Traditional Massage Encyclopedia | Reader’s Guide

Published: May 1, 2021 | Revised: Feb 17, 2023
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Traditional Massage Encyclopedia | Reader's Guide

We’ve recently published our book Encyclopedia of Traditional Massages. It’s quite a big book and we think it needs some preliminary explanation to be fully appreciated. As it is, we have made some choices about the way we list countries and regions and about what types of traditional massages we describe.

First of all, the book is about traditional massages, and in fact, the “problems” start there already. Because what is “traditional?” We’ve explained our view on this topic in our post Modern versus Traditional Massage Treatment Modalities, a chapter you’ll also find in the book itself.

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After some other general aspects of traditional massages addressed in the book’s Introduction, we then discuss the various geographical regions around the globe (the section Geographical Outline – Continents and Regions), giving you a brief overview of the massage history and characteristics of those areas.

In the next section Traditional Massages – General Characteristics, we go through the types of traditional massages you can expect to find almost everywhere across the world. We describe those in general terms, making it easier to later on in the book get a better grip on the individual massage modalities and place them into the right perspective.

After that, we continue with descriptions of individual massage treatment modalities, per country, or per region when the latter categorization makes more sense. We’ve only described the best known, distinct modalities. For instance, we don’t describe Taiwanese Foot Massage, because that’s basically very much like a Chinese Foot Massage, and neither do we describe Traditional Lao Massage (from Laos), because that’s more or less a Traditional Thai Massage.

Although we’ve covered more than 150 distinct massage treatment modalities, a book like this is never really finished. The number of traditional massages is large, some are hardly known, and it needs deep research to find those. In any case, we will certainly keep on adding descriptions of more treatment modalities. But, as for now, we’re proud to have produced this unique book, which is definitely the most complete traditional massage treatments reference guide in the world.

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