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Massage Snob

By February 07, 2012 , , , , , , , , ,

You meet all sorts of snobs in big cities like NYC and DC – there are wine snobs, culinary snobs, cupcake snobs, etc... According to my friends, I am what you call a “massage snob”. Why, you ask? Well, there is nothing quite like the pampered feeling from a massage and having all the worries and stresses of the day pushed out of your body.  But over time, I find that I have developed a discerning taste when it comes to massages. Early on, I used to typically go for a Swedish massage, the classic massage treatment offered at spas and that most people are probably familiar with. For those receiving a massage for the first time, the Swedish is an excellent place to start as it reduces stress without pressing too deeply into your muscles.

While I can appreciate the candles, nature music, and serene environment during a Swedish massage, it often feels too "frou frou" for me (the snob comes out, ha!)….and sometimes a girl’s just gotta get a massage with some elbow grease put into it! Coming from Asia, I’m partial to the acupressure treatments and Thai massages. Acupressure, also known as Tui Na massage, is a traditional Chinese technique derived from acupuncture. Instead of needles, the masseuse applies some mean pressure to different parts of your body (the energy-carrying meridian points) to improve blood circulation and reduce stress. I didn’t really know what to expect in my first Tui Na massage, and let me tell you, it certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted! My masseuse really kneaded deep into muscles I didn’t even know existed! I eventually got used to the pressure and found it immensely relaxing! Tui Na definitely feels like a deep tissue massage, and there is a science behind it which makes me blissfully feel like I’m doing something beneficial for my body.

Similarly, my experiences in Bangkok have made me a believer in the healing powers of the traditional Thai massage technique. Thai massages apply firm pressure alongside yoga-like stretches to relieve muscle pressure and improve flexibility. To me, Thai massages feel like a personal yoga training session, where the masseuse pulls your body in different directions and angles you didn’t know you could turn! Don’t be surprised if you hear yourself gasp or try to catch your breath as the masseuse yanks your torso crazily from left to right. While I’ve probably sufficiently scared you away from trying a Thai massage, I would highly recommend trying one! New York City has a couple places with Thai massage treatments that come pretty close to the ones you’ll get in Bangkok (e.g. Dusnee Thai Spa).

While it may be fun to get a massage, they can easily start pinching your budget. I’m always on the lookout for good spa and massage deals. I’ve found Lifebooker to be helpful in NYC, and LivingSocial and Groupon to be occasionally helpful in DC. There is also a National Spa Week, where local spas offer MAJOR discounts for spa therapies. Check out http://www.spaweek.com to receive alerts and discounts!

What are your favorite massages?

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