Blogging and massages: A quasi-review of Candle Spas

Let’s talk about blogging and massages.

My experience moving across the country was the perfect reason to launch A Lady Goes West.  Now that I’ve been writing regular posts for almost a year and have started to establish a readership, something has started to happen … review requests and pitches.

To the average reader, that doesn’t mean much.  What it means to a blogger, is that a company has come across your blog doing research and then reached out to you to see if you would like to try their product or service in exchange for a review, or just write about it to spread the word.

As a PR/communications professional who managed that type of outreach for clients in previous roles, I know it’s a smart approach to establish connections with influencers or those who may have a following to generate awareness for your product.  Me, a following?  Well, I suppose so.

My first such review is of a new service called Candle Spas.  Candle Spas charges a monthly membership fee, which gives members access to a massage or a facial at a selection of local spas without additional costs.  I suppose you could compare the idea to Massage Envy, which charges a flat monthly membership fee for a regular service, whether you use it or not.  Candle Spas started in Atlanta, where it has amassed a huge following and has also launched in New York City.  The company just entered the San Francisco market, and therefore reached out to some local bloggers (including yours truly) for help.

Remember when Pinterest was an invite-only service and you had to request an account and then wait?  Well that’s what Candle Spas is doing.

But before prospective members start knocking on the Candle Spas door, they need to know about the service.

That’s why Candle Spas is offering a short-term incentive for Bay Area massage enthusiasts to sign up and get the first service free (before September 15).  If you sign up and book a facial or massage at one of the Bay Area locations, then you can cancel before your first monthly membership charge if you don’t like the service.  As of now, Candle Spas only has 22 spa locations signed on in the Bay Area, which are as far out as Oakland, Pleasanton and Livermore.

Here is the official promotional link for San Francisco folks who want to try it out:

I was a little skeptical at first, but went ahead with it.  It’s easy to do.  The website is clean and user-friendly and so are the transactional emails, so give it a try.

I chose to book a 60-minute massage with Dr. Richard Hingel, DC, CMP, who specializes in manual therapy and rehabilitation.  While there were other choices that were much more “spa-like”, I have always wanted to go to a chiropractor, and Dr. Hingel includes some of that technique in his massages.  His office is in the Financial District, just across the street from the mall, so I walked over there yesterday for my service.

This was not your normal spa service.  You don’t get a fancy robe and a glass of tea upon arrival.  In fact, for someone looking to relax, get massaged and enjoy peaceful music, this is not the place for you.

But if you are looking for a productive session, which will leave you feeling better than you arrived, you may want to give it a try.  Dr. Hingel started with a full assessment of my alignment and muscles.  After explaining to him my fairly rigorous fitness routine, he expected that my shoulder and hamstring tightness was related to inadequate recovery between sessions.  Then, he evaluated and started the manipulations and adjustments, as well as some vigorous massaging on my shoulders to relax my tight muscles.  He talked me through the whole process, gave me some ideas of things I could do at home to alleviate some of my tension, and even related all of our discussions to the specific types of exercising I do in both BODYPUMP and CXWORX.

After moving my joints, legs, shoulders and neck around a bit, I definitely felt looser.  It was interesting to know how one little bit of tightness in one side of the body can affect your movement and posture.  While I won’t be signing up for regular sessions with Dr. Hingel right now, I would highly recommend a visit to him if you feel you have alignment issues or need a little tweaking.  It’s a no frills type of operation:  Just him, you, the table and the window.

While I don’t think Dr. Hingel offers a “spa-like” experience in which you feel pampered, I do see value in having a chiropractic massage option in the selection of options by Candle Spas, because it does stay true to a mission of healing.  If you go into the experience knowing what to expect, you are bound to at least enjoy sampling the work.

Back to the Candle Spas service, here is my official review:

  • The cons:  To be honest, the current selection of 22 spas is not sufficient for me at this time.  There isn’t a large enough pool of places to go in the City to make this an attractive option, because I would have to go too far to reach many of the spas.  The company plans to add new spas every month though, so this con might go away soon after the official San Francisco launch.
  • The pros:  The $19 a month membership fee is a total steal.  If you are a busy, working person who needs to fit in time to relax, maybe this is just what you need to ensure you take time out for a facial or massage each month.  It’s not going to break the bank, and is far cheaper than buying a one-off service.  If you compare this to the service provided by Massage Envy, Candle Spas offers the opportunity for much more variety of experiences and locations.
  • Overall:  I like what the people at Candle Spas are building.  They are innovate and entrepreneurial and they know what they’re doing.  By offering a promotional discount when entering new markets, keeping the service “exclusive” with the request an invitation sign-up and showcasing and selling the benefits of rejuvenation on its web site, Candle Spas is up to something promising.  I could see it becoming very popular here in San Francisco once they get more locations on board.

For now, I will go back to my regularly scheduled blog adventures and ramblings … and, thanks to Dr. Hingel, I’ll do it with much less shoulder tension.

Flood Building
Just another old San Francisco building on Market Street, home of Dr. Hingel.
Waiting Room
Dr. Hingel shares old this waiting room with other practitioners.
Dr. Hingel's office
No fuss, no background music, no candles in this chiropractic massage office.

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  1. Not only is it beneficial as a tool for relaxation and stress relief,
    but reflexology is also an effective tool for improving circulation; relieving pain, and stimulating the immune and nervous systems.
    Many people have benefited from the pioneer efforts of alternative medicine.
    (It’s my second time through them…the first time I read them
    – a dozen years ago it took me six months, and I am a very fast reader.

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