Stressed? We feel you.
Make an appointment at one of these San Francisco massage studios for an intense, deep tissue treatment that will undo your tensest knots and melt your troubles away.
The brain-taming geodesic light pendants, attentive staff, and comfy two-room space are enough to coax us into this NoPa spa, which offers a bevy of massage and skincare services (including facials and waxing). But it's the luxe touches (aromatherapy, heat packs) to truly therapeutic work that keeps us coming back. // 60 to 120 min sessions ($125-$250) can be booked online at genbook.com or over the phone; 1883 Hayes St. (NoPa), studiosoothe.com
Tip: Practicing deep breathing during your treatment will help both your mind and muscles relax.
Oxygen Massage Therapy
Oxygen Massage Therapy has three SF locations, but we're partial to its newest, in a historic building in Cow Hollow. Here three beautiful treatment rooms await with memory foam massage tables for sessions that utilize techniques including trigger point and myofacial release to alleviate stiffness and muscular imbalances. Team your treatment with aromatherapy for extra ahh-factor. Thai massage is also available. // 30 to 120 min sessions ($73-$310) can be made online at booknow.com or over the phone; 1905 Union St. (Cow Hollow), oxygenmassagetherapy.com.
Tip: Drink plenty of water after your session to help flush out the toxins all that deep kneading just released.
If community and nurturing therapists are your high priority, Body-Soul-Massage will take care of you with an expansive offering of pain-reducing and relaxing techniques—including cranio-skeletal balancing, acupressure, and hot stone therapy with optional aromatherapy. // 30 to 90 min appointment ($60-$145) can be made online at bodysoul.abmp.com/contact-information or over the phone; 17th Ave. at Geary Blvd. (Richmond), bodysoul.abmp.com.
Tip: Pressure too firm? Always tell your therapist, especially if you're feeling pain. Deep tissue massage can be intense, but if you're biting your lower lip, it's too much.
A Deeper Touch
At this private massage studio, your therapist, Gareth, prides himself on working 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. Also, be mindful that they only taking cash payments. // 60 to 90 min appointments ($115-$175) can be booked via email at email@example.com; 729 Clementina St. (SoMa), adeepertouch.net.
Tip: If you have sensitive skin, let your massage therapist know. He or she might opt to use a more hypoallergenic oil, such as jojoba.