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December 22, 2014

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Couples get pre-Valentine’s Day advice on the art of massage

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

Massage therapist Annie Keating, right, teaches Greg Moix a deep tissue massage technique using his elbows and forearms on his wife, Yolanda, during a massage mentoring session at the Ritz-Carlton Spa.

Massage mentoring

Interested in learning techniques of massage therapy they can perform in their own home, Yolanda and Greg Moix participate in a massage mentoring session with therapist Annie Keating, right, at the Ritz-Carlton Spa. Launch slideshow »

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Greg and Yolanda Moix decided to spend an hour getting in touch with one another at Lake Las Vegas.

Sure, they could do this at home, but they wouldn’t have the expert advice of massage therapist Annie Keating at The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton. The softly scented oil, romantic lighting and gentle massaging will be their way to release the stress and re-establish their romance.

Massage Mentoring for Couples session combines an exclusive spa massage with tips on how to do it at home, said Samantha Malone-Telesford, executive spa director. The package is $225 per couple.

This is the first month that the spa, which recently received five stars from the Mobil Travel Guide, has offered the mentoring sessions. The Ritz-Carlton spa is attempting to offer a value for cost-cutting couples, rather than getting cut out of budgets entirely.

“Spa treatment has gone from being a necessity for some people to a luxury, so we want the clients to take something home with them,” she said. “People are going to experience a lot of stress this year and if they can de-stress each other, that will create a deeper relationship for the couple.”

Greg Moix said the cost is worth it to them because they can relieve some stress and spend time together. With two children at home and a landscaping business to run, quality time can be fleeting.

“Now we have no excuses not to do it at home,” said Yolanda Moix, who owns G3 Landscape Consulting with her husband. “Now we can do something we couldn’t do before. It’s something special without leaving the house.”

Keating shared her best advice with the Henderson couple.

Yolanda Moix lay face-up on the massage table with pillows under her head and knees. Keating instructed Greg Moix to stand over his wife’s head and reach his hands beneath her and then slide them down her back, on either side of her spine.

“Then point your fingers up and pull them back up along both sides of the spine, all the way to the base of her neck,” Keating said as Greg Moix followed her instructions. “The muscles will relax and her head will drop into your hands. Sometimes people try to fight it ... but they can’t.”

Keating also showed Greg Moix how to use the top of his fist to gently apply pressure down his wife’s back and how to use his thumbs to push the tissue on either side of his wife’s sacrum, a large triangular bone at the base of the spine.

The massage therapist recommended grape seed oil from Trader Joe’s, scented with an essential oil, as a cost-efficient massage oil. She also instructing him on using his elbow and upper arm to follow the contours of her back.

Greg Moix said he thinks he can replicate this at home for the day of romance.

“If we can get a baby sitter,” he said. “We’ll have a nice dinner. A bottle of wine. Come home and practice massage.”

When he finished the back massage, his wife flipped over and smiled up at him: “I didn’t know you could do that!”

For information on Massage Mentoring for Couples call the spa, 1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway, at 567-4600.

Becky Bosshart can be reached at 990-7748 or [email protected].

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