I was asked this weekend why I chose to only provide barefoot massage sessions in my own practice. Why did I choose to retire my hands completely? Why do I do only the styles of massage that people have never heard of?
The easy and selfish answer is that Ashiatsu is easier on my body – less wear and tear on my hands, wrists, shoulders, on up the line from my spine through my neck. I can easily do twice as many Ashiatsu sessions providing deep and relaxing bodywork in comparison to what my amazing hands and wicked accurate forearms could do (I’m not knockin’ my original massage tools, they rock!) My upper extremities aren’t the reason why I retired them – my feet just happen to be better. I don’t get tired giving Ashi sessions, and the quality of the work stays consistent, so my last massage is just as good if not better than the first.
The ego-filled answer is that Ashiatsu is unique. I am awesome. Blend those together and you got an Awesome Ashi waiting for you to schedule. My Ashiatsu will melt your body and leave your entire being as a pile of dripping goo on the table. I am the only one in town, heck, in the state, with the advanced training, experience and expertise in Ashiatsu. I have blended every advanced training course that I have taken into my Ashi sessions – go look at my Continuing Education resume – I do all that and more with my feeties. My feet can feel everything that my hands can. No one can Ashi like I Ashi. The student’s I’ve taught are darn good and are giving me a run for my money, but my feet know the barefoot voodoo and will put you in a trance.
But talent only goes so far. The real reason why I only massage with my feet is that it is the best massage that I’ve ever had, and the world needs to feel more massages like this.
I have received too many massages where I wonder when it will be over. I feel like they are either smearing lotion on me, diving aimlessly into my body with sharp thumbs and elbows, or I’m annoyed at why they are spending so much time in one spot. I VERY RARELY hit the zone-out stage during a massage session. I only tip them because I know they are being paid dirt. (The few who do give me massages that I love know who they are – I love you guys!!!!!!!) As a massage therapist it is hard to get beyond analyzing what, why and how someone is massaging you – (and sometimes why they are even bothering!) We are the ultimate critics. Receiving massage is not relaxing to me, it’s more of a chore. That is, it was a chore until I received an Ashiatsu session for myself!
The first Ashiatsu I received was like bliss incarnated. From the second she started to 4 hours after she finished, I was completely gone. I could have died happily on that table. I was finally able to let go, I relaxed, and I could give a flying purple monkey about what she did next or why she was doing it. I think for the first time ever my brain shut off and the body followed. I floated out of that massage, I probably shouldn’t have driven, and the benefits lasted in my body for weeks. She had even worked clinically with an injury treatment focus, and had addressed some “chronic tissue-issues” (as I call them) in my hips during that session. She wasn’t even TRYING to melt me like butter, thats just what Ashiatsu does.
Here’s why. The strokes are slow. So slow you forget they are moving and you completely doze off from in the midst of the perfect pressure hold. The strokes are long. No more of this wishy washy swirly wirly loop-de-loop lotion application – Ashiatsu strokes go from head to toe in single (or double if you get an Advanced trained therapist) full side of the body movements. There is not any annoying ever-distracting movement that prevents you from leaving your consciousness behind. The strokes aren’t painful. Ashiatsu works the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissue without hurting because the deep pressure is diffused through the whole foot, and is applied to the whole affected area of your body, not just a tiny spot, and an Ashiatsu trained foot maintains your preferred level of consistent pressure. The massage isn’t pointless. An Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy trained massage therapist – from the day they leave their first class – can address pain in the neck, back, shoulders, hips, joints – you name it! By working with the fascia and the entire length of all muscles addressed, Ashiatsu can work with complex tissue-issues creating a positive structural change in chronic soft tissue damage. This stuff is not just fluff, Ashiatsu tricks you and does more than you realize. Its worth its weight in gold. Yah, your massage therapist might be a body builder with gorilla sized forearms and hands who gives the “no pain no gain” massage week after week, but my Ashiatsu therapist is a petite 125 pound woman who peacefully works on me, works with me, and works with gravity to her advantage, and I only need one of these massages a month to get the same exact benefits done faster, lasts longer, and brings me to health more effectively by encouraging my body to heal itself. I’d gladly pay her weight for each session once a month, and ditch the cheap massages that were needed weekly. She’ll be around longer anyways.
So, long story short, Ashiatsu rocks and I want you all to experience the best massage that I have ever felt.
Wanna learn it? I teach it. Check out the “workshops” tab on my site for the details. Wanna feel it? Schedule a massage online – click the blue foot at the bottom of any page on my site to book your appointment.
- Dad’s love Deeper than Deep Tissue Ashiatsu (heelingsolebarefootmassage.wordpress.com)