Our Team: Mark Greenfield
Our Team: Mark Greenfield
Couples / Partner Massage Lesson
Partner Massage Lessons for Couples in Therapy
Our Partner Massage Program isn't just about the physical act of providing or receiving a massage. Touch is more than just physical, and we emphasize this during our sessions and classes. To that end, in our program we emphasize the importance of communication in the therapeutic process. Concepts such as honesty, constructive criticism, patience, intuition and presence are interwoven throughout the session. We continuously remind participants about the importance of communication in making the experience enjoyable and rewarding for both partners.
Moreover, giving or receiving a massage from one's partner can both reflect and enhance different dynamics or aspects of their relationship. In consideration of this, we have incorporated relevant concepts into our curriculum.
Here is an excerpt from our the handouts and manual that participants receive as part of our partner massage programs.
As with any aspect of human relationships, communication is vital to massage and touch. Supportive, constructive and honest feedback will enable the recipient to relax and get more enjoyment from the experience. And it will give the provider more confidence and peace of mind that what he or she is doing feels good and if it doesn't, can trust his or her partner to help make improvements.
This can be very challenging to embody and implement. So here are some concepts related to partner communication that should be helpful to you both:
Be Supportive and Give Constructive Feedback: Some good examples are; “That feels good…maybe a little less pressure / can you move your hand a little bit in this direction / I think it’ll be nicer if you do this”. “Thank you…overall it feels really nice but here are some suggestions”. "Ok that is hurting a lot so maybe let’s take a quick break and reset”. “I know you’re doing your best but let’s see how we can make it better for both of us”. Some poor choice of words may be something like; “Ouch, get off me”, “stop, that hurts”, “you suck at this”, “ok just stop”, “what’s wrong with you”, you’re hurting me, just get off”, I don’t like that”, “why are you so bad at this”. We can come up with countless examples. The point here is to give compliments and to support your partner in order to help them feel better about themselves and to help them become better.
Honesty is Vital: If you are not honest, you’ll never get what you need from this experience. We always tell our clients something like this, “I can’t help you if I don’t know whether the treatments are working, so please be honest so I know if we need to change course”. Honestly is central to both the provider and recipient feeling good about this experience.
Have fun with it: Seriously, don’t forget to breathe, laugh and smile. This should be relaxing, fun and enhance your relationship.
So for couples who are engaged in Psychotherapy to improve their relationship, our Partner Massage Program could be a terrific complement to the work they are doing with their therapist or group. Notably, the owner of On Your Mark NYC and lead instructor of the Partner Massage Program is a LMSW in New York and a graduate of the Hunter College MSW program. Mark brings his training as a social worker into these sessions in whatever ways may be helpful, necessary and of course, appropriate.
Mark knows that, even if couples who are participating in his session are in therapy, or perhaps should be, that it may not be appropriate for him to comment on their relationship unless it is asked for, expected and/or absolutely necessary. Mark understands the delicate nature of relationships and of massage therapy. He uses his knowledge, experience and skills to assess what a couple may or may not need from each other and from him during their session.