Body Books

Some Selected Books on Physical Health and Self-Healing      Compiled by Terry Slade

(Mainly concerned with the musculoskeletal system)

See also my page of Books on Food and Health, my page of Qigong Books. and my page of Yoga Books.

Atlases of Human Anatomy

Anyone interested in the human body should have an atlas of human anatomy. An atlas does not explain how the body works, it just has pictures. There are several major atlases available. Clemente, Netter, and Sobotta are probably the best of the major atlases. To me, the main use for these books is just to look at them and be amazed. The illustrations in a good atlas are very detailed. You can find some of these atlases in bookstores. They can also be special-ordered at bookstores (or from Or you may just want to find them in a library since they are kind of expensive. You can also get them cheap in used bookstores and on ebay.

I have a separate page with more details on Atlases of Human Anatomy.

As for how the body works, there are various current college-level textbooks on Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) which cover the basics in detail. There are also textbooks on Kinesiology, which is the study of human movement.

Anatomy of Movement - Blandine Calais-Germain
1993 Eastland Press 289 pages ($28.50 paperback) ISBN10:0939616173
Revised Edition 2007 Eastland Press 316 pages ($34.95 paperback) ISBN10:0939616572
Author's Website (in French):
Publisher's Website:
A very special book that explains very specifically what each individual muscle does. Here is some info from the back cover: "Anatomy of Movement is a dynamic, integrated approach to the sudy of the physical structures of the musculoskeletal system and their relationship to the movements of the human body. In clear and concise text illustrated with more than a thousand graphic drawings, the author takes the reader on a lively tour of the muscles, bones, ligaments and joints of the arms, legs and trunk. The focus throughout the book is on anatomy not for its own sake but in its functional relationship to the actual movements of the body in dance, exercise and other physical disciplines."
Highly recommended for students and teachers of yoga, dance, martial arts, sports, etc. and to all kinds of healers and students of the human body. There is also a companion book of exercises, which I have not yet seen.

The Body Moveable - David Gorman
5th edition 2002 Learning Methods Publications 600 pages ($95.00 hardback) ISBN10:1903518156 ISBN13:9781903518151
Official Site:
Learning Methods:
A massive and legendary book which I have not yet seen. First published in 1980, this book has long been a reference for teachers of the Alexander Technique. Gorman has been a (maybe still is) a teacher of Alexander Technique. He has also developed his own practices - Learning Methods and Anatomy of Wholeness.

Bodywork / Bodymind

Anatomy Trains Thomas W. Myers
Subtitled: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapies
with Forewards by Leon Chaitow, Deane Juhan
1st edition: 2001 Churchill Livingstone 310 pages ($39.95 paperback) ISBN10:0443063516
2nd edition: 2009 Churchill Livingstone 440 pages ($66.95 paperback) ISBN10:044310283X, ISBN13:9780443102837
Author's site uses a lot of Flash)
Wow! This is one heavy-duty book. If you are into bodywork, yoga, or any kind of physical healing of the human body this one should blow your mind. This is a major development in the understanding of how the musculoskeletal system works. Most of the literature on bones and muscles is concerned with looking at them in isolation, one at a time. This book explains a comprehensive theory of how muscles work in groups, which Myers has broken down into several lines or "trains". The author is a certified Rolfer (and studied with Ida Rolf) and has apparently developed his own spinoff of Rolfing called KMI - Kinesis Myofascial Integration. He also studied with Moshe Feldenkrais. This book is not concerned with any particular therapeutic techniques though, it is just meant to explain the theory of the "anatomy trains". On one hand this is a very complex book, which you could study for a lifetime, on the other hand it is really just kind of an overview of this theory, which I suspect the author will be expanding upon in future writings.
Check out this interesting 2011 interview with Myers:

Job's Body: A Handbook for Bodywork - Deane Juhan
1st edition: 1987 Station Hill Press 365 pages (paperback $25.95) ISBN10:0882681346
2nd edition: 1998 Barrytown Ltd. 448 pages (paperback $32.95) ISBN10:1581770227 ISBN13:9781581770223
3rd edition: 2003 Station Hill Press 488 pages (paperback $39.95) ISBN10:1581770995
Incredible book, almost like an anatomy/physiology textbook. I can't imagine that any doctor wouldn't learn a lot from this book. But should also be of interest to any owner of a human body. Although it seems to be meant to be more readable than medical textbooks, it is not light reading.

