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Review by Angela D. Snyder

I was personally taught by Iris and Sandy, the authors of this book, in 2003. Iris founded Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami, FL. Since then, the method of teaching massage she and Sandy developed, and coined “TouchAbilities”, has become one of the preeminent methods of teaching and learning massage not just in Florida, but throughout the US. I’ve been practicing for six years, and from day one I could see a remarkable difference in my skill level and understanding of the work compared to my colleagues, even in some who went to more extensive programs in other countries. Every day I am thankful I had the good fortune to learn massage in this way. I have recommended this book countless times both to professional massage therapists and to lay persons looking to deepen their understanding of massage. The method in this book is amazing!

Basically, Iris and Sandy have broken down all the ways you can approach a body into eight components, and each of these components represents a set of techniques with characteristics and purpose in common. The student is given the opportunity to truly feel each aspect of touch and connect with the body on the table using just that one component. After that, it’s like Do-Re-Mi: you can mix and match the components to create an astoundingly phenomenal massage experience that is different and unique to each body you lay your hands on.

One of the profound benefits of learning this way is that the student is easily able to then grasp many different modalities with ease. The method was often compared to cooking: if the components of massage were like ingredients in a kitchen, you would be able to understand a lot of recipes once you understood the ingredients that make up those recipes. I cannot emphasize how beneficial this was to my professional life not only during school but during the past six years as well.

If you are lucky enough to have this book as required coursework, be grateful you are learning massage this way. However, even if you are not required to use this book, I highly recommend it for anyone in the healing arts who routinely puts his/her hands on another person.

[ Read the original review about TouchAbilities on ]