So you’re done with the family reunions and now holiday stress has been replaced by work stress and you’re realizing you’re more ready than ever for a massage. In fact, one a day sounds good right about now
Is this even possible on a less than six-figure income? We think it is. We did some digging to find the best deal in probably all of Los Angeles, and here it is: a one-hour massage for only $20. Yep. You heard us right.
A Beautiful Day Spa in Pasadena actually offers a one-hour value massage called the “foot massage,” which focuses on reflexology but also includes 20 to 30 minutes of upper-body attention.
Or for $40, get a one-hour, full-body Signature, Swedish or Deep Tissue massage. In a rush? Try the 30-minute massage for $25 and consider adding hot stones for $10.
Seriously, the only cheaper way to get a rubdown is from a friend, lover or creepy website like Zenbrisa, where strangers are matched in local areas to swap services (bring Mace).
The deals are so good, however, we couldn’t help but ask, how do they do it?
As Alex Cheung, Manager for A Beautiful Day Spa, explains, “It’s a no frills, quaint family business” that keeps its overhead low thanks to its location, which is on East Colorado, not in Old Town.
“Basically, the owners make just enough to stay afloat” he says, noting that most massage parlors include the 20% tip whereas A Beautiful Day Spa doesn’t. As a result, tipping is “highly encouraged” to help keep the massages affordable. Otherwise, the owners compensate each masseuse tipped less than 20%.
A sign in the lobby visibly reminds customers with suggested tips ($8 to $20 for a 60-minute and $12 to $30 for a 90-minute). Other signs signal out extra ways to save money: “Yelp us and get $5 off your next visit.” Add free hot stones or aroma with every six stamps on the repeat-customer card.
Cheung says the high volume of repeat customers helps keep them in business.
“The cheap prices might bring people in but the quality massage brings them back,” he explains while juggling numerous clients in and out of the seven rooms used by six massage therapists and owner Shi, Lac, a licensed acupuncturist.
Dr. Shi steps out of an acupuncture appointment with a patient and begins to prescribe medicinal herbs while speaking in Chinese. Cheung translates, explaining why the owner, who doesn’t speak English, preferred not to be interviewed.
Dr. Shi smiles and explains, in Chinese, how he offers $200 acupuncture in Beverly Hills as well, in a space shared with Amy Rae Aesthetics. The better deal, though, is here in Pasadena … for only $40. First-time acupuncture sessions cost $60 as they include the consultation.
Meanwhile, clients come and go as Cheung asks incomers to complete a short form indicating one to two areas they would like attention paid to and their preference for pressure.
Dr. Shi, who vets all masseuses on staff for quality, sees up to 10 acupuncture clients a day while the spa handles maybe 50 or 60 massages daily.
Holidays, like Valentine’s Day, are typically the busiest times but the spa extends its hours when appropriate with 10:15 spots sometimes available. The other busiest times are Fridays, weekends and surprisingly, or maybe not, Mondays around lunchtime.
“Walk-ins are more common during the week,” says Cheung referencing the many business people who work nearby and pop in when they can. After all, work-related stress is one of the driving forces keeping the massage industry alive.
The American Massage Therapy Association reports that 78 percent of people who received a massage in the last 12 months did so for medical reasons while another 28 percent claimed “stress” as their primary motivation.
Physical conditions that appear to benefit from massage include anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, insomnia, sports injuries, joint pain and fibromyalgia, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Open from 10 am to 10 pm seven days a week, A Beautiful Day Spa Free offers free parking in the back in addition to the free street parking.
Seriously, there are no more excuses. Go get a massage.
A Beautiful Day Spa, 965 E. Colorado Blvd. (626) 578-9999, www.beautifuldayspa.com