Mosaic Total Body Salon

Twenty minutes is all you need to get the blissed-out benefits of massage at this salon/spa.

The “spa” at Mosaic is really two treatment rooms off the airy salon, but burgundy accents, swaths of shimmery gold fabric, and world music give the place a bit of relaxed drama. There’s coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in the tiny waiting area and a computer monitor to catch up on e-mail (free wi-fi, too, if you’re toting your own laptop). Another nice perk: Mosaic gives points for every dollar spent, which can be used to “buy” other treatments once you have enough.

Flickering candles in the treatment room set the right mood for my 20-minute Tech Neck rubdown ($35). The spa offers other quickie massages as well as lengthier ones plus facials and body treatments. And though I need to remove clothes only to the waist for this massage, I decide that wearing my snuggest jeans while trying to relax is a dumb idea.

Marie, the massage therapist, uses oil of black pepper to warm muscles before shifting to a variety of techniques—kneading, pressure points, chopping motions—to work out kinks. There’s enough going on to keep things interesting, and her hands are wonderfully powerful. Though the treatment is billed as a neck-and-shoulder massage, this former nurse covers a lot of ground, spending time on oft-neglected areas such as the spot where spine and skull meet (lots of little muscles there, she says) and going as far down as the hips. Marie dims the lights when she’s done, gives me a few minutes to relax alone, and then returns to help me sit up and sip water. It’s a nice way to ease back to reality.