I got rubbed the right way on Saturday and it didn’t cost me a dime.
For the last several months I have been treating myself to near-weekly massages at Heavenly Body Works on 73rd Street in Bay Ridge.
Last weekend I hit the magic number of 10, meaning I was entitled to a free massage. And I made sure to collect.
I started doing this after reading an article on how massages are actually good for the immune system, which puts them one notch above the shameless indulgence of the barbershop shave.
The hour-long treatments are a little pricy, but they’re relaxing as hell and if they’re going to prevent me from coming down with a case of the heebie-jeebies, then I think it’s money well spent on a bloody good cause.
A number of Chinese massage places have opened up in my neighborhood recently and a dozen of them were promptly shut down last year after the cops found out that the rubdowns were straying south of the border, if you know what I mean.
Picking the right place was important to me, as I’d rather not be hauled out to a paddy wagon in my underwear if at all possible.
So my sister and I did a quick net search and found a glowing review of Heavenly Body Works that even advised readers that “you don’t have to worry about being raided by police”—which was exactly what I was worried about.
The place is so quiet with the Asian version of Muzak playing softly in the background. The booths aren’t terribly fancy, but the first rate treatment more than makes up for the bland décor.
There's the Rub
You strip down to your skivvies, lay face down on the table and let the ladies do their magic all over your body.
I know I’m uptight, but I learning through massage just how constricted I really am. In addition to my bad back, I’ve also got grief going on in my left shoulder, thanks to years of crooking the phone under neck and typing on the computer.
I look back on all those years I did that as a reporter and wonder just what in the hell I was thinking. Did I seriously think there wouldn’t be a price to pay for such unhealthy behavior?
“So tight, so tight,” the masseuse whispers in response to my yelps.
But I know the pain is necessary if my twisted tissues are ever going to get untangled.
These ladies are quite strong and while they have provided me with incredible relief, I can see where they could really do a number on you if they were so inclined.
The masseuses rub and pull just about every part of my body, including my fingers and face. Then they apply hot stones to the back of my neck and place one in each hand.
The only awkward part of the whole experience is the butt rubdown, where the masseuse yanks down on my shorts and greases up my caboose. She then proceeds to rub my exposed derriere with such force it’s like she expects a genie to come flying out of my rectum and grant her three wishes.
This hasn’t happened, in case you were wondering. At least not yet.
I always throw the masseuse a tip on the way out, even though I believe that having the honor of laying hands upon my awesome physique is payment enough. (No snide remarks, please!)
The walk home is always so mellow I can barely recognize myself. For an all-too brief time, I’m not racing down the block with my arms pumping and my brain churning with all manner of useless chatter.
My shoulders aren’t scrunched up to ears and I even speak at a rate that humans can actually understand. If this is a waste of money, I’m ready to waste a hell of a lot more.
I got a new blank card to tally up my massages. I’ll be back next ready to climb that stairway to Heaven all over again.