A French author claims that the secret behind the phenomenal stamina of France’s president is a £100-a-session massage.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s energy levels are frequently a subject for discussion. The French president often appears to be doing the work of ten men. He has a sky-high international profile, numerous domestic problems to deal with, a passion for jogging, a penchant for late night karaoke singing, and an ex-supermodel wife to please.

Recently, a new book has claimed that the secret behind Sarkozy’s endless energy supply is a massage rather than caffeine or other artificial stimulants.

According to author Patrice Machuret, an “etiopath” – or alternative medicine guru – called Jean-Paul Moureau secretly massages Mr Sarkozy’s back and sends him “positive energy waves”.

This allows the 53-year-old politician to go with almost no sleep and keep up a timetable which last week saw him visit Israel, Egypt and Lebanon.

Moureau, 60, is said to compare himself with an artist “like Picasso”, calling his technique a “unique physical and spiritual method.” He is said to have been treating Sarkozy for 15 years with his special technique of “manual therapy,” which he performs at a private clinic in Paris.

According to the French Institute of Etiopathy, the practice was pioneered by a Frenchman in the 1960s and is dedicated to pinpointing the real cause of an illness and treating it with manual therapy.

It can be effective in treating conditions from migraine to conjunctivitis, says the institute.

The diminutive Mr Sarkozy, who is known to suffer from headaches and who has a slight limp because one leg is shorter than the other, has even advised his ministers to see Mr Moreau with their own ailments It is also likely that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the supermodel-turned-pop-singer, who became Mr Sarkozy’s third wife a year ago approves, as she is a great believer in alternative medicine.