Like a potato, if the human body is not properly mashed and moisturized, it will never be used for anything more than a science- project battery. Make sure your body is properly fluffed and buttered with today's soothing Groupon: for $39, you get a one-hour hot-stone massage or a 75-minute Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage at Prolong Symmetry LLC (up to an $85 value). All the tension taming takes place at Prolong Symmetry's studio in the Four Seasons Shopping Center.
Stressful things such as jobs and stress can transform your once-nimble muscles into rigid two-by-fours. A hot-stone massage will relight your internal furnace and flexibilify your tense muscles. During Prolong's one-hour hot-stone massage (an $85 value), the studio's skilled therapists will strategically place stones on key parts of the body to deliver a penetrating warmth that drains away tension and brings your muscles to optimal stress-exorcism temperatures.
In Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage (an $80 value), a therapist balances above the patient from two parallel bars placed above the massage table and massages the patient using only his or her feet. Licensed massage therapist Rhonda Larkins boasts that she is the only Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy practitioner in the St. Louis area that has studied directly under the discipline's founder, Ruthie Piper Hardee. Where Rhonda walks, the flesh-ground melts below her, causing tremendous potholes and the occasional landslide as your body's blissfully relaxed skin-soil lets go of its aches and stiffness.
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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.