I Need a Massage – Life in New York City!

This blog post is a little about massage and a lot about living life in New York City. Just about anyone who has experienced life in New York City will tell you how essential massage is to their existence.  I love and have called NYC home for over 25 years! So, please read on. There is something of interest for everyone. 

There is no other person more deserving of a massage respite than one who maneuvers life in New York City. A massage can reduce stress, relieve headaches, help lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and so much more! Sounds like the perfect elixir for a city dweller, right? Right!

For any New Yorker navigating life in The Big City (or any city, for that matter) a 10-20 minute respite in a massage chair or 60-90 minutes on a massage table can do wonders. Just a few minutes of rest and rejuvenation, combined with the focused bodywork provided by a licensed and insured massage therapist from our team of excellent therapists at Compliment Your Body can be just the ticket you need to catapult you through the remainder of your day.

The New York City Experience – a Non-Native Viewpoint

Let me start by saying I LOVE New York City. Over 25 years later and I am still here, a test of true heartfelt endurance! No other place I have ever lived has had the impact NYC has had on me. In the span of ten minutes, I can love it, and want to get the H.E. double toothpicks out!

I started Compliment Your Body in New York City back in 2004, but my journey didn’t begin there. Like the old story goes – boy graduates college; boy packs his bags and arrives in the Greatest City in the World –  with just two suitcases and a dream.

I moved to New York City in 1992, shortly after obtaining my theatre degree from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. After a career in theatre for over 10 years, I decided I wanted a more normalized life. The excitement of living life on the road was starting to wear off. I wanted the same bed every night . . . and dogs, something you don’t get living life on the road

Flashback 1992

I remember the day I moved to NYC like it was yesterday. I got picked up at the Port Authority Bus Terminal by my soon to be roommate, a lady I had yet to meet. I was taken by cab to her friend’s house where I was introduced to the BBC television show Absolutely Fabulous  We sat in a room filled with smoke (and it wasn’t tobacco). Ahh, I was so naive back then.

Ooops, did I say “house”? I meant to say closet. This was the smallest apartment I had ever seen. There was a shared bathroom in the hallway and a bathtub that was literally sitting in the kitchen. I swear you could scramble eggs, iron a shirt and wash your hair all at the same time . . . maybe that’s why they called it an “efficiency.”

As a person who grew up in a small town in Maryland and went to college in rural Winchester Virginia (the home of Patsy Cline and the Apple Blossom Festival), I began to realize that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. This ride was going to be exciting. It was, and still is!

I digress.

This post was initially supposed to be about massage in NYC.  As I started writing this post I began to realize that there is a massage for just about every stage of the New York City experience, so I decided to just go with it!

According to recent statistics, less than half of the population of New York City were born there. I’m sure this number would be higher if it weren’t for Florida, where many New Yorkers escape to retire. 🙂

Perhaps no one tells the story of the New York City experience better than the prolific composer/lyrist, and New York native Mr. Stephen Sondheim.

I hear a crane making street repairs
A two-ton child running wild upstairs
Steam pipes bang, sirens clang
And what more do I need?
The neighbors yell in the summer
The landlord yells in the fall
So loud I can’t hear the plumber pound the wall – Stephen Sondheim
Anyone living in, who has lived in, or who has even visited The Big Apple can relate to the song below. Have a listen.

What More Do I Need? – Monet Sabel with The Charlie Rosen Big Band

True story, right?

Stages of Life in NYC – and How Massage Can Help You Through it!

The Big Move to The Big Apple! – Acclimation Stage
Reasons for Massage: Anxiety and Excitement 

It takes a special kind of someone to take that leap of faith, pack your suitcase, and move to the Big Apple. It doesn’t matter what kind of fish you were in your previous pond, NYC is filled with guppies, many who think they are whale sharks. In a city of over 8 million, chances are you will have to pound the pavement with the best of them to make it happen, and it CAN happen!

New York City is FILLED with opportunity, and the fruit is ripe for the picking. Unless you are a trust-fund baby who is independently wealthy and arrive with your network of support already in place, you have to be willing to pound the pavement and plant thousands of seeds before you can expect to go out and harvest the crops.

Cue Chair Massage!

During this initial acclimation, period money is likely scarce. A 10-15 minute session in a massage chair can help calm the nerves and reduce anxiety. Chair massage is also an affordable alternative to table massage, costing as little as $15-$30  for a 10-20 minute session. Many salons offer a quick chair massage following your pedicure, and many companies will bring chair massage to your office, party, or event.

It is not uncommon in New York City for employers to hire massage therapists to come to the office and provide monthly massage to their employees. When moving to NYC, try to seek employment at one of these AMAZING companies that know how to keep their staff happy, healthy, and productive. These companies may have a pile of resumes. But hey, nice work if you can get it – right?

