Luxe Massages for the Budget-Minded

You don't have to pay top dollar to feel like you're top dog

Thanks to the combination of a computer-focused job, regular workouts and a bad habit of carrying my stuffed-to-capacity purse and gym bag on the same shoulder, my upper back is a minefield of painful knots. In search of relief, I booked an appointment at Ardmore’s newly opened Massage Envy last Sunday.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. First of all, Massage Envy is part of a chain—there are more than 600 throughout the U.S.— and second, the Ardmore location is smack-dab at the end of a strip mall. Also, compared to pricier, $100-plus massages, Massage Envy’s rate of $47 for every customer’s first 50-minute massage seemed a little too good to be true. How relaxing could it be?

Very. My massage therapist, Regina, listened carefully as I explained what I’d like out of the massage—Deep pressure! Lots of time on my knotty back!—and then gave me one of the best deep-tissue massages I’ve ever had. In the past, I’ve had therapists go so deep that the pain is unbearable, while others’ barely-there strokes made me think they didn’t know the difference between Swedish and deep-tissue. With Regina, I felt sort of like Goldilocks: The amount of pressure she used was just right. She seemed to have a knack for reading my body’s slight signs. At one point, when she was applying pressure to my thigh, she instantly felt me get tense and backed off. “Have you been running?” she asked. Apparently, all of my Broad Street training had left my quads a lot more sore than I realized.

All in all, I left feeling great, albeit with a little a bit of welcome tenderness. The waiting area was calm and dim, and the massage room was just as well appointed as many of the more expensive spas I’ve been to. Sure, the sheets might not have been as plush, or the bathroom quite as luxe, but you can’t object to Massage Envy’s Wellness Program. For $59 per month, you can enjoy a monthly massage for no additional charge, and book additional massages for $39. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate regular massage into your life, this is one way to do it. Massage Envy, 44 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore, 484-572-2000.