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.
Any ashiatsu therapist who loves to do seated work will tell you that you need to make sure you stretch your hip flexors. I personally often can spend 20-30 minutes doing seated work during a 90 minute session (depending on the client’s needs.)
You need to make sure you keep your hip flexors loose in order to do this or you’ll end up walking like Quasimodo.
This move is like your typical runner’s stretch, but it has an added component: the side stretch.
There was a big discussion recently on a Facebook massage group that I’m in, and it was about the sanitation of massage tables. Some people really think we need to be a little more operating room ready and make sure our tables are completely sanitized prior to replacing our linens.
One massage therapist went so far as to say that if she’s getting a massage, she will look underneath the sheets to see if there is a sanitize-able (I think I made up that word) protector under the fitted sheet. If not, she will walk out the door.
I did go to school a long time ago (graduated 19 years ago), and we never discussed anything like this, at least to the best of my knowledge. We did talk about wiping off the tables and of course using clean linens for each client!
At the time, I had been interested in sports massage, so I bought a waterproof table cover. But the material felt like an outdoor tarp. And it was boxy. There is no way you could put sheets on top of it.
Cozy fleece pads can be washed, but it’s unlikely that they are typically changed between clients. My Earthlite deluxe heating pad has the wires inside the fleece, so it can’t be washed. It can only be spot cleaned. (We can get a discount for therapists-email us at email@example.com.)
So I did a little research and came across the Earthlite professional table cover.
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.
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. 😉
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!
This time of the year, many of us are struggling with warm hands and feet when we do our barefoot massage. In fact, I often have a problem in the summertime too when the air conditioning is cranking. Today, we’ve got a cheapo heating pad to the rescue.
Firstly, the directions tell you not to lie on the heating pad, but that’s because the manufacturers don’t want you to fall asleep on one and burn yourself. I’ve had an unlucky client who lost her match with the heating pad this way (at home).
Standing on it is ok because you’re really on there for a short while. Plus, you’re awake. And you can tell if it gets too hot. By that time, you have been happily massaging with those hot feet.
Since it’s Thanksgiving, it seems apropos to share with everyone out there what we’re thankful for. While lives and business can be a challenge and a lot of work sometimes, our instructor team has a few people in our lives we’d like to give a shout out to the people we’re thankful for.
Firstly, we’d like to say a big fat thanks to all of our students and those who believe in us and our work. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are.
And now, personal thanks from our instructors:
We see it all the time when massage therapists are learning barefoot massage in class. They step on each side of the client’s body by the hips. Invariably the sheet pushes the client’s bum down towards the massage table.
It feels just plain weird. And annoying too. Plus, it makes your client aware that you are walking on the table.
They KNOW you are, but they don’t need to FEEL that you are.
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.
Today’s Tuesday TOESday tip is a simple one for all massage therapists, whether you do barefoot massage or not. A small Mother Earth pillow under the client’s neck is a lovely accoutrement. Clients love it and frequently comment on how nice it feels when I place under their cervical spine.
The small bolster feels great under the client’s neck when they are supine, and it warms the tissues well. This makes it even easier to get in deeply with your toes or fingers.
But it’s a pain to take the cover off, and worse to put it back on. They need to be washed each time they touch the client’s skin, and they have to hang dry.
And if you accidentally put one in the dryer, good luck getting it back on the pillow! I learned this the hard way. It was, I imagine, about as easy as putting a girdle on a walrus.
Mindfulness in massage is all about being present, focusing on the experiences happening in the current moment. In FasciAshi, even though you are “using your feet to massage,” you are honestly utilizing your whole body. Experienced ashiatsu therapists will start to dance across their clients bodies, focusing on where the clients fascia and their own intuition leads them within a session. The mindfulness of their massage becomes a sort of movement meditation.
We know learning how to massage “from scratch” all over again is a huge change. It can be humbling to your ego when your ease and natural hands-on massage skills don’t immediately translate all the way down to your feet.
Confidence and competence while applying FasciAshi techniques starts in class. A mindfulness approach that flows into your practice bridges the gap between classroom and clinical knowledge.