Today's side deal walks all over your obstinate stress and corner-kicks it out of the room. For $20, you get a one-hour Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage from Prolong Symmetry LLC (a $50 value). All the tension-taming toe-touchery takes place at Prolong Symmetry's studio in the Four Seasons Shopping Center.
In Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage, a therapist balances above the patient from two parallel bars hung from the ceiling above the massage table and massages the patient using only his or her feet. The free-frolicking and deeply penetrating steps leave only soothe-prints behind. Licensed massage therapist Rhonda Larkins is the only Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy practitioner in Missouri who has studied directly under the discipline's founder, Ruthie Piper Hardee. Where Rhonda walks, the ground melts below her, causing tremendous potholes and the occasional landslide as the blissfully relaxed earth lets go of its aches and stiffness. This deal is by appointment only; call ahead to schedule.
In 2004, Rhonda Larkins underwent a lumbar laminectomy to fix a herniated disc, an injury she obtained while working as a package handler. Even after the surgery, she was left with pain and a lingering numbness in her left leg. Though physical therapy helped, she noticed that she felt particularly good after getting a massage. This observation led her to study Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy—a type of massage in which the practitioner uses bare feet to deliver flowing, effleurage strokes—under the practice’s founder, Ruthie Piper Hardee. Rhonda is currently on the mastery level of this modality.
At Prolong Symmetry, Rhonda and her team of licensed massage therapists specialize in more than 10 types of massage. Services range from more traditional Swedish and deep-tissue massages to Hawaiian lomi-lomi, an ancient healing practice during which therapists stimulate the body’s pressure points with their thumbs, elbows, and thoughts on early Dada filmmaking.