Tuesday TOESday – using twin sheets for ashiatsu

My flannel massage sheets are the bomb. They are perfect for ashiatsu for several reasons.  The fitted sheets are nice and snug, so my toes don’t get stuck in them when I move around, and they’re super comfy. Other massage sheets work well also (some of our instructors love Comfy Co.), but I’ve worked mostly with the flannel.

Twin sheets from anywhere work great for hands-on massage or for barefoot massage if you’ve got a wider table (like the 35″ Earthlite Spirit and Ellora that we love). However, my table I use regularly is 32″.

So when I recently purchased some lightweight twin sheets for summertime use, I had a little ashiatsu conundrum. My toes got stuck in the sheets whenever I turned, and the extra fabric got in the way, twisty and pulling when the client rolled over.

If you use flat sheets on the bottom, it’s easy to pull the corners into a knot to keep the sheet snug on the table, but it doesn’t work for extra loose fitted sheets. While I did consider cutting the sheets and resewing, that seemed like a waste of time and effort, so I pulled an old trick out of the bag that I hadn’t used in years–rubber bands.

How to fix your sheets so they work for barefoot massage:

You just need 2 regular sized rubber bands (you can use hair ties too if you have those handy.) Pull the sheet super snug in one corner, wrap a rubber band around it a few times until it stays put, and tuck the extra fabric under the sheet.

Do the same thing on the other side, and voilà! You’ve got a snug sheet for your barefoot massage, and you won’t trip on the extra fabric.

Just make sure you take the rubber bands off before you wash the sheets, or your sheet won’t get clean. Plus, the bands may melt in the dryer. Can you say “messy”? 😉

Do you have any favorite tips you’d like to share?

 

Tuesday TOESday: The magical thing you didn’t know your massage table could do.

Did you know that your portable massage table has many settings and FEETures that work awesome specifically for Barefoot Massage?

floor-massage-table

Fold those legs up underneath the frame and take your massage table to the floor!

Have you ever been sitting at home wishing you could practice some of your barefoot moves on your partner or kids, only to find yourself frustrated about bolstering and the challenge of maintaining cervical alignment?

That massage table is so much more supportive and comfortable than just the floor or a yoga mat!

You lie them down prone and prop some towels under their head. Maybe you place a pillow under their chest so they’re up high enough to breathe and maintain alignment, never really feeling entirely satisfied with the results.

Technique TOESday: The power of SOLE sisters!

The FasciAshi faculty is lucky to be rooted in a strong network of “Sole Sisters”, as many of us have been friends, colleagues and online buddies for years.  Even though we are all about a half days travel away from one another, we talk almost daily, so when we do get to meet up it’s as if no time has passed at all! With Jeni, Mariah, Jessica, and soon to be Sara all in the same place at the same time this week at the Barefoot Massage Summer Camp in San Antonio, we thought we’d make today’s “Tuesday TOESday” tip all about how you can combine forces with another massage therapist friend to grow BOTH of your businesses and careers in Barefoot Massage!

Sole Sisters and FasciAshi Ashi-Friends can help your Ashiatsu business succeed!

…read more by clicking on the “continue reading” link below~

FASCIAnate your Ashiatsu Massage: Part 3

Ashiatsu therapists want to learn more Ashiatsu.

If you are already an experienced Ashiatsu barefoot massage therapist and you share our passion for giving the best massage from your feet possible, then we already know that you know (deep down) that you want to know more!!!

Advancing-Ashiatsu-with-FasciAshi

(Did that make sense?!) It makes sense to us. We’ve felt the craving for more information, just like you are now.  We want you to continue to improve your effectiveness and mindfulness in barefoot massage to help give your clients the healing (and heeling) that they are looking for. #NeverStopLearning is one of our favorite hashtags, and we have FOUR ways for you to do just that!

Today we’ll discuss your opportunity to RETRAIN by attending courses in their entirety.

Tuesday Toesday – are your heels soft for barefoot massage?

Up until 2002, I was one of those people who walked around barefoot whenever possible. While my feet were prettier looking than Frodo’s, no one would have wanted for me to use them to massage them. My entire life I had struggled with dry, cracked heels that were painful in the winter time and were mildly better in the summer.

That changed when I decided to learn barefoot massage. I got my first pedicure ever. There’s only so much you can do with Hobbit feet, though, I guess. I started wearing shoes instead of sandals and regularly scrubbed my feet with a foot file, testing the softness with my hands.

Miracle of miracles, this all helped to make my feet soft enough for barefoot massage, or so I thought.

FASCIAnate your Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage: Part 2

How can existing Ashiatsu therapists learn FasciAshi?

If you are an LMT who already has formal Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage training, the Center for Barefoot Massage wants you and your Ashiatsu skill level to continue to grow.  We want you to continually be self-aware and conscious of how you are applying barefoot massage daily. We want you to question and expand your approach, but check back into the foundations of its body mechanics and intentions. We want you to grow to understand the aspects of the work that you didn’t quite “get” during class – and we want you to continually discover new aspects of the material that you never noticed before. We have FOUR ways for you to support your advancement in this style of massage, and blend the new strokes in with the old, to dive deeper into the material we present, to know it inside and out. These retraining opportunities allow you to revisit your Ashiatsu technique and biomechanics, while infusing it with FasciAshi’s innovative myofascial approaches to how you apply pressure through your feet.

