However, according to data requested by this news organization, the number of prostitution arrests in San Gabriel, Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Monterey Park and Alhambra has not spiked as a result of the steady increase in the number of massage businesses year over year. In San Gabriel, for example, the number of massage parlors has increased from one in to 53 in In contrast, prostitution arrests have fluctuated over the years, but there has not been a significant increase. There were seven arrests in and six in , with a peak at 17 arrests in
Officials struggle to regulate legitimate and unsavory massage parlors
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Inside the dimly lighted business decorated with Chinese bamboo screens, a room full of customers sank into black leather armchairs while uniformed masseuses rubbed their feet with lotion. As a Mandarin-language film beamed from a flat-screen television, the workers carefully pressed their fingertips on pressure points believed to promote better circulation and improve overall health. There was a poker dealer from a nearby casino who needed the tension lifted from her muscles after a day on her feet, a nail salon worker who visited because he believed the therapy boosted his fertility and an investment analyst who injured himself jogging and wanted the scar tissue rubbed. About 20 foot-massage businesses can be found on this small stretch of Valley Boulevard between Del Mar Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard, and dozens more are popping up in neighboring communities. Square foot by square foot, it is the foot-massage capital of the country. The price war has made foot massages available not just to the well-heeled who can afford the luxury, but to waiters, busboys, store clerks and hair stylists -- the working-class version of the Burke Williams Spa for people who spend their days on their feet. Some strip malls house up to three foot-massage business, each offering a variation of the standard foot soak and one-hour massage with banners and neon signs advertising the latest price cut.
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Foot massage lounges — the fancy term is reflexology — in tough competition with each other are springing up around the San Gabriel Valley, all the rage for those looking for quick, walk-in relaxation. Vivian Lee and her husband, C. Stoltman, frequent the establishment, stopping in for treatments consisting of a foot soak with Chinese herbs, reflexology massage on feet and shoulders or full body massage, and herb tea, at least twice a month. I think the herbs seep through the skin.