Massage therapists will often take continuing education classes to learn new or improve techniques, as well as to increase business with the aim of always striving to better serve clients and their needs. One great way to offer something a little bit different, and perhaps to introduce massage to someone who has never experienced its therapeutic value, is through couples massage.
What Is Couple’s Massage?
Simply put, couple’s massage is one session given to two individuals at the same time, usually in the same room, by two massage therapists working in tandem. The massage room for a couple’s massage is larger than for a single person massage, allowing for two massage tables, usually side by side, with enough room for two massage therapists to work comfortably at the same time. An alternative would be to offer this service on an out-call basis.
Ideally, the massage therapists are working at about the same speed, doing similar strokes on the same parts of the body. A traditional, relaxing Swedish massage, with its long relaxing stokes (or some variation thereof) is well-suited to this type of session. Deep tissue massage, sports techniques or other stimulating massage styles are generally not suited for couple’s massage.
Spas are often the places offering couple’s massage sessions, but it needn’t be the only venue. A massage therapist with a private practice may include it in the menu of services presented to clients. The room should be less clinical in appearance, perhaps with soft lighting, candles, ambient music. Linens should be prettier, with soft prints. Fresh flowers are nice, but in most cases should be avoided because of possible allergic reactions.
Marketing couple’s massage sessions needn’t be difficult, though for some it might be challenging. The perception of some clients may be that a couple’s massage has a sexual element to it. In a spa or resort setting, a couple’s massage may be offered as part of a romantic getaway or honeymoon type package, but in a private practice or day spa, it needs to be made clear that this is a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
Couple’s massage may, at first glance, seem to be geared toward a romantically involved couple. On the contrary, couples massage sessions can be equally enjoyable for a mother/daughter day, sisters, a girlfriends’ day out, same sex couples – or any two individuals wanting a shared relaxing and therapeutic experience.
As an extra enticement, the massage therapist could offer some quiet time to enjoy a serving of herbal tea and cookies or fruit to compliment the massage and allow the clients to continue the experience without having to jump right up and leave.
As for pricing the session, it can be done several ways. Only the business owner can ultimately decide what is best. The least used is offering the session at a price less than two individual massages. This might be offered as a first time, introductory price or as a special to long time clients. It could also be offered as a “buy one get one free” special. Of course this means that one or both of the massage therapists will have to take a cut in his or her fee.
Usually a couple’s massage will be priced at a slightly higher cost, as part of a package. This may be justified by offering a slightly longer session for this package than for an individual one, offering special amenities, such as aromatherapy or the aforementioned tea and snacks, and including a small gift bag with massage lotions, a music CD, or a discount coupon for a future session.
Include all the pertinent information in your standard brochure, or make up a special flyer for upcoming holidays or special events. You can send special announcements to regular clients when it gets near a birthday or anniversary.
If you are in a solo practice, offering couple’s massage session is a great way to interact with other massage therapists. It may introduce you both to potential new clients and offers you a chance to work together with someone of like mind.
If you work in a multi-therapist practice, couple’s massage is a great way to work together with coworkers you may not see often. It also offers you the experience of working together with another person in an otherwise rather singular profession.
Casey, Jacqueline. “What Are the Benefits of Couples Massage?.” eHow, n.d. Web. 7 Jan 2013. www.ehow.com/facts_5623694_benefits-couples-massage_.html.
Hansen, Ashley. “What is Couples Massage?.” Livestrong, 30 2010. Web. 7 Jan 2013. www.livestrong.com/article/160372-what-is-couples-massage/.