Around Valentine’s Day, I am often asked, “Do you offer couples massages?” In short, the answer is no. I’ll explain why.
First, let’s talk about what it is about the idea of a couples massage (or really, any couples services), that is so intriguing. Maybe it is a way for you to spend quality time with a friend or loved one. Perhaps one of you is a massage newby and a little apprehensive about how it all works, so you want to be there for support. No matter what your unique idea of a couples massage should be, at the core it’s about spending quality time with your friend, partner, or loved one. So why on earth wouldn’t we want to be a part of this?
Because it’s not what most people actually get from a couples massage, And it’s certainly not what most places give.
Like any other holistic therapy service,traditional couples massage is meant to address more than just the needs of the physical body. It’s meant to emphasize the connection between 2 people, no matter the nature of their relationship. It is not (or, shouldn’t be) simply 2 people receiving massages in the same room. Rather, it is a modality in itself, much like Swedish or deep tissue massage.
Couples massage follows a routine, with the 2 individuals on the table looked upon as one. Beyond the physical, it is traditionally used to cultivate the energetic connection between 2 people. The techniques, flow, and strokes are applied to the recipients simultaneously. The therapists work methodically around each treatment table, working on the same body parts at the same time and for the same duration for both clients. The massage practitioners are linked by the intention they set before entering the room - the intention to acknowledge the connection between all things and to work as a conduit of this intention to encourage the bond between the clients.
If this was what actually happened in real world spas and other wellness centers, I’d happily be involved! But oftentimes, clients leave a couples service feeling as though something was missing. There can be, even if subconscious, an expectation of a wonderful, ritual-like service to honor their connection with each other. This isn’t what happens most of the time, though, and the 2 can leave feeling disconnected in some way.
Somewhere along the way, couples massages lost their traditional intention. They became another way to market to the masses, but gave no promise of what was meant to be cultivated. As we catapult toward Valentine’s Day, you’ll notice that marketing strategy in full force: services cost more simply because you’re in the same room with your partner and get chocolates and a sparkling beverage. I’ve watched it happen for the 20 years I’ve been in the industry. Of course it isn’t like this everywhere, but even if the bottom line isn’t the main concern, the traditional intention of a couples service isn’t, either.
In order to provide this intentional building of connection that should be at the heart of couple massages, the practitioners, not just the clients, also need to have built a relationship with each other. Cultivating this understanding is essential to providing the ritual that couple services should be. Most places do not offer the time to train practitioners in perfecting this service.
We used to provide couples massages at The Pushy Goat, but we realized we didn’t love it. And if we didn’t love it, how could you be expected to? We put our hearts into every service we provide. We genuinely care about our clients, and we want to be a part of your journey of positive growth and healing! It feels amazing to facilitate growth through education about massage, bodywork, and skin care services. We get jazzed when we feel a real connection to our clients!
We want to see you, and we welcome you and your friend or loved one to enjoy receiving services at the same time - but in separate treatment rooms. We believe that focusing on the individual allows us the best opportunity to provide exactly what YOU need. We want to allow you to peacefully and holistically “reset”, knowing that your partner is also experiencing this same quality care in their own space. You’ll both walk out feeling refreshed and ready to take on your next adventure together!
YOU time is just as important as the time you spend with others. The moments you spend focusing on self-care should be just that - all about you. Only after the self is replenished and healed can we truly be of benefit to others!