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November 22, 2005

Tui-Na: Affordable Massage

massage.jpgThough the reception area at Qi Gong Tui-Na massage parlour is a bit cramped and drafty, the Pepto Bismol hued walls and sandalwood incense evoke the feeling of a spa. Upon our arrival, there was only one therapist but a brief phone call yielded three new therapists and a raised eyebrow from my companion.

tuina1.gifThe women materialised within minutes, each possessing a waning command of English. Now knowing when to use the subjunctive tense is by no means necessary for working the kinks out of my back. However, even a basic level of communication would have allowed me to better direct her hands. Nonetheless, in an hour she had covered every reasonable inch of my body.

tuina3.jpgAt Qi Gong Tui-Na the mysterious massage therapists just might double as call girls on Canal Street. But if your call girl-slash-massasge therapist compliments you with, "very nice body," refrain from wondering about the innocence of her inner thigh kneading -- she is just buttering you up for a big tip.

Be prepared to strip down to your skivvies in the presence of total strangers, because you are in a room with two other potentially anonymous clients, and you don't have time to think twice. And at $40 an hour, don't question; just sit back and relax.

Call ahead for appointments, and do not be guilted into a larger tip. 20% is generous enough.

If the idea of laying nearly naked in a room with strangers is enough to put knots in your back, Mario Badescu Spa offers solo massages for $70 an hour.

Qi Gong Tui-Na
222 Lafayette Street
between Spring and Kenmare

212.941.9988

Posted by EMC at November 22, 2005 08:55 PM

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