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Massage Envy 

Aariel Charbonnet

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Early risers, night crawlers and penny pinchers take note: Open seven days a week (and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday), Massage Envy (701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 832-0007; www.massageenvy.com) provides affordable, professional massages and offers a membership package that makes the benefits of massage therapy available to everyone.

  "Our goal is to let people know massage is important in their lives," says Brian Grenrood, regional developer for Massage Envy in Louisiana and owner of the Metairie clinic.

  For first-time patrons, introductory one-hour massages are available starting at $39. A $59 monthly membership at the Metairie branch includes a one-hour massage each month. "By offering a membership, we allow people to get a massage at about half the price of what you'd pay elsewhere," Grenrood says.

  Massage Envy caters to a diverse range of customers, from athletes to expectant mothers. Therapists stimulate the lymphatic system during the prenatal massage and work to alleviate normal pregnancy discomforts, such as back aches, joint pain and stiff neck. One of the company's newest signature services is Hot Stone Envy, a 90-minute massage featuring smooth, heated stones placed on various points on the body to allow deeper muscle relaxation.

  The health and wellness benefits of massage therapy make the centuries-old practice highly appealing. "It's not just relaxation," Grenrood says. "It helps with chronic pain, and the stress-relief benefits are amazing. There's a lot of power in the human touch."

  With the grand opening of Massage Envy Spa Uptown (5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-8980) on Dec. 4, the Arizona-based franchise is expanding its services. The Uptown branch will be the first in Louisiana to offer facial therapy. Partnering with Murad Inc. skin-care company, Massage Envy Spa will incorporate anti-aging, acne, vitamin C-infused and sensitive-skin facials into its menu of services.

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