Last week I was contacted by PR firm representing Body Mechanics NYC to see if I were interested in reviewing a massage treatment for runners. Naturally I was. I’m a big fan of massages. I get regular massage treatments because I work sitting at a computer all day long and I’m a naturally tense person. I carry a lot of tension on shoulders and neck, which causes some mild upper back pain. I’ve found that massages along with being more mindful of my posture (which I’m not 99% of the time), stretching, yoga, and foam rolling help me manage the soreness that can build up in my back.
Body Mechanics NYC offered me a free treatment, but I asked if I could split it with Ben because I wanted him to get some professional massage for his calf muscles and to get his opinion of the experience. I knew that I would already be naturally biased to liking the treatment because as I’ve stated before, I’m a believer of massages. Ben is more skeptical and as a massage newbie, he would offer a difference experience. Body Mechanics NYC kindly agreed to letting us split the treatment into two 30-min treatments.
Body Mechanics NYC is owned and operated by Beret Kirkeby. Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, across from Grand Central, Body Mechanics NYC is a boutique massage spa that offers specialized treatments for athletes, including runners and CrossFitters, and other sports-related conditions, such as injury. Beret also offers prenatal massages.
Online appointments! I HATE talking on the phone, so having the ability to make appointments online is a huge plus with me. If you want to make an appointment within a couple of hours, you’ll need to call. I didn’t make our appointments online because everything was handled via email, but I love knowing that in the future I can make appointments online.
The website is clear and nicely organized. It’s easy to find information and best of all the prices for treatments are listed. I hate it when the prices are not listed and you have to call to find out.
Body Mechanics NYC has beautifully appointed rooms. The walls are painted with deep calm gentle colors of slate gray and aubergine. There’s a peaceful tranquil air to the place. Plush chairs with curved legs, crystaled chandeliers, and interesting medical chattel, such as a skeleton and framed artwork of organs screen printed on old pages from medical books, lend to a wonderful Victorian charm. Ben and I were both very impressed by some framed steam punk art that Beret, herself, had created. Honestly if she had been willing to sell them, we would have bought them.
Beret is well-trained and knowledgeable. She went up to Canada to do her training because their training program is more rigorous than in the US. As she was giving us our treatments, she explained what she was doing and why. This Ben appreciated more than me. Ben detests silence and it meant a lot to him that Beret talked to him during his treatment. Because of some linger calf soreness from his marathon training, Beret concentrated on working on his legs. She explained why she was treating different areas of his legs even though he wasn’t experiencing any soreness or pain there (basically muscles and tendons are connected in different areas and the pain can be caused by one area, but it presented as pain in another area because other surrounding muscles are trying to compensate). Prior to the massage Ben was worried that he would get bored during his 30-min treatment (he has a very low tolerance for anything he perceives as low stimulation), but because of Beret’s talking, he was very much occupied and entertained. He enjoyed his treatment.
With me, we decided that Beret would focus on my upper back. Now when I get massages, I believe in the no pain, no gain philosophy. I adore painful massages. I actually find them more relaxing than the Swedish massages that focus on stroking the skin. Beret’s fingers and elbow applied pressure on my back. I purposely didn’t say anything because I wanted to see what Beret would do naturally. She applied a good amount of pressure on my back. I can imagine that for most people this is enough, but next time I think I will ask for even more. I love the fact that I can discuss with her before the treatment what exactly I was experiencing, so she knew what to work on with me. If I have a specific area that I want her to concentrate on, I can direct her there.
After working on me, Beret applied from Rock Tape (it’s like KT Tape) on my back to remind me that I should sit and stand with my shoulders pulled back. My upper back tends to be slightly hunched over, which contributes to the tightness in that area. I never had Rock Tape or KT tape on me before, so I was very curious about it. I found the tape to be very comfortable. It stuck on for more than 24 hours (even with me taking a shower with it), with no peeling edges. It would have stuck on even longer, but I found that after more than 24 hours, it got a little itchy. Other than the slight itchiness from prolonged usage, I didn’t notice the tape at all. Beret gave us a free package of Rock Tape, so I’ll be experimenting with it some more.
She also gave Ben a tennis ball to use by rolling on it to provide deeper pressure on his quads.
After our treatment, Ben and I had lunch in the city and went home. To me the hallmark of a good massage is whether I am so relaxed afterward that I fall asleep. We both ended up napping when we got home. Ben thought the massage got out some knots that he had developed from running. He felt my back and commented how much softer and relaxed it was.
Beret works with you to develop a plan of treatment/therapy, especially if you’re an athlete. I really like the fact that she’s a runner and understand runners’ needs, concerns, and injuries. She specifically has a massage program for runners, which I think is cool.
The prices for the treatments are in line with other high-end massages in boutique spas in Manhattan ($120 for an hour). If you’re used to cheap Chinese massages, the price might be a sticker shock. But part of what you’re paying for with Body Mechanics NYC that you don’t get at a cheap Chinese massage parlor is peace, privacy, a beautiful space, and the masseuse’s sole attention on you. Beret does offer a few specials that will lower costs. The first hour of treatment for new clients is $99. If you refer a new client, you’ll receive $20 off your next treatment. If you buy a 5 or 10 standard treatments (60 mins), you’ll receive 10 and 15% off, respectively.
Not much really. My quibbles with Body Mechanics NYC are picayune. Having a hanger to hang up work clothes would have been nice. There’s a hook on the door, but if you’re worried about stretching out your clothes, having a hanger is good.
The cost may be of concern to those of limited means. I consider the price of the massage treatment to be fair for everything that you receive (terrific massage in a beautiful peaceful room). But it may not be something that you can afford on an on-going basis.
I absolutely recommend Body Mechanics NYC for massage treatments, particularly if you have on-going issues developed by running, or other sporting activities. Beret is able to work with you and create a treatment plan around your own needs. If you’re not able to afford on an on-going basis, you should consider going when you develop or before you develop an acute problem. Beret’s recommendation is that you come as often as you need to come. She’s interested in keeping you healthy and off the table, so there’s no pressure to buy a big package or book your next appointment before you leave. She has clients who come in frequently (once a week) to those who only show up a few times a year.
15 Madison Avenue, Suite 2200
(entrance on 42nd, between Madison and Park, across from Grand Central)
New York, NY 10017
212 – 600 – 4808
Disclosure: Ben and I each received a free 30-min massage treatment (Rock tape and a tennis ball) in exchange for a review of our experience. This review reflects my own honest opinion and thoughts. Aside from the treatment, Rock tape, and tennis ball, I was not paid for this review. Body Mechanics NYC did not ask for a positive review, nor did they preview or try to influence my review in any way.