Stretch*d Assisted Recovery Studios, New York City
Will Ross, February 14, 2019
Those feeling overwhelmed by the rush of New York City can now be strapped still to a massage bed in Manhattan and twisted and curled with the help of a stretch specialist. In a setting that is thankfully more yoga salon than Shutter Island, pioneering wellness business Stretch*d has opened a studio to assist ambitious endurance athletes in New York with a pampered way to improve their mobility and enhance recovery.
Made of a column of half a dozen private booths, Stretch*d resembles an enlarged and luxurious changing area. Taken as a whole, the venue’s spacious quarters in the relatively cramped Flatiron part of the city is a selling point in itself. Massage beds in each room form the platform for their programmed stretching sessions, just as you would expect from any regular tabletop treatment.
Thai massage would be the easiest comparison to the offering from Stretch*d, though the emphasis on core stretch positions pulls the orientation back towards a Western feel (sports recovery and everyday maintenance). With my competitive running background clearly outlined at the point of booking, my 25-minute stretch mainly focused on legs and hips, with each limb thrown into a number of positions to marvellous effect. While any diligent athlete should be able to motivate themselves to self-stretch and tug themselves in different directions, the assisted pressure and precision makes a significant amount of difference, especially when considering that remaining body parts are relaxed.
A key aspect which I missed completely when making the online booking is to think about clothing – you will be wearing your own clothes during the session. No special uniform and no undressing. Fortunately I was wearing a pair of flexible chinos rather than my stiffer denim dress (who knows what I was thinking that day). Making sure you dress appropriately is vital – treat it as active participation and grab your favorite sweatpants at the beginning of the day.
Stretch*d’s single venue in New York might disappoint enthusiasts located in other parts of Manhattan across the East River in Brooklyn. Fortunately, the company have followed in the wake of Deliveroo and Uber Eats, offering to visit individual homes and offices for treatments and extend the catchment of its flagship venue beyond 27th West Street Additionally, other treatment types are available including CBD (oil) massage, Hypervolt massages and Compression Boot Therapy. Session lengths can also be extended to 55 minutes or 75 minutes. with 25-minute classes costs set at $45.
Stretch*d bolts onto a gathering of other wellness spaces in New York, Nap York and Yelo Spa, and forms a cantilever to StretchLab, a similar stretch studio from Venice, California. All this is evidence that the utilisation of space coincides with the daily management of bodies.