Comments from some reviews:
"A masterful synthesis, copiously illustrated, of body therapies and anatomical-physiological functions" - East West Magazine
"A broad presentation of the rationale of bodywork, including the relevant physiological, anatomical, and neuropsychological information one should know if one practices any form of bodywork." Publishers Weekly
"Juhan blends a novelist's sensitiviy for language and an academic's respect for accuracy with a bodyworker's respect for the living, sentient flesh." Yoga Journal

Bodymind - Ken Dychtwald
Integrates ideas from Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, Fritz Perls, Wilhelm Reich and many other pioneers. Explains muscular tension and how the body and mind are interrelated. Very highly recommended, a classic and one of my favorite books. Dychtwald is a gerontologist and has other books on the subject of aging.

Discovering the Body's Wisdom - Mirka Knaster
1996 Bantam Books 408 pages (paperback $15.95) ISBN10:0553373277
"A comprehensive guide to more than fifty mind-body practices that can relieve pain, reduce stress, and foster health, spiritual growth, and inner peace". Kind of an encyclopedia of different types of bodywork and physical disciplines, including lots of obscure and interesting approaches I had never heard of. Very well-done and includes some interesting examples of exercises from many of the practices.

Bodywork - What Type of Massage to Get and How to Make the Most of It - Thomas Claire
1995 William Morrow and Company 440 pages (hardback $25.00) ISBN10:0688125816
(Out of Print) Good thorough chapters covering major styles of bodywork, including Swedish Massage, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Myofascial Release, Trager, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and more. The author is a bodyworker and experienced each of the major therapies for review in the book.

Bodywise - Jospeh Heller, William Henkin
1986 Wingbow Press 260 pages ISBN10:0914728733
Joseph Heller was the first president of the Rolf Institute in 1975. He left that position in 1978 to found Hellerwork. He thought that Rolfing should not have to hurt. This book is an introduction to the theories of Hellerwork and is loaded with interesting information on the human body. For more info on Hellerwork, see

Travell & Simon's Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual
David G. Simons, MD, Janet G. Travell MD, Lois S. Simons
2nd edition 1998 Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins 2vols ($189.00 hardback) ISBN10:0683307711
May be awhile before I can afford these expensive volumes. This is the bible of trigger point therapy. The technique Janet Travell invented was actually Trigger Point Injection Therapy, where a trigger point was injected with a solution of saline and procaine prior to applying a stretch. Theses volumes contain a lot of specific info on "referred pain" - "if it hurts here, look for a problem here". Travell was the private physician to president Kennedy and president Johnson. She wrote an autobiography, Office Hours: Day and Night, which I hope to read someday.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook - Clair Davies
Subtitled: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief
2nd edition 2004 New Harbinger ($19.95 paperback) ISBN10:1572243759
This is the modern, self-help version of the Travel & Simons book - how to do trigger point therapy on yourself. This is a very serious and well-respected book, with a foreward by Dr. David Simons. Easy to use, covers each area of the body with discussions of anatomy and drawings indicating areas where pain is felt and the corresponding trigger points. Includes explanation of trigger point theory, short biographies of Janet Tavell and David Simons, the use of massage tools such at the Theracane. Highly recommended for anyone working on any kind of muscle pain. (note the ratings - as of 09/15/11 -338 reviews - average 5 star)

Pain Erasure - Bonnie Prudden
1980 Ballantine Books 273 pages ($12.00 paperback) ISBN10:0345331028
Bonnie Prudden built on the ideas of Travell and others to develop Trigger Point Therapy, or Myotherapy. Her technique involves no injections. Basically - find a trigger point and press on it. You can apply this technique to yourself - I think Prudden has recommended using the Theracane - but this book seems to mainly show how one person can work on another. There are many other books on the subject by Prudden and others. (this is an older book - I would suggest the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies over this one - see above).

Polarity Therapy - The Complete Collected Works - Dr. Randolph Stone, D.C, D.O.
VOL 1 - 1986 CRCS 300 pages ($25.00 paperback) ISBN10: 0916360482
VOL 2 - 1987 CRCS 231 pages ($25.00 paperback) ISBN10: 0916360253
This guy was way ahead of his time. Someday we may understand more about the energy fields that he carefully details here. These are reproductions of the original works from the 1950's. Very interesting. You can learn a lot just looking at the many unique illustrations.

