So now that you know WHAT Ashiatsu is, (check out Part 1 of this series of posts here!) the next part about getting to know your massage is all about how to receive a good massage. (Hint: it’s more than just laying there and taking it!)
How to best receive a barefoot massage at Heeling Sole
At your first visit we’ll have you complete a health intake form. Recurring visits entail a brief check up to track your progress. After a thorough review of this information with your massage therapist, (be patient and informative, this stuff is important!) we will be able to best suit the needs of your session for the day. Knowing a history of your aches, pains, diagnosed conditions, past surgeries, trauma, medications, etc. gives us a safe point of reference to start from.
We’ll leave the massage room to give you time to undress and settle in beneath the sheets on our deluxe w-i-d-e, padded and warm massage table. If you are receiving an Ashiatsu massage, it is imperative that you undress completely. Yes, I said it, there’s not much “undressing to your comfort level” here at Heeling Sole. We need to work directly with the tissue in your booty, legs and your feet, so please, remove your undies and socks as well as all the usual clothing, and we PROMISE that we will keep you covered where it counts with a sheet. Professional draping is required by the state of Texas except with written permission – and we at Heeling Sole never work without draping anyways, even if you want us to. This is a professional massage therapy session, and exposed nudity is NOT our thing. We haven’t ever, and don’t need to ever, see that side of you! However, underwear is almost an insult to us. For some reason we have no issues pushing through your lovely skin to engage into and drag across the muscles, but we do get weirded out when our toes get tangled in underwear or when we simply have to step on your skivvies. It becomes a safety issue, and honestly does remove some beneficial elements from the massage if we have to skip an area or work through fabric, rather than glide and slide through the skin. If you are receiving just an Ashi-Thai stretching session, not blended with Ashiatsu, please wear flexible clothing – like what you would wear to work out in. We don’t mind stepping on normal clothes, and we do have a spare pair of scrub pants here for you to borrow if you happen to be wearing jeans, a skirt, or something inflexible. 😉
While you undress in the massage room, we’ll clean, sanitize and warm our feet, and start the session as soon as we return to the room.
You are in control of your massage, and we need you to give instant feedback on the pressure level – we are looking for no deeper than the “hurts so good level”, and your comfort is always most important to us. Although Ashiatsu is a “deeper than Deep Tissue” massage, it should not involve a “NO PAIN NO GAIN” mentality. We want almost a play-by-play from the horses mouth as we get to know your muscles and your bodies response to our work. Let us know if it needs to be lighter, deeper, a hair to the left, etc, and we’ll adjust right away! Let us know what it feels like – maybe when we press here, you feel a stretch there, or a referring sensation over yonder … this is all valuable information for us massage therapists! Your feedback does NOT hurt our feelings, it’s encouragement for us to give you the best massage possible that day, and we want to cater this session to you.
If it helps you to relax by having a little conversation outside of the feedback aspect of our communication, go ahead and talk about your great second cousins crazy encounter with aliens, or your friends amazing food, but don’t feel obligated – we love to hear your stories, or the sounds of your snooze. On the flipside, if your body and mind needs silence, we are ninja’s, and we don’t mind working in stealth mode. (Just don’t forget to speak up when pressure needs adjustments!)
Your job during the massage is to focus on your breathing, be heavy, and physically melt into the table. If we try to move your limbs, don’t help. It’s actually better if you are dead weight. So think ~heavy~, be a bag of bones on our table, and we’ll position, stretch or place your limbs exactly where is best for the moment, or if we need you to help, we’ll definitely let you know! If you aren’t yet totally sure if the pressure is too much, try breathing into it, sending your focus directly to that area of your body, and imagine inflating it like a balloon with your breath. Sometimes just a breath and a moment of focus helps direct your brain to the “pain”, and helps you realize that it wasn’t pain at all, it was a dense area of tension!
Hey, whats that song?! We are known for playing not “normal” massage music. We are sick of Enya, honestly. That doesn’t mean we have to rock out to Metallica, but we can change the music to whatever you are in the mood for. Jeni loves to dance on your back to mellow Led Zeppelin tunes or trancey ambient music – but if you aren’t diggin it, just say so, and we can change it up. Except to Enya.
Sessions will incorporate as much “massage time” as possible, however, your session may require 5 minutes of pre-session interviewing, post-session follow-up and/or self-care suggestions to better enhance your massage experience. We’ll take the massage right up to the last minute possible, and will let you know when the session is over, so don’t worry about the time. When the massage has come to a close, don’t feel the need to pop up off the table immediately, just take a moment of savasana to assimilate everything and bring yourself back to earth. Always roll over to your side before getting off the table- sitting up like a zombie can make you light headed after all the deep pressure and traction we did to your spine. Then, on your own time, wander up to the front desk to check out, and then float into the world!