The classic massage in a nutshell

You are comfortably lying in a massage bed, listening to relaxing music. The practitioner hands slide and apply a gentle pressure on your body that takes the stress away. You start to forget your daily routine and your mind focus more and more on what your body feels.

You realize that it’s been a long time since you had a real conversation with your body, you promise to yourself you won’t do that again, you switch off your mind and get lost in the music.

This is a bit poetic but the reality is not too far from that 🙂

The main goal of a classic massage is relaxation, though a bit of pain release can also be tackled. The practitioner will use a bit of oil to be able to slide his hands and apply different massage techniques to release the stress you have been accumulating.

Why should I book a classic massage?

In MedTip we believe that any kind of manual technique has the potential of helping you to feel better. There is some kind of mental and physical release on leaving everything behind and being able to listen to your body thanks to the expert touch of your therapist.

Aside from that, there are several reasons we think you should or you may want to book a classic massage.

  • You never had a massage before
  • You are feeling a light pain in any part of your body
  • You want to have a relaxing moment and do something for yourself

The two last points look clear so we will develop a bit on the first one and we think it is a good idea to book a massage if you never had one.

We think that alternative medicine is the future of healthcare (it is time to start thinking about preventing sickness instead of just waiting to be sick to visit a doctor). It happens that alternative/complementary medicine is the only medicine that puts a focus on prevention, we wrote another post on that.  Manual techniques, as the classic massage, are a good way to discover alternative medicine, so booking a massage means to make the first step into prevention which leads to a healthier society and a better world. Hey, if you don’t do it for yourself do it for the world 🙂

Big dreams apart, playing an active role in prevention is a habit to adopt and like any other habit, it is not about eating right once, going to the gym once or having one massage. Healthy habits need perseverance, self-discovery and choosing what is right for you.

Here is where the relationship with the practitioner becomes important, in MedTip we advocate for building long term relationships with practitioners so they can help you to progress on your general well-being goal. Booking a classic (also called Swedish) massage,  is a good idea if you want to discover manual techniques and also it may give you the opportunity to find a practitioner that suits you and helps you to discover more about preventive medicine.

How do I prepare for a classic massage?

There aren’t any specifics about how to prepare for a classic massage; you should pay attention to the following general advice:

  • Drink a bit more of water than your usual day; hydration will help on the massage.
  • Don’t eat or drink any coffee, alcohol or other stimulants on the 2 hours prior to a massage. If you are hungry or thirsty, satiate yourself but with something light.
  • When wearing high heels bring a pair of flats on the bag and use them after the massage. If you can also bring comfortable clothes with you.
  • Don’t do it on a rush. Arrive 10 minutes earlier and don’t use your phone in the waiting room. Please disconnect 🙂


What to do once I arrive at the massage center for a classic massage?

We strongly recommend you to have a discussion with the practitioner about your expectations and preferences prior to the session. Your therapist will appreciate this. By listening to your preferences and needs, the practitioner will be able to adapt the massage to you. This will improve the whole experience and it will make a difference.

Ideally, it should be a discussion that you have comfortably sit in a chair prior to the massage. This discussion will serve as a first stone for the relationship and it’s vital for a good experience. It should be around what brought you here, which kind of massages you prefer (if you have any experience) and maybe what brought you to this cabinet and not others.

Don’t be afraid to communicate a bit about your general feelings lately. Don’t take us wrong, it is not a psychological consultation but don’t feel embarrassed saying that you are a bit stressed for some issues at work or that your partner is driving you crazy lately.

Even though the massage is a manual technique your mind has a big role to play on it. Having a small indication about what is worrying you or how you feel the few last days will be of help for your therapist and helps to build trust.

What to do when I am receiving a classic massage

This is as an easy one. Basically just close your eyes, relax, listen to the music, focus on your body and enjoy. A classic massage is a really enjoyable experience. If anything, pay attention to the below:

  • Pay attention to the temperature of the room once you have undressed, if you feel warm or cold, say it.
  • It is rare but if the music is annoying you or brings any kind of memory, say it.
  • You feel pain or you would like the therapist to spend a little more time on a specific zone, say it.

A massage is a personal experience, the same kind of technique with the same pressure will not be perceived the same way by everyone. Through experience, practitioners have developed the ability to read the body language but they cannot read your mind.

The best advice we can give you is to communicate, we know we repeat ourselves but this is important 🙂 

Most of us feel a bit embarrassed saying to the practitioner what you liked the most or what you didn’t like. Try to communicate. We know constructive criticism is hard to give and receive but you will see that a little effort yields great results.

The technique of classic massage

When you ask for this kind of massage, your therapist has complete freedom to apply all the techniques mastered during his learning journey. Most practitioners have followed courses of diverse techniques and have a really impressive curriculum. On top of that, as in any manual technique, the practice makes the master, therefore, a classic massage without any strict technique pattern to follow is a very powerful tool.

Textbooks speak about different techniques, sliding, kneading, tapping, etc. If you are not familiar with this, don’t worry too much. These are the techniques you will instinctively apply if someone asks you to give a massage. However, your therapist knows much more about it and will find out the ones most suitable for you. He will adapt the techniques to what he feels and also to what you communicate (yup, we just said it again).

Most practitioners will use relaxing music and standard oil or any other way of easing the sliding (cream, talcum, etc.). In case you wonder, standard oils are those providing good sliding capabilities and odourless capabilities. One of the most common is sweet almonds oil.

Average time

The average time for this kind of massage is something in between 45 minutes to 1h30 minutes. For your first session, we will recommend you to keep it to one-hour maximum, you will have time for longer sessions if desired.


In Geneva, there might be confusion between a classic and a sports massage (in French “massage sportif”). The latter is oriented to release specific pains caused by sports practice or to increase the recovery after intense exercising.

Check for classic massage in Geneva on this link.

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