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Osaka Health Spa
The services range from acupuncture and herbal therapy to skincare treatments but most clients seek out Osaka Health Spa for the signature Shiatsu massages. Belying the gentle atmosphere that its sage green and light wood motif cultivates, the Korean spa takes an aggressive approach to the bodywork form, which is traditionally associated with energy balancing. Not content to align your chi using hand pressure alone, the practitioners employ their feet, hoisting themselves onto clients’ backs, then padding around on the target location while hanging onto ropes strung from the ceiling for stability; customers typically lie on futons to facilitate this service. To prepare for the intense massage sessions, visitors are invited to undergo a hot-cold hydrotherapy ritual using the spa’s steam room, sauna, and ice-cold baths (“Hot and Cold Alternate Bath is No Catch Cold, Rejuvenate: Renewal of Youth or of Strength,” explains a somewhat garbled poster on the wall). Thanks to Osaka’s extraordinarily generous hours, you can get worked over pretty much whenever you might need it—even if that’s before heading home from, say, a night of hard partying. The late closing time plus the exotic (some might say masochistic) massage work also make it especially popular with couples up for an interesting date idea.
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Best of New York: Health & Self
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