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Valentine's Day: what to expect during a couples massage

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If the traditional dinner and a movie seem all too familiar, it might be time to break out of that rut for Valentine’s Day and try something new. The day to celebrate love is the perfect excuse to book a couples’ massage. Not that you need an excuse – massage is more than just a pampering indulgence. Regular massage can provide relief from stress and pain, relaxation and long lasting effects for personal well-being. Can you think of a better way to enjoy quality time with a partner, loved one, friend or someone special?

Couples massages aren’t just offered at fancy spas; there are plenty of options around ranging from basic to luxury. You can receive a massage at a wellness center, massage studio, day or resort spa or even in your home. You can find independent massage therapists working for themselves or practicing out of a facility that offers massage and other spa treatments.

So what can you expect during a couples massage? A couples massage is generally offered in a private room that is large enough to accommodate side-by-side massage tables or in a special space dedicated to couples massages. Two therapists work on the couple simultaneously. Every spa or studio offers different pricing for their couples’ massages. If you’ve purchased a package or special deal, you might enjoy champagne or other beverage, fruit, chocolate, or goodies before or after your treatment. Your treatment might start with a foot soak or other add-on. If you want a basic couples’ massage without all the trimmings, just say so when you book the appointment.

Before the massage, your therapists step out of the room while you and your partner disrobe to your comfort level. You’ll get settled on the massage table and your therapist will knock before entering. During the massage, you’ll be professionally draped with sheets and/or blankets except the area that is being massaged. You can have a conversation with your partner or therapist or lose yourself silently in the treatment. Gentle music might be playing in the background and can be customized to your liking. Be sure to communicate your preferences to your therapist (deep tissue massage often carries an extra charge): pressure, lighting, music and warmth.

After the massage, your therapists will leave the room while you get dressed or put your robe back on. If there are relaxation facilities, you might be invited to hang out for a while and relax. You may want to shower (if available) or freshen up.

Tips for couples massage:

  • Appointments book up fast, especially for Valentine’s Day. As soon as you’ve found a therapist or place that you’d like to try, book quickly.
  • Allow extra time. Rushing into or out of a massage can defeat the purpose. Be sure you have a little extra time to decompress before the massage and take time to relax before re-entering reality post-massage.
  • Ask about the cancellation policy before booking and make sure you can live with the terms.
  • When determining your budget for your couples’ massage, factor in gratuities for your therapists. Gratuities are typically 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of your treatment or package, depending on your experience.

So whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or just because, take the opportunity to do something calming, relaxing and bonding for you and your significant other with a couple’s massage. It just might be what the doctor ordered!

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