Couples Massage And Further Study: Could Having Sessions Together Be Demonstrated To Have Synergistic, Rather Than Additive, Effects?

'Couple' Image By Mr. Hayata

‘Couple’ Image By Mr. Hayata

Couples Massage is definitely a term that has finally become a bit more widely known as of late.  It’s definitely a contemporary term, jargon for fast-paced-urban-living-service-oriented life in  the 2010s.

One thing that most couples can agree on is that an evening of side-by-side Therapeutic Massage is a great way to spend time together.  Relaxing together is great.

Relatively few studies have been conducted about Therapeutic Massage, as compared with  other healing modalities.  At Massage-Studies.NJMassage.Info, we have a listing of hundreds of studies involving Massage Therapy, most published  within the last ten years.  And, more are added every week!  However, while the number of study abstracts listed  grow exponentially, it is still an unfamiliar  topic for most researchers, in most settings.

Swedish-Couples-Massage-By-Foundry-Park-Inn

Swedish Couples Massage by Foundry Park Inn

So far, I’ve never read  a study concerning  how Couples Massage may affect healing.  By this, I am really asking whether side-by-side Therapeutic Massage, with someone you feel close with (this is key; it need not be a romantic couple – Moms and daughters, siblings, are both good examples!), can result in greater benefits than having the massage sessions alone.

Would the results show that individuals relax more after a Couples Massage session, as compared with traditional massage with one therapist?  Or would the results suggest that there is an even stronger healing trend, affecting more than merely relaxation?  Possibly, even stronger  pain relief or  a greater decrease in suffering associated with specific conditions, would be more evident   after a Couples Massage session.

Couple-Tasting-The-Sun-By-Pedro-Ribeiro-SimõesPersonally, I think that the answer may be yes.  My observations doing At Home Couples Massage in New Jersey for the last ten years lead me to wonder if there is some sort of link between having a Therapeutic Massage session with someone you trust and love, and getting more out of the session, overall.

It could simply be that people relax more around someone they know and trust, and this accounts for the difference, if there is one.   Maybe the feelings of positivity and joy usually associated with being near a loved one change a person’s biochemistry?  Who knows.  Without any evidence, these are just guesses.

Mother-Daughter Side-By-Side Therapeutic Massage

Mother-Daughter Side-By-Side Therapeutic Massage

First, a study must be conducted to ascertain if such a correlation exists between greater gains from a session of Side-By-Side Couples Therapeutic Massage than traditional massage sessions. Of course, we must also be prepared for data that suggests just the opposite, that Therapeutic Massage provided alone is best.

More than likely, such a study will not happen any time soon.  But then again, such an  assumption may be premature.  Ten years ago, most Massage Therapists would not have thought that most of the studies involving Therapeutic Massage that now exist would ever have been conducted.  So considering that fact, we may know a lot more about Massage Therapy before very long.

Interest is growing in alternative healing modalities, as well as about integrating them into the Health Care setting.  Therapeutic Massage is  among the most promising of possible topics for future research.   This is so because thus  far, many  studies have yielded positive results, ranging from observable positive  chemical changes in an individual’s blood and brain chemistry, to positive observable changes in blood pressure, cognition, emotion, and a lot more.   It almost seems overwhelming!

 

Therapeutic Massage should be Evidence-Based.  That isn’t to suggest that for thousands of years, practitioners of Therapeutic Massage were not helping those who sought  treatment.  It’s just that any/all  evidence has been anecdotal until fairly recently, passed down through tradition, word-of-mouth, drawings and diagrams, and many detailed texts.

Couples Massage. Image by Collin Parker.

Couples Massage. Image by Collin Parker at http://costculator.com/massage/

Still, Western Medicine  demands a higher standard of proof for claims.  Finally, as study after study shows promising results for Massage Therapy and healing, we  are arriving at such a place.  Will we one day find out that Couples Massage is more effective, and Massage is a wonderful gift of healing that is best sharing with someone you love, in order to make the most gains?

Possibly.

Until that time, however, I will rely on anecdotal evidence and intuition  and consider that the answer has  a good possibility of being affirmative as to  whether Couples Massage benefits clients more than customary massage sessions conducted without their loved one beside them.  And I think many clients and Massage Therapists would agree.

Even so, we could all be incorrect.  Sure; that’s always a possibility. However, in this case it seems less than equally likely.   Of course, in the interest of remaining objective, we must conclude with a sigh, resigned to knowing that, at this point in time,  we just don’t know.  And of course, if such a study is ever conducted, at most we will likely only discover a propensity, or a trend, either positive or negative, regarding Couples Massage and greater measurable benefits.

Couple's Massage, Side By Side At Foundry Park Inn.

Couple’s Massage, Side By Side At Foundry Park Inn.

After all, some clients may prefer solitude; moments of  quiet and aloneness are healing, also.  And just because a person benefits more from Couples Massage one time, it does not necessarily follow that at all future times, such a session would be most beneficial.  In the end, no matter what we learn through any sort of study, it is best to remember that every client  is an individual with unique qualities and needs, and must be respected as such.

(C) 2015 H Miller, NJmassage.info

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