Soft Tissue Manipulation - Leon Chaitow
1990 Astrologers Library 270 pages ($49.95 hardback) ISBN 0892812761
subtitled - "A Practitioner's Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Soft Tissue Dysfunction and Reflex Activity"
A textbook on Neuromuscular therapy.

Tendon and Ligament Healing - William Weintraub
1990 North Atlantic Books 180 pages (paperback $20.00) ISBN10:1556432836


For more books about Feldenkrais, see extensive list here:

Awareness Through Movement - Moshe Feldenkrais
1991 Harper 192 pages ISBN10:0062503227
Probably the best book to read on Feldenkrais. I've had this book for years but it seemed too heavy for me when I tried to read it before. I still haven't made it through the book but now it seems like one of the most interesting things I can read. Its heavy all right. I haven't gotten to his earlier stuff, but I think his ideas are totally matured by this time. In addition to lots of explaining, there are ten "Feldenkrais lessons" included.

The Elusive Obvious - Moshe Feldenkrais

Mindful Spontaneity - Ruthy Alon
Subtitled - Returning to Natural Movement - Lessons in the Feldenkrais Method
1996 North Atlantic Books 359 pages (paperback $22.95) ISBN10:1556431856
An amazing book by a senior Feldenkrais teacher.

Relaxercise - David Zemack-Bersin, Mark Reese, Kaethe Zemack-Bersin
This is a book of ten Feldenkrais exercises presented in a user-friendly way. It can be hard to work with Feldenkrais exercises from books, audio tapes seem to be preferred.

Feldenkrais: The Busy Person's Guide to Easier Movement - Frank Wildman
3rd Edition 2006 Intelligent Body Press 188 pages (paperback $16.95) ISBN10:1889618772

Alexander Technique

Many more books on the Alexander Technique are listed here:

Wikipedia Article:

Body Learning - An Introduction to the Alexander Technique - Michael Gelb
1996 Henry Holt ISBN10:0805042067


Even if you have no intention of being Rolfed, books about Rolfing can be very interesting. More info:

Rolfing - Ida Rolf
Subtitled "Reestablishing the Natural Alignnment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being"
1989 Healing Arts Press/Inner Traditions 304 pages ISBN10:0892813350 (paperback $24.95)
Original edition in 1977 was titled Rolfing - The Integration of Human Structures ISBN 0064650960
(other than the change in the title, this is the exact same book)
Classsic work on Rolfing by the originator. Explains the concept of deep muscular tension and the role of the fascia in holding this tension. Rolfing is a form of deep-tissue bodywork. This book has about 400 anatomical drawings created especially for the book and over 500 photos of people at various stages of being Rolfed. You could learn a lot just looking at the pictures. In fact that would be why I would recommend getting this book. Also, it is not meant to explain how to do Rolfing, you have to go to school for that.

The Endless Web - R. Louis Schultes, PhD, Rosemary Feitis, DO
1996 North Atlantic Books 126 pages (paperback $16.95)
Subtitled "Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality", this is a book about the myofascial tissue of the human body.

Out in the Open -The Complete Male Pelvis - R. Louis Schultes
1999 North Atlantic Books 155 pages
Written by a Rolfer who specializes in working on the pelvis.

The Protean Body - Don Johnson
1977 Harper Colophon 154 pages (out of print)
Subtitled "A Rolfer's view of human flexibility"

Bodytherapy - William S. Leigh
3rd edition 1994 International Zentherapy Institute 139 pages
William "Dub" Leigh studied Rolfing with Ida Rolf, Feldenkrais with Moshe Feldenkrais and Zen Body Therapy with Tanouye Roshi. He tells lots of interesting stories about clients he worked with and about his teachers.

Balancing Your Body - Mary Bond
Subtitled: A Self-Help Approach to Rolfing Movement
1996 Healing Arts Press 224 pages (paperback $14.95) ISBN10:0892816422

New Rules of Posture - Mary Bond
Subtitled: How to Sit, Stand, and Move in the Modern World
2006 Healing Arts Press 240 pages (paperback $18.95) ISBN10:1594771243

Spacious Body - Exploration in Somatic Ontology - Jeffrey Maitland
1995 North Atlantic Books 245 pages (paperback $14.95) ISBN10:1556431880

Spinal Manipulation Made Simple - A Manual of Soft Tissue Techniques - Jeffrey Maitland
2001 North Atlantic Books 164 pages (paperback $20.00) ISBN 1556433522

The Fabric of Wholeness - Biological Intelligence and Relational Gravity - Carol A. Agneessens
2001 Quantum Institute 237 pages (paperback $16.95) ISBN10:0967036274


Somatics - Thomas Hanna
Very interesting. Explains muscular tension as Somatic Memory Amnesia. Thomas Hanna was a student of Moshe Feldenkrais. Also, see

The Body of Life - Thomas Hanna

Bodies in Revolt - A Primer in Somatic Thinking - Thomas Hanna
1970 Holt, Rinehart, Winston Out of print. Have not seen it.


