HEALTH & WELLNESS

Want to win Valentine's Day this year? How about a couples' massage

Feeling uninspired by the gift-a-box-of-chocolates, send-a-dozen-roses, make-a-pricey-dinner-reservation Valentine's Day ritual?

If so, a couple's massage may be an optimal choice.

Most couples are touch-deprived, says L.A.-based clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Shannon Chavez. "A couple's massage is an opportunity to relax, connect and feel sensual, important for sparking desire and romance," Chavez says. "The biggest obstacle to sexual intimacy is stress and tension."

There are many neighborhood boutique spas to choose from, many quite affordable, so shop around. Here are a few well-known destinations worth considering for a romantic splurge, something that Chavez recommends: "Going to the spa, including services where you're bathed and pampered without having to do anything, promotes relaxation and can evoke fantasy," Chavez says. "The spa is designed to cater to your every need including body services, food, wine or champagne."

Ole Henriksen Face & Body Spa, West Hollywood

Enjoy a pre- or post-massage 45-minute Moroccan-inspired bathing ritual using essential oils in a private candlelit room for two. Includes champagne. $125 for two. olehenriksen.com

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The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles Spa

The Romance of Hollywood Experience includes a massage for two in the couple's suite followed by a bubbling spa bath. Includes champagne. $500. ritzcarlton.com

Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Corona

Glen Ivy's famed red-clay mud will be infused with fragrance, making for "Rose Scented Sudsy Mud." Couples massages start at $100 per person; admission starts at $46. There are also Valentine's Day dining options. glenivy.com

The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills

Couples massages start at $390 and can include lessons on how to give a massage. All packages include champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire

health@latimes.com

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