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Yoko Miara, a Thai massage therapist, stretches Senior Airman Misti Reisz during a massage therapy session Thursday night at Potter Fitness Center, Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Yoko Miara, a Thai massage therapist, stretches Senior Airman Misti Reisz during a massage therapy session Thursday night at Potter Fitness Center, Misawa Air Base, Japan. (Jennifer H. Svan / S&S)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — For tired or tight muscles, there’s Hawaiian, Russian and Thai.

Massage, that is.

The base’s Potter Fitness Center started offering massage therapy this month. The gym has lined up five certified massage therapists who specialize in muscle- and mind-relaxing techniques, from reflexology to massage for pregnant women.

It’s the first time the center has offered massage therapy, said Tech. Sgt. Jason Moyers, noncommissioned-officer-in-charge of operations.

“It’s been kind of a push Air Force-wide to offer some of the same services you can get from commercial fitness centers, like massage therapy and juice bars,” he said.

While the juice bar isn’t here yet, massage therapy is in full swing.

The various treatments are great for relaxation and easing stress, Moyers said. “It’s also just an opportunity for people to pamper themselves a little bit,” he said.

Senior Airman Misti Reisz experienced her first Thai massage last week, courtesy of her husband. “It was my anniversary present,” she said as practitioner Yoko Miara stretched, bent and kneaded her leg muscles while Reisz lay on her back on a floor mat. “I think I’m going to come back as much as I can in the next four months before I leave.”

Reservations currently must be made in person at the fitness center between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sessions cost $25 for a half hour and $40 for an hour. Payment with cash or check is made in advance.

Types of massage therapy offered at Potter and their purported benefits are:

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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