Here is a selection of what textbooks used in massage schools say about David Palmer and chair massage.
Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark F. Beck
As a discrete segment of the contemporary profession, this style of bodywork was formulated and popularized by David Palmer, a former massage school owner. Palmer began experimenting with massaging seated clients in 1982 as a way of making it easier for his students to introduce their services to potential clients. In 1986, he developed the first specialized chair for seated massage and began training practitioners at other bodywork schools throughout the country. Seated massage is widely available around the world and is considered an integral part of the massage profession.
Therapeutic Chair Massage – Ralph Stephens
The founder of modern seated massage is generally acknowledged to be David Palmer, a visionary massage practitioner and massage school owner who was inspired to adapt Amma techniques and create acupressure-based massage routines for the seated position. Through his efforts and remarkable promotional skills, seated massage as we know it today came into being.
Bodywork by Thomas Claire
In more and more cities and venues as diverse as corporate offices and airport lobbies, chair massage is becoming available to increasingly more people. Practitioners typically provide ten-minute on-site massage for about $10, with additional increments available. Treatments are geared to providing a quick pick-m-up in the middle of a busy day. David Palmer, dubbed the “father of contemporary chair massage,” predicts that most on-site massage in the future will be done in retail settings, such as airports and shopping mall, making massage as common and accessible as a haircut.
The Everything Massage Book – Valerie Voner
A massage therapist named David Palmer worked to promote chair massage during the early 1980s. Through Palmer’s innovative work, chair massage is no longer a mystery. Today, this accessible method of massage is replacing hundreds of people daily, not only in the workplace but also in countless other arenas.
David Palmer, often called he father of on-site massage, said, “I don’t see on-site massage…too closely associated with health care services because it is not a treatment…It’s not designed to fix anything. It’s merely designed to make people feel better and to produce what I think is the greatest value of massage, which is to simply enhance circulation.”