years to come."
Grant Jewell Rich, Ph.D., L.M.T., Massage, November/December 2002

. . . a historical treatise for the general public and for health care practitioners who are interested in the historical development."
Elizabeth Marazita, Bastyr University Library