Increasingly, Americans are seeking massage therapy. Where I live, it’s hot right now. In New York and Northern New Jersey, most people you talk with go for massages. The majority of people I know opt for the day spa, often buying a monthly pass, a fairly new innovation. The drawbacks with this are many. For one, the chain day spas, which replaced individually owned day spas so common in the 1990s, mostly employ rookie LMTs, “green” massage therapists right out of school.
Another issue with the big chain day spas is that the monthly passes charge your card even if you don’t go for a massage. That isn’t really so fair. Worse yet, stories about on the Internet about people who tried canceling their membership. Guess what? The big chain massage places won;’t let you! So many people went on Yelp and elsewhere to complain about this absolutely immoral practice. Some have even had to cancel their credit cards.
Is there another option? Thankfully, the answer is that there is. On-demand massage is the new thing. This is much like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other app-based services. Actually, on-demand massage started before the Iphone or SmartPhone, and was web-based, and before that, if you wanted a massage, you could simply call a service. What makes this sort of massage therapy service differ so significantly is that the therapist travels to your location, serving customers at their homes, hotels, or places of work.
What could be better than massage at your place, on your terms? No traveling, no sitting in a crowded waiting room, no dirty massage rooms. Actually, there is a better choice: In-home couples massage. If you’re not familiar, couples massage is the practice of two individuals receiving massage next to one another, each by a different therapist. Why would that be better, those inexperienced with the service may wonder.
Of course, having a stranger in your home, or even at the spa, working on your sore muscles, is a bit odd. It’s just a strange situation. Who can really deny this? However, having someone you trust lying next to you, changes the equation drastically. It is possible to feel more relaxed, and get more out of the session, simply by sharing the experience with someone you already feel comfortable around. Best of all, these sorts of sessions are usually slightly discounted, and no one I’ve ever met wants to pay more when they can pay less.
Are there any drawbacks? If you choose to get a couples massage with your best friend, and she’s a chatty person who doesn’t ever stop talking, you may want to rethinking it. It would be best to share the time with someone who knows the value of silence, who understands that you’ll both get more out of the experience by following your breathe, by feeling your body letting go of tension, and most importantly of all, someone you actually want to become closer with. Because, of course, couples massages are a great way of sharing intimacy. Not the kind of intimacy you’re probably thinking of, but rather closeness, the kind of intimacy that two people share when they care deeply about one another.