Best cheap massages

Tui na, shiatsu-downtown, that translates to "cheap massage." Which are the best? By Kate Lowenstein

Most New Yorkers have tense shoulders, knotted muscles, and neither the time nor the money for a spa visit. Those with no attachment to New Age music or fancy oils should go downtown to loosen up: Chinatown and Little Italy are packed with no-frills joints that offer manipulative therapy (tui na), breath work (qi gong) and traditional massage (shiatsu), last-minute and always on the cheap.

1.Wu Lim Services, 179 Grand St ($10 for ten minutes): A grubby entrance may be a turnoff, but the vigorous massage is worth the risk.

2. Back and Foot Rub, 79 Allen St ($10 for ten minutes): Steel-fingered women go at your back (or feet) in a darkened communal room. Unglamorous, but it hurts so good.

3. Toto Beauty and Health, 193 Centre St, second floor ($50 for one hour): Private rooms give this an Upper East Side feel.

4. Broome Sky Health Center, 120 Elizabeth St ($15 for 15 minutes): Head inside for intimacy—and the smiling staff.


5. Rich Nails, 199 Hester St ($13 for 15 minutes): This one's on the higher end, and looks like a clean-cut midtown manicure place.

6. Fishion Herb Center, 107 Mott St ($10 for 15 minutes): One customer says it best about this large (albiet dingy) spot: "It's painful, but you feel great the next day."

And more cheap rubs

7. Howard Beauty Salon and Spa, 34 Howard St, 2nd Fl ($30 for 30 minutes)

8. Ji Li Tui Na, 202 Mott St ($14 for 15 minutes)

9. Teana, 151 Mott St ($15 for 15 minutes)

10. Apple Spa, 207 Grand St ($12 for 15 minutes)

11. Season Spa, 165 Hester St ($35 for 30 minutes)