Spas help couples connect, reduce stress

The challenging, multishift work schedules of many Las Vegans may prevent lovers from partaking in a traditional Valentine’s Day date at one of the city’s trendy eateries. This may well leave the couple at odds about what to do on Cupid’s most active day.

Noted clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell, a former faculty member at University of California, San Diego’s school of medicine who has authored well more than 1,000 articles on romance and marital success, recommends that couples to be a little adventurous and not succumb to the customary, expected romantic behavior from a loved one.

This means planning something unusual, unique or special to show your mate how much her or she means to you by putting a twist on the Valentine’s Day rendezvous. Of course there are those who will be anticipating the bouquet of flowers, chocolates or a glittering bauble, but even these can be spruced up with something out of the ordinary.

And, for those who are romantically challenged and always seem to stumble on Valentine’s Day, the most romantic spot in the city to commemorate your love may just be right outside your back door — in your personal spa. Typically used for relaxation, health benefits and muscle therapy, the home spa is also a romantic destination.

The “love soak,” as Mantell prefers to describe this experience, brings couples together. Used extensively as part of his couple therapy sessions, Mantell prescribes his exclusive Two-Seven-Fifteen Plan for his clients. The relationship therapy plan requires a couple to engage in a spa together two times in a seven day period, for a minimum of 15 minutes each session.

As he explains, the couple do not even have to sit next to each other or be touching because the mind and body connection co-exists; when the body relaxes then so too does the mind. The warm water relieves tension in the body and mind, allowing the couple to interact in a calm environment and the tensions of work, family and other stress in their lives to be forgotten — even for a short time period. This experience becomes so enjoyable that the couple soon respond to each other by saying “meet you in the spa” on a regular basis, rebuilding their relationship on every visit. With each session, the couple become more interactive, re-establishing their love and attraction for each other.

It is important to give each other space and time to relax after a stressful day. “Bottom line,” states Mantell, “no one argues in a hot tub.”

One portable spa manufacturer believed in the couple’s “love soak” to the extent that the company designed a spa for that purpose. Dimension One Spas in San Diego created the new Amore Bay line specifically to stimulate a romantic encounter with spa goers. The spa features his and her ultra lounges, a step-in seat and a multilevel barrier-free bench along with 64 accent ring jets, fountains, mood lighting, wireless stereo system and a water brook, all designed to help couples cuddle. To learn more about the Amore Bay line go to

“A relaxing, comfortable environment is the key,” Mantell said. “Warm water stimulates playfulness. It resurrects the deep feeling of when one was a child playing in a bathtub. When children see a puddle, they have to play. When adults melt in a hot tub, they wind up playing too.”

The recommended temperature for a spa is 102 F.

For spaless households, this may just be the motivator to stimulate a purchase. Couples in long-term relationships may consider giving a spa to each other to rekindle the relationship, a present that can be shared together 365 days a year.

Whether in-ground or portable, each spa has its own unique quality, value and appeal. With a little investigation and a visit to a spa dealer and custom designer, you can find the spa that best fits your needs.

Joe Vassallo is the president of Paragon Pools, a certified building professional and on the boards of the local, regional and national Association of Pool and Spa Professionals organizations. Send questions or suggestions for column ideas regarding pools and spas to him at or 251-0500.

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