Trager Mentastics - Milton Trager
1987 Station Hill Press 174 pages ISBN 088268048X

Moving Medicine- The Life and Work of Milton Trager - Jack Lisken
1996 Station Hill Press 172 pages ISBN10:0882681966

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / RSI / Hands      See also my Hands page.

And for a very large list of books on RSI, see Paul Marxhausen's RSI Page

It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! - Suparna Damany, Jack Bellis
Subtitled: RSI Theory and Therapy for Computer Professionals
2000 Simax 231 pages (paperback $19.95) ISBN10:0965510999
This is the best general book on the subject. I would say if you get just one book ..., but really I would say get two, including Sharon Butler's book, listed below, (which is the book on how to fix it). These books are about self-healing. It's Not CTS covers the subject very thoroughly. Lots of info on anatomy, various types of RSI, lots of specific advice and lots of stretching exercises. And tons of resource info - where to go for more info. This is not a book about how to choose a surgeon. In fact surgery is mentioned in the chapter on "debatable therapies".

Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries - A Self-Care Program
Sharon J. Butler
1996 New Harbinger Publications 160 pages ($17.95 paperback) ISBN10:1572240393
This is an amazing book. I love the title. Conquer is the attitude for these problems - heal yourslf - conquer it! Where other books on CTS, RSI, arthritis, etc. will try to tell you to just get used to it because its permanent (or maybe this miracle nutrient will help) and maybe give suggestions for finding a doctor for surgery, this book explains the problem clearly and explains how to fix it yourself. She cured herself of CTS and claims that these conditions can not only be alleviated but that you can keep doing the activity that "caused" the problem. She explains that repetitive motion itself is not the cause but that there is also some pre-existing deep tension involved (which causes misallignment of muscles/bones). After a very concise but thorough explanation (a 21-page section titled Self-Care Success), the book describes 44 exercises used to GENTLY stretch tissues in various parts of the upper body. You can find some of these stretches in hatha yoga, but there is surprisingly little overlap. You could think of this as very specific therapeutic yoga for CTS/RSI. The author is trained in Hellerwork. Essential for anyone suffering from CTS/RSI or various other problems of the hands and arms (or just lots of deep chronic muscular tension in general) or anyone who just wants to understand the subject. This book is aimed at anyone with upper-body RSI, not just computer workers, who sometimes seem to be the only target audience for this type of info. While the above book (Its Not CTS) may give a broader coverage to the subject, this book is more specifically a manual for self-therapy, while also including the essential explanation of the problem (the best explanation I have seen). The positive attitude that permeates this book is also very important. There's a lot of people that need this book. I hope you will check it out and tell others about it. The author should get some kind of Nobel prize or something.

Although this book remains the best on the subject, it has been superceded by the author's website, where self-help programs for specific conditions can be ordred. These are very detailed programs using the ideas found in her book, but with much updated and additional information, and are specifically tailored to particular conditions. I highly recommend purchasing one of here programs if you are suffering from an upper body RSI condition. Check out her website here:

Some of Sharon's posts to the Sorehand mailing list are archived on the web here. And a few more are collected here.

OK - as of JAN 2004 the book has been superceded by her website, where she offers comprehensive programs for specific RSIs. For $30 you get bascially a book that is just exactly what is needed. The book above is still in print, but the programs from her website are more detailed and up-to-date. Selfcare for RSI -

End Your Carpal Tunnel Pain Without Surgery - Kate Montgomery
1998 Rutledge Hill Press 144 pages (paperback $14.95) ISBN10:1558535918
Maybe not as good as the above two books, but this book is also oriented toward self-healing. I got lots of good ideas from it. Her program includes self-massage of the neck and arms, stretching exercises and strengthening exercises using 2lb dumbbells. (looks like this may be out of print)

Repetitive Strain Injury - Emil Pascarelli, Deborah Quilter
1994 John Wiley 218 pages (paperback $29.95) ISBN10:0471595330
Long considered to be the bible of RSI. Lots of good info. This book is very much slanted toward the traditional medical approach (surgery). Also includes lots of general medical info (anatomy, etc) and lots of info on ergonomics, which I don't think is really the problem or solution, but may be very important for some people at some times. If you want to read widely on the subject, this is one of the top books to get. If you don't want to read about surgery and just want to heal yourself, you may want to skip it, it might be scary, and that's no help.

