Brooklyn Heights spa brings a quiet revolution in beauty treatments to one of our toniest hoods, in the forms of flexibility and affordability
By Catherine Gigante-Brown
Some think the world would be a kinder, gentler place if everyone had a massage at least once a month. If Aaron Jones, owner of Massage Envy Spa-Brooklyn Heights, had his way, they would.
“People look at massages like they’re a luxury,” he said, “but in my mind, they’re an essential part of good health.”
Studies have found that massage can lower blood pressure, improve posture, flexibility, and range of motion. “It’s also been proven to relieve headaches and strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and promote deeper, easier breathing,” added Jones.
Massage Envy has an ingenious concept that makes the process affordable—and irresistible: membership. Its reasonably-priced membership structure entitles clients to one 60-minute massage per month, at hundreds of locations nationwide. “If you’re unable to get yours one month, then you can have two the following month,” Jones explained. “And it’s splittable, which means that you can have a 90-minute massage the following two months.”
Family members are invited to join at a discounted rate, and massages can also be “shared” with a friend or family member. Even better, clients can swap a facial for a massage (for a small additional fee to cover the cost of the products). Guest passes and gift passes are also available, and the businesses is open seven days a week.
The one-of-a-kind spa has been serving Brooklyn Heights since December 2012. Jones lived in the neighborhood for several years while attending Brooklyn Law School and the Zicklin School of Business. He worked in law and at a Wall Street Fortune 500 company for more than a decade, ultimately moving to the suburbs.
“When Massage Envy opened near us in Long Island, my wife and I checked it out. We loved it,” he recalled. “We’d been looking for a business that incorporated wellness and thought this would be perfect, so we decided to open a Massage Envy Spa in Brooklyn.” It’s the only one in Kings County to date.
What attracted Jones was the franchise’s unique business model, which easily and reasonably brings such treatments to the hoi polloi. In addition to offering massages (Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology), facials are growing in demand at the spa. Jones said, “We specialize in Murad Healthy Skin Facials, which were created exclusively for us.” Murad’s high-end products, developed by a board-certified dermatologist, are used exclusively in the four types of facials Massage Envy offers: Environmental Shield Vitamin C, Clarifying Enzyme Acne, Anti-Aging, and Sensitive Skin. A private consultation determines which is the most appropriate for each client.
The busy sounds of Remsen Street dissolve the moment you push through the doors, replaced by soft music and a pleasant fragrance. The treatment rooms are spotless, and gently lit, with tables dressed with plum-hued fleece and crisp, clean sheets.
Then the lusciousness begins. For example, the Environmental Shield Vitamin C facial begins as cotton tufts soaked in cool water mask the eyes. The journey through the steps of beautiful, visibly healthier skin is comprised of three portions: 1) Cleanse/ Tone; 2) Treat/Repair; and 3) Hydrate/Protect.
Time seems to stand still as your face is steamed and cleaned, and mild pressure is applied during extractions (to remove blackheads and whiteheads), all the while you are told what will come next and asked about comfort level. Two patented masks (which include natural ingredients like oatmeal, avocado and honey) are part of the process. After they’re delicately applied, there’s not one, but two massages while each mask penetrates your skin (first a hand and arm massage, then another for neck and shoulders).
At the end, you’re literally glowing as the esthetician shares your individualized Facial Wellness Plan and recommends products, all available discounted at the spa.
Massage Envy’s parent company launched in 2002, and in a decade or so, has blossomed in 49 states, with more than 960 locations, and has delivered over 70 million customized massages. Each clinic maintains a standard of excellence, engaging experienced, licensed massage therapists and estheticians.
“Every Massage Envy Spa has the same standard of quality,” said Jones. “But we also have our own individual personalities. I think ours has a genuine friendly vibe.”
In fact far from being a cookie-cutter, assembly-line spa, what sets Massage Envy’s Brooklyn Heights outpost apart is a city-savvy combination of expertise and professionalism. Esthetician RasShahn, who previously worked in the competitive publishing arena before finding her calling as a skincare guru, summed it up perfectly. “I’m in a happy place,” she smiled. And Massage Envy excels at transporting their clients to their own personal happy place, too.
147 Remsen St. / 718.451.3000