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In the wellness house where I have a massage studio, both men and women come in to buy massages for their significant others. The intent of these gifts are wonderful. The significant others are always grateful. However, there are times in massage sessions where a client will say, “I wish my husband or wife could massage me the way you do.” They say, “You have this way of connecting to my body that my partner does not.” Those comments illustrate what is often times missing between many couples – a deeper, loving, physical connection.
Because they want that level of connection with each other, many couples are requesting that I teach them how to massage each other. There is a deeper message that is being communicated to me from couples, and not just male and female couples either – all variation of couples. Women tend to receive massage more. So for their men, I say that one of the greatest gifts a man can give his woman is being a man who touches and gives massage with the intent of having her feel good, all without wanting sex afterwards. This intent can apply to any variation of couple. It’s simply genuine intent and open heart space that people wish to feel, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. This is why professional massage feels so good. Many of us massage therapists have trained ourselves with that level of intention and presence. I teach clients that giving your partner loving, therapeutic touch is much less expensive (and more fun) than buying “things,” like an expensive dinner or flowers, especially if funds are limited.
Lately, stress levels for so many are higher than ever. For couples, though, during high stress times, the physical, intimate connection is what often times gets neglected first. Luckily now in society it is becoming widely accepted that therapeutic massage and touch are ways to decrease stress levels. Loving, therapeutic touch can always be available between two people. The benefits of massage are infinite; physiological, emotional, and physical. In addition, the boundless loving energy that can be exchanged between two people is amazing. Everything is linked. The mind/body are one. When you affect one area, you always affect the others. Here are just a few of the benefits of massage: a physiological benefit is that touch releases serotonin in the body, and serotonin is the “feel good” chemical. This connects right to the emotional benefit of touch; it feels good, it brings happiness. The physical benefit when the body is touched is that muscles will relax, thus decreasing tightness. This decreases pain in the body. It’s always a cyclical effect.
Clients will say to me, “I can’t massage my partner because I don’t have strong hands,” or “My partner just doesn’t know how to get to those tight spots.” There are ways to train oneself so those problems do not affect the level of connection between a couple. The real goal is staying connected with the intent of love and presence, because energy goes where thoughts (intent) flows. You can have tiny hands and still give an excellent massage.
Like I mentioned above, nothing beats getting a high quality therapeutic massage. You get presence, experience, plus the breadth of knowledge of a professional massage therapist. All this, without having to give back. You lay on the massage table and drift off into dream land, trusting that the massage therapist will attune to you and your body and give you the love and focus you need. If you have a truly skilled massage therapist, then he or she will know the power of giving massage from an open heart. You can sense in anyone’s touch what their intent is. The warmth of their heart will flow through their hands.
Imagine that you and your partner have all those qualities. It is possible. This is where intent comes into play. In your mind’s eye, imagine how wonderful it feels receiving loving, therapeutic touch from a trusted partner. You can still drift into dream land. Trust that your partner is giving to you because they want to make you feel good and you don’t have to give back. Then practice giving touch to them the same way.
There are many skills and techniques one can learn to give excellent therapeutic touch for helping each other de-stress and relax. First, though, it really comes down to heart space with the ebb and flow of giving and receiving. Like I said, energy flows where intent goes. If you want to make your partner feel good, then your partner will feel good. This open heart space coupled with communication is key for navigating the art of giving and receiving.
Especially during stressful times, staying lovingly connected is one of the most important things we can do for each other. This loving connection often replaces material things. Plus, that abundant energy is returned to us in profound ways. Next time you are stressed, maybe just let that stress go. Focus with your partner on giving and receiving therapeutic touch. You might be surprised at how it can relax both of you.
Cheri Davis is a massage therapist, yogini and mind/body awareness educator here in Redding. She has a deep passion for the mind/body connection. Using her body as a medium for a creative expression, Cheri loves to shakti dance, practice yoga, and meditate. Like a butterfly to a flower, she tastes the earth with her feet, and is always playing outside in nature. Cheri is the owner of Advanced Massage Solutions and Yoga, located in the historic McCormick mansion in downtown Redding. Check out her website at www.advancedmassagesolutions.com.
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