By Jennifer Shaw, Austin Massage Therapist and Guest Blogger
Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, and the realization of the next Hallmark holiday is probably just at the fringes of your mind. Soon, you’ll be considering chocolates in line at the supermarket check out, making dinner reservations and chasing down the last dozen roses in the city. Some of you may even book a couples massage at a swank spa, and that’s where I’ll stop you. There is a time and place for professional massage therapy, but for Valentine’s Day, you can do this – and you should.
Massage therapy is an effective way to promote bonding between couples, and what better opportunity for it than Valentine’s Day? Intimidated? Don’t be. Providing loving, therapeutic touch for someone you care about is probably much easier than you’d expect. But just in case you are still nervous, here are three tips to getting comfortable enough with massage therapy to do it yourself.
- Do some covert research. In other words, go get a massage! But don’t fall asleep. A large part of massage school is spent at the massage table – both on it and next to it – so massage therapy students receive just as much massage as they give. During your massage session, be a massage school student and notice what your massage therapist does and what movements feel good to you. Ask a couple of questions at the end of your massage session.
- Schedule your massage. You will need an hour or more for your massage at a time when you know you will not be distracted. Plan it. Do not plan to give your massage when you are expecting an important phone call or right after a steak dinner – you’ll probably be sleepy. While massage is not necessarily hard, it is intuitive, which means you’ll need to focus on what you’re doing – especially if you expect your massage to be meaningful.
- Talk. When you go into a spa for a massage, you probably end up face down and half-asleep before you know it. But when you are trading massage with your Valentine, you should talk – softly and periodically. It is important, since you don’t really know what you are doing, that you ask questions like, “How does that feel?” “Am I pushing too hard?” Or, “Are you comfortable?” Ask them to tell you when you do something they like or something you don’t.
If you have access to how-to massage books or videos, those can be helpful, too, but you shouldn’t worry too much about specific massage techniques. When it comes down to it, the best part of your massage will be that you’re doing it.
Maybe you want your Valentine to learn how to massage you! Join Lauterstein-Conway Massage School on February 12th from 6:30 – 9pm for our annual Massage for Couples class.