by Cecilia Karl
When it comes to serious stress relief, nothing melts troubles away quite like a trip to the spa. When your wallet can’t handle another hit, don’t despair. There are luxurious spa services without the steep price tag being offered all over our fair city. Check out some of our favorites below.

The New School for Massage
747 N. LaSalle, Suite 300
(888) 461-0114

We have a few relaxing words for you: A 55 minute massage for $35. Visit the New School for Massage student clinic for a no-frills treatment performed by one of the school’s students. The atmosphere is clean and quiet and each massage is supervised by an instructor. Understandably, the students are bound by their experience—read: if you have an issue that requires attention, seek the help of a professional massage therapist—but for $35, we found the whole experience nothing short of relaxing.

Sage Community Health
514 W. Armitage #205
(312) 582-4458

Before we tried acupuncture, we never would have believed that being pricked like a pin cushion would be a calming experience. Now, color us believers. Sage Community Health offers affordable acupuncture on a sliding scale, perfect for the first-timer who wants to give this ancient health practice a go. What can you expect? You’ll take a reclining seat in Sage’s community room (it’s relaxing, promise!), while a certified practitioner inserts tiny needles into a handful of energy spots throughout your body. The needles are no wider than a hair and all you’ll feel is a quick pinch at worst. Close your eyes, lean back, and drift off peacefully for about 20 minutes.

3110 N. Sheridan
(773) 281-4334

If a glow is what you’re after, then you’ll want to make a beeline for Temilla’s. There, Teresa, an expert esthetician, will work with your skin type to coax it to its smoothest and softest state yet. The environment is comfortable and calming and, best of all, for under $100 you can treat yourself to a mini spa experience and still have a few dollars for cab fare home.

Working Well Massage
Whole Foods
30 West Huron and 1550 N. Kingsbury

Hit reset on a stressful day by taking a quick lunchtime trip to the massage chair at Whole Foods. No appointments are necessary and sessions run anywhere from 5 minutes to 30—just enough time to give you a quick dose of zen. What will it cost? Depending on your session length, $6 to $35. The only downside we can see is that it’s a bit tough to block out the sounds of a noisy store. But for a quick massage during the workday, that’s a small price to pay for a few minutes of calm.

Pivot Point
3901 W. Irving Park
(773) 463-3121

This beauty academy offers hair and skin treatments on the cheap. The catch? You’ll be working with a student under the supervision of an instructor. For $35, we found the facial downright relaxing with just a few minor tweaks from a traditional spa experience. Be forewarned, Pivot Point performs its spa services in one, big room with rows of beds. Despite that, the atmosphere still manages to be peaceful and well worth the price tag.

Urban Oasis
939 W. North Ave & 12 W. Maple St
(312) 587-3500

Unwind from a stressful week with a trip to Urban Oasis. With two convenient locations, after-work hours, and an affordable menu of offerings, this city spa certainly lives up to its name. We love Urban Oasis for its full spa treatment: slip into a fluffy robe and slippers upon arrival and spend your time flitting from decadent massage to steam shower. Note: This spa is one of the few in the city that specializes in prenatal massage. Bonus: Urban Oasis is now offering $25 off your first visit.

Chicago Touch
1335 W. Lake
(312) 929-3083

One of our favorite spots in the city, Chicago Touch offers affordable massage for the ‘overworked and underpaid.’ Visit this tranquil setting for a therapeutic massage complete with hot stones and essential oils—all for under $100. Chicago Touch offers the full experience: private massage rooms, dim lighting, soft music—and an incomparable massage that will make your troubles feel a world away.