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This question is a bit more complex then it sounds at first. On Earth when getting a massage you lay on a table and gravity and friction holds you in place while the therapist pushes, pulls and kneads your body.

In Microgravity your body would tend to bounce, between the masseuse and the table. If you try and hold yourself in place it would fail the "relax" part of the massage experience. Straps might be used but unless they were fairly tight and several of them, would seem to not a be a solution to the bounce issue.

I considered a table with a light suction to hold the massage receiver in place, but was not sure if that would be viable solution. You would need to mimic the friction a 1G body on table without causing undue sheer force at any one body location.

This question focuses on the massage receiver, it is a given that the masseuse would need some way of anchoring themselves.

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    $\begingroup$ If "full body massage" involves massaging front as well as the back side of one's body, then why wouldn't the masseuse use one hand in front, and the other at the back of the other person, and massage both sides of the other's body at the same time, applying roughly equal pressure with both hands? Also, the straps for the one receiving the massage alone wouldn't be enough, as the masseuse would also be in microgravity, with either nothing to hold on to, or possibly making the whole experience rather awkward holding for the other. It would be then better, if they're strapped to each other. ;) $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Sep 13 '13 at 15:51
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Normal commercial massage technique usually involves placing a sheet over the parts of the body not being worked on at the moment. This is obviously adjusted as they go.

Thus why couldn't the person receiving the massage be strapped in instead of simply draped?

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  • $\begingroup$ When the force being applied is at or near 90 degrees from the table, light strapping could work. But I am not sure it is a solution to the question. Tight strapping would impede lymph flow which could be counter productive. Additional many massage techniques involve pulling on limbs to stretch joints, and this could lead to uncomfortable condition's if you are pulling against the straps, particularly if at right angles to them. $\endgroup$ – James Jenkins Sep 14 '13 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesJenkins Use a very wide strap, it should hold without being tight in any one area. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Sep 14 '13 at 17:45

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