In most areas, my husband Ted and I are good at stoking the fire.
We’re great at grace. We have a solid friendship. And we’ve got a nice handle on teamwork too. Our strongest merit is the bedrock of our common faith in Jesus.
The bad news? (You knew it was coming, right?)
There’s one area we’ve kinda let slip over the last couple years: romance.
Yep, when it comes to those daily, intentional efforts to pursue and deeply connect with one another, we’ve gotten lazy.
The good news is we’re aware of it. We’ve even come up with a list of creative ways we can do better. And, I have to admit, contrary to what you may believe by the title of this post, massage was not on our list. In fact, it wasn’t even on our radar.
Earlier this month, though, that changed.
My blogging friend Carlie Kercheval at Managing Your Blessings introduced me to a series of online massage teaching videos called Melt: Massage for Couples. These videos are short tutorials that husbands and wives can use to learn how to massage each other. Carlie even got the creators of Melt – husband and wife Denis and Emma Merkas – to gift me with The Basic Series as a thank you for being a contributor to her “31 Days to a Better Marriage” blog series.
At first, I didn’t use my gift code. I thought. “Massage? Nah, that’s not really our style.” But later I wondered, “Hmm … maybe we should step out of our comfort zone and give it a try. Maybe we should include it on our list of creative ways we can do better at romance.”
So I added the videos to my cart, entered the code, and hit “play.” And you know what? I found myself more and more convinced that there was something to this.
In fact, I started making a second list. This time of ways massage can benefit a marriage – both yours and mine.
What exactly made it on my list? Here are my top three.
3 Ways Massage Can Benefit Marriage
1. Massage Can Help Focus Our Attention
It’s no secret that we live in a society that demands we multi-task – whether we’re good at it or not. And while a lot of articles have been written on the problems of multi-tasking, as a wife, homeschool mom, and author, there are countless moments throughout the day that I have no choice but to juggle more than one task at a time. Here’s the thing, though. I often carry that multi-tasking mode into my interactions with Ted. But he deserves better. He deserves my full attention. Especially if we want to connect in meaningful ways.
Massaging each other demands that as couples we step away from everything else and focus solely on our spouse. Because of this, it’s one way we can slow down, quiet distraction, and focus our attention on pursuing each other.
2. Massage Creates Opportunities for Intentional Touch
If you’ve read my book, Team Us: Marriage Together, you may remember that the foreword was written by Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages. In this seminal work of his, one of the languages he discusses is physical touch. He writes, “Physical touch can make or break a marital relationship…. When you reach out with tender touch, you create emotional closeness.”
In the busyness of life, I think it’s easy for us couples to forget to be intentional to touch one another consistently. As a result, we may not feel as close and connected as we could. Massage creates an opportunity for intentional physical touch and the deeper emotional connection that comes with it.
3. Massage Makes a Great Date Night In
Do you ever struggle to coordinate all the details (and finances) necessary for a consistent weekly date night out? We do! If you tend to have most of your date nights in, massage is a relatively inexpensive way to spend it.
What does it entail? All you really need is candles, massage oil, towels, some instruction if you’re a novice like me, and each other. And, if you want some creative ideas, my friend Salina wrote a post a couple of years ago on how you can plan your own at-home spa date night.
Why I Appreciate Melt: Massage for Couples
But I didn’t stop at two lists. I also made a third. (Yeah, apparently I’m into list making lately, huh?)
What did this one include?
That would be reasons why I’d recommend Melt: Massage for Couples to friends interested in learning how to massage their spouse. If you’re one of those couples, here are five reasons I appreciate this series.
1. It’s Created by a Couple for Couples
My favorite thing about these teaching videos is, as I mentioned earlier, they’re created by a husband and wife. But this duo doesn’t stop there. As you watch Denis demonstrate the techniques, you’re not watching him massage a paid actress. Nope. He’s massaging his wife, Emma! The pair works together both behind and in front of the cameras. And, as someone who writes a lot on teamwork in marriage, how can I not love that?
2. It’s PG-Rated
Denis states – both on the website and in the video intro – that he keeps the content PG-rated. He remains true to his word, which I really appreciate. His focus is on technique and both remain fully clothed. While Emma does wear a strapless shirt in The Basic Series, it’s to allow us to clearly see the massage strokes that Denis demonstrates.
Since I have had discussions in the past with readers on the issue of cleavage in certain movies I’ve recommended, I do want to note that, yes, there is some cleavage at times. Sure, a strapless shirt minus cleavage would have been ideal. However, overall, I found the videos to be tastefully and modestly done.
3. It’s Perfect for Novices
When it comes to giving a massage – or even rubbing Ted’s shoulders – I’ve felt inadequate with my tiny hands and gentle touch. Well, except for the occasional lotion on Ted’s feet. After all, massage requires strength and the ability to apply pressure, right? As a result, massages at our house have mostly been Ted using our electric Jeanie Rub on his own back or even head. As I watched Melt: Massage for Couples, though, I thought, “I can do that!”
Novices like me can easily and quickly learn the techniques. Denis goes over all the basics and takes time demonstrating specific strokes multiple times. Plus, the videos are divided into 4- or 5-minute segments which allows you to learn in bite-sized pieces.
4. It’s At-Home Learning
All the learning can be done from home. You don’t have to attend a seminar or a series of classes And ideally, you can turn the learning-at-home into one of those at-home spa date nights. You don’t have to wait until you’ve mastered them. Practicing together can be part of the fun. And, once you’ve bought one of the series, you have lifetime access to the videos.
5. The Production Value is High
As someone who studied cinema-television in grad school, I love high production value – that is, as Wiktionary defines it, “the combined technical qualities of the methods, materials, or stagecraft skills used in the production of a motion picture or artistic performance.” From lighting to set to choice of cameras, Melt: Massage for Couples is polished, sophisticated, and professionally done.
Back when Ted and I made that first list – the one filled with creative ways we can do better at romance – I never thought I’d add massage to it, let alone write a post on why you should consider it too. But here I am doing both.
Yep, I’m now willing and able to massage my marriage. Literally.
The Most Exciting Part
Melt: Massage for Couples is ON SALE until March 31st. Click here.
You receive unlimited lifetime access to Melt, including: 17 massage techniques/3 amazing massage routines, for only $79 (RRP $147). This offer ends on March 31st, 2015. I highly recommend you check it out, and make time to literally massage your marriage. Click here to learn more about Melt.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Melt. The opinions and text are all mine.