716 Greenwich St., nr. Charles St.; 212-206-9714
A session at Relax is not a fluffy day-spa treatment. Therapists here, especially owner Rick Sharpell, work deep, canvassing the muscle groups for tightness, following them to the end, then homing in on stress points. Tight hamstrings usually mean a tight lower back; a tight lower back often means a tight neck. “Our bodies are rows of dominos,” Sharpell says. “You knock one down and it takes a whole bunch of rows along with it.” The amount of pressure he’ll use depends on how tight your muscles are (and how much pain you can tolerate). Don’t be surprised if you’re a little sore the next day; the temporary discomfort is worth it. An hour with Sharpell is $115; with a staffer, it’s $95.
Best Deep Tissue Massage
From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine