Treatments for different body parts---ah, there's the rub.
Tue Jan 25 2011
Supple Spa: Pink Rub 55 W 19th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, second floor (212-929-5948, supplespa.com). $150. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking to get this treatment for $75 through Feb 28.
Technician Jasmine began with a light massage through a body-covering towel, to gauge my muscle tension. Next she treated my whole frame to some deep-tissue shiatsu, and then rubbed me down with a pink-colored mineral salt solution, to improve my circulation and polish my skin into a noticeably smoother state. After cleaning me off with a hot towel, she applied a cool, fragrant pink cream and ended with a scalp massage.
Best part: Jasmine deeply stretched my quads during the cream application (bending each of my legs back far enough that I could kick myself in the butt), adding to the invigorating, athletic feeling I got from the whole 70-minute treatment. When I rose from the table, my muscles felt like they'd just received the same benefits as I'd get from an intense workout—without putting in any sweaty time at the gym.
Why it's worth it: The heated massage table left me warm for the entire wintry walk home, and the vigorous kneading kept me relaxed through the next day.—Alison Zeidman
Jade Beauty and Day Spa: Reflexology foot massage 143 E 34th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-679-0811, jadebeautyspanyc.com) * 2573 Broadway between 96th and 97th Sts (212-362-5763). Regularly: 10 minutes $15, 20 minutes $25, 30 minutes $35. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 15 percent off any service through Feb 28.
I was immediately offered me tea or water and then escorted back to the pedicure station, which is where the quickie reflexology foot massages take place. (For a private room, spring for the Jade Signature Foot Massage, $88--$118.) My massage therapist filled the footbath and cleansed my feet, then mixed a concoction of aloe vera with massage oil and started with my knees, working her way down my legs with long, sweeping moves, followed by firmer circular ones. She checked to make sure the pressure was okay with me, but her hands were just right the entire time. She even massaged my toes individually, and when the timer went off after 20 minutes, she kept going anyway for another few minutes.
Best part: Even though the massage worked just a fraction of my body, I felt relaxed all over, thanks to the ancient reflexology techniques that help improve circulation and bust stress. The oil-and-lotion cocktail also left my skin silky smooth.
Why it's worth it: Once a year, a reflexology expert travels from China to train Jade's staff; there's also a resident reflexologist, who has mastered the method and is available for the Jade Signature Foot Massage.—CS
FineLiving New York Ayurveda: Indian Head Massage 154 W 14th St at Seventh Ave, fourth floor (212-616-4127, newyorkayurveda.com). Regularly $65. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking to get this treatment for $42 through Feb 27.
As soon as I lay down, my therapist got to scratching my scalp —while it wasn't exactly uncomfortable, it lasted for quite a while. She then bathed my head (and hair) in a signature Indian blend of therapeutic oil, which made me feel as though my pate had been smoking a menthol cigarette—in a good way. After the long series of firm, pulsing rubs in pressure points dictated by the Indian ayurvedic practice, my massage therapist performed a maneuver that felt as though her fingers were moving in a steady wave, like a caterpillar wriggling across my forehead. This was lovely, and by the time I looked up, the 30-minute session was over.
Best part: Though the anxiety this massage was meant to relieve was remained, I felt more present behind my eyes, my head seemed clearer, and it was swiveling cleanly on my shoulders like a turret on a tank.
Why it's worth it: You may or may not be hip to the Eastern pressure point principles, but this massage is a quick and affordable way to clear the cobwebs.—Matthew Love