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Old Aug 26, 07, 7:24 am   #1
 
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Foot Massage Price War in San Gabrial

A foot massage price war is raging in fancy Chinese areas to the East of downtown L.A.

And, this is a very interesting area with terrific food. Well worth a visit. You could easily spend the day (or night) around here eating, shopping and getting a massage.

I was just there and was amazed to find that foot massages which were $30-40 a few months ago are now $15 or less. I saw one place advertsing $11.99 for weekdays.

Very much like getting a foot treatment in China, including the opportunity to watch mainland TV on a giant screen. Unlike Thai style, no pointed stick is used.

See Los Angeles Times story below for more.

"Archrivals in foot massage

By David Pierson, L.A. Times Staff Writer
July 31, 2007
Shortly before midnight on a moonlit corner of Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, a crowd waited impatiently outside a store with a yellow banner advertising one-hour foot massages for $9.99.

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.

"It's cheaper than my insurance co-pay," said Johnson Li, an avid runner who chose not to receive therapy for his ailing feet through his insurance company. "If I'm in the neighborhood, I always stop by."

The Oriental Natural Treatment Center is at the hub of the hotly competitive world of foot massage in the San Gabriel Valley home to the nation's largest Chinese American community.

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."

See the entire article at:
http://www.latimes.com/features/heal...,4055311.story
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Old Aug 29, 07, 1:59 pm   #2
 
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I frequent a place in sunny plaza (near Valley/San Gabriel) and the price has gone down from $30-40 last year to $15. Even though quality is a bit less consistent right now and the place is showing some wear and tear, it's becoming more and more popular among non-asians. There are personal LCD TVs on the first floor.
Unfortunately some rather obnoxious and demanding customers I occasionally see there don't even bother to tip. Please be nice and give a few bucks to your masseuses/ers, as you can imagine they don't make much with current pricing.
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Old Aug 29, 07, 3:29 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Unfortunately some rather obnoxious and demanding customers I occasionally see there don't even bother to tip.
In China, no tip is expected or necessary and probably the same mentality gets carried over to the States. I usually give a $10 tip and the masseuse is quite happy.
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Old Aug 29, 07, 10:34 pm   #4
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This thread gets a talkmail write-up, but I think they went to the Miss Teen USA school of math:

Quote:
You want the latest news on the popping of the U.S. housing bubble and the effect on the overall economy, head on over to CNN or MSNBC. But if you aren't interested in fluff journalism and are interested in news that really matters, such as the latest on the popping of the East L.A. Chinese foot massage bubble (foot massage prices have dropped more than 100% in some locations!), you've come to the right place.
A price drop of more than 100% would mean that they are now paying you to have your feet massaged.
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Old Aug 30, 07, 8:21 am   #5
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A price drop of more than 100% would mean that they are now paying you to have your feet massaged.
Well, if they must, I'll take it!
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Old Aug 30, 07, 11:20 am   #6
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We only have one foot massage place in San Diego of which I am aware, Happy Buddha next to Jasmines (which has great dim sum). It charges $55/hour, and is worth every penny. It is as good as or superior to any of the many places I've gone in Asia.

I'd be delighted if more shops open up in more neighborhoods, a la the diaspora of the Vietnamese nail shops.
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Old Aug 30, 07, 11:40 am   #7
 
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Is this type of foot massage painful? I had a reflexology foot massage in Singapore and it was honestly the most painful thing I've ever had done to me in my entire life. I like the idea of a foot massage, but that was something else...
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Old Aug 30, 07, 11:43 am   #8
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What I get in San Diego is massage, not pure reflexology. It includes a shoulder massage and leg massage, along with the feet. Bliss.
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Old Aug 31, 07, 1:13 pm   #9
 
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Is this type of foot massage painful? I had a reflexology foot massage in Singapore and it was honestly the most painful thing I've ever had done to me in my entire life. I like the idea of a foot massage, but that was something else...
The foot treatment in San Gabrial is unlike the Thai method which uses a pointed stick and really gets in there. I don't know what the Singapore style is--do they use the pointy stick? Or a lot of pressure?

Mostly in the L.A. area I have gotten a semi-toned down, Americanized foot massage. That is, less pressure. And, the provider will adapt the pressure to your desires. They all understand "too hard" and "okay."

Also includes about twenty minutes of shoulder and leg massage.

By the way, I don't know what the local Chinese do (although I suspect they mostly don't tip), but I provided $5 which seemed more than sufficient. I wonder if it would be wise to tip up front?
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Old Aug 31, 07, 5:03 pm   #10
 
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I'm glad to hear prices have declined (100%, wow!). If you want a really cheap foot massage, and earn some frequent flyer miles on the way, try the $4/hr deal at the open-air set-ups near the night markets in Chiang Mai. Those masseuses work hard for their money and the massage is usually not painful (99% stick-free). It's the perfect cure for tired feet from hours of shopping.
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