If you're cool with letting a stranger touch you for an hour, massage is a great way to relieve stress and generally improve your health. But the real benefits only come with semi-regular visits, and monthly trips to high-end spas like the Crescent, where the most basic massage will set you back $125, are not compatible with the average person's budget. There's no getting away from a conventional massage place, even from a discount chain like Massage Envy, for less than $60. That's why the next time you're feeling tense, you should ditch convention and visit a Chinese reflexology shop.
You'll find them all over the Dallas area, often in strip centers. These shops typically advertise foot massage, although many also offer a full-body massage, some for as little as $35 an hour. But adjust your expectations before you enter. Don't hold your breath for a pitcher of cucumber water, fluffy white robe or pan flute music. Forget even the private room. Most reflexology shops are lined with with La-Z-Boys or low leather beds, and you'll be massaged out in the open, with your clothes on. Feeling skeptical?
It may not be as relaxing in the moment, but what's more important, you'll feel great for weeks afterward. These massages are no joke, and not for fans of the gentle, Swedish variety. They're about really working your stuff out. A language barrier can make it hard to request pressure adjustments, and the massage will probably border on painful at times. But just go with it. You'll walk out feeling like you really went through something, and have come out the other side a better person. You might even feel slightly drunk.
Plus, unlike traditional massage places, most of these shops will take appointments until late in the evening. Often you can walk in with no appointment and experience little to no wait. The downsides, like occasionally distracting background activity and the overall lack of privacy, eventually become part of their weird charm. Once you're hooked, you'll be appalled you ever paid extra for Enya and fancy water. Here are five to check out.
Ya-Ya Foot Spa 509 N. Bishop Ave. and 5555 W. Lovers Lane This one benefits from having great locations: one on Lovers Lane across from Trader Joe's and the other in Bishop Arts. As at most reflexology joints, your feet will be soaked before your massage. You'll also receive an eye mask. An hour foot and leg massage at Ya-Ya is $36; open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Sole Therapy 10455 N. Central Expressway, No. 114 Sole Therapy offers an hour-long full body massage for $35. There's also an awesome snow cone place in the same shopping center, an ideal combo for summer. Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.
Reflex Foot Spa 9780 Walnut St., Suite 148 At Reflex, a 60-minute foot/body massage combo is $40, or you can get a 70-minute foot massage for $29.99. Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.- midnight Friday and Saturday,
Foot Therapy 10910 N. Central Expressway, No. 250 An hour full-body massage is $35 at Foot Therapy. Open 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.
Foot Joy 7734 Forest Lane Here it's $40 for a 70-minute full-body massage. Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday.