Confession: I love a Chinese massage.
Qigong Tuina is a Chinese manipulative therapy, or simply a bad ass affordable massage.
My first Qigong Tuina massage took place in the basement of a Chinatown building in 2005. I walked down the stairs, and a man speaking broken English rushed me in. Suggested by a friend, I feared it was a massage parlor.
I walked into a large room filled with massage beds, dimly lit with red lights. The sounds of bodies being slapped and chopped, mixed with light music and women yelling to each other in Chinese, surrounded me.
You don’t undress in this place, so I had gym clothes on. I laid face down, and a petit and impossibly strong woman beat the crap out of my tense muscles. After 90 minutes I owed $50, and walked out on cloud 9.
I haven’t been to the one in Chinatown in years, and have graduated to business that have small partitions between beds where you have the privacy to strip down.
I went to Sunshine Body Work yesterday in Park Slope, and it was $55 for a 60 minute massage, and they even threw in a hot stone treatment.
But these massages aren’t for the faint of heart or for those who require a quiet relaxing experience. They also aren’t for people looking for a little extra something. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more, say no more.