Wifey Wednesday: Why Massage Can SuperCharge a Marriage

WifeyWednesday175It’s Wednesday, the day when I always talk marriage! And today I thought I’d share about one of my favourite parts about being married: massages.

I carry stress in my shoulders and back, and I’ve actually thrown out my lower back four times in the last two years–to the extent that I have to lie flat on my back for several days. My husband has dutifully stepped up to the plate and gives me an awesome massage several times a week, and it’s starting to prevent the back spasms.

But even more lovely, it sends my nerves a-firing! And that’s good, because I’m one of those type-A personalities who focuses intensely at whatever it is I’m doing, so I find it very hard to transition the the “next” thing. That’s probably why I write so much about how to prepare for sex earlier in the day, or how to get your head in the game. It’s challenging for me.

I’ve found that massage helps me immensely, though, because I start focusing on how my body feels. And when I’m focusing on my body, rather than my to-do list, my libido often kicks in!

My next goal is to start massaging my husband.

I’ve only done it a few times because, to be honest, he finds other physical things more relaxing. :) But I figure–why not prolong the contact? Why not massage for a while first before we move on to the main event–wouldn’t that be more intimate, more relaxing, and more fun? So I’m going to suggest it.

But I don’t just mean I’ll rub his back for five minutes. I mean I want to learn how to stretch those 5 minutes into a 10, 15… 20 minute massage. Because then we have this lovely experience to build trust, supercharge your intimacy and leave the two of us relaxed and bonded.

Melt — Massage for Couples — Click Here

Massage in Marriage

1. Massaging each other is an opportunity to slow down together

High-speed internet. 24 hour email access. Real-time status updates. We live in a fast-paced world. It can be hard to switch off and slow down when our brains are accustomed to multi-tasking at a hundred miles an hour, all day, every day.

Sitting down to a decadent massage together provides a rare opportunity to stop and be together, focused entirely on each other. For just 30 minutes, you can dim the lights, play some soft music and treat each other to a muscle-melting massage.

Everything else can just fade away and the two of you can just breathe, and be.

2. Massage in marriage will bring you deliciously closer together

There’s a slew of research to show that giving your spouse a massage enhances your intimate connection and builds trust in your marriage.

Intimacy is a requirement for healthy relationships, but it doesn’t always come automatically. We need to make space and time to foster our intimate connections, and massaging each other is one very simple way to do that.

On top of the time you spend together, you very literally have your hands on each other, helping to reinforce the intimate bond. As you start to work knots from aching muscles and your partner falls back into you, you can take that as a sign of complete trust. Keith really likes the sounds I make, too! :)

The entire experience is seriously incredible. And, if you are both so inclined, it can lead to a wonderfully intimate and steamy sex session, too.

3. Massage will make your spouse feel appreciated

We don’t mean to take our nearest and dearest for granted, but sometimes after years in a marriage, we might slip up on that front every now and then.

Treating your husband to a massage is a beautiful way to show him that he’s very much appreciated and loved. In fact it hits almost every Love Language, if you think about it.

Massage very clearly speaks to the Physical Touch love language, of course. But if you think about it, it’s also Quality Time spent together, it’s an Act of Service (especially if you don’t ask for one in return!) and if you play your cards right it can make for a gorgeous gift… just package up some massage oil and a scented candle in a big bow and then go on to actually massage your husband and watch him melt with joy.

One thing I’ve realized after several treatments by Registered Massage Therapists over this last year, though, is that you can do massage wrong. And when you do it right, it doesn’t hurt the person doing the massaging (how often have you tried to massage and ended up with a sore hand or a sore thumb?). Massaging properly is easier than you think!

When Denis Merkas, a Registered Massage Therapist, contacted me about the MELT: Massage for Couples video series  he did with his wife Emma, I was really excited (and not just because I got to watch the videos, too!). I really do think this can lead to closer marriages, and can help to reduce stress for both of you. If you’re worried that your husband will never understand how much you need massage, asking him to watch these with you and practice what you’ve learned together is a great way to bring something that most of us sorely need into our marriage.

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Here are a few things I loved about the MELT series:

1. Denis keeps things PG-rated.

Sure, there’s romantic music and the couple is massaging each other, but clothes stay on, and the focus is on learning how to give a massage. (yes, she’s wearing a strapless top, but that’s so you can see the proper technique on her shoulders). As Denis says, if things lead somewhere else, that’s fine–but that’s not what his video series is trying to teach you. So you don’t have to worry that this is pornographic in nature! It isn’t–it really is just about learning technique.

