For what it's worth, my wife and I went the other day and it was not great. It just didn't feel like I got a complete massage. I didn't target any specific areas to work on and asked for an overall massage. Specifically, when asked, I said I just wanted a good, overall massage and that I am able to relax more when it's quiet. What I got was about 1/2 the massage on my lower back, and most of the rest on my upper back/neck, with cursory attention to the backs of my legs. It was like he didn't manage the time well. He also didn't stop talking the entire time. It was like he read the sheet and did the opposite. I tried to give one word answers so that he would be quiet, but to no avail. I know far more about my massuer than I really need to. I know his hopes and his dreams, where he grew up, where he goes to school, what he's studying, how old he is, all about his family, and his experiences in the military.
My wife had the same problem but said her guy quieted down about halfway through. Even worse is that she got almost no attention to her neck, and she mentioned specifically that she has a problem with hunching over a computer all day. She asked for attention to her neck and shoulders, and ended up getting, like me, a lot of lower back attention, and a lot of work on one of her shoulders but almost none to the other... and very little work on her neck at all. What's funny is that when she thought he was going to have her roll to her back, time was up. She spent the entire time tummy down, and her favorite part is when they work the neck, shoulders and the chest muscles that pull the shoulders forward. She got none of that. :(
At Ashmead, some massages are better than others, but even the worst was better than this one. They're all much more complete, and even though the massage is given by a student, they are eager to do well and almost always deliver a competent, thorough massage.
Overall, I'm glad this was a $39 intro price, but even at that price, I intend to stick with the $30/hour massage at Ashmead. Sure, I'm in a big room separated from others by a curtain, but I'm more interested in the massage than the ambiance. :)
I want to be clear that my experiences may be an anomaly. I am not saying that our experiences are indicative of the quality of the chain. I'm just saying that our experience was not positive enough to convince either of us to go back.