Ewww Feet! Glad we got that out of the way. This is often the first response someone has about barefoot massage – until they try it!
The advantage to working by foot is not only the amount of pressure I can use, but the comfort level of the client receiving that pressure. Many deep tissue therapists working by hand, use their elbows or thumbs to dig into tissue. These pointy bones can hurt tissue that has not been properly warmed. The soft, smooth, flat surface of the foot delivers pressure in a way that is totally comfortable for the client. Truly a luxurious massage, deep or light!
So, how does a barefoot massage feel?
For A Licensed Massage Therapist…
Ashiatsu offers therapists increased longevity, endurance and physical fitness. Using the feet in practice as an alternative to the hands and forearms helps to avoid repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) and overuse injuries of the small joints in hands, arms and lumbosacral issues from leaning over the table. For the therapist, it protects the hands, fingers and wrists from too much effort.
No more hand cramps or arthritis
- Two more tools in the tool box
- We don’t walk on backs, we glide on backs
- Even pressure
- Bigger surface area – less localized pressure for clients
How hard do you think it will be to feel what’s going on under your feet?
How long did it take to trust what your feet were telling you?
Massage therapists tend to work too deeply for our own bodies so we can give clients what they want, but by doing so, we are working to our detriment. barefoot massage is the best way to give your clients the deep tissue massage they need without hurting yourself. It’s the only way you’ll be able to successfully continue your massage practice for years to come.
For the massage client ….
Ashiatsu offers deep, broad compression without sharp discomfort. Ashiatsu is meant to feel more like a mesmerizing Swedish massage — deep broad pressured flowing strokes — with no pain. The broad, padded surface area of the foot used during an Ashiatsu treatment allows the deep tissue patient the opportunity to ease the nervous system without sacrificing the depth of the treatment.
Less Pain For Client
Due to the broader surface area of the foot, greater consistency in the depth of pressure, length and flow of strokes feels comfortable for the patient. The rounded and softer surfaces of the heel and ball of the foot create less trauma for the tissue and breakage of muscle fibers than when pressure is applied using bonier tools such as the thumb, knuckle or olecranon process.
Stimulates Lymphatic Nervous System
Thanks to the long strokes with the feet that go from almost head to toe, Ashiatsu stimulates the lymphatic and parasympathetic nervous system, meaning that it creates a sense of wellbeing and improvement in clients.
Improves Blood Circulation
The centrifugal movements that the therapist does with the feet increase the circulation, bringing better oxygenation to the treated area, as to release toxins faster.
Reaches Deeper Than Deep Tissue
As it reaches deeper than deep tissue, engaging the whole body’s fascia, it releases adhesions, soreness, as well as chronic holding patterns, encouraging the improvement and healing potential of the body.
Remember: this is your massage. If you are too cold or hot, if the pressure is too light, deep, or painful or if anything is interfering with you relaxing, it is important to speak up. Ashiatsu has the potential to be a very deep massage, but it should not be painful. If the pressure is causing you to hold your breath or clench your jaw, it’s important to speak up and communicate with your massage therapist.