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Why a couples massage class could be the best investment you make for your relationship this year

UPDATE: Are you interested in learning to massage each other? Due to COVID-19 and having to cancel and reschedule classes we’ve decided to put our couple’s massage class online.  Head to our Couple’s Massage training page at www.humantouchproject.com

It’s been a long day.  Stress at work. The weight of children. The weight of the world.  Aching shoulders, tired feet.  Dinner, dishes and then “Honey.  Can you rub my shoulders please?” followed by “that’s too rough you’re hurting me.”

For many, physical touch in the relationship is limited to hugs, kisses and sex.  The only time massage might be considered is as part of a precursor to sex.

When my wife and I first met we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.  Holding hands in public, cuddles on the couch, rubbing each other’s shoulders and feet.  Loving and nurturing touch was an important part of that “in love” feel.  It still is today – we still will sit on the couch and massage each other’s feet.

Many of my clients talk to me about how they would love it if their partner massaged them at home.  They talk about a partner who is unwilling to give, fearful of giving bad massage, or who is too heavy or too gentle in massage.  Women in particular mention about hurting their hands trying to meet the desired pressure of their partner.

Perfect solution, buy a gift voucher for the local day spa and mission accomplished.  Men and women across Australia have been buying each other gift vouchers for massage, when they could take a Bunnings approach and learn to DIY.  It is simple to learn the basic strokes to perform competent and safe massage.  The rest is up to you to make time to practice and put some heart into your work.

Here’s five reasons why a massage class could be the best investment you make in your relationship this year:

1.     LEARN THE TOOLS TO GIVE A GOOD MASSAGE

Nearly 20 years ago I did my first massage course – it was 6 hours long.  I learned how to position my body, generate pressure without force, and also be tender in my touch.  From that day I massaged my friends and built upon those skills.

You can give massage to each other through clothing anytime and anywhere – no special tools, tables or towels.  You can also give great oil massage with little more than a couple of towels a pillow and a jar of coconut oil – so you can take that skill with you on the road too.

You can learn the tools to give and receive massage everyday (if you wanted to) for the cost of a 90 minute treatment at a day spa.  Massage needn’t be a “sometimes activity”.  Save a trip to the therapist for when you really need it, or a trip to the spa for a ultra-special occasion.

2.     MASSAGING EACH OTHER SAYS “I LOVE YOU”

If you are a fan of the Bro (David Attenborough) like I am – in many of his films he shows animals nurturing each other.  The mother lion licking her cubs, chimps holding each other, penguins nuzzling each other.  Even the most ferocious of creatures communicates love to his/her mate and offspring with touch.

I’ve previously written about how loving touch is an important communication tool.  Think about when you first started dating – unable to keep your hands to each other touching at any opportunity.  Followed by snuggles and spooning – you probably even rubbed each other’s shoulders then.  Playful, loving, respectful and tender touch has a place in every loving relationship.

Touch is but one of five languages – all of these languages we seem to speak so naturally when courting.  Learn the language of your partner and start speaking it daily.

3.     MASSAGE IMPROVES SLEEP

I massage my children as well as my wife.  When my son was an infant he lived in terrible pain.  I massaged him daily to help him to sleep.

Stress is often responsible for what I call “crappy sleep syndrome”.  It is the stress hormones that are keeping you alert for potential danger.  Nurturing and relaxing massage helps settle the nervous system.  Tender touch helps to switch off the stress hormones, and switch on the hormones that help us to feel calm and relaxed.

Whether your stresses are work, family or situational, tender touch before bed time will assist you to fall asleep and to stay asleep for longer.  This is especially true when you are able to fall asleep in the embrace of another.  Great sleep massively improves your ability to cope with life’s trials and tribulations.

4.     MASSAGE REDUCES PERCEPTION OF PAIN

Many of us live with some sort of pain whether it be lower back pain from lifting children or sitting for too long, or an old injury that never seems to go away.  Relaxation massage is like a jammer to pain signals – it turns down the volume and scrambles the signal.  While it is temporary relief, not only do you get to live for a time with reduced or no pain, but it leaves you feeling great too.  You could be helping to reduce your reliance on analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication.

5.     IT’S NOT ABOUT SEX, BUT IT CAN HELP

When I took my first massage class I was genuinely surprised how many men where there, whose motivation was to massage a prospective partner, with the hope that one thing might lead to another.  If you are giving massage with the hope of getting sex, you are massaging for the wrong reason.

That said, there is no doubt that couples who massage each other also enjoy great sex lives.  There’s a few things in this.

Stress engages our fight and flight response – sex is not high on the agenda when you are being chased by a bear.  This stressed state greatly affects the body’s ability to “get aroused” – whether it be dryness or impotence.  Massage promotes a state opposite to stress – rest and digest – couples who are more relaxed will find that sex comes easier to them.  It is likely to be less hurried and more tender and intimate.  If you are trying to conceive – relaxation is ultra-important.

Go back to point 2 – loving touch, including through massage, communicates love.  Couples who love each other, and feel loved in the way that they want love expressed are more likely to have great sex lives too.

Giving massage to your partner is an incredible act of physical and emotional intimacy and it should be given without expectation of any reward.  It is an act of love that speaks of intimacy at a cognitive, physical and emotional level.

That said, build your foundation of love in your relationship, give great massage, and great sex can happen spontaneously.

Are you ready to learn massage in a fun and safe way wth the person you love?

Here’s a free training on how to give your partner the most amazing massage.

David Clayton is the Principal Remedial Therapist at Myomasters Massage located in Hope Valley in the north east of Adelaide.  He has a passion for supporting humans to live the lives they were to born to live using massage and soft tissue therapies.  He has a particular interest in assisting people to recover from stress, anxiety and trauma using compassionate and nurturing touch.

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