Deregulation Advocate Leaves Spiritual Massage Legacy

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, April/May 2005.

Albert Schatz, Ph.D., an icon in the massage profession, died Jan. 17 just days before his 85th birthday on Feb. 2.

Schatz began his career as a medical researcher and, at the age of 23, identified the antibiotic Streptomycin, the first effective treatment for tuberculosis and pneumonic plague. When answers couldn’t be delivered through conventional medicine, the researcher began exploring alternative therapies — and so began his diverse journey into the world of massage and bodywork. Most notably, Schatz began studying massage and therapeutic touch as an essential combination to bridge spiritual and physical healing. He came to believe metaphysical issues are vital to health and that this topic deserved significant scientific consideration.

In 1994, Schatz established the Church for Spiritual Healing and Health in Philadelphia. In his advocacy of spiritual massage, Schatz strongly opposed regulation of massage, going so far as to call the work a form of worship and religious ceremony, and citing religious freedom as his argument for deregulation. In addition to Swedish massage and Therapeutic Touch, Schatz also studied Alexander Technique, Craniosacral Therapy, Feldenkrais Method, reflexology, and Trager Approach.