Body Mechanics Archives - Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage : Sports Massage and Massage Therapy New York City

Massage Safty Policy & Pricing Updates-Summer 2021

COVID Safety precautions in place

Kindly wear a mask for your visit

Body Mechanics NYC Gears Icon

Massage Safty Policy & Pricing Updates-Summer 2021

We always adapt with the times to provide the safest and most professional massage and yoga services possible. So while taking into concern new state policies, feedback from our guests, and what’s best for our employees, here are some changes coming to Body Mechanics this season.

Covid safety policies: We are evolving as fast as the rules allow us to but following the state mandates. Here are the Covid Safety rules for our office:

  • Masks still on in the lobby, halls and building for everyone
  • Therapists will still be wearing masks during treatment
  • Vaccinated guests may opt not to wear masks; if they provide proof of vaccination- proof can be in the form of the NYS pass or in your card
  • You can find the full list of rules set out by Gov. Cuomo here.

Intra-oral TMJ Massages are coming back for vaccinated folks! For everyone’s safety, we were offering only exterior TMJ massages since we reopened last year. Now that 10 million people have been vaccinated in New York state, we feel it’s alright to offer intra-oral once again. It will be an option for anyone getting a TMJ massage, not mandatory if you still prefer to keep your mask on. However, everyone who chooses to do intra-oral must provide proof of vaccination. They can bring it on the day of their appointment or send a picture to reception. We’ll make a note in our system, and you won’t have to provide proof more than once, and that information will not be shared with any party, ever.

Lymphatic massages are increasing by $15 starting in July. This massage is a specialized treatment that aids specific issues. They will be $145 for a one-hour massage.

TMJ massages are increased by $10 Starting in July. This is a highly specialized service and we need to compensate our workers for that.

Healthcare Hero discount is ending in on 6/30. This discount was originally going run for only a month, but after a year of being available this discount will be discontinued in July.

Please send any questions or concerns about any of the above to info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

The secret permit you didn’t know existed that is ruining massage in New York City and what we can do about it

If you are a licensed massage therapist practicing in New York City, you need to read this article now. 

9 years ago, in opening my business, I came up against a wall called the Adult Physical Culture Permit. If you are a licensed massage therapist and do not know what it is, you are not alone. When I started asking about it, many of the business owners and teachers I asked were unfamiliar with the permit or misunderstood how it worked. Many long-established licensed massage therapists did not know that their businesses were technically in violation of an out-of-date zoning law. 

What’s is it?

In the 1970s, regulations were put into place in New York City to get a grip on the brothels and unsafe prostitution houses running out of bogus business fronts. The regulations used a wide brush and stated all businesses where the services provided include touch or instruction between man and woman needed to prove that they weren’t selling sex. To do so, they needed to apply and be approved for an Adult Physical Culture Permit.

The Adult Physical Culture Permit is highly specialized, much like a liquor license. It requires that you have rented your space before applying for the permit, you then go through a permit application that can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to process (while you pay rent!), hire an architect to do a land survey, interview neighboring businesses and residents to see what your impact on the community would be, and go through a public hearing process. If that sounds like a LOT, you’re right it is!
Read more about how the permit came to be here

How this hurt’s NYC Massage bussinesses

Here’s how the math played out when I estimated the cost to opening a very small clinic of 3 rooms:

Let’s say rent at your potential location is $4,000 a month, but your landlord requires a 6-month commitment and deposit, so in your first month, your initial cost is $24k. At a minimum, the permit process takes another 6 months, so that’s another $24k just in rent. According to land attorney Howard Goldman, the lawyers, architects, and processing fees to get the permit approved can cost up to $50k. So to get into your space, before you factor in insurance and payroll, you need $98,000 in operating costs to practice massage legally in New York City right now.

Aside from the gross and possibly debilitating financial drain on small businesses, like our very own, the very fact that the permit requires massage therapists to prove that they aren’t performing sex work before they even open their space implies that massage could only be sex work if some government authority doesn’t oversee it. We’ve already spoken about the biases people can have toward massage, conflating it with sex work, and this shows that bias can literally be written into law.

Setting the financial bar so high ensures that large companies dominate massage in New York City rather than actual small businesses. Meaning, people with no training in massage are often running a massage business through a corporate structure, ensuring low pay and low quality.

What we can do about it

I am bringing this up now because there is a chance for us to do something about it.
Sometime this week, NYC is hosting public feedback sessions to potentially change the text of this law, leading to therapists no longer needing this permit to practice in New York City. Massage therapists, business owners, and future owners will be able to call in and testify how this permit hinders their business, profits, and plans. NOW IS THE TIME MASSAGE THERAPISTS NEED TO ACT.

