First of Nine: Tensegrity Blog

Portland, Oregon's Cancer Survivorship and Bodywork Zine by Compassion Arts PDX, LLC

iPad apps for massage therapists: Pocket Body

Welcome to the tablet generation, dear folks. The iPad 2 is pretty much the most amazing gizmo to plop out of Cupertino, since the Apple Macintosh. The iPad is infusing itself into education… From music, to algebra, to medical. With rooms full of iOS based tablets, we’re seeing test scores rise and students staying on task, providing a level of interactivity, focus and creativity recently misplaced in this over-medicated, ADHD culture.

The interactivity, the tactility, the versatility and innovation of immersing oneself into a stream of learning through playing with an iPad 2 has been a pure pleasure. My somatic mind soaks in information at a vastly different level with this style of self-paced learning. Plus, it’s a completely different, wonderfully ergonomic way of creating content.

I still use Information Architect’s brilliantly minimalistic word processor, iA Writer to compose every blog entry of First of Nine. The on-screen keyboard slows my regularly speedy typing to a more deliberate pace that is slowly improving with practice.

I learned to type on the venerable and stalwart keyboard of the Commodore 64. In middle school, I rivaled the teacher, sometimes hitting 90-100 words per minute. Really, nowhere near as quick here on the iPad. I still keep up with all my thoughts, which, these days, tend to tumble out in summer raindrops and occasional splashes of inner monologue. A keyboard based on a touch screen heeds a discipline in correct typing form, so I oft fall back to an advanced hunt and peck technique. This is still measurably easier than typing on the iPhone.

I’ve been geeking out over anatomy apps. And, there are a few brilliant iOS developers that are a notch above the rest. So, I’m beginning to share a few thoughts on my favorites. Today’s iPad app is Pocket Body!


Pocket Body from Pocket Anatomy

Understanding the multi-dimensionality of the human body is essential to a massage therapy and bodywork practice. Getting a sense of the 3D layers deep to our hands comes with practice, visualization and study.

Pocket Body (Musculoskeletal) app from Pocket Anatomy is a superb tool for visualizing the layers, available on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. I’ve been happily using Pocket Body on my iPad 2. I love that zooming, panning and adding/removing layers is so effortless, with very quick load times. And, quite interesting that lateral views of the anatomical model are in a pose other than anatomic position!

Pocket Body has a nifty slider at the bottom of the screen, so you can slide through the layers… From skin, to several muscular layers, including the organs plus the vascular and nervous systems, down to joints, ligaments and skeletal structure.


It has pins for all the visible structures, though the red pins don’t have expanded information. You can leave your own notes on these. A watermarked screen capture can be easily snagged with a tap and saved to the iPad’s camera roll. And, the images look great when displayed on a projector.


Folks dig it when I break out the iPad. It has been an essential tool in communication, making a bodywork session more interactive and educational for the client. And, now that I’m beginning to teach continuing education, it’s becoming even more invaluable as an enhanced learning tool.

Download Pocket Body from the iTunes store…
Pocket Body on iPad [$29.99]
Pocket Body on iPhone or iPod Touch [$19.99]

First of Nine will be covering more kick ass iPad anatomy apps soon. For your dollar, Pocket Body is a solid investment. Dig it!

Hamid : )

psst… Check back at First of Nine for contest time… Ya might just win a free app code!

psst… psst… Contest is groovin’! Ends Feb. 19th, 2012. Tap here for details!

12 comments on “iPad apps for massage therapists: Pocket Body

  1. joshua
    January 31, 2012

    First as a client of Hamid’s I love it when he breaks out the iPad. My inner geek smiles as I slip into my session with visuals pouring into my minds eye. As a recent massage school graduate I find these apps beyond my dreams. I loved pop up books as a kid, loved peeling layers off things and looking within. To be able to do this without having to be a body snatcher has improved my muscle knowledge and kept me out of prison. (just joshin). I have a droid and the only app I have found is by Real Body works. It’s a pretty weak app to tell the truth. I enjoy the tests and going over my I O’s and actions but as a exploring tool this app is weak. Since I never bit into the apple maybe it’s time 🙂

  2. mycoignofvantage
    February 1, 2012

    Reblogged this on Mycoignofvantage’s Blog and commented:
    I found a gem of a treat for you today from The First of Nine Tensegrity blog. For Massage Therapists these are just great and the graphics are wonderful! Enjoy.

  3. Dolores Matel
    February 1, 2012

    Do you like this app better than visible body?ni love iPad2

    • Visible Body is a different critter than Pocket Body. I think of Pocket Body as a quick reference guide and Visible Body as a more immersive, exploratory tool. Both are tremendously useful compliments to one another.

  4. Tina
    February 4, 2012

    this looks like an amazing educational and learning tool! who would have ever thought that this would be the way the ipad could go. There are just no limits! Brilliant!

    • Tina… this is just the beginning of how the iPad will evolve education, discovery and collaboration. Thanks for reading!! :::high five!:::

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  10. cherry connolly
    July 19, 2013

    I have a window’s phone.

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Compassion Arts PDX, LLC

Hamid Shibata Bennett, LMT, CAMT (OBMT #301)
Advanced massage therapy and bodywork
3810 SE Belmont ST
Portland, Oregon 97214

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