Massage by type
Which healing-hands technique can fix your aching body?
Tue Jan 25 2011
Treats: Stress, insomnia
Feels like: Imagine an obese pixie slowly tiptoeing across your body—that's the kind of focused movement applied by practitioners of this remedy. After assessing your concerns, the therapist concentrates on creaky knots, firmly pushing and nudging with fingers, thumbs and the heels of his or her hands. There's a bit of tapotement (those springy, pseudochoppy movements spoofed in movies) to loosen muscles and increase circulation.
Recommendation: Fishion Herb Center, 107 Mott St between Canal and Hester Sts (212-966-8771, fishionherbcenter.com).
One-hour massage $41.
Treats: Stress, poor circulation and stiffness
Feels like: The long, sustained strokes of this classic approach (called effleurage) may suggest a pooch being petted; it's the kind of TLC that transports you into a blissful state of being. This is the ideal massage for first-timers and ticklish types; it's easily adaptable to a variety of dilemmas. The key to personalizing the experience is speaking up about your preferred amount of pressure—too little and the treatment could be forgettable.
Recommendation: Element Natural Healing Arts, 518 Henry St at Union St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-855-4850, elementhealing.com). 30-minute massage $50.
Treats: Chronic pain and tenderness
Feels like: You might start to think of yourself as a lump of dough being kneaded into submission during this session—but in the best way possible. This technique, which aims to improve circulation and create a positive energy flow, engages muscles with rhythmic compressions that migrate from your head to your toes. Don't be surprised if the technician straddles your back to get better leverage when stretching your arms.
Recommendation: Lilly and Raul, 211 E 43rd St between Second and Third Aves, suite 1501 (212-682-6121, lillyandraul.com). Women's one-hour massage $39, couples' one-hour massage $99.