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David Lauterstein

David Lauterstein (born in Chicago, 1947) has been a massage therapist since 1977 and an innovator in massage therapy education since 1982. He has been a faculty member of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, the Midwest Center for Oriental Medicine, and Dean of Faculty at the Texas School of Massage Studies. In 1989 co-founded with fellow teacher, John Conway, The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Putting Soul Back in the Body, What is Zero Balancing, The Seven Dimensions of Touch and former editor of Massage Therapy Journal. David Lauterstein teaches trainings around the world in Deep Massage: The Lauterstein Method and Zero Balancing®, both methods that emphasize the art as well as the science of bodywork.

He also has been a guitarist for 45 years. As a young man, 1960-65, he studied at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. Participating early in the Chicago music scene, he learned and practiced folk music, blues and rock and roll improvisation with friend and mentor, Michael Bloomfield, and sat at the feet of such masters as Big Joe Williams, Sleepy John Estes, Robbie Basho, Muddy Waters, and Otis Spann. In 1967, David studied Indian music with Ali Akbar Khan and Ashiish Khan at the American Society for the Eastern Arts in Berkeley, California. He received his Bachelors degree in Music Composition from University of Illinois in 1972. His primary teachers were Herbert Brun and Wolf Rosenberg with whom Mr. Lauterstein studied for a year as a post-graduate in Munich, Germany.

As he gradually transitioned from music to massage in the 1970’s, music took a back seat. However, as time went on, music re-emerged and became closer and closer with the massage. He saw massage itself as a form of human “composition”, improvising with the living human as the medium, instead of just musical notes. Correspondingly, he increasingly experienced music as a form of acoustical massage deepening relaxation and peace of mind, body, and spirit.

Over the years, Mr. Lauterstein has gradually incorporated guitar-playing into his teaching of massage and bodywork. He was, at first, inspired to respond with his guitar to the beauty of watching bodywork being done. Then he began regularly accompanying and inspiring students at Lauterstein-Conway School and in workshops he has taught throughout the U.S. and in the U.K. He developed a style of improvising on themes evoked by the spirit of the actual massage and bodywork being done. This makes for more deeply inspired bodywork on the part of the therapists and facilitates deeper healing experiences for the receivers of this work. This results in a music that is literally made from and for massage and relaxation.

Finally, in 2007 after years of people requesting he record, he invented a way to preserve the nature of these improvisations. He approached musician and friend, David Murray, of Murray Music in Austin, Texas. The proposal was to record acoustic guitar live to actual massages being performed in the recording studio. This was first done on September 14, 2007.

David Lauterstein lives in Austin, Texas – the Live Music Capital of the World – with his wife, Julie, massage therapist and painter, and his son, Jake, also a guitarist and songwriter, and a founding member of the band, The Diving Captain.