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The pressure's on: Just the right touch at Elizabeth Arden.
Best Massages

You Must Remember Bliss

BY JOANNE KAUFMAN

Although Swedish massage remains the fallback — the vanilla at 31 Flavors — clients are starting to step out. They're asking for Reiki (gentle pressure on fifteen discreet areas of the body); cranio-sacral therapy (think of it as a great scalp massage); Lomilomi ("gentle loving touch" in Hawaiian; a combination of Reiki and the long, sweeping strokes of classic Swedish massage); aromatherapy (Swedish, with mood-enhancing smells); and Thai-yoga therapy, in which you lie on a mat and the therapist picks you up and stretches you out.


Bliss
19 East 66th Street
568 Broadway
212-219-8970 (both)
$95 to $200
Trendy Rubdown: Ginger rub
You're basted with freshly grated gingerroot and essential oils, then left to simmer for twenty minutes in warm Mylar. When you're unwrapped, you get a Swedish-shiatsu mix for 100 minutes.
Also Hot: Aromassage, Rubberneck

Elizabeth Arden
691 Fifth Avenue
212-546-0200
$85 to $95
Trendy Rubdown: Desert stones
Heated lava rocks warm muscles and joints, followed by Swedish techniques, to create a deep sense of relaxation.
Also Hot: Aroma, Swedish Massage

Healing Hands
20 East 66th Street
212-396-1366
$80 to $120
Trendy Rubdown: Cranio-sacral therapy
Gentle pressure at the back of the neck improves the flow of cerebral-spinal fluid; helps the body to self-correct.
Also Hot: Lomilomi, Reiki

The Peninsula Spa
700 Fifth Avenue
212-903-3910
$70 to $160
Trendy Rubdown: Reflexology
You know it as a foot massage. Devotees believe certain metatarsal pressure points correspond to certain organs and glands, and that foot massage promotes balance and reduces tension.
Also Hot: Aroma, Pregnancy Massage

SoHo Sanctuary
119 Mercer Street
212-334-5550
$95 to $135
Trendy Rubdown: Sanctuary massage
Combines Swedish, shiatsu, and deep-tissue (penetration of sub-layer of muscular tissue -- in other words, Owwwww), but in the end, relaxing and therapeutic.
Also Hot: Aroma, Thai Yoga

Stress Less Step
115 East 57th Street
212-826-6222
$90 to $135
Trendy Rubdown: Non-brutal shiatsu
You're on a floor mat, wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt, and given light finger pressure at various key points on your body. Can relieve arthritis and sinus congestion.
Also Hot: Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage



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