Whether you're on a romantic getaway or simply treating yourself to an indulgent spa session, a couples massage is a great way to relax and rejuvenate both you and your loved one. Despite the suggestive name, couples massages aren't just for couples -- friends and family members can also enjoy this invigorating experience together.
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Couples massages are often provided at hotels, spas or massage practices. A larger room equipped with two massage beds provides the setting for the massage session. In establishments where couples massages are geared towards romantic partners, dim lighting, candles or a fireplace may accentuate the atmosphere. During a couples massage, one massage therapist is assigned to each individual so that massages can be provided simultaneously.
You and your partner may engage in a massage therapy session together in order to help each other feel more comfortable experiencing a massage; this is especially true if your partner is attending his first massage therapy session and will feel more at ease with you there. Couples massage can also be used as a way for you and a romantic partner, loved one or friend, to spend quality time together and become closer in your relationship.
For a couples session, massage therapy is usually intended for relaxation purposes rather than the healing of an injury. Swedish massage, the most common form of massage according to the American Massage Therapy Association, is often used in couples massage for its relaxing effects. Healing Lifestyles reports that less traditional forms of massage such as water shiatsu, or "watsu" can be used in couples sessions. This type of massage therapy is performed with the use of water jets in a shallow tub or pool.
There are a number of physical effects associated with massage therapy from which you and your loved one can benefit during your session. Massage Envy reports that scientific research supports the connection between massage therapy and short recovery periods for a variety of medical conditions. Among the conditions that may be eased due to massage therapy are musculo-skeletal disorders, fibromyalgia, insomnia, asthma, arthritis and depression. Massage therapy has also been shown to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system.
Seek out a licensed massage therapist for your couples session. The AMTA offers a free online database and toll-free phone number which lists the licensed massage therapists in a particular geographic area. Using a massage therapist who is licensed and complies with state or local regulations ensures that you will receive a professional, beneficial experience. If you plan to receive a specific type of massage, such as water shiatsu, inquire with the therapist about her specific training in that technique.