Deeper barefoot massage using one foot

If you use your feet like your hands to massage, with intention, then your ashiatsu massage will not only be more therapeutic, but you’ll find your session time fly by faster. Getting specific in your barefoot massage and paying attention to details will make your ashiatsu session stand out from others’.

When I worked at a chiropractor’s office years ago, there were 2 other ashiatsu barefoot therapists there. One was taller and heavier by maybe 30 lbs, and the other was about my size. Doc told me once that my barefoot massage was way deeper than the others’.

How could that be?

I worked more deeply because I worked with intention and thought about the muscles I was accessing. Instead of fluffing over the QL, I’d glide in from the side, pivot, dig, explore. Ask yourself, “Where does it attach? What does it do? How can I access it the best? Which part of the foot should I use?”

Reviewing your anatomy definitely will help with your massage, because you’ll learn where the best path is to the muscles and that will, in turn, make you more specific in your work.

What part of the foot should you use?

It depends on a number of things:

  1. what part of the client’s muscles you’re trying to work
  2. your flexibility and body mechanics
  3. what your intention is

For instance, if you are trying to work the QL, the heel makes sense because it’s soft and round, and most clients won’t appreciate a toe jammed in there. The whole foot is too big to work between the iliac crest and the 12th rib.

However, maybe you’re trying to get to something trickier like the levator scapula. A heel may be the best tool, but it depends on if you are seated or standing. Exploring your flexibility and being willing to try different moves with different parts of your feet will make your ashiatsu session more specific and detailed.

Instead of just mindlessly effleuraging with your feet, we ask that you think about what you’re doing. In hands-on massage, you go lighter to deeper in pressure.  Perhaps you’d use a forearm, palm, elbow,  or thumb for certain parts of your client’s body.

Need help with figuring this all out?

We’re here for you. Consider taking a Revitalize or a Converge class to get your existing barefoot massage skills up to par.

Or even better, our Intermediate class will teach you more specific ways to use your feet while your clients are in supine and side body positioning. In our Intermediate class, we will teach you more specific ways to use your feet while your clients are in supine and side body positioning.

Take your barefoot massage to a whole new level by working specifically. You may be surprised at how your clients will remark on how much better your ashiatsu session is.

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One thought on “Deeper barefoot massage using one foot

  1. So what is awesome about what we are doing with the Center for Barefoot Massage and our FasciAshi classes, is we are retraining existing Ashiatsu therapists to get deeper in their theory as well as their pressure, since initially most Ashiatsu therapists are taught, essentially, a deep fluff and buff routine. So we break it up and help the experienced therapists bring more content to their strokes.
    WHATS EVEN COOLER is that the therapists coming to us to learn Ashiatsu for the first time are advancing so quickly! Things that took us years to achieve are happening on the 3rd day of class! The massage therapists who learn FasciAshi first have so much more material, theory, and real-world application of ashiatsu barefoot massage, that they’ll easily be able to use their feet not just to massage, but to literally use their feet as intuitively as they use their hands: seamlessly applying myofascial release, trigger point work, and complex range of motion techniques with ease.
    So whether you are already doing Ashiatsu or not, we want to help you get to the next level with this new wave of Ashiatsu training!

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