There are so many health benefits to massage, and additional benefits
of couples massage therapy for you and your partner. The crazy pace
the world has taken on has taken its toll on our health, and our
relationships. Taking time to give each other massage is an amazing way
to slow down, get more in tune with your partner, and reconnect in a
very profound way.
Stress affects our health adversely, few people argue that fact today. Some of the first symptoms people realize from increased levels of stress include increases in: blood pressure, tension in the body, GI distress, headaches and mood swings. Relationships certainly suffer from increased levels of stress as well, by decreasing our level of patience, and negatively affecting our communication patterns. By engaging our partners in some relaxing activities which are not only mindful, but helpful in directly affecting the nervous system in a positive way, we gain more control over our overall stress in our lives. Using Couples Massage Therapy to connect with our partner can be a very effective way to decrease stress hormone release, and increase some of the positive hormones in our bodies.
In our Couples Massage Therapy Classes, I like to share something funny
about stress in our 'cushy' lives in the US. Most of us are not often
threatened by issues of survival...like being chased by a bear, for
instance. HOWEVER, our bodies react with the same hormones when we have
an impending deadline that we are anxious about, or our boss is
reprimanding us. Our bodies don't know the difference! We still go
into a fight or flight mode, which means adrenaline and increased blood
flow to our extremities to flee (run or climb as fast as we can) or
fight the impending predator. Often, in a state of chronic elevated
stress, our bodies will over-secrete stress hormones, and begin to have
issues of chronic muscular pain or headaches.
This is where you can experience many benefits of Couples Massage
Therapy! It may not be possible for you to take the time or the money
to get a professional massage a few times a week...but it MAY be
completely reasonable for you and your partner to turn off the TV, or
take some time out from other common activities in your home and give
each other a massage once a week!
The feedback we have received from our Couples Massage Class participants since 2000 often include the fact that even the GIVER of the massage was more relaxed afterward. That’s amazing! You don't even have to be the one getting the massage, to gain benefits of reducing stress! The reason for this can be attributed to several aspects of the interaction during a massage with your partner. Usually when giving a massage, your mind is more present than usual. Studies have shown beneficial changes in blood composition, respiration and stress hormones in the body from a period of mindfulness or meditation. Giving a massage can be a very mindful practice. You are paying attention to the way you are moving your body, how your partner’s body feels, and watching for feedback from your partner. There’s a whole lot of non-verbal interaction going on during a massage! Typically, the giver of a massage, if they are focusing on the task at hand, will also deepen their breathing and generally slow their respiration. This has a direct biofeedback link with slowing heart rate and decreasing overall tension in the body. Who knew giving a massage could be so beneficial?
We haven’t even begun to share the benefits of the person RECEIVING
the massage! The health benefits of receiving massage range from
assisting circulation, reducing tension, and positively affecting the
hormones in the body, both reducing secretion of the bad, and increasing
the good. The practice of being present with your partner, and
learning a new way to communicate is helpful for strengthening a
relationship. We’ve witnessed every time we finish a class, couples
leaving a class are touching more and gazing into each others eyes more.
When we give and receive with our partner without expectation, it
allows us a safe emotional space, and deepens our levels of comfort, and
SO! If you are looking to find a way to increase your connection with your partner, reduce stress in your life, and enhance your health, the benefits of Couples Massage Therapy will likely produce more than you initially thought possible.
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