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Best Massage on the Cheap 

Healing Arts

A massage is the hedonist's dream in terms of sheer sensual pleasure (and we mean all the senses -- get your mind out of the gutter). Your body's kneaded and knuckled while gentle music and delicate incense smoke fill the room. Alas, many of us can't afford $60-plus that a professional massage costs. Enter the student clinic. St. Louis has a whole host of these health centers; they offer low-cost service by currently enrolled student therapists. The best of these is also the newest, the Healing Arts Center. Clients enter through a small shop, groovy in its own right, that offers incense, lotions, books and jewelry, then descend into the basement clinic. There, in a private room, a therapist offers a client assessment. Once the massage is under way, a supervisor will discreetly check in twice during your visit, though you'll probably be so tuned into your bodywork that you won't even notice. Its appreciation of the art of massage sets Healing Arts apart from its competitors, though; the training program provides a distillation and blending of methodologies, an approach that is perhaps more holistic than clinical and includes shiatsu, myofascial release and reiki.

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