Comfort at Your Computer - Paul Linden, Ph.D.
2000 North Atlantic Books 313 pages ($14.95 paperback) ISBN10:1556433220
Subtitled "Body Awareness Training for Pain-Free Computer Use".
Author's website:
Tons of info on computer use and ergonomics, posture, etc. The author is a Feldenkrais teacher and a black belt in Aikido and Karate. Excellent book.

The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language and Human Culture - Frank Wilson
1998 Pantheon 397 pages (hardback $30.00)
If you are really interested in learning more about hands, get this book. Vast coverage of the subject of human hands, written by a neurologist. Totally fascinating.

General Fitness / Self-Healing / Misc.

Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain - Pete Egoscue
2000 Bantam 296 pages (paperback $13.95) ISBN10:0553379887
Author's website:
Most highly recommended! A totally amazing book. Explains that our bodies were designed for motion and that many problems are caused by lack of motion. After three chapters explaining basic concepts, there are chapters for each area of the body with specific exercises (referred to as E-cises). He gives lots of indepth information about how the body works. Lots of deep wisdom here.

The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion - Pete Egoscue
1992 Harper 198 pages (paperback $13.00) ISBN10:0060924309
If you happen to have this book, its great. If you are wanting to check out Egoscue, probably better to get the one above, its 8 years newer and is a better book. This one also contains exercises, but rather than being organized by body part, they are organized by four different types of bodies.

The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution - Joseph Horrigan, DC & Jerry Robinson
1991 Health for Life 140 pages (paperback $19.95) ISBN 0944831257
Official site:
Explains very clearly what the rotator cuff is and how to prevent or recover from injury. This is a very thorough treatment of the subject with many specific exercises. The book is really meant to empower you to take care of yourself. Judging by the quality of this book, I would assume that the other publications from Health for Life would also be worth getting. See their website below.

Science of Flexibility - Michael J. Alter
3rd Edition 2004 Human Kinetics 355 pages (hardback $52.00) ISBN 0736048987
2nd Edition 1996 Human Kinetics 372 pages (hardback) ISBN10:0873229770

The Wharton's Stretch Book - Jim and Phil Wharton
1996 TImes/Random House 253 pages (paperback $15.00) ISBN10:0812926234
Subtitled "Featuring the Breakthrough Methond of Active Isolated Stretching. 59 stretches for over 55 different sports and everyday activities." Amazon:

Owners Guide to the Body - Roger Golten
1999 Thorsens 186 pages ($19.95 paperback) ISBN10:0722537379
Subtitled: "How to Have a Perfectly Tuned Body and Mind"
Author's website:
The author is a Hellerworker. And also a fan of Buckminster Fuller, who is quoted throughout the book. Not what I was expecting (a book full of physical exercises) but more a lot of explanation of general but important ideas. Like about standing, sitting, walking, breathing. Very interesting book.

Beyond Stretching - Pavel Tsatsouline
Subtitled "Russian Flexibility Breakthroughs"
1998 Dragon Door Publications 151 pages (paperback $34.95) ISBN 0938045180
VERY interesting book. Starts out with a long and clear explanation of many technical aspects of stretching including many new ideas from eastern Europe. Also includes a lengthy section detailing an exercise program consisting of "Mobility Drills" and "Dynamic Stretches". Many of these exercises will be recognized from elsewhere. There's also a video. Haven't seen it yet - the book is expensive enough. He has a couple of other books and videos too. Check out the publisher's website - they have lots of interesting books and videos on "health, healing and self-defense", (including lots of Qigong and Tai Chi stuff): Dragon Door Publications.

Stretching Scientifically - Thomas Kurz
3rd edition 1994 Stadion Publishing 147 pages (paperback $18.95) ISBN10:0940149303
Detailed scientific info on stretching.

The Genius of Flexibility - Bob Cooley
Subtitled: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body
2005 Fireside 320 pages (paperback $17.00) ISBN 0743270878

The Supple Body - Sarah Black
1995 MacMillan 144 pages (paperback $16.00) ISBN 0028604415
A really cool book. Lots of stretching exercises that I hadn't come across before. Well-illustrated with lots of photos of a couple of fit young models.

