It wasn’t until after I had become a massage therapist that I began to understand the benefits of stretching in a massage session. My friend Dave had gotten a massage internship of sorts with a semi-pro hockey team, and he specialized in stretching and sports massage to keep the guys limber and injury free.
Up until that point, I had thought that most clients primarily wanted to lie there like a pancake, flip over, and be pried up off the table when “done”.
The gear you use in an Ashiatsu Massage makes all the difference, especially once you start to figure out how to use different options to your benefit! When I first started offering Ashiatsu, I used those typical circle-shaped bar stools. (I actually still have the first pair that I bought for class!)
I think I waited too long to upgrade my barstool to a different shape. I’ve got long limbs and long toes, I had no issues reaching my clients, so why fix something that ain’t broke!? Well, turns out that getting closer in proximity during the supine neck work will open up more options to how you massage with your hands and feet simultaneously!
So you’ve taken the first step and learned a beginner’s level ashiatsu barefoot massage. Practice and feedback make perfect, so you’ve listened to your practice clients’ constructive criticism and have achieved a certain level of comfort in your barefoot bodywork. But how do you transition your clients to barefoot massage?
Many of us hate the thought of marketing ourselves because we hope that the public will somehow know how fantastic we are (because we put out good vibes, right?).
Maybe you’re worried that because you live in Podunksville that people will think you’re weird for using your feet to massage.
But in your heart and sole 😉 you know that 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.
Are you excited about the work? Clients will quickly absorb your enthusiasm! Here’s what Sara Newberry Clavenna had to say about her transition.
I went full on ashi all the time. My clients were mostly excited/intrigued which really fueled even more of my excitement. It really helped that I was super stoked before I went to the training.
Dawn Dotson had the same approach, saying she “started the hype” before she went to class proceeded to incorporate it with her clients right away. Importantly, she also “proceeded to get feedback. I spent a good 30 extra minutes on feedback and follow-up after each session.”
As an experienced massage therapist, Mariah Neeson did the same, “I simply told my clients we were doing a new thing and that was that.”
Importantly, they did not charge more for barefoot massage, because they had already figured out it was the key to caeer longevity.
Most of us can figure out that ashiatsu barefoot massage is going to be deeper than hands-on massage simply by seeing that gravity does a lot of work for the massage therapist. How much pressure can you get with barefoot massage versus hands and forearms?
Today we have an easy-to-do cool little trick is for you. All it takes is your massage table (you can use your dining room table to check your hand/forearm pressure if you’re at home), a scale, and a board. The board simply gives a solid surface for the scale. I used a cutting board. (You can skip the board if you’re checking this out on your eating table.)
Put the scale on the floor to see how deep you can go with your foot if you don’t have ashiatsu bars!
Have you gotten sucked into the Pinterest vortex yet? It’s is such a great place to learn about amazing products and projects, to reference articles that you’ve seen but don’t have time to read just yet.
Ready to learn more about all things barefoot massage? Head on over to our FasciAshi boards!
If we get started on Pinterest, time flies, doesn’t it? You may as well make good use of your pinning addiction and see what kind of fun stuff we at Center for Barefoot Massage can show you!
The great thing about pinning one of our tricks (or following the board!) is that you can easily find what you’re looking for later if you don’t have time to check it out now.
Going back over your own boards can be like flipping through magazines made entirely of what you love. -Laura Grace Weldon
On our Massage Business Tips, you’ll find links to our business-y blog posts and other guest posts we’ve written as bloggers.
There are fun and silly foot quotes and useful tips for self-care. Our team’s featured guest blog posts are there too.
Your Pinterest addiction may also help you move along that barefoot massage career of yours. Some pins may be a source of inspiration, and others may give you a big fat “a-ha! Why didn’t I think of that???” moment.
What are your favorite things to love on Pinterest? Is there anything you’d like to see on our boards? Comment below and don’t forget to share the love!
In almost every massage I receive, I adjust the preset face cradle position as soon as I lay down in it. Sometimes it’s still set to the person who was on table prior to me, or maybe the LMT just snapped it into a random setting right before my session. Most of the time, I adjust the face cradle postioning because I know that an uncomfortable pillow can RUIN my entire experience during the massage.
…I can’t be the only massage therapist who does this, right?!
Read on, and watch the video below to see how we position a face cradle for an Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage.
Ashiatsu is my favorite style of deeper massage to receive, hands-down. Or feet-down, however you want to say it. As a solo practitioner, I don’t have easy access to good quality barefoot therapists close to me. Our instructors who have a team of ashi therapists have set themselves up well for both business purposes and for being able to conveniently receive ashiatsu. (Yes, they are smart ladies in many ways.)
Sadly, there are times when I don’t have half a day to block myself off for my 2-hour barefoot massage sessions. The ashiatsu massage therapists currently I see are about 50 minutes away.
When I can’t receive my barefoot bar massage therapy, my second choice is to get my hands-on deep tissue massage from a man. My other choice is from a tall, well insulated woman. (Stay with me here–there’s a point to the big vs smaller hands-on therapist!)
I like getting hands on massage from men and big, solid, farm-type women for two specific reasons:
As massage therapists, we’ve got a pretty good thing going on in general. Clients come in tight or sore, and we make them feel better by the time they walk out the door. Barefoot massage is deep but comfortable and can put muscles back in place where they belong. Hands-on massage therapists provide pain relief as well, and relaxation.
For that, people are grateful.
But sometimes we get “Creepers”- typically men (not always, I’m sure) who ask things like if they can inspect our feet to make sure they are pretty enough for ashiatsu. In the 20 years that I’ve been doing massage, no one has asked to inspect my hands.
Or perhaps they ask what we are wearing or if we are the person in the photo on our website or ad. Once someone asked me in person how much I weighed.
Most massage therapists have dealt with this in one way or another, unfortunately. I was fortunate that our instructors talked about this in massage school. In our FasciAshi Fundamentals class, our instructors talk about what’s legit and what’s too creepy in regards to our massage with feet.
Some inquiries are no doubt legitimate or have been asked out of curiosity, but there are ridiculously blatant ones as well.
Head on over to Bored Panda, where we’ve got our “Dear Massage Creeper” article live. It’s a letter many massage therapists are currently rejoicing over and are wanting to share with others.
What kind of weird or creepy things have happened to you in regards to massage? Also, if you have tips to share in how to handle weirdos, please do!
Leave a comment below then share this with a friend.
This question of “how do I go deeper in a massage so I don’t hurt myself” recently came up in a massage group in which I belong. Of course, my obvious answer to learn barefoot massage and directed her to our website.
Sometimes it’s just not possible to take an ashiatsu class anytime soon. Maybe the kids are back in school, your rottweiler just had a hip replacement, or perhaps taking time off work and traveling simply isn’t an option at that moment.