Protocol for Couples Massage
Seasoned spa-goers are not generally the ones who book couples massages. Guests who book couples massages view it as an afternoon activity to spend time together much like going to dinner or a movie. They are not likely to make spa-going a habit. A couple’s massage is more like an event for them.
You and your massage therapy colleague need to keep this in mind when servicing both partners. Your approach should be straight forward: greet the guests, show them to the couple’s suite and indicate which massage table you and the guest will be working.
Allow them to take a sensory journey and smell the aromatic oil blends. Let them decide which scent appeals to them. Let them know if they choose different scents, the aromas will not clash while they are receiving their massages. Have a consultation with the guest and find out if this is their first massage. Instruct them how you would like them to lie on the table. If they kept under garments on, draping should be modest around these areas. The wife does not want to look over at her husband whose briefs have been pushed down exposing his rear end when he purposely kept them on for a reason.
Remember, this is not a competition between you and the other massage therapist as to who can become the diva of the treatment room. It is not a contest as to who can elicit more sounds of relief (moans) coming from one partner or the other. I performed a couples massage with a massage therapist who had never done a couples massage. She clearly went overboard on the husband who was new to massage. She was performing Thai massage and stretching him into a pretzel to the point where his gasps and moans were embarrassing for both his wife and I. The wife did not enjoy her massage and scowled the entire time. The movements you perform should be on the same wave length as the other massage therapist so as not to cause distractions while the guests are trying to relax.
The techniques used should be standard Swedish or Deep Tissue with the added benefit of aromatherapy. Hot stone massage is another favorite but I do not schedule them in the same room as it becomes too hot and uncomfortable for the massage therapists who are working. It can also be disruptive to each guest if a massage therapist is retrieving stones from the heater.
You and the other massage therapist need to coordinate the couples massage so that each partner feels as though they received the same quality service as the other. Warm towels, tapotement, and the ability to address all areas of concern both supine and prone will be discussed by the couple after the treatment. The treatments do not have to be synchronized but you should take notice of anything that stands out from the other services provider’s technique and your own. Communicate. Tapotement is loud and can be heard by the guest at the adjacent massage table. They may wonder why they weren’t “chopped” like their partner was.
Conversation should be kept to a minimum and all communication with the guest should be in a whisper tone. Couples massage may be someone’s first introduction to massage. It may be something they have always wanted to experience but parts of it may be foreign to them. It is your responsibility to give a safe and comfortable treatment as you are the voice of this profession and your touch will influence this guest as to whether they will return.
Do you have any successful couples massage protocols that you would like to share? We'd love to read them so please post below.