Because of the service we provide, massage should rightfully be classified as medical care, and the zoning should reflect that.

If you attended the webinar held by the New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists, you have already gotten some information on the players involved and who will be speaking, but anyone can attend the hearing virtually. 

35 years is way more time than this thing should’ve been on the books. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are crushed under the weight of this permit, leaving room only for the big spa chains and corporations. Let’s change that now!

Today, the date and time for the review haven’t been decided, but we will update HERE when it is. We are asking that you forward this to any massage therapist you know so that they can get involved.


Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204, New York, NY 10001Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Sports and Medical Massage Therapist Profile – Zachary

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage is happy to introduce you to another new member of our team! Meet Zachary – a dancer, performer, mover and shaker. Zachary’s expressive and empathetic personality assists him in getting to the root of the problem with his clients, to fix issues they weren’t even aware were causing them distress.

Zachary gave us a peek behind the curtain as to what makes his sports massage therapy special and effective.

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage Sports Therapist Zachary
Zachary Koval Sports Massage Therapist

What is your background and what drew you to sports?

 Zachary – I was a soccer player growing up and I competed in the NYC triathlon a few years ago. I was also a personal trainer for several years, and have spent a good portion of my life in the weight room doing resistance training.

How long have you been training or working at it?

ZacharyBeing healthy and using my body to its fullest potential has been something that I’ve always enjoyed and been focused on. As I witnessed my father deal with chronic pain, illness, and physical disability through the years, I took it as inspiration to work (and play) to make sure my own body would last and allow me to enjoy every moment with it.

Can you share one experience as someone who uses their body, that has greatly impacted your massage?

ZacharyI first fell in love with bodywork through learning Thai massage. I was introduced to it as a recovery modality in the acro-yoga community I was a part of. In Thai massage the practitioner uses their whole bodies to stretch and support the receiver with acupressure and assisted yoga postures. It becomes almost a dance between the two.
I carry that energy and intention in my work, as I integrate my training and my own movement practices, even while just using my hands. There is a silent dialogue, conversation, and dance that is occurring, that provides a fluidity and deep connection throughout my work.

What is your best “Uh-oh!” story? A time you really F-d up doing something with your body that helped inform your medical massage technique.

Zachary –  I’ve often been of the personal mindset to just push through the pain. But in training for the triathlon, my body definitely got over taxed and I quickly learned the importance of allowing time for recovery and self-care

What are your favorite kinds of people to work on? 

 Zachary People who either already have a strong connected sense to their body or are open to developing that mind-body connection. Not everyone is able to articulate where, exactly, their pain but through a bit of light conversation I can phish the info out of them during their sports massage, but the ones who know exactly how I can help them are my favorites.

If you could try any sport/or amazing physical activity what would it be? 

Zahary I love gymnastics! Shapes and poses that seem to defy gravity, and yet through dedication and training somehow go from feeling impossible to becoming possible. And for a sport- I’ve always wanted to try Kitesurfing.

Tell us a little bit about some of the other hobbies you enjoy

ZacharyI’m a mover and dancer. Active in many ways- yoga and acro yoga, cycling, swimming, hiking, dancing, contact improv. I’m also a performer and love working in collaborative and physical theatre.

What sets your sports massage apart from anyone else?

Zachary I find that having a strong somatic understanding of my own body, combined with anatomical and physiological knowledge, has led to an strong intuitive sense of how to work with others’ bodies. By moving, stretching and sometimes injuring my body over the years, when a client and I narrow down their issue I can work fluidly through all the sports massage modalities I have trained in, from swedish to myofascial or neurofascial release, to trigger point orThai, to work out their issues with the perfect method.

Is there anything we do not know about you we should?

ZacharyI traveled across the country for a year after college dressed as Baloo the bear, performing in and directing children’s theater.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

ZacharyThe ability to pause time so that I could read and learn uninterrupted.

What was the last book you read?

ZacharyThe Overstory by Richard Powers. Life changing. Highly recommended.

Take a look at our other massage therapist profiles!

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Body Mechanics Therapists’ Favorite Local Bites

It feels like it took an eternity, but Spring has finally pushed away the chilly days of Winter. We no longer have to power-walk from the subway to our heated destinations. We can take a relaxed stroll down the block and meet up with friends. With that in mind, we realized visiting guests might want to take advantage of the weather and make a full day of their massage appointment. So we asked the Body Mechanics staff to list some of their favorite local bites near the office so you can plan your day.

Coffee and Quick Stops

The joke about there being a Starbucks on every corner in Manhattan is never more true than in Herald Square. There are three within one block radius of us, the most convenient to get to being the  Starbucks right across the street, right next to the entrance to the Empire State Building’s observatory. The new oat milk goes a delicious chai latte! 

