It’s no secret that getting a massage is a great way to feel relaxed and renewed. But a new study shows that skipping the expensive salon and letting your partner do the rubbing could have even greater benefits—not just for the person getting massaged, but for your relationship as a whole.
The study, presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference in Brighton, England, involved a group of 38 participants (19 couples) who answered questionnaires assessing their physical and mental wellbeing, including stress levels, mental clarity, mood, and relationship satisfaction before and after massage sessions with their partner, according to
The results? Both partners saw improvement in overall wellbeing, stress, and coping abilities after each massage session, and the effects remained even three weeks later.
The fascinating part is that even the partner who was giving the massage saw improvement in these areas, as each massage session was essentially working to make the relationship stronger and more stable. “These findings show that massage can be a simple and effective way for couples to improve their physical and mental wellbeing whilst showing affection for one another,” lead researcher Sayuri Naruse of Northumbria University told
If you’re open to massaging your partner but are worried that you won’t know what you’re doing, don’t fret. There are
online massage courses
geared toward couples and
you can download for guidance. “It is a bit like cooking,” Naruse told
“Anybody can cook, but not everyone can cook a nice meal without a bit of patience or experience.”
A little effort goes a long way. Naruse’s research also shows that the effects of couples massage therapy can be long-lasting, with 74 percent of participants in her study continuing to use massage after the course was over. Find time to work it into your daily routine, she suggests. “We should not underestimate the power of touch.”
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