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I'd heard about Soothe, a sort of "Uber of massage"—since it's been available in Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles/OC, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Washington, D.C., Vancouver (BC), and Seattle—but the app-based service hadn't been something to take advantage of while in New York City, where I live. Luckily that all changed last month, and I was able to order a five-star massage therapist to my door. (Note: Boston launched on Dec. 1 and Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Houston will have the service in their cities beginning Dec. 21).
My guy showed up with his table at my Harlem apartment and began to set up. "I've been in much smaller spots," he explained, as I moved a chair out of the way. "I'll go in the other room while you get ready."
I undressed and got under the sheets and he went to work, relaxing my muscles and using the deep tissue techniques I had requested. It was one of the best massages I'd had in a long time, and the first time I'd attempted to do it at home.
You can order via Soothe.com, via the Soothe app (for iPhone or Droid), or, for you old schoolers, by calling their toll-free number (800-960-7668). You just pick one of three massages (Swedish, deep tissue, or sports) and how long you want it to be (60, 90, or 120 minutes). You tell Soothe where to deliver—hotel rooms, offices, homes are all fine (they’ll meet you beachside if you pay and give accurate directions)—and when to be there. The cool thing is, you can try out a lot of different people, to see what you like, without a lot of fuss. When traveling, you can find experts without having to get a suggestion from a local. Plus, you can even choose to have couple's massage in your home or hotel room, rather than having to seek out a swanky spa for that romantic.
Rates are affordable (starting at $99), but one reason I've become a fan of these sorts of apps is because, unlike in a salon or spa or studio space, you don't have to worry about the tip amount—it's included. So it certainly takes the stress out of the entire massage experience—which should be about relaxing, not money angst.