And for America’s next favorite cup of joe, there’s a Dunkin Donuts just around the corner! Our vegan therapists think the avocado toast is perfect for a fast meal.

Directly across the street from us is a Chipotle that is always busy. Grab your favorite rice bowl to go after your massage.

Most New Yorkers have a preferred bagel place, but you can’t go wrong with Ess-a-Bagel on 32nd. From whitefish on pumpernickel to bacon egg and cheese on wheat, this place has it all.

Therapists’ Favorite Meals

We’re lucky to be so close to Koreatown and all the delicious hidden gems it has. Outdoor, heated dining is available for many restaurants or you can grab and go.

Design the perfect bowl of curry for yourself at Abiko Curry. Choose your level of spiciness, then add your favorites from a selection of chicken, pork, seafood, or veggies.

A staple for over 20 years, Woorijip has a lot to choose from. Pre-pandemic, they were a cafeteria-styled, sit-down location where you could take your fill your tray with whatever you wanted from kimchi fried rice, Japanese style chicken, fried eggplant, spicy pork, and much much more. They’ve switched over to stacking containers prepackaged with one part of a meal that you can mix and match and take out.

For even more options to choose from, head over to Food Gallery 32. A small food mall with over 10 vendors selling specialized items. Taiyaki, steamed buns, ramen to bubble tea to fried chicken sandwiches and luxurious desserts are a few of the many offerings here.

Something for Everyone

Sometimes we’ve made all the decisions we’re gonna make in one day and on when we can’t decide what we want to eat and on those days we go somewhere that does everything! Market Crate and ETC Eatery both have built-in cafes for various coffees and espresso drinks, a pasta bar, a sandwich area, a griddle for egg platters and pancakes, and seasonal hot meals. ETC Eatery also offers New York-themed gifts, rare candies, and treats like mochi.

Food isn’t just fuel; it’s a gift you can treat yourself or loved ones to. Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage is proud to support these local New York businesses that have given us comfort and kept us going as we’ve worked for all of our clients who have supported us. Let us know if you find a new favorite treat near us!

A Map of every location we mentioned above!

Want to learn about recent changes here at Body Mechanics?

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

World Health Day and Facing the Oversexualization and Dehumanization in Massage

2020 was likely the first time many people heard so much news directly from the World Health Organization so it wouldn’t be surprising if this is the first time you’re hearing of World Health Day. It isn’t not marked on many calendars but April 7th 1948 was the day the WHO was established and is now the day they create many campaigns to raise awareness of serious, imminent global health issues. Last year’s theme spurred by the surging number of COVID-19 cases, was to foster an appreciation of nurses and midwives, the people at the forefront of the most precarious and daunting medical situations during the pandemic.

This year’s World Health Day theme is  Creating a Healthier World. WHO’s goal is to have international agenies address inequalities in the perception and treatment of different social groups. This directive can be seen as a lesson learned from COVID-19 and the fallout surrounding the pandemic . One inequality that we see more and more each day (especially as New Yorkers) is a rise in racism and violence toward people of Aisan descent. We here at Body Mechanics emphatically denounce these heinous acts and stand in support of the Asian people and communities who have been affected by this senseless and unjust hatred.

Massage in Media

The world of massage can sometimes contribute to the negative light that paints how society views Asian people, and it is up to us as part of the massage community to push back against these ideas. Racist and sexist ideas often develop because a certain group of people have been dehumanized by another. When we don’t have to look at someone as a fellow human, we don’t have to offer them respect, understanding, or empathy. Without those things, abuse, intolerance, and hate can grow. The media and general culture of American society dehumanizes massage in three major ways: attaching mystic orientalism to massage practice, conflating massage with sexual favors, and minimizing female massage workers as only sexual objects.

Movies, shows, or books that refer to Asian-run massage establishments as “rub and tug joints” or making jokes about getting a happy ending whenever someone mentions massage gives a bad connotation to both sex work and massage. Believing that there’s a secret, dirty code you can give any massage therapist to receive a sexual favor reduces the person and the work they do to being a dirty secret. The people working with our bodies deserve the same respect we’d give any professional.

Respect must also be given to the cultures from which we in the West have taken and commodified certain massage practices. From “namaste” tattoos, to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to any stereotypical; Dragon Lady character, the history of stereotyping and other-ing Asian culture runs deep. The same applies for massage techniques of Asian origin.

Discussing Orientalism in Medicine with Nick Ng

Body Mechanics sat down with Nick Ng, founder and editor at Massage and Fitness Magazine and spoke about his personal experience traversing the world of massage education as an Asian American.

Body Mechanics: Why do you think Asian women tend to be sexualized in massage settings?

