Some people enjoy massages as a fun indulgence. I happen to love them; I am a massage enthusiast. I seek them out and try to sneak them in whenever possible (hello 10 minute, 10 dollar chair at my local nail salon!). So when I heard about Bliss spa's new "Rythm & Bliss" massage, I was in there faster than the beat could drop on a dubstep Lana Del Ray remix.
Robed and relaxed, I got prepped by my masseuse, Ben, who told me of the several melodic categories available: classical, rock, electronica, and world. And, having gone through a pretty heavy classic rock phase, it seemed only natural to choose rock. Ben hooked me up with the totally wireless, state of the art, sound-canceling headphones used during the massage and told me that he would proceed to the beat (or vocals, or bass — whichever appropriate), as he listened to the music on a monitor in the room. The massage is not choreographed, though the music is the same for each playlist.
Next came the good stuff. There was neck work to Aerosmith, lower-back knot relief to Led Zeppelin, an arm rub to Jane's Addiction, pressure points with Pearl Jam (I know, I know), and a particularly strong moment with "Seven Nation Army," when Ben pulsated on my shoulder blades to that distinctive, dunn-dun-dun-dun-dun-dunn-dun. By far, though, the grand finale came with the (dare I say) nearly sensual strokes to the tune of The Beatles' "I Want You So Bad." Might sound bizarre, but I didn't hate it, not one bit.
While no massage needs music to feel awesome, it definitely adds a little sumthin-sumthin. Not only was it more relaxing (despite points of heavy drumming), I cannot tell you what a relief it was not to have to answer those "how am I doing?" questions or make small talk about a random cousin that also went to my masseuse's Alma Mater. Point blank:This service rocks.
Rythm & Bliss massage, $155 for 75 minutes (includes a 15 minute music tutorial); available at Bliss spa locations in Manhattan and Hoboken.
Photo: Courtesy of ABPR