Massage is the practice of applying structured pressure, tension, motion or vibration - manually or with mechanical aids - to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints and lymphatic vessels, to achieve a beneficial response.
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The Spa Masseuse

The term spa is traditionally used to mean a place where water that is believed to have special health-giving properties occurs. This is usually a mineral or hot spring, and can include cold water treatments. The term is derived from the Belgian town of Spa. There are many types of occupations that are employed by a spa, but the most popular is the Masseuse. A Masseuse is a man or woman who performs massages on clients.

Massage is the practice of applying structured pressure, tension, motion or vibration - manually or with mechanical aids - to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints and lymphatic vessels, to achieve a beneficial response.

A form of therapy, massage can be applied to parts of the body or successively to the whole body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, and improve circulation. Where massage is used for its physical and psychological benefits, it may be termed "therapeutic massage therapy" or manipulative therapy.

As massage is a lightly regulated industry, clients are advised to get references, ask questions and judge for themselves. In commercial settings, massage techniques involve the client being treated lying down on a massage table or in a massage chair, or on a mattress on the floor.

Except for modalities such as Thai Massage or Barefoot Deep Tissue, the massage subject is generally unclothed, and the body may be "draped" with towels or sheets. This also helps keep the client warm. In some jurisdictions it is required that certain areas such as the genitals on both genders and the breast/nipple area on women be draped at all times.

Due to the necessary physical contact between the practitioner and the client, sexual arousal (or signs of it) is possible, but rarely intentional. In many forms of massage, the treatment may start with the client face up or down for the first part of the session: the client then rolls over for the second half of the session. Relaxation is necessary for maximum therapeutic benefits to be achieved.

Good communication is essential to effective massage. In a commercial setting, the client is encouraged to communicate the type of treatment expected, for example relaxation or pain relief, full body massage or focus on a specific area, the amount of pressure that is comfortable, preferred techniques, and past medical history and current physical condition.

There are well over 150 types of massage therapy. Various styles of massage have developed from a number of sources.

Chair massage is by far the most convenient method of massage therapy. A chair massage session typically lasts 15-30 minutes, and is performed while fully clothed. Chair massage promotes better circulation, muscle stimulation and stress relief. This form of massage reduces tension in the back, neck, shoulders, head, arms, hands, legs or feet, providing a deep relaxation effect.

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