Is Ashiatsu the same as Barefoot Massage?

Is Ashiatsu the same as Barefoot Massage? What is the difference between a Barefoot Massage and a Foot Massage?

WOW! So many questions, and we get them often from our clients as well as from massage therapists. I’m sure you’ve either asked, or have been asked these questions, too. So lets break it down!

Barefoot Massage is a growing specialty in the massage therapy industry where the massage professional utilizes their FEET as tools to give the massage rather than hands. A foot massage is where the clients feet are being massaged through techniques such as Reflexology, Acupressure, Thai Foot Massage, or a general foot rub – like what you may receive from a Nail Technician during a pedicure. A Bear Foot massage is another thing entirely, ha!


Give weight, then wait again.

“Give it weight, then wait” to impact the fascia (but really, the nervous system) is a pretty heavy theory that we’ve found to be important to our FasciAshi technique. Addressing the deep fascial bands, navigating the contours of muscle and bone, and applying a great amount of pressure directly to specific tissues creates a form of myofascial release that your hands only WISH they could achieve with such consistency and accuracy. The broad pressure from a Barefoot Massage is a no brainer for deep bodywork. Moving slower, OR NOT AT ALL, helps you get to that “deeper than deep tissue” feeling so many clients are looking for.

Give weight, then wait.

2017 has been a big year for barefoot massage – a lot of changes have hit the scene, all to the benefit of the massage therapy profession, and ultimately, the public! We dropped a lot of knowledge¬†this year when we released the 1st wave of FasciAshi classes, and we can’t wait for the heavy deep myofascial ashiatsu massage training we’ll be footing out in 2018! In light of this, I thought today, the last day of the year, would be a great day to get down with ‘Part 1’ of this weighted blog post… Give weight, then wait. Enjoy! ~Jeni.

Free one day class drawing

If you’re reading this on December 15, you still have time to enter to win our FREE one day of class drawing! We’ll choose the winner tomorrow, December 16, 2017.

Click here to enter!

You just need to be a massage therapist in order to redeem your one day of free class, and it’s not transferable. So don’t enter your Grandma’s email hoping she’ll win and give it to you. ūüėČ

Take a one day of our massage continuing ed classes, and it’s free. (This would apply to our Converge class, and you need to be a barefoot therapist to take the class.)

Enrolling in a 2-day class (ROM, Intermediate, or Advanced) means you’ll only have to pay for 1 day. And that means if you win and discover the art of barefoot FasciAshi massage, our 3-day Fundamentals, class, you pay for just 2 days.

It’s a saving of $224! Woot woot!

Which class will you take if you win?

Fine print: there is no cash value, and it's still not transferable to anyone else. You simply don't pay for one day of our classes if you win.

Know a massage therapist who’s ready to save his / her career and body? Pass them this info, but remember that it needs to be tonight because we are doing the drawing on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017!


Ashiatsu massage cream

I’ve said for years in class that learning the right amount of lubricant for Ashiatsu is really one of the trickier things to figure out. If you use lotion, it absorbs too quickly. Oil tends to be hard to reapply-I’ve felt it drip on my back from 3 feet up. Gross. And we’ve tested various massage creams too. Some are dry, some are more viscous.

So what’s the best Ashiatsu massage cream?

It’s really very individualized. We’ve found that some therapists want to stick with what they’ve been using for hands-on massage. Sometimes that works, sometimes not so much.

FAQ: Can you feel knots during barefoot massage?

Can you actually feel knots when you massage with your feet?  Every barefoot therapist has more than likely received this inquiry many, many times. With a little bit of effort, anyone who has feelings on the soles of their feet can learn to pay attention to even the finest bit of grit under their tootsies.

When I was a brand new barefoot therapist 15 years ago, I remember feeling something on someone’s erectors under the plantar surface of my foot. I didn’t know what it was, so I held onto the bar and felt it with my hand. It was a knot.

Like with craniosacral, if you think you’re feeling something, you’re feeling something.

We’re going to get just a teensy bit sciency here.

Tuesday TOESday: another easy way to add ashiatsu cream

Recently, Jeni wrote a blog post¬†about how to re-apply lubricant to her ashiatsu client by applying it to her shin. Today I’m sharing another easy way to add ashiatsu¬†cream. Sometimes I wear long leggings or stretchy jeans (Must. Have. Stretch.) that come down to my ankles and so I can’t keep extra cream on my shins.

Why does this whole applying cream thing matter?

If you put cream all over your hands like you do for hands-on massage, the bars will get slimed up. When the bars are slippery, you need to grip them tighter. Because you grip the bars tighter, your forearms get sore. And then you’ve taken away part of the reason why you’ve learned ashiatsu¬†in the first place: to save your hands and forearms from undue stress.

(Barefoot) Massage Therapy Awareness Week

This week, October 22-28, the American Massage Therapy Association is promoting massage awareness in the public with “Massage Therapy Awareness¬†Week“. We’re going to add the word “barefoot” since, well, that’s what we do. ūüėČ

Barefoot massage has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, but it’s really been popular in the US for a comparatively short while. We wrote about Daniel Nowozeniuk¬†winning 2nd place in the Freestyle category at the World Massage Championship this May (2017). While technically he wasn’t barefoot since he wasn’t allowed to shed his shoes, he gave a fantastic rendition with his feet on the table while wearing Vibrams.

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and intuitively inventive people from all around the world have dipped their toes into the world of barefoot massage because it was more effective than using hands, thumbs, and elbows.

A big part of what we at the Center for Barefoot Massage stands for is the growth of the ENTIRE niche field of barefoot massage. We want every massage therapist to learn how to use their feet to massage, in some form or another, at some point in their career. We want the massage industry to know what barefoot massage is. We want the term BAREFOOT MASSAGE to be as recognized as hot stone and sports massage. It starts with simply knowing about some of the staple styles: so here we go!

Update to our Intermediate FasciAshi class!

Center-for-Barefoot-Massage-Intermediate-barefoot-massage-CE-courseWe are proud of the strokes and theories presented in the Intermediate FasciAshi course, and we get so excited at the potential this particular workshop offers for your growth in the technique! It’s a class favorited by our instructors, and an important step towards bringing the skill level of your feet up to par with your hands.

Our Intermediate course, where you’ll learn the supine and sidebody FasciAshi material, has been a 12 CE hour course since it’s release early this year.¬†Feedback from our students and faculty has shown that the amount of information provided within this 12 hour long class is too much for the time span allowed. The Center for Barefoot Massage is listening to you!¬†We are extending the class to allow more time to allow you to experience the class without feeling rushed.

Starting in January, 2018, you’ll see the FasciAshi Intermediate: Supine & Sidebody course listed for $447, which is our standard price for all two day, 16 CE classes. You’ll see this change reflected soon on our website – it is already in place for any 2018 Intermediate class listed.

FAQ: Am I too big to learn barefoot massage?

In our FAQ series, we’ll be going over all of our Frequently Asked Questions in depth. We’ll address questions therapists often have prior to attending class, but also give helpful information to educate the public on the benefits of barefoot massage. Today’s question is a popular one: “Am I too big to learn barefoot massage?”

Massage therapists, and actually clients too, often wonder if there is a weight limit for massage therapists. I’ve actually been asked how much I weigh prior to giving a barefoot massage. Quelle horreur! Do not ask a lady (or an ashiatsu¬†therapist!) her weight. Rule for living #1. ūüėČ

Let’s be frank, though, shall we? While there is technically no weight limit per se, we all need to be honest about our ability to move with grace on the table. If you can move like this yoga lady, let’s talk.