“Orientalism began in the 13th century, but the fantasies and misrepresentations it provoked stretch through media and text all the way to the present. The fetishization of Asian women in a massage setting has its roots in Orientalism.”

Body Mechanics: In the past, you’ve spoken about how Orientalism is common in health and wellness. Can you explain some of the ways the misrepresentations of Orientalism manifest in massage therapy?

There’s a gap in the understanding of the language between the Japanese and Chinese language to the Indo-European language. Other than my [ethnically] Japanese teacher, everyone else [in massage therapy school] misinterpreted a lot of the meanings of the Chinese narratives and even the language and the characters themselves when they mention about Traditional Chinese Medicine. And I’m just rolling my eyes in class and I try not to voice out, but nobody challenged it. And it gets passed on to clients, it gets passed onto media, it gets passed on to each generation of massage therapists.

A lot of therapists who study these Asian massage therapies or other Indigenous types of bodyworks, they do not understand the culture and the history and the language of the people who first practiced it. And it’s a sign of colonialization. …what [American therapists and educators] don’t realize is that a lot of these techniques and narratives also have their own identity. Like Lomi Lomi has its own Hawaiian narrative, Shiatsu has its own Japanese narrative, Thai massage has its own narrative. And there is an issue with cultural appropriation where they leverage these cultures. They use these techniques to leverage for their own thing.”

Body Mechanics: Is there a way for someone who is not from these cultures to teach or practice in a way that still honors and respects these cultures?

Really spend the time and energy to try to fully understand the history of the cultures from where the techniques come from rather than just using the techniques for personal gain.

We here at Body Mechanics hope that on this World Health Day, this post shows the proper respect to the people and cultures from which many massage therapists derive the skills and knowledge they use to help their clients and patients. A healthier world doesn’t just mean getting medical representation of at risk groups but creating a safer world for the people currently at a higher risk of being attacked, mistreated, stereotyped and taken advantage of.


By Matt Danziger and Ken Douglas

Related reading:
Science-based Educators for Massage Therapy

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com

Medical Massage Therapist Profile – Meagen

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage is proud to bring you a profile on another new New York licensed massage therapist that has recently joined our team, Meagen! If you’re suffering from from chronic pain, stuff joints or have had a crick in your neck for a few months, medical massage therapy with Meagen might be for you.

We chatted with Meagen to learn about what makes her personal approach to medical massage stand out and while being effective!

Megan medical Massage Therapist
Medical Massage Therapist Meagen


What is your back ground and what drew you to science?

MeagenI have a degree in Occupational Studies of Massage Therapy and outside of that, did some coursework in psychology. I am endlessly fascinated by the human body and physiology, so massage therapy was a natural career choice. 

Can you share one experience treating someone that really impacted your view of treatment?

MeagenI once had a 3-hour session with a pro-lacrosse player with adhesive capsulitis — a frozen shoulder. The treatment was unlike any spa session I’ve done. It included a visual assessment, friction, passive range of motion, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. The amount of mobility he regained afterward was incredible and it really highlighted just how much bodywork can be implemented in a medical way to achieve quantitative AND qualitative results! 

What is your best “Uh-oh!” story? A time you really F-d up doing something with your body that helped inform your medical massage technique.

MeagenAt one point I got mild ulnar neuropathy* from excessive forearm usage at some clients’ request. It made me realize that a conversation must be had with certain clients for them to understand that deep is not always ‘more effective’ when treating the body with massage. I changed my habits and no longer have the condition. 

*Neuropathy is numbness or pain caused by compression or damage to the nerves.

Do you have a bad science joke you like?

Meagen Why don’t ants get sick?  Because they have little anty bodies!  That one has been gotten more laughs now that we hear about antibodies every day.

If you could try any sport/or amazing physical activity what would it be?

MeagenDiving.

Or What was your favorite class in high school?

MeagenCollege Writing.

What are your favorite kinds of people to work with/what kind of injuries do you like to work with?

Meagen I love to work on people with myofascial restrictions because they get so much relief from each myofascial session! Their joy is contagious!

What sets your medical massage apart from anyone else?

MeagenIt is detail oriented and galvanizing. I don’t just absent massage a body; I can pinpoint the issues clients came in to address and the ones they didn’t know where causing the issues in the first place. Then I teach them how to recognize these matters before they become more significant.

Is there anything we do not know about you we should? (Odd ball facts?)

MeagenAlthough I call New York my home I’m a world traveler, and the one thing I might enjoy more than myofascial release is hula hooping. In fact, I’m a hula hoop champion!

Missed our earlier profiles? Check out our other blogs.

If you want to check out our other massage therapists you can head over to our massage therapist profile page.

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage

1 W 34th St
#204,
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-600-4808
Email: info@bodymechanicsnyc.com