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Frequently Asked Questions About Ashiatsu:

 

What is Ashiatsu?

Ashiatsu is Barefoot Massage. It is a massage with feet. The word Ashiatsu is made of two Japanese words one is “Ashi” which means foot and “Atsu” which means pressure. The therapist will hold on to overhead bars to balance while using their feet to massage. People that gravitate toward this type of massage tend to be those that prefer very deep tissue massage, but it doesn’t have to be very deep.  Feedback received over and over is that even though it’s deep, because of the broadness of the feet, it is more comfortable than pointy elbows, thumbs and knuckles.

Is Ashiatsu safe?

Yes, Ashiatsu is generally safe when performed by a trained and licensed therapist. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, so it's important to discuss any concerns with your therapist before the session. This is why you need to fill and submit your Client Intake Form as soon as you book your appointment so that we can rule out any possible contraindications.  You will be taken to this form as soon as you book, if not send a text and it will be manually sent to you.

 

What should I wear for an Ashiatsu massage?

Clients will disrobe and be under a cotton flannel sheet. Most feel comfortable disrobing completely while some choose to keep their underwear on. Please keep in mind that if you are coming in for a low back pain or hip pain session, it may be more beneficial to disrobe completely so the glutes can be massaged. If this makes you uncomfortable, no problem, we can still do compressions over the area just understand the work will be limited. 

 

How often should I get an Ashiatsu massage?

The frequency of Ashiatsu massages depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may benefit from weekly sessions, while others may only need occasional treatments. 


If your goal is pain relief, probably every week for 3-4 weeks, then every 2 weeks for 2 months and then monthly or every 6 weeks for maintenance. Clients that do their homework (foam rolling, etc) experience significant relief within this timeframe. Remember that massage will help, but the daily homework you do will help maintain your results and keep your muscles from going back to their tense state. And keep in mind that that knot that you’ve had in your shoulder for 10 years is not likely to be resolved in 1 session. If you already know you will require multiple sessions, consider purchasing a package of session to receive a discount. 

Active clients looking to help with recovery, soreness, and mobility benefit from a session every 3 weeks. 

Most clients are 35-75 active types that participate in sport including but no limited to running, cycling, triathlon training, golf, pickleball, tennis, weightlifting, yoga and Pilates. 

If you are a person with no particular issue, once every 3-6 weeks should be good maintenance.

What length of massage session should I book?

Depends. Are you looking to focus on 1-2 areas or just a general full body with a little extra attention to a certain area like shoulders, neck, glutes? Then a 90 minute is sufficient. 
 

Are you looking to work on 2-3 areas or want a full body massage with all the details (feet, hands, neck, scalp)? Then a 2 hour session is the thing for you. Just to give you an idea, about 40% of my clients are 2 hour clients. 

 

Do you offer 1 hour sessions?

No. Ashiatsu is generally a deep massage style and it takes times to warm up the tissues.  Going too deep too fast makes for an uncomfortable experience and doesn't prepare the muscles to receive deep work. Going too deep on muscles makes them tense up and the session becomes counterproductive. While some pain can be expected and experienced during an ashiatsu massage, pain is not the goal. Muscle relaxation and pain relief are the goal. This takes time. 

 

Why Ashiatsu?

Ashiatsu is a more comfortable way to receive deep pressure and because it relies on gravity and weight of the therapist, instead of hands, it is easier to apply consistent, deep pressure. It is generally broad pressure but can get as pointed and detailed as with hands by using the toes, ball of foot or heel. 

 

Ashiatsu is a way to extend the longevity of a therapist’s career. Most massage therapists only practice for 7-8 years before having to retire from the profession due to chronic hand, wrist, shoulder and back pain and injuries. Personally, I was at the 7 year mark when I started to have to have my wrists adjusted every week. It was at that point that I decided to invest in my career and dove 100% into Ashiatsu taking all the courses from beginner to advanced. Within 2 months of taking my first course, I switched to 100% barefoot massage sessions (I do use my hands but just for light neck, face and scalp work). I combined my previous experience of deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy with Ashiatsu to provide my clients with an effective, more comfortable pain relief experience. 

 

 

Will you be walking on my back?

A lot of people imagine Ashiatsu as a back walking situation but it’s really more of a glide. A lot of people cannot even tell the feet are being used; 15 min into a session they will ask when the part with the feet starts and the feet have been used the whole time!

 

Is Ashiatsu Relaxing?

Yes! Absolutely! The deep broad pressure has an effect similar to a heavy weighed blanket and many clients drift off into dreamland. There have been many a snore during a massage session! Don’t worry, I take it as a compliment that you feel safe, comfortable and relax. Or maybe you are just dead tired and really needed the nap and I am glad to provide the space for that. 

 

Are the feet clean? Safe?

Yes. Therapists wash and sanitize their feet before every client. I personally keep 2 pairs of sandals in the treatment room so that I always have a clean pair that I switch into after I wash my feet. And think of how clean feet can be compared to hands. Hands definitely get dirtier. 

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