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  • Should You Get a Couples Massage for Valentines Day?

    Heart and LoveWith Valentines day only 2 weeks away, many couples automatically think to book a couples massage as a way to celebrate. Many love the experience; many are disappointed. A couples massage can be very romantic, but there are a few things you need to ask before you decide you want to receive your massages in the same room.

    1. Do you both want the same type of massage? If one of you wants a “get-the-knots-out” type massage and the other one wants an ooey, gooey, stretchy relaxing massage, you might want to think twice about sharing a room. Many massage and bodywork techniques designed for pain relief or knot release require a lot of instruction (“move your arm across your body for me”) and feedback (“where do you feel the most sensation, when I press here? or here?”). This will be VERY distracting and probably also irritating to the one getting the “melt me like butter” massage.
    2. What’s the introvert/extrovert mix in your relationship? If both of you are introverts, there’s an excellent chance that neither of you will want to talk, or want to be talked to, during your massage. You are an excellent match for getting a couples massage (lets hope your therapists follow your lead in the quiet department). If, however, one of you is introverted and the other extroverted, there may be some friction. A Talkative Tammy and a Quiet Quentin are not a good pairing to be receiving a couples massage. You may also want to consider separate rooms if you’re both extroverts, because 2 conversations going on in the same small room can be really distracting for everyone, especially the therapists who are theoretically concentrating on giving you a great massage as opposed to mindlessly rubbing you while chatting. (Yes, that really does happen. Often. Chatting is a distraction.)
    3. Is one of you nervous about getting a massage? Perhaps one of you has never had massage and is a bit nervous. This is a great reason to get a couples massage. A partner’s presence in the room can help alleviate any nervousness the other may be feeling. This is really important, since we receive the greatest benefit from massage when we are able to fully relax on the table. Just make sure to sync yourselves as much as possible on points 1 & 2 to maximize enjoyment for both of you.
    4. Have you had massage with either of the therapists before? There is a lot that goes into a GOOD couples massage experience, and the massage therapists themselves are a big part of the mix. For instance, skill level or type of massage performed should match your expectations. Maybe you both like deep tissue massage and request therapists who are skilled at “deep work.” Deep work is a very subjective term; one person’s pleasantly deep is another’s torture and a third person’s distractingly light massage. This makes it difficult for a receptionist or therapist to know what YOU mean by deep. Besides, it’s a receptionist’s job to book clients, and that means they may, umm… stretch the truth a little bit, a la “All of our therapist are skilled at deep work.” All, none, always, and never should be red flag words to you. You also, ideally, will have two therapists who work well together and don’t get in each other’s way. Treatment rooms can feel awfully small when there are 2 massage tables and 2 therapists competing for space. If one therapist continually gets in the other’s way, it creates frustration for the second therapist which s/he may unwittingly pass on to you through a more aggressive massage.
    5. How noisy is this location? You really want to know what the ambient noise level is like. From the treatment rooms, can you hear the traffic outside, the client & therapist in the next room, or the clients &/or receptionist in the lobby? These are all things that will detract from your enjoyment.
    6. How small is the room? The size of the room that’s going to be used is extremely important, as it will have 2 massage tables, 2 massage therapists, and two clients in it. A too small room crowded with four adults for 60-90 minutes can get uncomfortably warm (read: downright HOT), especially if the therapists use hot towels or other forms of heat. Believe me when I say there is very little that will kill your massage buzz quicker than the therapist dripping sweat on you. (Yes, it has happened to me. EEEWWWW!) Also, If the room seems like a tight squeeze with all that equipment and all those people in it, I guarantee that the therapists will not be able to use good body mechanics which means they won’t be able to give you their best massage, no matter how badly they may want to.

    If you’re thinking of booking a couples massage this Valentines Day, and your personalities and massage preferences are in sync, your best bet is to limit your unknowns by : 1) going to a massage business that you’ve been to in the past so you know something of the noise level and at least one of the therapists, or 2) getting a recommendation from someone you trust and who has actually received a couples massage at the place they recommend.

    Now it’s your turn. Have you ever had a couples massage? What did you like or not like about it?