2. I learned that I was seriously overemphasizing the Deep Tissue stuff–so I was massaging wrong

Because I usually beg Keith to give me a massage when I’m in agony, he usually plunges right to deep tissue stuff. But what I’ve learned is that the LO-O-O-NG strokes (Denis calls them “Long Sexy Strokes”!) are so important first. Now when I’m massaging my girls (my oldest daughter especially carries a ton of tension in her shoulders and upper back, too), I’m going to start with these long strokes. It’s so much more effective.

3. The videos are short to watch together

It’s not like you have to sit through an hour long video or anything. Each video is under 5 minutes, and focuses on learning one technique. About 6 videos form a series, and there are 3 series altogether: The Basic Strokes, the Highlights, and the Deep Tissue stuff.

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The Basic Strokes Series teaches you how to actually move your hands to achieve maximum impact–and maximum ooohs and aaaahs. You watch 7 short videos and learn a new technique with each one, and then at the end there’s a 15 minute video that features a routine using all your new techniques.

The Highlights Series is my favourite one. It features special massage techniques for special places–the neck, the arms, the forehead, the rotator cuff. We were actually pretty good at the Deep Tissue massage, but I found some places I didn’t even know I hurt that probably have never been relaxed my whole life. Again, after you watch the nine short videos in this series, there’s a 15 minute massage routine you can do that incorporates all the things you’ve learned.

The Deep Tissue Series focuses on how to use your thumbs to really work out knots. It’s so helpful–and at the end is a 30 minute routine that you can use on each other.

4. Everything builds on each other

The routines at the end of each series incorporate everything you’ve already learned, and so it all builds. Each night you can feel like you’ve learned something new, but at the end of the series you’ll feel as if you’ve really mastered something.

5. They’re easy to watch together and do together.

You just watch one of the short ones a night and then practice on each other. Because you’re watching the technique, it’s easy to say, “I’ll go first, then you try it.” Or, to make it more enticing for him, let him massage you first. That way you can’t fall asleep because you have to massage him afterwards–so he won’t worry that if he massages you the night will be over because you’ll be in dreamland.

I’ve been saying a lot on this blog that it is so important to start going to bed together at the same time so that you have opportunity to connect. Instead of watching one more show on Netflix, or browsing Pinterest, or playing one more video game, this gives you a reason to head to bed. You watch a video, pull out some massage oil, and then do it! And as you touch, it does help nerves to fire. If that leads to something else, woo hoo!

As someone who does carry a lot of stress physically, massage is such a service to me and helps me feel closer to my husband. So many men carry stress on their backs and necks, too, and if we can learn to release that, we can actually change the dynamic in the marriage.

I really encourage you to check out MELT: Massage for Couples.

 

A special promotion has been organised for readers of To Love, Honor and Vacuum, with 50% off retail price for LIFETIME video access to some incredible massage techniques. Visit MELT: Massage for Couples.

Because, as Denis and Emma, the creators of MELT say, every couple deserves a little massage.

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 I’m actually buying a few of these video series myself to give as wedding presents! I like helping people get their marriages off to a good start, so I’ll put an envelope with instructions on how to access the video series in a basket, along with some massage oil, some candles, and a CD with really relaxing music. I think it’ll make a unique and awesome wedding gift! Buy it now as a gift you can give, too.

And now let me get a little more personal. Today is one of the hardest days in a long time for me. Today would have been my son’s eighteenth birthday. I’ll tell you more about him tomorrow, but I’ve been feeling out of sorts for a while now. But what I find is that when we’re going through grief, having someone actually touch you is so incredibly healing, even if you’re tearing up through it. I find massage to be an act of love, and maybe if we included more acts of love in our marriages, we’d find the day to day stresses so much easier to deal with.

Now let me know: do you incorporate massage into your marriage? How does it work for you?

Comments

  1. I’ve been looking for an idea for us to do a date night. At home. As we don’t really have anyone to leave Baby Girl with, but something that will build intimacy and help us bond and trust each other. And this is a perfect idea. Thank you… :)
    The Baby Mama recently posted…Day 20:  Prayer for YouMy Profile

  2. Massage is a great idea for couples of all ages. Older couples have accumulated a lifetime of injuries that can flare up, such as the one in my shoulder for which I am seeing a massage therapist today!

    My husband carries stress in the neck and our chiropractor has taught me some muscle stretching massage techniques that are helping tremendously; after 2-3 minutes we both see an increased range of motion.

    It’s hard to feel romantic when the body is uncomfortable. I want this series! Thank you so much for offering it and letting us know.

