Ganzhi Blindman Massage
What is it? A hidden gem in Jingan that’s excellent value for money, with many blind and partially sighted massage staff expertly working out knots and pains.
What do you get? Offered in private rooms, this foot massage starts with a no-nonsense neck and shoulder rub, before the enthusiastic masseuse gets to work on your feet using scented oil. Parts are excruciating, parts are ticklish and parts are relaxing, with diligent therapists explaining which part of your body relates to which part of your feet.
Plus points After your feet are rubbed clean by a toasty warm towel, you can stay in the spa as long as you like. Tatami mats on a heated floor are open for all visitors, meaning you can prolong your visit by lounging around for hours and avoiding the hectic streets outside. All-in-all, this is great value for money.
Price 98RMB for one hour.
Ganzhi Blindman Massage is at 1065 Beijing Xi Lu, near Jiangning Lu, Jingan district.
Double Rainbow Massage
What is it? A no-frills massage parlour staffed largely by blind and partially-sighted masseurs, with two Shanghai locations.
What do you get? A 45-minute foot massage, which includes a 15-minute foot bath beforehand.
Plus points This isn’t where you go for luxury, but the spa somehow still manages to feel comfy even with ten other clients in the same room. While many foot massages around town can have you wincing, this one hits the spot. It leaves your feet feeling fresh rather than like they’ve been through a battering.
Price 85RMB for one hour.
Double Rainbow is at 45 Yongjia Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, Xuhui.
What is it? A sprawling underground massage parlour on Xinzha Lu offering a range of treatments for rock-bottom prices, including a full body massage for 78RMB, an hour-long foot massage for 68RMB or the intriguing ‘health preserving foot massage’ for 98RMB. The decor might look a bit tired from the outside (and the inside, actually), but you can’t fault it at those prices.
What do you get? A private room with a TV, fresh tea and large reclined sofa – the essentials for a relaxing rainy afternoon inside. The massage starts with a welcome shoulder-and-neck rub. After, therapists work through various spots of your feet, working out aches and pains. The massage ends with vibrating machine that looks suspiciously like an adult toy being run over your legs and feet. It’s odd, but you might just like it.
Plus points The merry chatter of the therapists, the high-quality massage and the price. There’s a sign offering complimentary noodles and wontons during the massage, as well as tea and soft drinks. Though untested, if Jingdu can feed us as well as soothe our aches and pains, and school us in Chinese soap opera gossip, it’ll have all the boxes ticked and then some.
Price 78RMB for one hour.
Jingdu Massage is at 1718 Xinzha Lu, near Jiaozhu Lu, Jingan district.
Huitao Blind Massage
What is it? This massage parlour is fairly new, housed in an attractive red brick building on a peaceful part of Jianguo Lu. Inside everything looks clean and fresh including the bright yellow blankets, large soft chairs and a pristine bathroom.
What do you get? Here you plunge your tired feet into a large bucket of water with rose petals, and get a firm shoulder massage from the therapist. Moving to the feet, this is probably the most relaxing massage – firm, but not painful.
Plus points Everything here feels fresh, staff are friendly and chatty, and the massage quality is great. All in all, excellent value.
Price 98RMB for one hour.
Huitao Blind Massage is located at 659 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Wuxing Lu, Xuhui district.