Taiji Body Work: Working That Body
Actual events occurred on January 11, 2014.
Are work stress, the cold winter weather, and a long commute wearing you down? Have your shoulders and back been reduced to hard knots, in need of being kneaded away? Is your body crying out for some relief in the form of a massage?
Then perhaps Taiji Body Work will fit the bill!
R and I decided to check out Taiji Body Work after googling new massage parlors in Manhattan with good ratings and affordable prices.
And wow that massage was no joke: my female masseuse (we requested both be female) worked my tissues, smoothing over my back and whole body like I was dough being kneaded. The squeeze, push and pull was so tight and vigorous that I could hear my bones “pop” every time she would plow on through with her strong fingers. I almost wanted to cry out in pain at one point when she was being particularly firm with my back, pushing the tips of her fingers into specific pressure points. Perhaps it was meant to unblock my bad ‘chi’ or something. That’s the feeling I got, in any case.
I have never had acupuncture done before but this might be very close to it, sans the actual needles: the phrase ‘meridian points’ comes to mind. I finally did tell my masseuse that the stones were a bit too hot when she first slid them down my butt (Hey! The bum’s a sensitive area, aiiiiite) and she got me gradually accustomed to the level of heat by using a slightly less hot one at first. They really do touch the butt a lot, too – and not just graze the top of it – so if that’s not your thing, be sure to let them know ahead of time.
Also, when my masseuse was hitting my back and tugging on my legs, I wanted to ask her to be less firm. I finally did speak up but it was towards the end of the massage. I guess I kept my tongue still because I thought that this was how it was supposed to feel and that I merely had to bear up and endure the pain so that my tissues could be relaxed afterwards and my tight knots melt away. That the pain would pay off. I’m not entirely sure that’s true but I did handle it as best as I could and still ended up enjoying the massage overall.
It was not the type of massage, however, where you could simply close your eyes and fall asleep. I was quite awake and with my eyes open at some points. I did think the hot stone massage was a nice highlight. Even though it was only for maybe five minutes, it brought instant “ahhhh” relief to my back and all along my spine. I would come back to Taiji again, except next time I would make sure to specify that I want a Swedish massage that’s “softer” (relatively speaking) and not so firm.
Upon closer inspection, it seems the deal we had was deep tissue massage + hot stone massage + reflexology (they didn’t do “real” reflexology: more like a little foot massage, but it was sufficient) = $55 for 75 minutes. Normally, Taiji’s rates are $55 for 60 minutes, so you get an extra 15 minutes. On top of that, you could choose to take advantage of the current Yelp deal ($5 for $10) that would save you $5 each at the Chelsea, Greenwich and Upper Westside locations. R and I were satisfied with our massages and tipped our masseuses well.
The ambience was not bad either: dimmed lights, hangers for our clothes, the standard massage tables with towels and a thin white sheet for hygienic purposes. (FYI: you’re supposed to lay your body on top of the sheet, and not under it. Let’s just say we learned the hard way.) We had our own room, although a curtain instead of a door separates the front of the room from the rest of the establishment. If we were strangers getting massages separately, a curtain would have divided both of us as well, but since we came for the couples massage that wasn’t an issue and the extra curtain was left open for us. Periodically, we heard a few noises, such as other people’s voices and the microwave, but it was minimal and didn’t detract from our massage.
We called in earlier today to make a reservation for 6:15pm and were served right away. At the end of our session, we also received a rewards stamp card: buy 10 sessions, get the 11th free. Since R and I already got two stamps today after our couples massage, it would take us just four more of these sessions to get a free massage. Now, the real question is: which of us is getting that free massage?* 😉
Bottom line? I’d come again, and with a Yelp coupon on top of that. Pay under $60 for a whopping 75 minutes? Umm…yes, please!
*R says it wouldn’t matter because then it just means our couples massage is “half price.” In true R-style, he thinks of both of us. I do so like that about him…
Taiji Body Work
153 W 27th St (between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10001