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Fiscal Therapy

I hate spending hundreds on a day at the spa only to be disappointed, but I’m wary of those dirty massage chairs on Prince Street. I’m willing to give up luscious, La Mer–stocked locker rooms, but I want my services to be solid. Where can you get a deal in this town?

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Lately, qi gong parlors have become as ubiquitous as ATMs, but at a lot of them, you spend your whole massage wondering when the sheets were last changed. Not relaxing. At Graceful Services (1097 Second Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-593-9904), customers are separated only by white curtains, but the place is spotless and the massages are consistently strong and therapeutic ($60 per hour). Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon (190 Third Ave., at 17th St.; 212-420-7242) is known best as a Gyrotonics studio, but it offers three different massage modalities—Swedish, Shiatsu, and Thai—for just $55 an hour. Amore Pacific’s new green-tea-based Time Response cream may be $400, but the 45-minute Halla Green Tea Back Therapy is only $75 at the company’s spa (114 Spring St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-966-0400) and involves a scrubdown with green-tea leaves and warm oil, and a heated-stone treatment. Fresh just opened a spa at the back of its new store (1367 Third Ave., at 78th St.; 212-585-3400), where every dollar you spend on treatments is redeemable for store products. So, for the price of a cleansing facial ($125) or body buffing ($185), you can walk out with a mood-altering Mate candle ($45), some lip shine ($18), and a blush ($28)—for starters. At the recently renovated Lia Schorr (686 Lexington Ave., nr. 57th St., 4th fl.), a simultaneous facial, manicure, and pedicure is $120. And take this, Amore Pacific: Vichy, the No. 1 skin-care brand in Europe, has arrived. You can find it at select Duane Reade or CVS stores, and nothing costs more than $34.


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