Want a Massage? There's an App for That

Want a Massage? There's an App for That

You just flew into town, and boy, are your arms tired (not to mention your legs and lower back). Or, you’ve been slaving over a hot laptop all day. Or, you’ve been walking—east side, west side, all around the town. Whatever, whichever, it’s mid-afternoon, your muscles are screaming, and you want a massage. Immediately. But where can you go? How can you possibly get an appointment at such short notice?

The solution is at your fingertips—specifically, at MassageNow, an app and website (massagenow.co) that recently launched in the New York City market. Think of it as an Uber for beauty. You call it up, and it’ll show you same-day openings at different spas around the city, starting in as little as an hour, and for the rest of the day. An on-line glance at 3:05 p.m. for example, showed appointments starting at 4 p.m. Users can filter the openings by distance (anywhere from 10 blocks to two miles away), by therapist gender, duration of the service and price level. You pick a time, and pay via the site. Given the wonders of electronic data transmission, the info will hit the spa before you do—so all you have to do is check in and make ready.

Speaking of paying: The service you book through MassageNow is 20% to 40% off the spa’s normal price. Why are they being so good to you? Well, it’s the same concept that fuels TKTS, the Times Square booth that sells discounted, same-day tickets to musicals and plays: filling slots that might otherwise go unsold. The spa is willing to charge less, rather than risk being left with an empty hour and an idle aesthetician.

Some service-on-demand apps keep the provider anonymous, but MassageNow names names, telling you which spa is offering what before you book (in addition to massages, the site offers facials and waxings too). The list varies from day to day, of course, but participating venues have included such swank centers as the Marilyn Monroe Spa, Paul Labrecque and Townhouse Spa.

A touch of your finger, and soon a therapist’s fingers will be applying healing touches to your face and frame. Isn’t the digital age grand?

MassageNow, massagenow.co; app for iPhone available on iTunes. First-time users receive $20 off with code INNY20.