What is Ashiatsu Massage: 

A new massage technique pops up yearly, but most are just a spin on classic modalities that overuse your hands. Ashiatsu is a massage technique that involves the application of the practitioner’s feet, rather than the hands or arms, to a client’s body. In Japanese, “Ashi” means foot, and “atsu” means pressure, which translates to foot pressure.

During an Ashiatsu massage, therapists use their bare feet to deliver deep compression, long gliding strokes, and/or assisted stretching. Ashiatsu isn’t just a deep tissue barefoot massage technique; it’s the deepest. The therapists use their feet and controlled weight to apply the massage. In a word, it is a compression massage. For the most part, the method utilizes gravity to assist the massage therapist in giving a consistently deep and relaxing massage. And you can not tell the difference between their hands and feet. 

Also, the client can be on a massage table or a mat on the floor. The therapist can either stand on the massage table with overhead bars or on the floor using floor bars or the back of a chair for balance. Our newest course uses a tall bar stool while the client is on the massage table. All of these use lotion except for the stretch routine. It is easier to do the stretch routine with a fully clothed client to avoid draping mishaps.

Should you learn Ashiatsu Massage Techniques? 

Yes! Learning Ashiatsu barefoot massage will allow you to extend the life of your career. Imagine in your perfect world where the clients get results, and you don’t have to hurt yourself to do it. Imagine that the last deep-tissue massage of the day is as excellent as the first. 

As a massage therapist, your career is your training, skills, and knowledge of how to use your hands are what make the magic happen. But does it have to be this way when it comes to massage? What happens if, for whatever reason, you can no longer do Swedish or deep-tissue massage? Are you out for the count? Or is there another way to do what you do best – help your clients with their pain, stress, and tension?

Even with proper body mechanics, the fact is that continual hands-on massage can indeed lead to physical decline with time and age. Which, of course, poses a massive problem to a therapist. How do you treat clients with injuries when you incur them? Luckily, learning Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage would allow you to add a new, innovative modality to your toolbox of techniques. At the same time, it would protect your body from potential postural or repetitive strain injuries or even enable you to practice in the event of a hand or arm injury. Ultimately, barefoot massage techniques can ensure a longer, more successful massage career.

In the past three decades, I have personally experienced all of these issues. With hypermobile joints in my fingers, proper body mechanics were short-lived. With age, it only got worse. Either I changed how I did massage or found another line of work. I decided to change, and it changed everything.

Even with a frozen shoulder, I was still able to work. After recovery, I worked out too hard and developed tendonitis in my elbow. Every year of age brings a new challenge. There is always something not to look forward to, but my choice to embrace deep-tissue barefoot massage will always be the best decision I ever made.

 At the beginning of Covid, I rode a bike to get some fresh air. There was a timing issue with a curb. To make a long story short, I broke my arm and some of my fingers. After two surgeries and lots of rehab, I regained the use of my dominant arm and hand, but I could still do Ashiatsu massage.

How to give an Ashiatsu Massage

Here’s the best part – you have many more choices when delivering an Ashiatsu massage. You can opt for a seated variety, overhead bars, floor bars, or even the back of a chair. When you decide to become a barefoot massage therapist, you can choose from various techniques best suited to your needs. 

Here are some options: 

Ashiatsu Barefoot Seated is a game-changer for massage therapists. Learn Deep-tissue massage techniques that you can apply with your feet for mobile house calls or office. And the best part is no bars are required. The client enjoys the comfort of the massage table while you sit back on a stool a few inches above the table. Add lotion, and your feet do the bulk of the work. It includes working the neck, back, and shoulders. And then from the side, the glutes, legs, and arms. There is no need to put the client in a side-lying position. You can still use your hands and fingers, just not as much.

Intro to Ashiatsu

Ashiatsu Floor massage is perfect for mobile therapists as it can be performed in the office or on mobile house calls. Plus, it doesn’t require Ashiatsu Bars; you can utilize the back of a chair or stool. In this technique, yoga mats and sheets are placed on the floor to provide a soft, supportive spot for the client to lay, and you massage the client using your feet. We recommend a tall stool for balancing yourself, like the floor bars or a stool. 

Ashiatsu bar massage allows you to offer your clients a deep tissue massage while utilizing gravity and your body weight to provide long, deep strokes and glide over the contours of the client’s body. This method uses the overhead Ashistsu bars for balance and stability with your traditional massage table. 

How to learn Ashiatsu barefoot massage techniques: 

Ok, you’ve decided to learn Ashiatsu Barefoot massage, but where should you start? You can learn this technique in a live class, online, or with a home study hard copy option. 

The Barefoot Masters® has been teaching Ashiatsu training classes for 20 years. We have instructors located throughout the USA. Go to our website, The Barefoot Masters®, to check out our live and online courses. We are an NCBTMB provider #403532-0. All of our courses come with CE and Certification.

Learning Ashiatsu Online 

We do not require students to do special exercises or be a particular body type. Learning Ashiatsu barefoot massage online is now easier than ever! It is an easy step-by-step instruction. The home study online course is the best way to learn Ashiatsu because you don’t try to cram everything into two days.

You take your time and master each move before you move on to the next. The only downside is I’m not there to tell you how normal it is to feel awkward and to give yourself time to adjust to a new way of doing massage. But then again, there isn’t the pressure of me moving on before you have mastered it. Also, it would help if you had an Ashiatsu from someone who offers the service. In addition, it helps to practice on different people to adjust your pressure. Plus, I offer a Zoom consultation so you can show me moves you need clarification on. Oddly, only some take me up on the Zoom offer. 

Now, for the live Ashiatsu training class, we give our students access to the digital manual, both live and online. It has pictures with detailed instructions of the entire posterior and anterior routine, history, contraindications, marketing, and bar installation instructions. Also, you receive the digital video. So, you have access to the supporting materials before and after class for two years.

Once you register for the class, you will receive an email with instructions on accessing the workshop materials. Also, you will receive the time and locations, along with what to bring and what to wear. For example, bring sheets and wear stretchy leggings or capri pants with a tank top. Equally important, make an appointment to get a pedicure. And there should be some recommendations for accommodations.

Above all, take advantage of the time to familiarize yourself with the class materials. In turn, this will enhance your learning outcome while it cuts down on time-consuming lectures. To be clear, the word Basic doesn’t mean it’s easy-peasy or watered down. On the contrary, no one breezes through day one.

Learning Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage in a Live Class 

On Day 1, give yourself plenty of time to get to the location. Expect the traditional sign-in sheet, class fee collection, if any, and an introduction to the instructor and other students. To begin, you will watch a video of the routine and discuss contraindications. Equally important, most of your energy is used for the hands-on technique or, in this case, the foot-on method.

Most CE classes put students in pairs. When possible, we put three students to a table. It provides time to process the information. Also, it allows therapists to help and support each other. Comparatively, expect it to be the toughest, awkward, and longest day of the course. Midday, we break for lunch. Since there is much information to cover for the instructor and the student, we welcome lighthearted banter to make the class fun.

For Day-2, it is an entirely different day and much more relaxed. Now, you get to practice the whole routine while your instructor helps you to improve or correct your technique. Again, there is a lunch break mid-day. Once everyone has finished their routine, there is time to discuss what fees to charge for Ashiatsu. You also will receive instructions on bar installation and marketing.

However, we stress that you must reread the manual after class. Although you may do well in class, it is impossible to memorize everything I say. It is one advantage that our home study students have over a live class. They take their time to learn the details and master every move.

 Finally, you complete an evaluation and receive a certificate for continuing education hours and attendance. Congratulations, you are now one of The Barefoot Masters® graduates.

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