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The magic of massage: How you and your partner can ease aches and pains, boost your mood… and even improve your relationship

What if I told you there was a scientifically proven treatment that can help ease joint and back pain, improve posture, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve your skin and reduce bloating, and even strengthen your relationship – and that it costs next to nothing?

Would you be surprised to learn that this treatment is massage?

Far from being a pampering treat, decades of medical research has shown that massage has a raft of benefits, from easing pain, improving circulation and preventing injury to improving mood and general wellbeing.

And the best part, as I’ll show you in this step-by-step guide, is that you can get that feelgood factor in the comfort of your own home. Learn a few simple techniques with a partner and start taking it in turns to give and receive mood-boosting, stress-busting, health-promoting massages.

There’s no need to spend a fortune on fancy equipment. Just follow this beginner’s guide, adapted from my book The Illustrated Book Of Massage And Aromatherapy, written with the help of world-renowned experts in all forms of the therapy. Over the following pages, I’ll give you all the practical advice and inspiration you need to get going.

You’ll also find tips from Dr Mark Moss, of Northumbria University, who has been researching the benefits of massage by teaching simple techniques to couples.

He says: ‘Not only did we find improvements in their energy, positivity of mood and mental clarity, together with a decline in stress and irritability, but it didn’t matter whether you were giving or receiving the massage, the benefits were the same.’ This, he adds, is the crucial difference between enjoying a massage at home with a loved one, and a massage given at a spa to a fee-paying customer.

He explains: ‘The person giving the treatment experiences a boost to their own self-esteem because, by learning and applying massage skills, they are providing happiness and good sensations to this person that they love. They feel better in themselves, and closer to their partner.’

So get ready to learn the basics and make massage, with all of its benefits, a regular part of your life.

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