These Boots are Made For Walking – Tourist Stage
Reasons for Massage: Muscle Soreness and Sorer Feet!

Once you’ve found your digs and settled in, it’s time to find a permanent gig. Insert your Dr. Scholl’s®, grab your cup of joe, and learn how to maneuver this great city.

The phrase “walk a mile in my shoes” has an entirely new meaning when you are new to NYC. In fact, the average New Yorker walks an average of 2 to 5 miles a day. Maybe that explains why New Yorkers live 2.5 years longer than the national average.

New York City residents walk to the subway, to the bodega, to the coffee shop, to the grocery store, to the subway, to the theatre, to the bar, to the shrink . . . and, yes they even WALK to Central Park to RUN. Did I mention it takes a special kind of someone to live here?

When you are new to the city it can be confusing and you will likely clock in some additional pedometer mileage just trying to find your way around.

Local, express, east, west.
SoHo, NoHo, NoLita . . . AGITA!
Where in the Hell’s Kitchen am I?

If you are new to the city, your best bet is to visit the following places within your first few months. Once you get your “I’m a True New Yorker” card – which according to sources can take about ten years – you will not likely visit these places again, except begrudgingly when friends and family come to visit.

The following are places to get off your bucket list early on: The Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island, a Sightseeing Bus; Rockefeller Center at Christmastime, Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Little Italy, a ferry tour . . . and any apartment laundry room after 5:00 PM and on weekends!

Cue Reflexology/Foot, Deep Tissue or Sports Massage

Now that you have pounded the pavement and hooked a decent job and have some extra cash, this is the time to indulge in a foot massage or deep tissue massage. Rejuvenate those aching feet from miles spent walking on concrete, and loosen up those tired muscles after hours of physically exhilarating activity.  Life in NYC is an endurance sport – you earned EVERY SINGLE MINUTE ON THAT MASSAGE TABLE! 🙂

I’m Not In Kansas Anymore – Homesick Stage
Reasons for Massage: Ease Depression, Help Fibromyalgia Pain, Reduce Anxiety, Sleep Better

OK, you are several months in now, and like everything in life, the realities are setting in and the novelties are wearing off. You are likely starting to compare/contrast NYC with your previous life: the cost of things here versus there; the deepness and genuineness of your social circle here versus there. You are now starting to realize the value of time and the importance of creating balance.

Five words that best describe New York City: Inspiring, Awesome, Vibrant, Open-minded, and Diverse. 

The sixth word: Exhausting

New York City is synonymous with productivity. It’s all about the hustle and achieving what it is you came here for. NYC will absorb all the energy you have, as long as you are a willing contributor.

It is at this point in the journey where the importance of self-care, rejuvenation, and mindfulness play important roles. Learning how to set boundaries is paramount for the long haul. In addition to massage, mindfulness practices like guided meditation, tai chi, Hatha yoga, and breath awareness meditation will help keep your mind and body in balance. 

When you arrive in New York City it is unlike any place you have ever been. Home to The United Nations, New York City is a microcosm of this intergovernmental organization that seeks to foster cooperation between nations to solve economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian issues. 

New York City is home to a multitude of multicultural events such as The Chinese New Year Parade, African-American Day Parade, The LGBT Pride March, and the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

With so many cultures and people, you’d think it would be easy to find your clan. However, in a city of 8.6 million people and over 800 spoken languages, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed and out of place when first arriving in the city. It can take some time to ease into the lifestyle before you find your tribe. 

The population density in this city is so great that it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Rather than having two next-door neighbors and one or two families across the street, you share a dwelling with upwards of 100 neighbors in the same building. A New York resident can live in the same building for years and never meet all of his/her neighbors.

Also, the noise can take a bit of adjusting to. There are people, horns, and sirens on the street 2-4-7, and getting to sleep can be a challenge. In time, you will get used to the noises and it will feel like background noise, but this can take a little time.

Cue Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy, and Trigger Point Therapy

Acclimating to NYC can trigger a cascade of emotions, leading to anxiety, depression, and more pronounced symptoms for those with fibromyalgia. Like all new experiences in life, the mood swings subside with time and massage therapy can be an amazing tool to help deal with this period of transition.

Swedish massage is a gentle massage technique that incorporates long, fluid strokes. The aim is to relieve muscular tension, increase circulation, enhance relaxation, and help induce more sound sleep. Swedish massage is a wonderful way to unwind and leave the stressors of the day behind you. Often a Swedish massage combines aromatherapy, which can enhance the level of relaxation.

Essential oils such as lavender,  rose, sandalwood, and jasmine can help reduce anxiety, encourage calm, and produce a night of more restful sleep.

The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia include widespread musculoskeletal pain, as well as headaches and fatigue. This condition, often triggered by a stressful event,  can tremendously impact the quality of life and cause a reduced desire for physical activity, social withdrawal, and depression.

