Ashi-WHAT? Translated "Ashi"= foot, "atsu"= pressure. Simply put, Ashiatsu is a style of barefoot massage that the therapist uses overhead bars for balance while massaging with their feet. Not to get too confusing, but there are over 10 different styles of barefoot massage! Ashiatsu is sometimes referred to as Ashiatsu Bar Therapy, Oriental Bar Therapy (we're trying to do away with this one), or Myofascial Ashiatsu / FashiAshi (which is slightly different) , or simply Barefoot Massage.
Barefoot massage- so you mean you're going to massage my feet? No- instead I use my feet to massage you!
Barefoot massage is a luxurious and deep tissue massage that gets deeper into the muscles and fascia (the stuff that keeps your muscles together) without feeling bony or pokey from elbows and thumbs. Most people cannot tell the difference between feet and forearms other than the amount of pressure given.
The therapist's feet are cleaned between sessions, and maintained soft and manicured just like hands are to ensure comfort and cleanliness.
Barefoot massage is great for athletes, people with chronic neck or back pain, and for those areas that feel like hands on deep tissue isn't deep enough.
Because barefoot massage uses the therapist's body weight more than hands on pressure, you'll feel more relaxed and your muscles more elongated than a normal massage.
Although it's great for most people, it isn't for everyone. Those with smaller frame bodies, expecting mothers, those with heart conditions, and folks with recent surgeries are advised against receiving barefoot massage for their safety.
For your first barefoot massage you'll fill out a new intake form to create a safe treatment plan for you, and to ensure that barefoot massage is right for you.