Around Town

Five massage deals, and maybe freedom, for under $50

I’m really stingy when it comes to spending money on indulgences — which means I have paid for three massages in my 26 years of existence. Which means I’ve experienced three hours in my life that were entirely about a healing touch.

And touch matters. Touch with moderate pressure can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Touch reduces stress hormones and has the potential to enhance immune function. Fifteen minutes of massage a day have produced greater accuracy on math tests. Touch can communicate support, it can communicate encouragement, it can communicate love — it can produce positive energy.

How often do you give that to yourself?

I finally caved and got a massage at Okra yoga studio after seeing a deal surface in my email like a blazing beacon of hope and ease. I walked into Okra after work, shook Claudio Ortiz’s hand and collapsed into a cloud of zen music, focused work on my tweaked hamstring and back, and touch by someone who believes in cultivating positivity through body-work.

My tension melted and I felt freer.

Also freeing is the fact that this town is big enough for more than one introductory massage, in case you’re interested. Five deals I scrounged up:

Okra: $49

For: A new client’s 60-minute massage

Intention: To create a home for others to heal through pursuing their own unique passions and joys in life.”

Zen Massage: $49.95

For: One-hour Swedish massage, no membership necessary

Intention:To be a sanctuary of relaxation and harmony. To receive balance and relief from any physical or mental stress.”

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Massage Envy: $49.99

For: One-hour introductory massage session

Intention: Body maintenance to “manage the side effects of life.”

Massage Heights: $49.99

For: One-hour introductory custom massage

Intention:  Give the “body and mind a break from the stress of everyday life.”

LaVida Massage: $49.95

For: One-hour custom massage session for new clients

Intention: To make massage not a luxury, but “an integral part of any health care and wellness regimen.”

Find a deal you like? Maybe you’ll find freedom.

Photos: Katie Toussaint, T. Ortega Gaines/Charlotte Observer