Being massaged is by far one of the most relaxing, therapeutic and often necessary steps to self-care that people can participate in.
After all, there’s a ton of both physical and mental health benefits of getting a massage. Not only does the practice loosen up the muscles and joints, but it also combats headaches, anxiety, muscle strains/injuries, and a ton of other ailments (including pent-up stress).
Receiving a massage is the best, and people often pay good money for a half-hour or more of pure bliss.
However, what most people don’t realize is that GIVING a massage can be just as beneficial to health and wellness as receiving one.
By studying couples involved in a three-month long massage class, researchers from Northumbria University (in the U.K) were able to witness these health benefits of massaging one’s partner for themselves.
According to Medical News Today:
Lead researcher Sayuri Naruse and her colleague Dr. Mark Moss found that the course led to significant benefits; both giving and receiving a massage led to a reduction in stress and improvements in well-being in each partner.
“The benefits of receiving a massage from a professional are well documented, but this research shows how a similar outcome can be obtained by couples with little prior training and experience of the activity,” says Naruse.”
“The researchers came to their findings by enrolling 38 adults, or 19 couples, in a 3-week massage course.
Before the course, at the end of the course, and 3 weeks after its completion, participants were asked to report their physical and emotional well-being, perceived stress and coping, and relationship satisfaction.
A total of 74 percent of adults continued to massage at home after the course was completed.
The team found that the massage course was associated with a significant reduction in perceived stress and coping among the couples, and these effects persisted for 3 weeks after the course had ended.
Additionally, the couples reported significant improvements in physical and emotional well-being after each massage session.”
Importantly, the researchers found that these benefits were evident when partners performed a massage, as well as receiving one.
Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to directly link overall relationship happiness/satisfaction to giving each other massages. However, the researchers noted that the couples reported to be in happy, healthy relationships at the time of the study.
However, it can easily be inferred that giving a partner a massage could do wonders for a relationship. Not only would this lower the stress and anxiety of both partners, but, when continued consistently, these massages could add up to major changes in perceived stress and coping later on.
Not only that – it has also been shown that massaging a partner can bring the two emotionally closer as a couple. This is most likely due to the fact that massages lower stress levels, and make the recipient more comfortable in the presence of their partner.
Over time, as these massages continue, the partner being massaged is likely to feel even more easily comforted by their partner than ever before.
And, since massage is a natural sign of affection between partners, the act of giving/receiving a massage is typically easily enjoyed by couples.
Naruse concluded her findings with the following quote:
“These findings show that massage can be a simple and effective way for couples to improve their physical and mental well-being whilst showing affection for one another.
Massage is a cost-effective and pleasant intervention that isn’t just for a therapeutic setting but can be easily incorporated into a healthy couple’s daily routine.”