Spa treatments by body part
Pamper yourself with facials, massages, hair treatments, reflexology and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Photograph: Courtesy Cynergy Day Spa
Bellissimo Hair Spa: Full-body Swedish massage
29-07 39th Ave at 29th St, Astoria, Queens (718-937-7773, bellissimohairspa.com). $70.
The soft-spoken technician at this pretense-free spot was skilled, focused and thorough, applying the perfect amount of pressure and variation on my limbs, back, fingers and toes. As the owner, Raul Mesias, explained afterward, traditional Swedish massage has a top-to-tail focus, so the session included both foot reflexology and a cranial rub.
Best part: I didn't think I needed a facial massage, but the technician was able to untangle two previously unrecognized knots of stress above my cheekbones.
Why it's worth it: Similar one-hour treatments can cost quite a bit more in Manhattan, making this no-frills joint worth the trip.—Michael Martin
Cynergy Spa: Seaweed-Mud Body Treatment
87 Fort Greene Pl between DeKalb Ave and Fulton St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-403-9242, cynergyspa.com). $150. TONY deal Mention TONY for 20 percent off any single treatment through Feb 29.
After giving me a cup of cinnamon tea and a hot washcloth in the waiting area to cleanse my hands, Cynergy's owner, Marsha-Ann Boyea, scrubbed my skin down with a dry, coarse brush, covered me in a detoxifying combination of organic seaweed and mud, and wrapped me in a thermal blanket for about 20 minutes. Afterward, I received a refreshing massage using grape seed and rose oil.
Best part: Boyea's sweet disposition and delicate-yet-firm touch totally unclenched my muscles, weary from clinging to subway poles.
Why it's worth it: Once I got over a bout of modesty, a deep calm washed over me and lasted well beyond the allotted hour.—Rachel Brodsky
Asia Tui-Na Wholeness: Deep-tissue massage
37 E 28th St between Madison and Park Aves, suite 800 (212-686-8082, asiatuinawholeness.com). 60-minute massage regularly $60. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for $5 off this service; new customers only.
Although the setting is slightly clinical, this massage holds its own against one at a ritzy resort. My therapist, Elaine, warmed up my back with a towel, using forceful head-to-toe movements (a signature of this modality, which emphasizes rhythmic compressions) before implementing long, kneading strokes that popped several joints in my back, neck and ankles. To conclude the hour, she scooted a hot bag of herbs from my neck down to my lower back and removed any residual oils with a warm, damp cloth.
Best part: After correctly guessing that my extremely tense neck and shoulders were from sitting at a computer all day, Elaine returned to the area multiple times to ensure that every last knot was eradicated.
Why it's worth it: Besides the seriously low price, this massage will leave you euphoric for days.—Sarah Rammos
Graceful Spa: Body scrub
205 W 14th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-675-5145, gracefulspa.com). 50-minute scrub $60.
This affordable minichain offers two kinds of full-body skin scrubs: one with sea salt and another with a vanilla-latte brown sugar. Curious about the difference, I asked my aesthetician, May, to treat different parts of my body with each, so I could compare. To start, she covered me with warm water and steam, then gently rubbed the coarse grains into different areas of my entire body—salt on the back, sugar on the front.
Best part: After I rinsed off both solutions in the shower, a brief rubdown with thick lotion seemed to lock in moisture for days.
Why it's worth it: Though I felt a little like a turkey being brined, the satisfying scratch of the salt buffed my skin and removed any traces of dead cells without leaving me smelling like a bakery.—Adam Feldman