  3. My heart goes out to you and your family today. I pray you feel His arms around you.
    As for massge, I’m very interested in these videos as my massage is not something that comes easily to my husband. Thank you for this recommendation. Maybe I’ll call them a belated anniversary gift for us :)
    Tessa W recently posted…First Time Obedience vs Offering GraceMy Profile

  4. I am very sorry, too, for what you are going through. I pray God will send unexpected comforts your way today.
    Sharon Mavis recently posted…Are you in touch with your heart?My Profile

  5. kristin stratos says:

    We love massages with lots of coconut oil, my husband has the BEST hands and gives great back rubs! THey usually have happy endings too! :) I need to watch the videos and see how to strengthen my hands so I can return the favor!
    Feel better soon!

  6. Massage sounds like another wonderful way to connect. Can’t wait to try it! Bed time at the same time is a problem for me (I’m a night owl), but this might be a great way to fix that. Thank you for all you do, Sheila.

    You and you family are in my prayers.

    • Thanks, Silvia. And YES, bedtime at the same time is a challenge! I think if we have something to do it really helps.

  7. My husband is the king of massage! :) I love it but I don’t get to do it for him often because I get sore hands and muscles. I see that’s not an excuse once i learn how to do it right! I will check out the link, thanks.

    I just read an older post, 2010 I think, where you shared about your grief, my heart went out for you. Lifting you up in prayer today.
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Your Husband Wants Your Respect, More than Your LoveMy Profile

  8. Praying for you today!!!!! I’m so sorry!
    Darby Dugger recently posted…The Best Yes {Giveaway}My Profile

  9. From a man’s perspective, I can’t encourage you enough to give your husband a passionate massage that leads somewhere. It’ll make him feel like you really love him.

    I give my wife massages often, and I make sure they are at least an hour long. If you want to make your husband melt in your hands, then give him a massage that he will never forget … And then repeat often.

  10. I bought the videos, but we haven’t watched them yet. My husband is a terrible massager. (And yes, he knows and will not have a problem with me announcing that publicly.) And since I like my massage harder, I’m usually too tough with him. So I’m looking forward to watch the MELT series together and seeing how the videos can help. If I remember correctly, Oxytocin (that great bonding chemical) is also released through prolonged touch. Hello, massage!
    J. Parker (@HotHolyHumorous) recently posted…What Jesus’ Family Tree Tells Me about SexualityMy Profile

  11. Do you know if you can only purchase one set of the videos at the discount price? A friend and I were wanting to purchase this as a gift for another friend who is getting married soon, but can’t seem to find an option to get it (unless we have it emailed directly to her) and she’s not getting married until January. Any suggestions on what we can do?

    Love your blog and your Good Girl’s Guide book — it has helped my marriage tremendously, and it’s also my go-to gift for brides-to-be! :D

  12. Love this idea! When we were first married, we saw a course like this offered at our local community college, but somehow we weren’t able to take it and I’ve never seen it again. I’ve kicked myself a few times for not trying harder to make it work. :) So thanks for the great deal! Date-nights-in are always great as we have 3 kids and babysitters get expensive.
    Bonnie Way recently posted…Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn MackelMy Profile

  13. This is the absolute best article. We often think about how massage therapy will help “us” feel better, but this article clearl demonstrates how massage can help our relationships, too, which ultimately helps everyone! In today’s society, it’s hard enough to keep marriages/relationships together, and every bit of advice we can get helps. Thank you for this article! http://www.SpaPocket.com

  14. Thank you for your post on the M.E.L.T massage classes. My husband and I are loving partaking in it. I must say that it has brought us even closer to each other than before.

  15. Thank you for sharing this great resource!! I bought it at the discount and I hope we can start watching and practicing soon. I love my dear husband so much and I want to find more ways to show it…plus I do crave his touch (at non-sexual times as well as sexual) and this will give us more opportunities to connect. My dh is a former SA/PA and S. anorexic who has several years of good recovery, I am so thankful to say – God has blessed us so much on this journey. However, that being said, due to all of that stuff we are still rather tentative and less than consistent with our sexual relating. On top of that, I am a busy homeschool mom, and also I’m dealing with a chronic illness that brings on a lot of aching and fatigue, plus I am perimenopausal. My hope is that the massage videos will give us more relaxing non-sexual touch opportunities and that those will lead to more frequent lovemaking – which will make both of us feel happier and more connected, and may help me to feel healthier too. THANK YOU again, Sheila. You are one of my favorite bloggers on ALL topics! :)

  16. Thank you for sharing this! My husband and I both speak the love language of physical touch so its a great way for us to reconnect at the end of the day. We both carry a lot of stress over from our day jobs (System Admin and Homeschool Mom of 4) so its a great way for us to unwind and relax with this act of service.

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