Have you ever wanted to do massage at home with your partner but didn't know where to start? Do you try doing massage but get tired quickly? Are you wondering how to please your partner, who keeps asking for "harder," without hurting yourself? If so, you need to take the Massage for Couples class I'll be teaching at Forest Park Community College on Feb. 21 and Feb. 28.

This one day, 5 1/2 hour class is meant to give nonprofessionals the basic skills to do massage for relaxation on each other at home. While we can't teach you to be a massage therapist in one day, you should leave the class feeling confident that you and your partner can begin to enjoy sharing massage with each other at home. "Couples" can be any two individuals, not just spouses, but you must register for the class in pairs. Friends, roommates, teammates, and family members are welcome to participate.

The class begins with some introductory information on massage theory so that participants can understand the "why" behind what they are doing. Precautions are covered so that it is clearly understood how to work in a manner that does no harm to either the giver or the recipient. Most of the class is "hands-on." Particular attention is paid to making sure the "giver" works in a way that will not hurt them. A variety of strokes are taught that allow for maximum flexibility. Participants learn strokes that are light but still effective and also more vigorous strokes that can affect deeper tissues.

Class size is limited so that participants get plenty of individual attention and many personal concerns and interests can be addressed. The class is relaxed and friendly. Participants have ranged in age from their early 20s to their 70s and come from many walks of life. It's a lot of fun.

Cost of the class is very modest. To register, go to the website for Forest Park Community College and look for Continuing Education. The class is listed as "Massage for Couples" in the catalog and is in the Health section. Participants should bring a bag lunch, since we only have a half hour lunch break and there is no fast food easily available. Participants also need to bring a set of sheets and a pillow or bolster. Oil will be provided. Sometimes the room is cold so a blanket is highly recommended. Also highly recommended is a yoga mat or heavy bath towel. Since we have to use hard top regular classroom tables, something to make the surface a little more comfortable is desirable. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. You should wear a bathing suit or other clothing that allows maximum access to your skin under your street clothes.

This semester, the class will be offered on Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. If you're interested but can't make it this time, don't despair. The class is offered twice each semester, including the summer semester.

If you've got any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you have questions about registration, call the Continuing Education department at Forest Park Community College.

Hope to see you there! And tell your friends!