Relaxation massage and gentle trigger point therapy can help treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is important to work within the client’s tolerance level and to make sure that they have been cleared by their physician to participate in a massage therapy program.

Kid In The Candy Store Stage
Reasons For Massage: Increase Mental Clarity, Improve the Immune System, Improve Sleep

You have likely been in New York City for upwards of 6 months by now. You set up your killer cave; snatched up an awesome day job and supplemental side hustle, and are the belle (or beau) of the NYC scene.

Your day may look something like this:

5:30 AM – Roll out of bed – and likely fall right into the bathroom
6:05 AM – Run out the door and grab a coffee at the bodega
6:15 AM – Hit the gym
7:30 AM – Fight like a sardine to cram into a packed subway car
8:05 AM – Bagle with schmear and your 2nd cup of Joe
9:00 AM – Arrive at your day gig
6:00 PM – Happy Hour with your associates
7:30 PM – Grab some take out on the way home
9:00 PM – Shower
10:00 PM- Sleep? Naah, what is sleep?! . . . hit another local dive with your gang
12:30 AM – Grab a slice on the way home
1:00 AM – Crash

You are now part of the vibe and experiencing the scene in the city that never sleeps. 

Cue Sports massage, lymphatic massage, and corporate chair massage

With the crazy schedule that most New Yorkers manage, combined with the cramped spaces, it is a great idea to explore lymphatic massage. Lymphatic massage is an extremely gentle massage technique that focuses on the lymphatic system. This massage modality is superficial and does not reach the deeper muscular layers of the body.

People who live in large cities are in constant contact with people – and their germs. A lymphatic massage encourages more productive lymphatic flow and drainage, thereby helping to bolster the immune system.  It can also help improve skin conditions by improving the overall complexion and helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes.

Navigating any big city is a sport in and of itself. A quality sports massage can help facilitate better efficiency of movement, increase range of motion, reduce fascial adhesions within the muscles, and help prevent injuries by addressing existing musculoskeletal imbalances. 

A city that never sleeps requires a workforce that never sleeps. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Shift work disorder can affect your health, as well as your performance and safety on the job.”There are many short and long term health effects with shift workers including sleep disturbances; a reduction of mental clarity that can lead to accidents; obesity; and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and mood disorders. 

Those who employ night shift workers may consider providing a corporate chair massage incentive for their employees. Corporate chair massage has shown to increase mental clarity, focus, and energy levels; help prevent absenteeism, and help reduce anxiety and depression.

I Can Make It There Stage
Reasons for Massage: Manage Work-Related Stress, Encourage Mental Escape

You are approaching your first year and are starting to feel like a real New Yorker. You are seeing a growth in your circle of friends. You are expanding your extracurricular activities, and are starting to see that shift of more money coming into the purse/wallet than going out!

You persevered and all of your hard work is paying off. You are now able to enjoy more of what New York has to offer, without the need to have multiple pieces of plastic in your wallet!

Cue in-apartment massage

This is an exciting time in your transition towards living your best life here in the Big City! While still on a budget, you are starting to have some extra cash in your pocket to add some not-so-guilty pleasures to your routine like seeing a show, enjoy a concert at The Cloisters, or take a day trip to Williamsburg, and while you are there, catch an awesome concert at the Music Hall of Williamsburg!

After you return home from your day trip, make sure to book a wonderfully relaxing in-apartment massage from Compliment Your Body.

Compliment Your Body brings the massage experience to you, all you need to do is give us a call at (646) 868- 8956 to schedule your massage.

Word of advice, we here at Compliment Your Body have been around since 2014 and are a little old-school. We don’t do on-demand services. Why? Our select team of therapists is locally vetted and come with years of experience in the field. Our therapists are generally booked several days to a week in advance, so plan your massage accordingly . . . you will be glad you did!

Oh, and Compliment Your Body donates three meals to a New Yorker in need with every massage booked through our relationship with Food Bank For New York City. We believe in giving back to the community.

Bonus Content: 10 Cool Things to Do in NYC!

Below are some tips for saving money in New York City, and some fun ideas to get more enjoyment from the city. 