7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life - Robin A. McKenzie
2000 E.P. Dutton 256 pages
Subtitled: How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain Using the McKenzie Method
Author's website: McKenzie Institute International -
The author is a brilliant and well-respected physical therapist. Presents 7 exercises for the back and 7 exercises for the neck. These are the same exercises presented in a couple of paperbacks published in the 80's - Treat Your Own Back and Treat Your Own Neck. Lots of additional info is included. Definitely recommended for anyone suffering from back pain.

Muscle Pain Relief in 90 Seconds - The Fold and Hold Method - Dale L. Anderson M.D.
1995 John Wiley 148 pages ISBN10:0471346896
Has lots of specific exercises for specific conditions. Very good book. This is one to grab when you are hurting.

The Complete Writings of Joseph H. Pilates - Joseph H. Pilates
2000 Bainbridge Books 150 pages (paperback $19.95) ISBN 1891696157
Your Health, about 40 pages, written in 1934, and Return to Life Through Contrology, about 100 pages, written in 1945. The second work contains the original mat exercises and includes illustrations of them being performed by Pilates. Joseph Pilates died in 1967. He appointed Romana Krysanowska as his successor.

The Pilates Body - Brooke Siler
2000 Broadway Books 194 pages (paperback $18.00)
Pilates training can involve all kinds of expensive equipment but there are also lots of exercises done without equipment. This book covers just the "matwork" which does not require any equipment. The exercises emphasise working on the abdominals. Also includes a section on the "Standing Arm Series", exercises performed with dumbells, recommended weight 2lbs. Lots of similarities to yoga but more about strengthening than stretching. There's a bunch of books on Pilates and I haven't really checked them out but this seems to be a pretty good one.

Posture Makes Perfect - Victor Barker
1993 Japan Publications 206 pages (paperback) ISBN10:0870408712
Very special book. Out of print, can find used at Amazon or eBay.

Posture Allignment - Paul D'Arezzo
2003 Marcellina Mountain Press 216 pages (paperback $19.95) ISBN10:0972907904

The Vance Stance - Vance Bonner
1993 Workman Publishing 176 pages (paperback $12.95) ISBN10:156305311X

Pelvic Power for Men and Women - Eric Franklin
2003 Princeton Book Company 127 pages (paperback $19.95) ISBN10:0871275598

Callanetics - Callan Pinckney
Callanetics for Your Back - Callan Pinckney
Both out of print, but can be found easily. Check on eBay. Callan Pickney is a very interesting woman. There are also Callanetics videos available.

Stretching - Bob Anderson
1980 Shelter Publicatons 192 pages (paperback) ISBN10:0394738748
20th Anniversay Edition 2003 Shelter Publications 224 pages (paperback) ISBN 0936070226
Publishers website:
A very popular book on the general subject of stretching, with many exercises. The author has a few other books on stretching and fitness, including one called Stretching in the Office. He also developed Stretchware, a computer program to remind office workers to stretch.

Handbook of Self-Healing - Meir Schneider
1994 397 pages
The author cured himself of blindness and dedicated himself to helping others. Lots of ideas and interesting techniques for specific problems.

The Spark - Karla Dougherty, Glen A. Gaesser
2001 Simon and Shuster 256 pages
The main idea here is that you can get just as much benefit from a few 10-minute workouts a day as from a 30-60 minute workout. This has to do with stimulating growth hormone. I don't have this book, I read about it and the premise is interesting.

The CORE Program - Peggy W. Brill, PT
2001 Bantam Books 242 pages (hardback ) ISBN10:0553801392
Author's website:
Based on the idea that most exercise programs are designed for men and are not appropriate for women. The program deals with strengthening the core muscles, which support the spine. Although this book is for women, anyone can learn a lot from it. Highly recommended!

The Insider's Tell-All Handbook on Weight-Training Technique - Stuart McRobert
2000 CS Publishing 222 pages ($24.95 paperback) ISBN 9963616097 (Second Edition)
Beyond Brawn - The Insider's Encyclopedia on How to Build Muscle and Might - Stuart McRobert
1998 CS Publishing 507 pages ($24.95 paperback) ISBN 9963616062 (Revised Edition)
Author's website:
These are the best books on bodybuilding/weight-training I have found. The author puts forth his idea that most people are "hardgainers", not genetically gifted towards being able to progress quickly in bodybuilding. While I like his approach, I disagree that genetics is the reason that most of us are hardgainers. I think the reason is deep chronic muscular tension.

