Taking time to give each other massage is a fantastic 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 stress levels include increases in blood pressure, tension in the body, GI distress, headaches, and mood swings.
Relationships indeed suffer from increased levels of stress and decrease our level of patience and negatively affect our communication patterns. Engaging our partners in some relaxing activities that are not only mindful but also indirectly affecting the nervous system, we gain more control over our overall stress in our lives.
In our Couples Massage Therapy Classes, I like to share something funny about stress in our cushy lives in India. Most of us are not often threatened by survival issues, 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 chronically 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 entirely reasonable for you and your partner to turn off the TV or take some time out from other everyday 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 includes 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 the benefits of reducing stress!
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 how 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 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 message! 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.
We've witnessed that every time we finish a class, couples leaving a class are touching more and gazing into each other's 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 connection.
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.