Muscling In



Published:

 Given the mushrooming number of LaVida Massage locations, you wouldn’t know we’re mired in a recession. But maybe precisely because of the stressful economic climate, more people are seeking relaxation in the form of a massage. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that this Commerce Township-based business, founded in 2007, is going great guns.

A new franchise opened in Troy in January, joining other locations in Brighton, Canton Township, and Clarkston. Then, in February, a Commerce Township LaVida sprang up inside the company headquarters. And a Lake Orion location is on tap, not to mention existing franchises in Illinois, California, North Carolina, and other states.

Part of the draw may be the reasonable prices. Ordinarily, my hourlong massage at the Troy location I visited would have been $54.95, which is a good value. But I got a new-customer discount, making it downright cheap at $39.95. The receptionist also told me discount coupons are offered via e-mail for repeat customers.

Another attraction of LaVida could be what the company calls “gender-neutral” décor.” Some spas tend to be a little too frilly, which can make men uncomfortable, but the apple-green-and-chocolate-brown color scheme is neither too masculine nor feminine.

Technically, LaVida isn’t a true spa, because it offers only massages, facials, and waxing. Although it claims fewer amenities than most spas, it’s clean, comfortable, and no-nonsense.

After being seated in the waiting room, I was led down a long corridor of rooms, where requisite ambient music was piped in. Among the types of massages LaVida offers are Swedish and deep-tissue, but I wanted something in between. Swedish is relaxing, but fails to target really troublesome knots. A deep-tissue massage is therapeutic, but can be painful. Shawn, my masseur, obliged with a combination of the two.

He worked hard at loosening my tight quads and hamstrings, and applied acupressure to my knotted-up traps (upper-back muscles.) Instead of gentle kneading, he employed finger pressure and long, deep strokes.

Sure, there was some fleeting pain, but at the conclusion, my range of motion was improved and my legs didn’t feel as though they were supporting a linebacker’s frame. Shawn also demonstrated some helpful exercises to beef up my back muscles. Overdeveloping the pecs and upper-arm muscles takes its toll on the back, and my toll was heavy.

Following the massage, I spent a little while in the relaxation room, downed a couple of glasses of water, and was on my way with a new bounce in my step.

LaVida, of course, means “the life” in Spanish. After my experience, I’m tempted to echo the Coldplay song “Viva la Vida.”

73 E. Long Lake Rd. (at Livernois), Troy. Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 248-813-1330, lavidamasage.com.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

The Way It Was - The David Whitney Building

Unlikely Sprinter

Cass Tech/U-M graduate Eddie ‘The Midnight Express’ Tolan ran to fame in the 1932 Olympic games.

Pingree's Patches

Outspoken mayor planted seeds for Detroit’s original urban farms in effort to address financial woes

School's Almost Out

Get your kids away from their electronic devices (at least temporarily) with a host of day camp activities
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Bright Future
    Selden Standard’s brilliantly executed food and atmosphere adds spark to another rebounding...
  2. Detroit Rides!
    Detroit may have been built around the automotive industry, but as the Motor City looks ahead on...
  3. The Rapid Rise of Slow Roll
    Five years ago, Monday nights in Detroit were just like any other. Now, they’re a celebration...
  4. Spreading Popularity
    Gus & Grey is a one-woman show (for now), jamming out in Traffic Jam’s kitchen
  5. 8 Degrees of Expansion
    Brigid Beaubien and Tim Costello are bringing their Plato craft beer concept to Detroit
  6. A Taste for the New
    Even in metro Detroit’s rapidly expanding culinary scene, there’s an insatiable appetite for...
  7. A Pedaling Pack of Wolves
    Without the ‘squad,’ Slow Roll wouldn’t exist
  8. Down River barbecue, not Down South
    Slow-cooked specialties and a strong lineup of appetizers and side dishes add to the appeal of...
  9. Wrenching for a Ride
    Detroit nonprofit Back Alley Bikes offers opportunities for youth (and adults) to build, repair,...
  10. Shake It Off
    Sure it’s been a long, cold, and lonely winter. But don’t look back. Let the season’s most...