My foot-rub room with music, good smells, sanitized and HOT towels, and a little friend on the wall. *
Hoof it on down to Ocean Spa on 8th Avenue and 49th Street for a pretty darn excellent foot rub. I was torn between a Swedish massage and a reflexology treatment, and ultimately I chose my feet over my back because I didn't feel like stripping and I had a finite amount of time and money to spend.
I had a two-year-old SpaFinder gift certificate for $50 that I wanted to spend in the neighborhood. I know Home Spa in Carroll Gardens takes them, and O Spa in Bay Ridge takes them, but I wanted to stay close and I wanted to keep the funds in Sunset Park. After a quick search on the internet, I found that Ocean Spa is the only Sunset Park spa that takes SpaFinder gift certificates! Decision made.
I've had two previous reflexology experiences. This was totally different. At Home Spa it felt really good and I had a warm foot wrap and a relaxing sense of well-being. Here, it was much more low-key for the atmosphere, but incredibly intense for the reflexology. I think I'd return to Ocean over Home for the better deal.
It started with a dark room that smelled really good. However, don't expect a womb-like experience. You can hear the front desk and the room next door. After a few minutes, the woman who greeted me at the desk brought in a HOT water bath for my feet. It smelled like lavender and it was HOT. She asked me if it was too hot, and I answered yes. So she said it would feel better in a few seconds, and it did. By then, I should have known this was not a rub-your-temples-and-hum-to-new-age-music-place experience.
When she started in on my feet, it felt pretty familiar. Nice rubbing on the heel and arch and toes. And then the hard pressing started. "Too hard?" I had to think about it. I decided no, and she seemed to appreciate the answer. It was tinged with pain, but it also felt really good. Can someone back me up on this? I know from a friend trained in acupuncture that sometimes a particularly troublesome spot can feel painful when it's addressed. That's what this was like.
When she moved on to my right foot, I almost stopped her in one place, but then thought better of it. I've been in a lot of pain before, and this didn't feel like pointless pain. This felt like it was getting the job done kind of pain. After the session, over some green tea at the front desk, we talked about the areas that were particularly painful - there were two. And she showed me what parts of the body those corresponded to - it made perfect sense.
I'm probably going to start getting spam from some S&M sites or something, but that's not what this was like at all. If you are feeling like you need some foot rolfing, I highly recommend this place. I think her name is Suet, but I'm not sure. However, she was the person the other women came to to translate to English.
* I guess I should come completely clean and let everyone know that I was visited by a cockroach on the wall. While I was waiting for Suet to come in at the beginning, I saw him crawling along the wall on my left. I tried to squash him, but missed. My valiant reflexologist got him when she came in (yes, I pointed him out to her). Somehow the idea of a cockroach in there didn't freak me out. I didn't see another one in the 45 minutes that followed. Of course, I wasn't looking...much.