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A neon “body rub” sign is the only advertisement for Apple Spa, a basement-level shiatsu center sandwiched between a pharmacy and a grocery store. With worn electric-blue carpeting covering the steps, lime-green walls, fluorescent lights, and a single blue sheet hiding three treatment tables, there’s little in the way of aesthetics at play here, but owner John Zheng makes Apple feel more welcoming than it looks. Massages, sold in Chinatown’s standard fifteen-minute time blocks, are delivered over towels on fully clothed customers in semi-private spaces where, if you can’t stand hearing your neighbor’s groans of relief, you’re plain out of luck. There’s an additional table in the office up front for acupuncture (Zheng is a practitioner and an herbalist). Clients with chronic pain may want to try the 30-minute medical massage, which uses an herbal solution concocted by Zheng to heat and soothe targeted areas. Qi gong is performed upon request; Zheng makes house calls for regulars.
Best of New York: Health & Self
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