Is FasciAshi the same as Ashiatsu?

What’s the difference between the Ashiatsu you’ve heard of for years and our new FasciAshi?! ↫ Do you see the word “Fascia” in there? That’s the key to our work.

We teach anatomy based, Fascia-focused strokes that have been developed by a team of experienced and highly trained barefoot massage specialists. FasciAshi was not created by just one person, it started from a collective movement of barefoot massage therapists across the country who wanted MORE out of their cookie-cutter feeling sessions.

Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage is a growing niche in the massage industry – and just like there are many different styles of sports massage or hot stone courses in the Continuing Education market, we are presenting a drastically different new style of Ashiatsu.

What is Ashiatsu anyways?

In general, the word “ashiatsu” in Japanese translates to “foot pressure” in some dialects, or “warm, deep, feet, legs” in others. If you look up “Ashiatsu” in different languages, you’ll find an even wider range of meanings!

Historically, ‘Ashiatsu’ as a technique name actually belongs to a centuries old shiatsu-based treatment that is performed on the floor through the clients clothing.

Americanized barefoot massage modalities, however, teach a sequence of strokes with a heavy relaxation vibe. The trifecta of 1) overhead parallel bar support, 2) lubricated, gliding strokes from the therapists feet on the clients body, and 3) performed on an elevated massage table are the factors that make up what the western world knows Ashiatsu as.

So yes, FasciAshi IS a style of ashiatsu barefoot massage.

Overall, Ashiatsu has gained recognition as an amazing massage that clients and practitioners LOVE.  It is true that our entire faculty was trained, and even used to teach and work behind the scenes for the other Ashiatsu continuing education company that you’ve probably heard of. (Honestly, ANY modern ashiatsu class you find stems from that company.) We believed in the companies vision to teach safe ashiatsu under the lineage of the founder, and to only provide live “feet-on” training to preserve the integrity of not only the massage itself, but also the massage industry. But the classes there have been presenting the same protocol for 22 years. The last new class added was close to 10 years ago. The focus from that companies style has always been on a relaxation/spa based “deepest most luxurious” effleurage protocol, and although those strokes are REALLY good at relaxing you while underfoot, the practioners work grew stale over the years. This legacy and reputation is what really helped to put Ashiatsu on the map, but it’s also held it back as the profession grew.

What is FasciAshi then?

Our instructor team had aspirations beyond what the original westernized ashiatsu lineage ever wanted to offer – so we left in order to collaborate and create FasciAshi for you. We begin where other styles leave off. Our modernized classes provide a different approach to ashiatsu barefoot massage as the bodywork industry knows it. We don’t want you to do the routine that everyone has been taught since the late ’90s.  We want you to massage intuitively with your feet, just like you do your hands. We’ve researched and innovated new content based on our collective 32 years in the business of massaging and teaching – and we’re going to continue to grow with the combined experience of our growing instructor team and collaborating education partners.


In order for you to trust your feet and your intuition naturally during a session, you need to feel confident in why, how and when you’d use what stroke where! FasciAshi offers detailed technique combined with education on the theories as to WHY you’d apply each stroke and who they are most effective for. That way you can create a comprehensive barefoot massage session catered to each client.

Believe it or not – these concepts are not part of the curriculum in other styles of westernized Ashiatsu. What has been taught in the past is more along the lines of “this foot always goes here, then slides over there.”

Your x-ray vision and anatomy knowledge are going to get a boost in every FasciAshi class as we open your eyes to the potential of how your feet can massage. Classes offered through the Center for Barefoot Massage will allow FasciAshi therapists to train, certify and specialize in niche markets with safe, confident feet, steeped in myofascial release theories, neuromuscular techniques, pain science research, facilitated stretching principals – to use in a variety of massage environments. Don’t let all this intimidate you – want these challenges to help you grow as a professional and make this massage your own. The four classes currently available are the 1st step into shaping your focus – new classes will be coming that can help your feet follow the pathway towards specializing in sports, clinical work or relaxation work.

We don’t just teach you a how to massage with your feet – we teach you how to revolutionize your approach to massage therapy, entirely.

Each FasciAshi class builds on the last and gets progressively more intricate, especially as the strength, dexterity and sensation in your soles increase. Every one of our four core classes teaches a full-body approach with increasing levels of complexity – so as you grow into the technique, the technique grows with you. Hundreds of ashiatsu barefoot massage therapists who have come before you, including our instructor team, felt like they had ‘capped out’ and felt bored, ineffective or restricted with what they were taught up to that point. They were eager to learn more. There wasn’t another level of training or another perspective available. Luckily, our team of instructors is eager to share our collective 80+ years of experience and create something new. Ashiatsu had grown stagnant and was being held back: until February 2017 when we launched!

Something to note, too, is that we are the only major Ashiatsu continuing education company that does not offer or endorse Video/Online/E-Learning training for Ashiatsu.

This is a big part of why the Center for Massage exists – we not only branched off to take Ashiatsu to the next level, we left to stand up for what we believe in: live training for licensed massage therapists. We will have videos as a study resource available after training – but we fundamentally disagree with actually learning massage by video, especially barefoot massage. We’ve written other blog posts on that topic that you can read here and here and here. We’d rather teach you in person to be a safe, well-educated anatomy nerd who knows how to use your feet just as effectively as your hands… not a zombie taught how to massage by an app.

We’ve noticed an accelerated level of skill in our new alumni in these FasciAshi classes (that we only just released this year!) compared to what we were teaching elsewhere. This new work from the Center for Barefoot Massage just makes sense when it comes to saving your own body, and actually addressing tissue-issues, rather than glossing over them like before. We are excited to watch the ripple effects from this “oomph” to the field as our practitioners grow to new levels of success. We’ve seen the positive changes in our own clients over the years while using these techniques in our own practices, we know it will be well received and effective for your clients.

You don’t have to already be trained in Ashiatsu to appreciate FasciAshi – we’ve done the leg work and created an evolution of the original lineage that will catapult your career forward.

Follow our #WowWednesday posts on Instagram, and our reviews on Facebook to see what new and experienced Ashiatsu therapists are saying about our training.

This is only just the beginning:  Check us out!

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