Yesterday I finally used the Massage Envy gift certificate I got for Christmas (thanks, hubby!) You know my life has become a bit crazy when I don’t have an hour to get a back rub, which I normally try to justify as a medical necessity. Luckily, although I had originally intended to use my credit at the Massage Envy outpost in Durham, they also have a location down the street from Harold’s parents.
I do have to say that they tried their best to customize and individualize the experience, and the massage was definitely decent. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gotten one in quite some time, so I had already started fantasizing about Graceful Services, my favorite NYC spa bargain. I can’t even really call it a spa, because it was more like a room divided into treatment areas with curtains, above a Chinese restaurant, up a broken set of stairs. It wasn’t ultra-private – once, the guy next to me had a nervous breakdown and screamed out “I can’t take it anymore!”, which was quite the ambiance-killer. I would never even have trusted it had my extremely discerning friend Patra scoped it out in advance. A few months earlier, we had criticized the pampering that New Yorkers seemed to find necessary. Now, we had soon realized that we had become exactly like those we had scorned. Our jobs were killing us, so we deserved a monthly treat.
Patra promised that I would feel a million times better, probably even for a whole day. And let me tell you, these ladies were magic. My therapist, Nancy, once fixed my back in about five minutes after a nasty fall. She also seemed genuinely concerned each time she’d inform me that my hip flexibility was on par with an 80-year old, and parts of my shoulder appeared to be fused together. Nancy would start every treatment by actually walking on my back, and using her knees to get out the biggest kinks. You can’t get better than that, people.
That being said, $50 per session at Massage Envy is certainly grad student friendly, and I may also be checking out a few other local options: like Chapel Hill Massage or Healing Waters Med Spa (although the latter option seems a little Botox focused). Apparently, I could even take Noodle to Ooh La La Pet Spa, because if there’s anyone who deserves a break, it’s our spoiled poodle.