  1. Join the Theatre Development Fund
    TDF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. This organization offers discounted tickets to see a variety of live theatre events throughout the city, ranging from Broadway, Off-Broadway, Concerts, and Dance. Full-time high school and college students, recent graduates (26 and under), non-exempt employees, freelancers, full-time teachers, full-time union members, retirees (62 and over and no longer working), full-time civil service employees, full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations, full-time performing arts professionals, members of the armed forces, full-time clergy and individuals on federal disability are eligible to become TDF members.
  2. Free Trips to the Museum
    NYCGo.com provides a list of free museums and other events to see in and around the city. Check out the calendar and plan a day of cultural enlightenment. 
  3. TimeOut New York 
    TimeOut New York is a mainstay for what is going on in and around NYC. You can subscribe to their magazine, or check them out online. They will be sure to keep you abreast of what everyone will be talking about next week! 
  4. Restaurant Week!
    New York City indulges the foodies of the city twice a year by providing access to some of the cities best restaurants. This event offers prix-fixe meals at over 360 of the City’s finest restaurants (two-course lunch around $26; three-course dinner around $42). You can’t beat that with a breadstick!
  5. Join a Pub Crawl
    Pub crawls are a great way to explore the local nightlife with a fun group of people. If you are new to the city, have a somewhat outgoing personality and want to meet other likeminded people, while simultaneously indulging in a cocktail (or two), visit Pub Crawl New York and get in on some fun!
  6. Street Fairs, Festivals, and Parades – Oh My!
    NYC can give any city a run for their money when it comes to street fairs, festivals, and parades. Summertime will provide an opportunity to grab a comfortable outfit, clock in some miles on the old pedometer, and explore all 5 NYC boroughs. There is something happening every single weekend, so get out there and traverse!
  7. Get Your Swing On!
    Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center is a three-week funfilled event in the summer for those who want to shake their groove thing or do the conga. The title can be a bit misleading, as this event involves live bands covering a variety of dance styles including disco, ballroom, salsa, and more. Check out the calendar, get your tickets, and have some fun!
  8. I’m Just a Broadway Baby!
    Once a year the Broadway theatres offer 2-for-1 tickets to see some of Broadway’s top shows! This event usually takes place during the end of January/Beginning of February. The list of shows usually appears the first week of January, so keep your eye out and don’t miss out on this amazing experience to meet those dancing feet!
  9. Enjoy an Independent Film
    One of the joys of living in NYC is that there are so many opportunities to see films other than the mainstream box office hits. The Film Forum, located in Greenwich, has been showcasing an “international array of films that treat diverse social, political, historical and cultural realities” since 1970. Become a member and tickets are just $9.00 per film. Support a great cause, and see some culturally diverse films.
  10. All The World’s A Stage
    The Delacorte Theatre in Central Park has been providing free theatrical experiences in New York City for over 60 years! Film and theatre stars alike join forces to provide some of the best outdoor theatre in the country. Shakespeare in the Park alumni includes Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jonathan Groff, and Donna Murphy, to name just a few.

Richard A. Lehman, LMT, CSCS

Compliment Your Body, LLC
1441 Broadway #6087
New York, NY. 10018
(646) 868-8956

What makes Compliment Your Body rise above the rest?

– We don’t rely on ads to find our amazing team of therapists. Our in-house NYC therapist referral network guarantees dedicated, vetted, experienced and professional New York State licensed massage therapists, whose goal is to produce 100% customer satisfaction.

– We are local to NYC. When you communicate with our team, you will always be within reach of a human voice. Your corporate / event planner will often make an appearance at your office to ensure things are running smoothly.

– We take care of our team of therapists.  We believe in the core principles of reciprocity. When we take good care of our massage therapists, they take even better care of you. We make sure to provide our therapists with a healthy work environment. Experience the “Happier Therapist Difference.”

– We give back to the community. Every single massage, whether in-home or corporate chair massage, provides three meals to a New Yorker in need through our relationship with Food Bank For New York City.

Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity are the pillars of our company.

Experience the CYBNYC difference!

This website may discuss topics related to health, fitness, nutrition or medicine.  The information provided should not be treated as medical advice. The information provided on the website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, expressed or implied.  The Website makes no representations or warranties about the medical, fitness, or nutrition information on the Website.

Do not rely on the information provided on the Website as an alternative to advice from your primary healthcare provider.  You should never self assess, self administer, delay or disregard seeking medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website.

The Website was developed strictly for information purposes.  You understand and agree that how you use the information provided on this website is your responsibility. Compliment Your Body, LLC  makes no warranties or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person and that Compliment Your Body, LLC assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the website.


Richard A. Lehman, LMT, CSCS, owner and CEO of Compliment Your Body, LLC has over fifteen years of experience in the health and wellness field. During his career he has worked in a multitude of settings, including spas, chiropractic offices, and on the field at IronMan competitions. Richard was hired in 2005 with the United States Tennis Association as a Massage Therapist and provided therapy to the professional athletes at the US Open Tennis Championships from 2005 - 2010. Richard graduated in 2004 from The Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He also completed the Plant Based Nutrition course at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a Level 2 Nutrition Coach with Precision Nutrition. Compliment Your Body has been providing corporate / event massage therapy, and in-home massage therapy to New York City and the surrounding boroughs for over fifteen years, and has been the corporate massage provider to the New York Times throughout this time. Commitment, compassion, connection and charity are the pillars of our business. Experience the CYBNYC difference!

Recent Content