When we go, we usually go for about 2 1/2 hours. It starts with a foot massage - which again, don't be fooled into thinking it's pleasant. I've given up vaulted away secrets of my best friends (sorry guys) as well as my credit card number, ATM pin and information I just plain made up to make her stop. The session ends with her using little rubber mallets to beat on the sides of your calves. I'm serious. btw - that part actually feels good.
The next hour or so is a full body massage. When she goes to work on my back, she applies so much pressure that I generally fall asleep / pass out - I can never figure out which. You then shuffle out of there, go back to the hotel and pee what looks like battery acid. I don't know if it's true that is the toxins that come from your muscle tissue, but I can tell you that *something* has been released. Maybe it's just the color of suffering.
In a day or so, you feel like a million dollars - which is why you do it in the first place.
Of course the cost of doing something like that in the US is beyond the reach of my wallet, and I'm usually too busy changing my ATM pin and arguing credit card transactions that mysteriously appear on my statement - "No, I assure you. I did not buy 4 jade bracelets and a pair of size 2 women's shoes from Mr. Cho's Emporium at 2am US time yesterday"
Also, besides the cost - there is the time of setting up the appointment and then rushing across town on my lunch hour to have Steve (my sports massage therapist here in Denver), work out the latest damage I've inflicted on myself.
So in between I'm on my own. I stretch, do yoga and roll using a variety of rollers and massage tools.
We've had a foam roller for a number of years now. I've taken to having Luke sit on me (the dog won't stay put) to add more weight and really bear down while I roll. But recently we picked up a higher pain inflecting roller that reminds me of a Chinese massage - in that it's good for you, but feels much more pleasant once you stop. It's called a Rumble Roller.
There are two models - regular and extra firm. We first got the extra firm, and had to cry uncle and go to the regular model. We weren't tough enough. We feel ashamed.
I highly recommend this puppy. You can inflict a lot of good and it goes deep. I don't think I'll have Luke sitting on me any time soon - nor upgrading to the extra firm model.