Monday, April 21, 2008

A Little Therapy

It's been a long time since I quit therapy with my clinical social worker Neil, who I verbally abused during our sessions, but I'm still always in the market for a therapeutic spa treatment. When I heard about Spa Week's $50 treatment special at participating spas, I jumped at the chance to try a Swedish massage at my neighborhood place, Essential Therapy. Technically I'd actually missed Spa Week but they extended the special for an extra week.

I like a place that really does it up with the incense, candles, and Indian fabrics. I know it's pretentious and too self-consciously yogic, but it's better than the white clinical look that lots of places go for. At Essential Therapy, the waiting room's floor is made completely of cushions. I like walking on something soft.

I was a little surprised when the guy who came to fetch me was the guy that was going to give me a rubdown, and I felt inclined to warn him that I wasn't wearing any underwear. Normally with a female that's just sort of a courtesy, to establish your nudity as a warning, but with Nick, a very New York-y dude unexpectedly working in such a setting, it felt more like a test.

What was more of a test was my description of all my physical ailments, and he failed miserably by pretending to be perfectly familiar with my disorder and then asking which foot it was in. I spent a minute or two trying to explain it wasn't a foot disorder and he begged to differ, so I just gave up and asked him not to rub me too hard.

In the end it was a pretty good massage, but I'm so spoiled by Deborah at Crunch being so thorough and always running over time that this massage, which was precisely 50 minutes long and skipped my tight chest entirely, felt a bit like a cheat. But at the discounted price of $1/minute, it was a good deal. And I did get a little third eye facial massage action out of it, which was a bonus.

Too bad carrying my gym bag the three blocks home kind of wrecked what the massage accomplished. And if only I weren't so stressed out about everything, I might've been able to enjoy it more.