by Patrizia Sanvitale, photos Laila Pozzo

With their experience and knowledge, the “gurus” of wellbeing create a relationship of mutual trust with those who seek help and understanding through physical contact.

Published by Marsilio and edited by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art, this volume in the "Mestieri d'Arte" series deals with an extremely interesting topic in a totally new way. “The hand that heals” narrates, through some of its most illustrious representatives, the art of curing and restoring wellbeing in many extraordinary ways. Thirty masters of the art of massage engage in conversation with journalist and sociologist Patrizia Sanvitale, talking about the techniques of an ancient, almost magical profession that is full of archaic traditions and very new meanings.

With their compelling personal histories, the "gurus" of wellbeing help us retrace the path of a lost humanity, of a relationship based on communication and trust with those who look for help and understanding through physical contact, as well as patience, tenacity, professionalism, generosity and sincerity.

Original interpretations of traditional massages go hand in hand with new and exotic disciplines: from physiotherapy to chiropractic and osteopathy, from shiatsu to reiki, from craniosacral therapy to lymphatic drainage and Bach flower massage, from rolfing to reflexology, Ayurvedic massage and treatments specifically addressed to children, like Tui Na and bio-energetic massage. Without overlooking aesthetic massages and many practices where the touch becomes magical and mysterious, connected with ancestral rites and knowledge, like Thai and Californian massage, Inca or Berber massages, Bowtech and neuro-training... Right up to DanceAbility, the dance of the heart.

Laila Pozzo’s refined photography gives a face to each of the masters and reveals their intense humanity, making each story unforgettable.

Patrizia Sanvitale, journalist and sociologist, has written for Rizzoli and Il Saggiatore. She has lived in California for a long time, working in international publishing. Oriental philosophies, the history of food and the alchemy of cooking are her great passions.

Laila Pozzo has a degree in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic. A pupil of Giuliana Traverso, Pozzo has been the assistant of great photographers such as Douglas Kirkland, Sarah Moon and Joyce Tenneson. She has won many prizes and collaborated with Italian and international magazines.