Friday, July 27, 2012

Milady's Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage, by Mark Beck

I recorded this book upon request for the Malaysian Association for the Blind. The book is over 800 pages, and the recording ran to just over 50 hours. It is now the longest audio book in the MAB library, and I wish I felt that the book's value will justify the time.

As I read the table of contents, including sections on anatomy & physiology, ethical business practices, massage techniques, small business management, specialised forms of massage, and related therapies, I thought this book sounded marvellously comprehensive. After reading the phrase "not within the scope of this book" too many times to count, however, I realised its fundamental flaw:  It attempts to cover too broad a range of subjects and trips lightly over all of them, leaving the reader (or listener) having to go elsewhere to find adequate substance.

I laboured through describing the many diagrams of muscle groups and bones, wondering how a blind listener would benefit. Surely for a blind masseur, learning anatomy by touch is more effective, and I can only assume the same is true of massage techniques. It goes without saying that all the text about legalities and licensing issues in the United States (where the book is published) are irrelevant here in Malaysia.

The book did offer some good advice on gathering information from clients before the massage and on adding this intake sheet to the client's on-going record. Asking questions before providing massage may turn up problems that either require special attention or present a contraindication against massage. Malaysia's blind masseurs do not typically ask questions before providing a massage. In many cases, there is a language barrier, given the number of languages spoken here. All the warnings to examine a client's skin for bruising or skin disease, or to observe a client's gait for clues about tight muscles are lost on a blind practitioner. All in all, I fear I just spent half a year recording a very long book which will benefit no one.

1 comment:

  1. I find massage here to be more pummeling than anything else. After being bashed and bruised by several "practitioners", I've just given up.

    So, did you adopt the kitty from Pet Epicure?


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