Possessing an aura of mystery and enchantment like no other relaxation therapy, four hands massage is a treatment that most of us can only dream of. But what exactly is 4 hands massage and how does it feel to receive one?
Four hands massage is a treatment style in which two therapists both perform massage therapy on one person simultaneously and in synchronisation with each other. To be effective, the two therapists will usually have trained together so that they can work seamlessly in harmony during the treatment.
This style of massage is also known as Tandem Massage or 4-Handed Massage.
A genuine four hands massage offers various advantages, and is more than just twice as good as its equivalent two-handed version.
One of the key additional benefits of four hands therapy is that you are likely to experience a much deeper and more intense level of therapeutic relaxation in both your mind and your body.
For this kind of synergistic uplift, the following features are important:
Probably the most important element of authentic therapeutic four-handed therapy is making sure the two therapists that will perform the treatment are appropriate matched.
As you will see below, one of the key aims of four hands massage therapy is to aid and intensify the level of mental relaxation.
To achieve this, the therapists should ideally have personalities that are similar as well as massaging techniques. If they are natural friends who enjoy each other’s company all the better.
They should have practised and trained together at least several, and ideally many, times beforehand. Working together enables the therapists to perform strokes in a properly synchronised and seamless manner.
Being in tune with each other enables each therapist to anticipate their partner's next move as well as react in harmony to the recipients requirements.
For the best four handed massage, therapists pair together like well choreographed dancers. In fact, this form of massage is a good example of massage and dance working together to create more than the sum of the individual elements.
The key philosophy underlying four hands massage is that we are most likely to experience genuine and longer lasting therapeutic relaxation when our minds have been put into a state of deep rest.
Many of us - especially busy city types in London - are constantly switched ‘on’. We do not stop watching, listening, analysing and forecasting from the moment we wake up right up until we finally fall asleep late at night.
Whilst this kind of approach often results in a successful, organised material lifestyle which avoids unwelcome surprises, it is also an extremely exhausting way of living. Continuing to live like this without appropriate and regular relaxation therapy can lead to burn out.
Step forward four hands massage - the ultimate relaxation therapy! This type of treatment specifically focuses on techniques that are known to help switch the mind switch ‘off’, both consciously and to some extent even the sub-conscious.
To better understand how a four hands massage works differently, think back to the last time you had a regular single therapist massage.
➪ Did you find yourself semi-consciously counting the number of strokes being performed or the time your masseuse was spending on each part of your body before moving to the next?
If you did, then you are one of many. It is natural to want to follow your therapist's progress during your treatment, but actually doing that detracts your mind from relaxing properly.
In addition to counting, you would also have been aware (subconsciously, even if not consciously) of various other factors. For example, the direction in which your therapist’s hands travelled along each stroke or the extent of his or her reach. Put simply, you are human and since you were being massaged by another human, you would be quite well aware of the kind of strokes and moves that could be applied through your own natural instinctive understanding of the limits of reach and direction in which hands can travel from a certain position.
In four hands massage however this all changes! You now have four hands on your body, not two. If the two therapists have trained together properly, all four of those hands will be moving in complete harmony with each other.
As the two therapists hands and forearms seamlessly intertwine and move around each other, it becomes very difficult to identify which hand belongs to which therapist and therefore in which direction it will move next. After a short while your conscious and subconscious will give up the natural inclination to forecast the flow, direction and number of strokes. This is the moment that your mind enters a deeper state of relaxation and the true synergistic benefits of therapeutic 4-handed massage therapy really starts to deliver.
We could almost call it octopus therapy, but of course masseuses are much friendlier, warmer and more empathetic than your average octopus!
Once your mind enters the deeper relaxation phase, the rest of your body naturally follows. Experienced therapists are able to tell, both visually and through touch, when this moment occurs. They then begin to work deeper into a body which is now naturally more relaxed and use both individual and combined pressure to work towards achieving the ultimate feeling of extreme relaxation.
Whether you are preparing for a standard massage or treating yourself to the more luxurious four hands version, you should prepare your room in advance to enjoy your treatment to its fullest potential.
There are a few extra tips when preparing to receive a four handed massage from two therapists:
➪ ensure you have enough space for two therapists to move around you freely
➪ therapists bring their own oils, but if you prefer to use your own, ensure there are two separate bottles, so each therapist can work freely without having to wait for other
➪ book a massage duration of at least 90 minutes to experience the benefits of four handed therapy fully. It will of course cost more than a 60 minute four-handed treatment but we believe it does not make sense to opt for luxury and the cutting corners.
As you will have seen above, when properly performed by appropriately trained therapists, a therapeutic four hands massage can offer benefits beyond that of receiving two individual massages.
In addition, the therapists have to work harder to ensure they remain in sync with their partner.
So whilst this kind of massage is clearly more expensive than the cost of booking a standard mobile massage, the added luxury and benefits of four-handed therapy cost no more than if you were to book each therapist to visit you separately.
With so much terminology, it is easy to get a little confused about all the different treatment styles. Especially since several massage styles include the words: hands and four!
To put it simply, a four-handed massages can be a luxurious version of any of the most popular treatment types that you may be more familiar with ... but delivered by two therapists working together in harmony on the same body.
A couple of similar sounding but quite different options are:
Hand reflexology is a completely different treatment to four hands massage.
Hands reflexology is type of therapy in which the therapist has studied specialist techniques for treating clients by applying pressure to various points on the hands. The therapy is based on the ancient Chinese belief that our hands (and feet) contain specific pressure points which connect to various organs all around body through flow of energy.
It is important not to confuse four hands therapy with couples massages - although it is possible to combine the two. Whilst it is not uncommon for a home visit couples massages to have two therapists attending together and working alongside each other (ie ‘in tandem') there is a fundamental difference.
In a couples massage each therapist performs his or her own individual treatment on a different person. They just happen to being doing it next to each other at the same time and place.
If you are feeling especially extravagant, it is of course possible to book a Couples Four-Hands Treatment. This would require four therapists to attend together, a lot of space and a lot of money!