February 14 is Valentine’s Day. I predict that on that day, the price of roses will increase substantially. It happens every year. People who can’t think of an inspired gift reach for roses, and the florists see them coming. This year, why not skip the overpriced roses and give your valentine a massage?
There are two ways to approach it. The first is to learn how to give a massage yourself. You have about 10 days. That’s not enough time to become a qualified massage therapist. But if you get some good advice and proceed carefully, you can probably give your loved one a pleasant experience without injury. Here’s a Wikihow page that provides a step-by-step guide.
Pay attention when the guide advises you to check with your partner about what they want and how they want it. Even in a long-term intimate relationship, it can be easy to cross boundaries and make your partner uncomfortable. That sort of defeats the purpose of a Valentine’s gift.
Here are some other pointers. Start with your partner’s lower back. Lower back pain is one of the most common of human conditions. And chances are good you can give your partner some immediate relief by enabling some relaxation in that region.
Next, try to aim the majority of your strokes in the direction of your partner’s heart. The slight pressure you provide on the skin’s surface — which is closer to the veins than the arteries — can help push your partner’s blood back toward the heart, benefiting circulation.
My last pointer is to keep the pressure light. If you’re not trained in massage therapy, giving a deep tissue massage can be dangerous and can lead to injury. That would make the worst Valentine’s Day ever.
Give Your Valentine a Massage
The second way to approach giving a massage is to purchase one from Peak Recovery & Health Center. Our massage therapists are fully trained and licensed, and you can be sure your valentine will be in good hands, both metaphorically and actually. We offer gift cards, and even if you’re not a Peak member, you can arrange a massage that costs less than the going price of two dozen roses.
What are you really giving when you give your valentine a professional massage? First, you’re giving relief from almost any kind of pain, including back pain, arthritis, and headaches. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Therapeutic massage may relieve pain by way of several mechanisms, including relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints; relieving stress and anxiety; and possibly helping to ‘close the pain gate’ by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain.”
Second, massage can provide relief from anxiety. “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.” AMTA provides a laundry list of research studies in support of its position.
Third, massage lowers blood pressure. A 2013 study of patients with high blood pressure found that regular massage not only lowered blood pressure immediately, but that the effect persisted between massages.
In short, when you give your valentine a professional massage, you’re not just providing a pleasant experience, you’re giving the gift of wellness. It will be a Valentine’s Day to remember.