Strength Training Anatomy - Frederic Delavier
Subtitled: Your Illustrated Guide to Muscles at Work
2001 Human Kinetics 124 pages ($17.95 paperback) ISBN10:0736041850
A book of high-quality color illustrations showing which muscles are used in 111 different standard weight-training exercises. Very cool book! There have been some followup books, such as one specifically for women.

Mastery of Hand Strength - Johnn Brookfield
1995 Ironmind 105 pages ($14.95 paperback) ISBN 092688803X
Ironmind website:
I got this book when looking for info on healing my hands. It turned out to be not quite what I expected, but a very interesting book anyway. Basically a very specialized weight-training manual just for developing hand strength. This also led me to discover Ironmind, the publisher of this book, where lots more very serious weight-training info can be found.

High Intensity Training - John Philbin
2004 Human Kinetics 216 pages (paperback $18.95)
High Intensity Training (HIT) is an important newer concept. I don't know much about it, but this looks to be a good book on the subject.

The Purposeful Primitive - Marty Gallagher
Subtitled: Using the Primordial Laws of Fitness to To Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change
2008 Dragon Door Publications 496 pages (paperback $39.95) ISBN:0938045717 ISBN13:9780938045717

Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom - Christiane Northrup
Subtitled: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell 906 pages (2nd edition)
The author is a gynecologist who has published many books on womens health issues. Here is a line from an editorial review at Amazon: "Quite possibly every female over the age of 12 will find this huge book enlightening, pain saving, and perhaps even lifesaving."

Strong Women, Strong Bones - Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D.
2001 Perigree 318 pages (paperback $13.95) ISBN10: 0399526560
Author's website:
Excellent book on the subject of osteoporosis.

Waking the Tiger - Peter Levine
Subtitled: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences
1997 North Atlantic Books ISBN10:155643233X
Have not yet read - looks good though. Often recommended by bodyworkers.

Inventing the AIDS Virus - Peter H. Duesberg
1996 Regnery 722 pages (hardback $29.95) ISBN10:0895264706
Duesberg is the original "AIDS dissident", who questions the theory that AIDS is caused by HIV. He has been fighting to have his message heard for many years. This book states his case thoroughly. The actual text is 460 pages, the rest is appendixes and references. VERY interesting read.

Framework - Nicholas DiNubile

The Pain-Free Program - Anthony B. Carey

About this page:

These are just a bunch of books that I have come across in my own studies on health and healing. This is not any kind of a comprehensive list, just some books that I happen to have found, somewhat reflecting my own interests. Amazon links are provided for reference and convenience. I earn no commission.

Also, a lot of interesting books are listed at the Rolf Institute's website:
A good list of books relating to deep tissue massage is here:

Top Ten Books
Just in case this page seems overwhelming, if you want to quickly put together a library on physical healing of the musculoskeletal system, here are the books I would get from this page first:

Bodymind - Ken Dychtwald
Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain - Pete Egoscue
Job's Body - A Handbook for Bodywork - Deane Juhan
Anatomy of Movement - Blandine Calais-Germain
Anatomy Trains - Thomas W. Myers
Rolfing - Ida Rolf
Somatics - Thomas Hanna
Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries Sharon J. Butler
The Endless Web - R. Louis Schultes, PhD, Rosemary Feitis, DO
And I would get an altas of human anatomy.

And of course, this little stack of books would be quite overwhelming itself, but you can use them as reference, read them a little at a time, just look at the pictures, or approach them any way you want - but spending time with these books can give you a unique awareness of the human body that you may not otherwise ever obtain.

OK the list above is more of a way to get the theory. If you are in pain and are mainly interested in relieving that pain as soon as possible, then I might suggest a different pile of books. So here are the top books I would currently (09/2011) recommend to get for instructions on how to heal yourself (all are detailed in the listings above):

Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries Sharon J. Butler
Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain - Pete Egoscue
The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook - Clair Davies
The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution - Joseph Horrigan, DC & Jerry Robinson
7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life - Robin A. McKenzie
Muscle Pain Relief in 90 Seconds - The Fold and Hold Method - Dale L. Anderson M.D.
And check out my Yoga Books page as well.

Books on Food and Health

Yoga Books

Qigong Books

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