Massage by type
Which healing-hands technique can fix your aching body?
Tue Jan 25 2011
Photograph: Courtesy of Greenhouse
Treats: Overworked muscles, tension
Feels like: Firm, sweeping strokes and figure eights are combined with acute finger prodding to tackle trouble spots. Incorporating elements of hot-stone massage (heat relaxes muscles, which lets the expert's hands delve further into the tissue), this technique employs trigger-point and myofascial (soft-tissue) therapies to obliterate knots buried in your problem areas: most commonly the back, shoulders and neck.
Recommendation: Greenhouse Holistic, 88 Roebling St, entrance on North 7th St between Driggs Ave and Roebling St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-3113, greenhouseholistic.com). 30-minute massage regularly $50.
Treats: Chronic muscle tension
Feels like: It's a bunch of rocks on your back, sure, but this isn't just any gravel off the street. Massage stones are usually basalt, worn smooth by rivers or waves; after being heated in a water bath to upwards of 130 degrees, they're placed on the skin, run up and down the body, or even used to dig in at trigger points. Some practitioners like to put them on chakras so that the warmth seeps in while the hands are busy elsewhere.
Recommendation: Green Tea Beauty Spa, 240 E 28th St between Second and Third Aves (212-683-4048, greenteabeautyspa.com). 30-minute massage $38.
Feels like: When you're tense, it's often possible to create a sense of peace throughout the body by getting to the root of the problem—in this case, having someone rub your noggin. The movement around the hair follicles increases blood circulation, which is thought to kick your hair growth into a higher gear. Many of these head remedies enhance overall relaxation with aromatherapy oils.
Recommendation: Salon Ishi, 70 E 55th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-888-4744, salonishi.com). 15-minute massage $35.