Today we’ll discuss the REVITALIZE classes and what they entail – in the following weeks we’ll cover all options to step up your Ashiatsu game!

If you want to be a Jedi Master at Ashiatsu, training and retraining is key.

ashiatsu-refresher-classes

Tuesday Toesday – using a meditation pillow

Having an electric massage table solves a lot of problems for barefoot massage therapists, one of which is the ability to use only one stool instead of two. You simply raise or lower the table according to your needs. When using a portable massage table, ashiatsu therapists typically need 2 stools–that is, until now, for we’ve got a meditation pillow to the rescue.

Typically when an Ashiatsu therapists does work while the client is on the table and she’s seated, she will need a taller stool. Proper alignment calls for the therapist’s hips to be about the level of the client’s back when she’s doing seated work.

However, we don’t recommend standing on the tall stool because the higher you go, the more unstable your stool will be. Plus, you end up with crummy body mechanics-you’ll end up hurting yourself or tipping the stool forward onto the client’s head. I’ve been on the receiving end of that and definitely don’t recommend that.

Having an electric table resolves the need for a taller stool because you just raise and lower your table as needed. Doing seated work, lower your table. Standing? Raise it. Jeni’s got a quick video explanation of how she does it using a bamboo stick.

The problems with having to switch out stools in the middle of your session are:

  • you have to pick up or slide the stool out of the way and then
  • pick up / slide the other stool into place

The difficulty lies in that the client’s head is only a couple of inches from your stool. If you’re not extremely careful, you’ll either hit the wall with one of the stools, which makes a big “clunk” or you’ll hit the face cradle.

Add into the time involved in switching out your stools, and the client may wonder what’s going on.

Using a meditation bolster completely resolves this issue. Now, the ashiatsu therapist can just use the short stool. When she needs to be higher, she quickly and quietly can simply place the bolster onto the short stool.

I’ve tried a couple of different kinds-one was filled with flax seed (or maybe buckwheat hull) and is squishy. It made a lot of noise when I sat on it, and it wasn’t terribly stable.

The kind that I’m using now are filled with cotton, are 6″ thick and are super stable and quiet.

An added bonus is that my SITS bones aren’t sore from sitting on a hard surface.

I tell you where I got this bolster in the video. They have lots of different colors. I simply chose paisley because I figured it would help disguise any random ashiatsu cream or oil drips. Students tend to be a little messy sometimes. 😉

FASCIAnate your Ashiatsu Massage

How can existing Ashiatsu therapists learn FasciAshi?

If you are a massage therapist who already has formal Ashiatsu training, the Center for Barefoot Massage wants you and your Ashiatsu skill level to continue to grow.  We have FOUR ways for you to support your advancement in this style of massage, and blend the new strokes in with the old. These retraining opportunities allow you to revisit your Ashiatsu technique and body mechanics, while infusing it with FasciAshi’s innovative myofascial approaches to how you apply pressure through your feet.

Today we’ll discuss the Converge classes and what they entail – in the following weeks we’ll cover all options to step up your Ashiatsu game!

Advancing-Ashiatsu-with-FasciAshi

Tuesday Toesday–fix your stool tip

Just when you think that you’ve got a grip on your ashiatsu barefoot massage session, your body tilts just a teensy bit the wrong way, and CLUNK! Your stool at the head of the table slams into the wall. Today we’ll show you how to eliminate that issue so your client’s not terrified you’re about to fall on his head, and you feel a little more stable.

Problem:  caused by your baseboard that juts out from the wall, and the top of your stool often comes several inches from the wall itself. When you’re not quite centered on your stool as your using your other foot to massage, the stool tilts backwards.

Solution: costs under $1 and takes less than one minute.

Bolstering for Ashiatsu

To give your client a safe, comfortable and effective barefoot massage, it’s important to support them with specific bolstering for Ashiatsu where needed. We do this in many unique ways, from how we use a flat pillow for ankle and knee support while prone or supine, to what tools we use to position their body to best absorb and distribute gravitational forces and our weight.

ashiatsu-bolsters-pillows-support

Bolster #1: The Boob Pillow.

The purpose of a breast support pillow, when it comes to Ashiatsu, is to position “the girls” while supporting the sternum, clavicle, ribs and cervical spine when under pressure. Keep in mind that the table below the client is resisting your weight, and pushes back into the client’s body.

This “Oreo” of pressure coming from above and below your female client’s torso can translate into suffocating force in the chest, or a position of their head and neck that adds compression to the throat.  Having a cushion helps your client maintain thoracic, cervical and shoulder alignment so that she may comfortably absorb the pressure applied by your feet. Keep in mind that the breast recesses built into massage tables don’t always work well with Ashiatsu because the table is still there to push back on the throat – so give the girls some lift, and put an added level of padding underneath!