As a lifelong athlete and a licensed massage therapist with an educational background in physical education and exercise physiology, I have found these resources* to be helpful in my quest to be healthy and perform better, and to support my massage practice. These books and materials may be useful for your personal learning. Please consult your physician or healthcare provider if you need specific medical advice or attention.

*Reviews excerpted from various Internet sources on 2/19/12.

Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method by Aaron Mattes
The Mattes Method contains over 700 color photos. A stretching book teaching the proper mechanics of stretching. Specific isolated methods of stretching muscles and facia. Section on how to perform on your own. Large section on how to assist specifically.


The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing by Philip Maffetone and Mark Allen
Are you a triathlete, runner, cyclist, swimmer, cross-country skier, or other athlete seeking greater endurance? The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing teaches athletes how to stay healthy, achieve optimal athletic potential, and be injury-free for many productive years. Dr. Philip Maffetone's approach to endurance offers a truly "individualized" outlook and unique system that emphasizes building a strong aerobic base for increased fat burning, weight loss, sustained energy, and a healthy immune system. Good nutrition and stress reduction are also key to this commonsense, big-picture approach. In addition, Dr. Maffetone dispels many of the commonly held myths that linger in participatory sports—and which adversely impact performance—and explains the "truths" about endurance, such as: The need to train slower to race faster will enable your aerobic system to improve endurance Why expensive running shoes can actually cause foot and leg injuries The fact that refined carbohydrates actually reduce endurance energy and disrupt hormone balance And more. If you are looking to increase your endurance and maximize your athletic potential, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing is your one-stop guide to training and racing effectively.


Daniels' Running Formula by Jack Daniels
Get in the best shape of your running career with the scientifically based training in Daniels' Running Formula. In the book that Runner's World magazine called "the best training book," premier running coach Jack Daniels provides you with his proven VDOT formula to guide you through training at exactly the right intensity to become a faster, stronger runner. Choose from the red, white, blue, and gold programs to get into shape, target a race program, or regain conditioning after a layoff or injury. Race competitively with programs for 800 meters, 1500 meters to 3000 meters, cross country races, 5K to 15K, and half-marathon up to the marathon. Each program incorporates the right mix of the five training intensities to help you build endurance, strength, and speed, and Daniels' intensity point system makes it easy to track the time you spend at each level. The formula can be customized to your current fitness level and the number of weeks you have available for training, and it provides the perfect solution for short training seasons. Get the results you're seeking every time you lace up your shoes for a training run or race with the workouts and programs detailed in Daniels' Running Formula.


In Fitness and In Health by Philip Maffetone
In the new 5th edition of "In Fitness and In Health," Dr. Philip Maffetone describes how to self-manage your own personal health-care program. For more than three decades, Dr. Maffetone has been treating and advising patients, coaching athletes, lecturing worldwide, and writing books about the importance of self-health care. This edition contains new information about organic foods, sunshine, gut health, and more. With this valuable book, you'll learn the real truth about optimizing your diet for physical and mental performance and making healthy dietary choices, obtaining the best nutrition from real food, avoiding disease, learning to listen to your body, the dangers of common dietary supplements, fat-burning exercise for weight loss and health, recognizing and eliminating sources of stress, increasing energy levels for all aspects of life, using music to improve brain function and awareness, controlling inflammation and hormonal imbalance and much more.


Job's Body by Deane Juhan
Possibly the most famous and widely used resource in therapeutic bodywork, this beautifully written, detailed and reader-friendly picture of how and why the body responds to touch is both scientifically reliable and inspiring. Furthering the presentation of recent research in biochemistry, cell biology and energy medicine in the Second Edition, this new and greatly expanded edition includes advances in neurophysiology and physics, reconfiguring knowledge of mind and body, from microgenesis to quantum consciousness. Required reading for national massage therapy certification, this book also serves the general reader.


Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, MD
Lore of Running gives you incomparable detail on physiology, training, racing, injuries, world-class athletes, and races. Author Tim Noakes blends the expertise of a physician and research scientist with the passion of a dedicated runner to answer the most pressing questions for those who are serious about the sport: -How your body systems respond to training, the effects of different training methods, how to detect and avoid overtraining, and genetic versus trainable potential -How to train for the 10K up through ultramarathon with detailed programs from Noakes and several leading running experts -How to prevent and treat injuries, increase your strength and flexibility, and use proper nutrition for weight control and maximum performance You'll also find a candid analysis of supplements and ergogenic effects and training aids. The book includes new interviews with 10 world-class runners who share their secrets to success and longevity in the sport. Features on legendary figures and events in running history provide fascinating insights. And that's just scratching the surface. Lore of Running is not only the biggest and best running publication on the planet. It's the one book every runner should own.


The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
The Primal Blueprint is a simple, flexible plan to help you look and feel your best without struggling or suffering, by adapting the simple lifestyle practices of our hunter-gatherer ancestors into modern life. Sisson presents the compelling premise that you can reprogram your genes in the direction of weight loss, health, and longevity by following 10 immutable Primal Blueprint lifestyle laws validated by two million years of human evolution. Weight loss is largely about insulin; moderate your production by eliminating sugar and grains, and you will lose the excess body fat you desire even while eating delicious, satisfying foods. Plus you will improve your energy level, reduce inflammation, and eliminate disease risk. Eating meat, eggs, and a generally high-fat diet not only is healthy but is the key to effortless weight loss, a healthy immune system, and boundless energy. Slowing down your typical cardiovascular workouts, and incorporating brief, intense strength sessions and occasional all-out sprints, can produce fitness benefits far superior to workouts that are longer and more grueling, and can eliminate the risk of burnout.


Specific Stretching for Everyone by Aaron Mattes
Specific Stretching for Everyone is a full color stretching book that was designed for the individual athlete, client or anyone who wants to learn how to become more flexible and improve their health. This book shows only the active section of stretching teaching you how to properly increase your flexibility and your body's range of motion.


Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel
Before you can assess or treat a muscle, you first must be able to locate it. This acclaimed book delivers beautifully illustrated information for learning palpation and the musculoskeletal system. It makes mastering the essential manual therapy skills interesting, memorable and easy. With 440 pages and 1,400 illustrations covering more than 162 muscles, 206 bones, 33 ligaments and 110 bony landmarks, this text provides an invaluable map of the body. A complimentary DVD for practicing palpation is included with the textbook.


The Whartons' Stretch Book by Jim Wharton and Phil Wharton
Whether you're a serious competitor or weekend warrior, you know that proper stretching before and after your workout can improve your performance, increase your flexibility, help prevent injury, and make you feel better. But did you know that the traditional way of stretching -- lock your knees, bounce, hold, hurt, hold longer -- actually makes muscles tighter and more prone to injury? There's a new and better way to stretch: Active-Isolated Stretching. And with The Whartons' Stretch Book, the method used successfully by scores of professional, amateur, and Olympic athletes is now available to everyone.

This groundbreaking technique, developed by researchers, coaches, and trainers, and pioneered by Jim and Phil Wharton, is your new exercise prescription. The routine is simple: First, you prepare to stretch one isolated muscle at a time. Then you actively contract the muscle opposite the isolated muscle, which will then relax in preparation for its stretch. You stretch it gently and quickly -- for no more than two seconds -- and release it before it goes into its protective contraction. Then you repeat. Simple, but the results are outstanding. The Whartons' Stretch Book explains it all.


Your Body's Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj, MD
This is the third edition of Dr. F. Batmanghelidj' classic water book. This book, based on a pioneering physician's twenty years of clinical and scientific research into the role of water in the body, explains a breakthrough discovery that Unintentional Chronic Dehydration (UCD) produces stress, chronic pains and many painful degenerational diseases. Dry mouth is not the only sign of dehydration; waiting to get thirsty is wrong. You will learn the different signals of thirst when your body is calling for water. Simply adjusting your water intake can help you to live a healthier, pain-free life. Learn how to naturally prevent and reverse conditions such as asthma, allergies, how to naturally eliminate pains including heartburn, back pain, arthritis, colitis pain, migraine headaches, how to use water to prevent and combat premature aging, and how to lose weight effortlessly, without strict dieting.