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A massage has numerous health benefits and is a great way to relax after a tiring workout or a hard day at work. It is conducted in numerous settings: spas, massage clinics, and health and wellness samples are just a few examples. There are also several kinds of massage, such as shiatsu, Swedish, and sports massage.

However, there are some things about the experience that are generally the same, no matter where the session is to be conducted or the type of massage chosen.

Before the session

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Part of the preliminaries of a massage therapy session is the filling out of health and medical history forms and a short interview with the therapist who is to perform the massage.

The massage therapist might ask for more information on any medical conditions that he or she needs to be aware of, medications currently being taken, and problem spots that require special attention.

Any concerns about the massage, such as discomfort with undressing or allergies to certain oils, should be discussed before the session begins.

Right before the massage, the client will be ushered into a private room with a massage table. The therapist will provide the client with some privacy while he or she fully or partially undresses. Once undressed, the client needs to lie down on the table, covered by a provided sheet. An exception is chair massages, often conducted in malls and public places, wherein the client is to remain fully clothed and seated.

During the session

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Being naked in front of a stranger can make one feel vulnerable. The massage therapist will most likely understand this and will only uncover the part of the body that is being worked on. The therapist often uses a cream, oil, or lotion to enhance his or her massage technique. Some massage techniques or strokes commonly used by massage therapists include kneading, lifting and squeezing of tissue, percussion, or several quick heavy taps done in succession, and direct pressure. Clients who feel pain or discomfort during the massage can voice their concerns to their therapist, who will modify techniques or decrease the pressure accordingly.

After the session

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A massage can last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half. It’s normal to feel a little sore the day after the massage, especially if it’s a first time, as the muscles might not be accustomed to deep strokes and pressure.
The benefits of massage become apparent after a few sessions, so clients should coordinate with their massage therapist to schedule future visits.

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