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'To give is better than to receive?' Couples massage significantly benefits both partners' wellbeing.

Authors
  • Naruse, Sayuri M1
  • Cornelissen, Piers L1
  • Moss, Mark1
  • 1 Northumbria University, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health psychology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2020
Volume
25
Issue
10-11
Pages
1576–1586
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1359105318763502
PMID: 29607697
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This experimental study evaluated the differential effects of 'giving' and 'receiving' massage on wellbeing in healthy but stressed couples. Forty-two volunteers started the study and of these, 38 (i.e. 19 couples) completed a 3-week massage course. Emotional stress and mental clarity were assessed before and after mutual massage between each pair of adults belonging to a couple at home. While massage benefitted both parties' wellbeing within a session, critically we found no differences in wellbeing between those 'giving' and 'receiving' massage. These novel findings suggest that home-based massage may be advocated to couples as a 'selves-care', health-promoting behaviour.

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