What Is a Couples Massage?

Thinking of treating your partner (and yourself) to a couples massage? Here’s everything you need to know
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Paired

A couples massage is the perfect way to relax, unwind and spend quality time with your partner. Whether you’re looking for a rainy day date idea or something special to do for your anniversary, there’s nothing like an opportunity to be pampered.

What are the benefits of a couples massage?

It’s not always easy to schedule quality time with your partner. Putting a couples massage in the diary gives you a shared experience to look forward to that won’t get lost in the other stresses of daily life.

The benefits of a couples massage include the increase of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine — the so-called “happy hormones” that promote positive feelings, relaxation, and social bonding. 

Massage has also been shown to decrease cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. These effects make massage a great self-care tool with a positive impact on well-being. When experienced together with your partner, the effect is even stronger. Simultaneous release of positive hormones, and decrease of cortisol, create a bonding experience with your loved one. This can improve your romantic connection and intimacy way beyond the massage room.

Taking time to relax together can be rejuvenating for both people as individuals, as well as the relationship. Long-term couples may find it hard to think of physical gift ideas or new date night plans. A relaxing massage focused on well-being and bonding could be the perfect treat.

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What to expect at a couples massage

If it’s your first time having a couples massage, you may be wondering what to expect. There are different types of massage therapy and settings, so you can choose what works best for you and your partner.

How do couples' massages work?

Couples massage involves two partners on side-by-side massage tables, so you can experience the physical and emotional benefits at the same time. The massage therapist will create a relaxing environment, often with candles, essential oils, and possibly ambient music.

Different therapists and locations offer different massage services, so ask in advance about the options available. Couples massages usually take place in a private room in a hotel or spa, creating an intimate bonding experience. Some massage services can also be enjoyed at home, or in your hotel room on vacation.

What are some different types of couples massage?

There are different types of couples massage, so it’s worth discussing preferences with your partner in advance. Swedish massage is the most common, and focuses on relaxation and increased circulation. 

Aromatherapy massages use essential oils, which can work on different needs like stress relief or upping energy. 

Another great option is a hot stone massage, using stones to address different muscles and pressure points. If you’re looking for a more intense massage experience to handle an injury or provide pain relief, consider a deep-tissue massage.

Some spas or massage therapists have different specialties, so shop around!

Do you wear clothes at a couples massage?

Most massages involve removing all clothes except your underwear. Some hotels or day spas may provide disposable underwear or robes. Don’t worry about feeling self-conscious — the massage therapist will work on one part of the body at a time, and keep the rest discreetly covered.

We recommend wearing loose-fitting clothes to the massage. Most massages involve oils or other lotions, which won’t always be fully removed before you get dressed again. Wear clothes that won’t come in too much contact with your skin, or which you don’t mind getting oily! It’s also a good idea to tie up or braid long hair, to protect it and keep it out of the massage therapist’s way.

Massages may feel glamorous but they can also be sweaty, or so relaxing you fall asleep. Wearing make-up may not be the best idea. Similarly, jewelry such as earrings and necklaces might be damaged by oils or stop the massage therapist from doing their job. If you’re planning dinner or drinks after your romantic massage, bring your accessories with you.

When should we have a couples massage?

Whether you’re in the mood to celebrate, reconnect, or just relax, a couples massage is great for any occasion. Treat your partner with a gift card to a specific massage experience for Valentine’s Day, their birthday, or Christmas gift, or just to show your appreciation for them anytime.

On the other hand, you might prefer to enjoy choosing and booking the massage together. Couples massage is also a great way to celebrate an anniversary or engagement or add some luxury to a weekend getaway or longer vacation.

Depending on the hotel or day spa, you can enjoy a couples massage as part of a wider spa experience. Some locations offer a sauna, manicures, pedicures or skincare treatments, or other services like reflexology. Turn your couples massage into a luxury pampering session for the ultimate self-care indulgence.

If budget or time is a concern, fit a couples massage into a busy schedule by booking a shorter experience. Some massage therapists offer 30-minute or 60-minute massage services, so you could even slot some much-needed relaxation into your lunch break. The rejuvenating effect and bonding experience with your partner will be worth making time for.

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