Massage Goes Mainstream

No longer the province of ladies who lunch--or men who pretend to--a good rubdown is now one of America's favorite hands-onexperiences

As you read this, thousands of Americans are lying in gloomy rooms, stripped naked, being pummeled by complete strangers. Why are the cops doing nothing? Because these people are doing it willingly, paying in fact, handsomely, to be poked and prodded and rubbed and kneaded and generally treated like human pie crust.

Massage used to be practiced mostly at the social extremities, in the homes of the very wealthy or in seedy parlors where the handiwork was offered with euphemistic "happy endings." Its health benefits were championed in hard-core homeopathic enclaves, but then again, so was dandelion root. Now massage has...

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