The Body Unwound

Illustration by Dugald Stermer

Shiatsu Shampoo at Ishi
There are more than 96,000 nerve endings in the scalp. In a private room, after a thorough spritzing with a cool, foaming conditioner, a massage therapist works over nearly all of them with acupressure to release pent-up tension.
$85 for 45 minutes.
70 E. 55th St., nr. Park Ave.; 212-888-4744

Head Cradling at Dorit Baxter
The myriad nerves and muscles that intertwine in your neck and head make it, pound for pound, the tensest area in your body. This combination of massage, pressure-point work, and rocking can limber up even the most resistant ligaments.
$55 for a half hour; $85 for an hour.
45 W. 57th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-371-4542

Sound Vibrational Therapy at the Olive Leaf Wholeness Center
This alternative stress reliever claims to strengthen the immune system. While you listen to soothing Japanese music through headphones, a therapist moves a gently vibrating silk beanbag over your so-called energy centers, or chakras. The effect gently loosens tightly wound muscles.
$95 for an hour: half-hour sound therapy plus half-hour massage.
145 E. 23rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-477-0405

Acupuncture Facial at Eva Scrivo or Equinox
Ultrathin needles go into target points around the eyes, face, and neck to reduce wrinkle-producing tension and revive weary nerves.
Eva Scrivo, $210 for 90-minute AcuFacial.
632 Hudson St., nr. Jane St.; 212-677-7315;
Equinox, $105 for a half hour, $180 for 50 minutes.
140 E. 63rd St., at Lexington Ave.; 212-750-4671

Recentering Facial at Yasmine Djerradine
The light, rapid strokes used here help push toxins and excess fluids out, clearing your lymphatic system to do its real work: keeping your body healthy. The simultaneous foot massage puts most people to sleep.
$175 for an hour.
30 E. 60th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-588-1771

Rock and Lava Men’s Facial at Completely Bare
Warmth equals relaxation: A hot-stone massage on the face and chest is followed by a moisturizing paraffin-and-gauze mask; aromatherapy oils including sandalwood, lavender, and frankincense are massaged into the temples and behind the ears.
$135 for 90 minutes.
103 Fifth Ave., nr. W. 18th St.; 212-366-6060

Guasha at Graceful Services
In this ancient Chinese therapy, a piece of bull’s horn is scraped around the spine to release both tension and toxins. Like cupping, it leaves marks for a day or two, but adherents swear they feel great afterward.
$40 for guasha only, $80 for guasha and full-body massage.
1097 Second Ave., at E. 58th St.; 212-593-9904

Network Spinal Analysis at Sea Change Healing Center
A series of light touches applied to the spine train the brain to stop your tension pattern.
$200 for initial consultation, including first treatment.
31 W. 26th St., nr. Broadway; 212-889-7300

Flower Therapy at Stone Spa
After consultation, a specialist mixes up a month’s worth of customized flower-essence elixir to address your specific malaise; then there’s a nice long soak in a hot bath with still more compatible blooms.
$100 for an hourlong consultation, $45 for a 30-to-45-minute bath, $25 for the essence.
125 Fourth Ave., nr. W.12th St.; 212-254-3045

Hypnotherapy at Park Avenue Center for Well Being
Receptor sites on cells in the digestive system respond to suggestions given to the sympathetic nervous system, which relax nervous stomachs and cue them to stop secreting irritating acids.
$130 for 90 minutes of hypnotherapy, $200 with acupuncture.
40 Park Ave., at E. 36th St.; 212-686-0939

Signature Foot Relief Therapy at Ajune
Your soles are supposedly a microcosm of your being, with different quadrants relating to various body parts. This two-hour treatment starts with reflexology, followed by Pressotherapy boots, which deliver a pulsing action to increase circulation, and finishes with a hot-stone pedicure.
1294 Third Ave., at E. 74th St.; 212-628-0044

Ultrasonic Reflexology at the New York Dermatology Group
Feet, hands, and forehead are massaged with scented oils, then trigger spots in the foot are stroked with a vibrating metal rod, followed by a massage.
119 Fifth Ave., at W. 19th St.; 212-533-8888

Full Body
Acupuncture Massage at Equinox
Full-throttle attack on tension combines acupuncture and deep-tissue massage. Needles are placed on the legs and back while muscles are kneaded from neck to calves.
$150 for 80 minute initial visit.
140 E. 63rd St., at Lexington Ave.; 212-750-4671

Halla Green Tea Experience at Amore Pacific
The apparently miraculous beverage is central to this two-hour treatment that involves massage, a back scrub, a three-mask facial, a foot bath, and tea drinking.
114 Spring St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-966-0400

The Royal Thai Trilogy at Paul Labrecque
A warm mix of organic Thai herbs, roots, flowers, and fruits is kneaded into the body, followed by acupressure and aromatherapy massage. It reduces aches, increases lymphatic drainage, and conditions the skin.
$150 for an hour.
171 E. 65th St., nr. 3rd Ave.; 212-595-0099

The Body Unwound