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Story Retrieval Date: 11/23/2014 1:13:46 AM CST

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Tara S. Kerpelman/MEDILL

Massage therapists at The Rub in Evanston use different techniques to ease stress and relax muscles, depending on what helps most.

Massage for couples soothes the way to romance and relaxation

by Tara S. Kerpelman
Feb 11, 2009

Other Valentine’s Day Massage Specials:

Rub the One You’re With massage package: Stay overnight in a suite at the Hotel Allegro at 171 W Randolph St. from now through March 31 and take advantage of a how-to massage session, a bottle of sparkling wine, a take-home massage kit and valet parking. Average hotel package: $429 per night.

Couples Massage Workshop: Learn different massage techniques at YogaNow Chicago, 5852 N Broadway St. on Valentine’s Day. From Swedish massage to reflexology, a certified massage therapist will teach you quick and easy routines. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, $60 per couple ($80 at the door).

Valentine’s Day Couple’s Massage Workshop: Go to the Soulistic Studio and Spa, 805 N Milwaukee Ave., Suite 200, on Valentine’s Day and learn shiatsu acupressure massage techniques from a certified therapist. Cost: $60 per couple.

It's not only good for your health and well-being. Massage could be the relaxing solution to a stressful problem – what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day. And you can enjoy the present, too. 

Massage therapy offers treatment for physical rehabilitation, stress reduction and general wellness. It places in the top five most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine therapies among adults in the United States, according to the most recent national report of  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The growing demand for massages also puts massage therapy among the fastest growing career areas pursuits. A 20 percent increase is expected between now and 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There’s an increase in massage therapy due to the stress of our economy and everything else,” said David Fireside, a massage therapist. While working as a financial advisor, Fireside decided to change careers. After he received his license, he started working at The Rub in Evanston.

The Rub, at 816 Church St., is offering a Valentine’s Day special for couple’s massage this month. It costs $85 for the first person, with 50 percent off for the companion massage.

“We take more of a clinical approach here. It’s not your fluff and buff type spa,” Fireside said. At The Rub, clients can expect to have personalized care, he said. At the first visit, clients consult with the therapist about their needs and the therapists take notice of posture or any descriptions of aching muscles. 

“The most important thing for a therapist is to ask questions and be familiar with [the] clients, and to encourage them to communicate with [the therapist],” Fireside said.

Henry Walton opened The Rub almost two years ago because he, too, had had enough of his old career in the tech industry. “I spent 25 years on airplanes in my former life in the corporate world and the only relief that I got was to start getting massages,” said Walton, who traveled extensively for his job. “It was the only thing to keep my body somewhat intact.”

Not only is Walton concerned about his clients walking out feeling better than when they came in, but concerned about his employees, too. “Henry is very cutting edge and ahead of his industry in that he recognizes the importance of having his therapists healthy and feeling good,” Fireside said. After a certain number of hours of giving massages, the therapists themselves must go in for a session.

When a client is paired with a therapist, several things are taken into account. “There’s more to someone than just good hands. There has to be a match from a personality standpoint, a style standpoint and a skill standpoint. Every person is unique, everybody is different, different therapists have different styles and approach things differently,” Walton said. 

“We have clients that come in once every four months. We have clients that come in once a year. We have clients that come once a week,” Walton said. So why not try a relaxing massage at The Rub and see if this therapy could work for you.