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A massage being introduced this month at Bliss spas in New York and Hoboken enables clients to get kneaded while listening to Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and U2.

The new Rhythm and Bliss massage rejects the notion that New Age is the universal soundtrack of relaxation. Its recipients sample and then select one of four musical playlists (rock, classical, world or electronic); don Bluetooth headphones (which also block out noise in the hallways), then spend the next hour being massaged in sync to the music.

"We're really trying to push the boundaries," said Ben Brown, a massage therapist who created the playlists as well as the more traditional ones for Bliss spas across the country. The rock version begins with the Kinks (no pun intended) and includes college favorites as well as new artists.

"People were like 'You can't do a massage to rock,' " Mr. Brown said. "But it's very possible." (And at $155, cheaper than some concert tickets.)

Rhythm and Bliss is part of a new wave of specialty massages that go far beyond hot stones, oils and mud to soothe bodies and transport minds. These extreme massages are intended to affect all of the senses, using music, colored lights, vibrations, spinning tables, gemstones - even live snakes at one spa in Israel. And while reptiles are not a spa standard (yet), therapists say the amped-up services are taking off, thanks to a new generation of savvy spa-goers who are willing to be more adventurous, especially if there's a promise of unwinding faster.

Read the entire story here.

From: New York Times

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