Massage Garage: Feel Like a Million for Cheap

— by Caroline on Crack

Flickr Shot by Haynes Photography

Flickr Shot by Haynes Photography

I’m a new woman! OMG, I feel fantabulous after my deep tissue massage at Culver City’s Massage Garage Monday night. After the AIDS Walk, I was in such pain from walking that 6.2 miles and holding up my Team Crackhead sign. I know. This is the same girl who ran the marathon earlier this year. But yeah, my shoulders and back were so tight and I could barely walk due to the pain in my legs.

I needed a massage and needed one fast. And the Massage Garage’s prices ($45 for an hour massage) as well as hours (it opens at 9am and closes at 9:30pm seven days a week) made it an easy choice. I’ve also read many good things about it and had people recommend it to me. But most important, even though I called in the afternoon, I was able to book an appointment for that same night. Huzzah!

Before you get all excited about this place, it’s not a luxurious spa with cheap prices. It’s actually just a simple place where you can get a massage or a facial. No fancy amenities like steam rooms and showers, but there is a pitcher of ice water out front and a one-person bathroom marked “Pit Stop.” Oh, and they play soothing music in the massage room.

If you just want a straight massage for a reasonable price, this would be the place to go. The room I was taken into was clean and dimly lit, furnished with just a massage table and a rack on the wall to hang my clothes.

BTW, when you book your appointment, make sure to ask for a room in the middle of the hallway as the one in the front is too close to the reception area and the one in back is near the bathroom. Since the walls are pretty thin, you’re able to hear all conversations outside the room as well as the doors opening and closing.

Since my room was in the middle, it wasn’t too bad. But my friend Bernadette, who did the AIDS Walk with me and scheduled her appointment the same time, had her massage in the first room. And she was slightly irritated that she could hear every phone call that came in and every guest that checked in.

But I loved my massage experience. I hadn’t requested a special technique when I made the appointment but when I told my masseuse, Wan Lea, that I was interested in the Swedish massage, she said that it might be too light for me and my needs. So I took her up on her recommendation for the deep tissue massage.

She started off by firmly pressing down on the pressure points on my back. So painful! I was supposed to tell her if the pressure was too much but I kept my mouth shut because I figured this is just what my back needed. And it was an effective way to get those knots out. Instead I held my breath through the pain, which I know you’re not supposed to do but it was the only way I could stop myself from screaming.

Anyway, she went on to do the deep tissue massage and that was not as painful so I was able to get some Zzzs in there. I even daydreamed of booking a couples appointment with my bf. I was also trying to think if any of my friends’ bdays were coming up. This would be such an awesome present.

My only huge complaint though is that she stopped. Yes, after an hour, my massage was over and I was sooo sad. I was tempted to pay extra for an additional 30 minutes but didn’t want Bernadette to have to wait for me. Instead I promised myself that I’d splurge for that 90-minute session ($70) next time. There is also a short 30-minute massage available for $30 but who’d want to do that? I would be worried that the massage was going to end any second the entire time.

So when I stumbled out into the reception area to pay my bill, I could barely see because my contacts had dried up during my nap. The woman next to me said that she usually takes hers out before her session. What a pro! I’ll definitely have to do that the next time I come back in. After 90 minutes, my contacts would be glued to my eyeballs.

BTW, regarding parking, there’s a parking garage located a block away on Cardiff with two hours of free parking, but I usually find street parking at the metered spots near the park east of Main Street. That way I can stick around Culver City after; maybe go to Ugo for some gelato.

Massage Garage
3812 Main Street
Culver City, California 90232 (map)
(310) 202-0082