A lot of content seems to appear around the holidays for massage therapy-related services, for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even Valentine’s Day. Advertisements and articles about gifts and gestures that couples can give each other for Valentine’s Day extend to massage therapy, such as this article from a community Web page in Maryland.
The idea is that, on Valentine’s Day, partners can learn the art of massage therapy to treat their significant other with a massage that is not only personal, but also somewhat professional. While a sweet idea, I think there is a potentially serious flaw in the gift idea of massage therapy for Valentine’s Day.
First, taking cooking classes to cook a romantic meal, or taking dance classes to wow your partner on February 14, seem a much better way to make the night special. Both of these ideas can provide easy ways of mastering a seeming difficult art. They are by no means complete educations, but learning to cook a specific meal or perfect a certain dance can give the specter of mastery in the art, and a satisfying result for your efforts.
However, taking a two-hour massage therapy course to learn the “art of massage” (specifically, the arts of Shiatsu and Thai massage, as the linked page above portends) will not give anyone a seeming mastery of the art, or most likely, a satisfying result. Massage therapists require hundreds of hours of training in order to learn the biology and physiology of the human body, and the strokes and touches necessary to perform quality massage therapy. A massage technique learned in two hours will at best be a well-intentioned rub, at worse a painful experience of pinched nerves and aggravated, or re-aggravated, muscle groups.
The best result, instead, would be to give massage as a gift to your Valentine, so he or she could experience the benefits of professional massage therapy first-hand. This will maximize the therapeutic result, and limit the possibility of dissatisfaction or injury.
So, when planning your romantic evening for the special someone in your life, remember that massage therapy is a fantastic gift, but it’s something that a professional massage therapist can do best. For the best result, give the gift of massage therapy for Valentine’s Day, but leave the work to the professionals.