In today’s chaotic world, couples seeking unique ways to cope with stress and reconnect with each other are turning to spas for more than just relief from their physical and emotional symptoms. They’re looking for interesting, stress-relieving treatments they can experience together to help improve and restore their emotional connection, enhance and renew intimacy, and increase and revive romance. In other words, they’re looking for ways to improve their relationships in addition to their overall well-being.
Whether they’ve been together for three months or three decades, couples want to deepen their bonds and strengthen their relationships by spending quality time relaxing together and sharing new experiences. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the world behind for a few precious hours and check in to a spa that offers a calming, Zen atmosphere and innovative, soothing dual treatments that go above and beyond the traditional couples massage.
Stress management is a powerful wellness tool, and the healing benefits of therapies—like massage, reflexology, body scrubs and really any touch therapy—are gaining mainstream acceptance as a natural way to relieve pain, increase energy, improve sleep, lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression, and address many physical and emotional problems. Touch is so important because it links directly to the body’s emotional center, as opposed to words, which go to the brain’s thinking center. In our touch-deprived society, these therapies can help couples open up, let down protective walls and express vulnerability, which is often difficult to do.
For couples, spa treatments that involve touch can help lower the stress hormone cortisol and encourage the release of “feel-good hormones” including serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin in the body. This creates an increased sense of calm and happiness both during and after treatment that has been linked to more trust, empathy and bonding—all of which are necessary for a strong, healthy relationship.
In fact, a review of oxytocin studies published online in Scientific American (February 2013) noted that oxytocin makes people “more sympathetic, supportive and open with their feelings.” Also known as the “cuddle chemical” and “nature’s love glue,” it has been linked to relationship longevity, as couples with higher levels of oxytocin remain together longer than those with lower levels, and they’re more attuned to each other than couples with low oxytocin levels.
Spas that offer innovative treatments and packages for couples attract customers who regard the spa as more than just a sanctuary from the stress-filled world, but as a place to reconnect and revive their relationship. Here are three properties that are doing just that.
Michelle Ebbin (michelleebbin.com) is a renowned touch therapy expert and the author of four books on massage, including the award-winning The Touch Remedy: Hands-On Solutions to De-Stress Your Life (HarperElixer, 2016). She appears regularly in the media, including The Doctors, to discuss the benefits of touch therapy.