4 SF Spas With Killer Deep Tissue Massages


These intensive massages will melt away any and all stressors.

Given the pace of our daily lives—and tendency to be hunched over a keyboard—it's no wonder that muscle pain affects so many people. In fact, it's estimated that nearly two out of every three people in the U.S. have chronic muscular pain. So, aside from desk yoga, what's one to do to help alleviate all the tension? Carve out an hour or two from your schedule once or twice a month, and get a deep tissue massage. Here's four of our favorite San Francisco studios to help you undo tense knots.

Studio Soothe

If the quaint, geodesic light structures aren't enough to coax you past their Hayes Valley doors, then perhaps Studio Soothe effusive, attentive staff will. Offering a bevy of massage and skin care services—including AHA and enzyme peels to melt away signs of exhaustion from your complexion—Studio Soothe is a bastion for relaxation. Once you lay your head onto of of their warm towel cupped massage tables, you'll feel all your work week woes fall to the wayside, much like the knots you were previously holding onto before you entered the studio space. // 60 to 120 min sessions ($125-$250) can be booked online at genbook.com or over the phone, each massage includes aromatherapy and the option to use heated packs, 1883 Hayes St. (Hayes Valley), studiosoothe.com

Massage Tip: Try to practice deep breathing practices while your masseuses knead your tense muscles. This will help to not only calm you, making the experience more relaxing as a whole, but can also make muscles more malleable, and thus easier to work on.

Oxygen Massage Therapy, Cow Hollow

Conveniently located in a historic building at the corner of Union and Laguna, Oxygen Massage Therapy offers three beautiful treatment rooms to their clients at their Cow Hollow offices. Given that this is their newest location in the Bay Area, you can expect experienced professionals. Lay on their memory foam massage tables and feel any tension melt away. Each session can be coupled with an aromatherapy package, and every masseuse wields a wide array of deep tissue massaging techniques, ranging from trigger point (pain-point management) to myofacial release (breaking-up excess connective tissue); all of which will help alleviate any lingering stiffness or overall muscular imbalances you might be clinging on to. // 30 to 120 min sessions ($75-$310) can be made online at booknow.com or over the phone, parking can be found on-site as well, 1905 Union St. (Cow Hollow), oxygenmassagetherapy.com

Massage Tip: Be sure to drink plenty of water after your session. The built-up toxins that are released via the unknottings need to be flushed-out of your system as soon as possible.


When mulling through your massage studio choosing, you, above all, want find a place that nurtures a community of therapists that are caring, knowledgeable, and accessible. And that's exactly what Body-Soul-Massage strives for. Whether you're looking to treat yourself to a relaxing escape from your busy day or seeking to heal from physical pain, their catalog of alleviating techniques—from cranio-skeletal balancing (balancing the head supporting muscle groupings), acupressure (applying intense, site-specific pressures) and beyond—is expansive and all healing. So, if you've got an aching pain, odds are the hour or two spent at Body-Soul-Massage can rid you of it. // 50 to 120 min sessions ($75-$225) can be made either online at bodysoul.abmp.com/contact-information or over the phone, aromatherapy is optional, 17th Ave. and Geary Blvd. (Richmond District), bodysoul.abmp.com

Massage Tip: Always express discomforts to your masseuse if you think he or she is massaging too firmly, especially during deep tissue sessions. A fair amount of pain is to be expected—but not enough to make you bite your lower lip.

A Deeper Touch

At A Deeper Touch, they pride themselves on their ability to treat and tend to nearly every muscle group, from the facial muscles holding-up your lower jaw to the tense traps that plague desk workers. Using such deep tissue technique like Swedish massage, trigger point, and what they call "muscle energy" therapy to help facilitate fluid muscle relations, A trip to A Deeper Touch should be high on the list for anyone yearning to rid themselves of testy pains, be them chronic or otherwise. Also, be mindful that they only taking cash payments. // 60 to 90 min sessions ($115-$175) can be booked at info@deeptouch.net

Massage Tip: If you tend to have sensitive skin, let your massage therapist know. He or she might opt to use a more hypoallergenic oil, such as jojoba.


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