Learning Ashiatsu: Frequently Asked Questions #1

“Is there a weight limit for massage therapists to attend Ashiatsu classes?”

That’s actually a common misunderstanding – there is technically no weight limit in our Beginner/Intermediate level Ashiatsu training (Fundamentals, Intermediate: Supine/Sidebody and ROM.. there ARE strength and skill requirements and weight restrictions for the Fasciashi Advanced class, however.) For safety reasons for your fellow students, your future clients, and our equipment in the classroom, we are cautious and try to bring an awareness of the physicality involved with this work before you arrive for your Ashiatsu workshop with the Center for Barefoot Massage.  We will need to know your height and weight once you register, so that we can coordinate the set up of the equipment and clients that you’ll be working with. Also for safety reasons, if you weigh over 200 pounds, you are required to bring your own portable massage table – we can go over that later if necessary.

A higher than average fitness level will diminish any challenges you may experience during the workshop. We ask that you are confident that your upper arm strength can pull your body weight off the client at any moment if needed – in case you lose your balance, or in case your client needs an immediate removal of pressure. You’ll need a healthy mental and physical endurance level to maintain focus and strength in class during our daily 2.5 hour long practice rounds. We ask that you are flexible enough to stand up & down from a 24 inch stool quickly and easily from the floor in one smooth movement. You should also be able to sit on a stool with your knees close together in a cannon ball position. We sure do make Barefoot Massage look easy, but once you are standing on the table or sitting on the barstool, it’s much harder than it looks!

Ashiatsu is meant to be performed on clients who are 50-100 pounds heavier than the massage therapist.

One thing that needs to weigh heavily on your mind: do you have the client base that even needs Ashiatsu? This deeper than deep tissue massage technique is meant to be performed on clients who are 50-100 pounds heavier than you. If you are massaging people who weigh less than you, then you’ll be working too hard against gravity – sometimes even working on someone who is comparable in size/weight to you can be more difficult to massage with your feet if they cannot tolerate deep pressure. I highly recommend that you save your FasciAshi massages for the larger framed, dense tissued clients who are difficult to work on with your hands. If you don’t have the right client base for this technique, you may want to re-evaluate why you want to learn Ashiatsu, as it’s not meant for every client, it’s not meant for every massage therapist, and if this work is utilized incorrectly, or for evil not for good so to speak, then you can cause repetitive strain issues within yourself, and easily injury your client. Being that our studio, Heeling Sole, provides only barefoot massage ALL THE TIME, all day every day, we have experienced first hand (or… first foot?!) what it feels like in our bodies to do 20 Ashiatsu sessions within a week on small bodies, and what it feels like to do the same amount of sessions on larger bodies. Ashiatsu is a big tool you’ll be using to massage with, so it has to be used on the right job.

Do you have the equipment that will support this work?

You need to have a massage table that will hold your body weight, plus your heaviest client, plus a few hundred extra pounds breathing room within the working weight capacity of that table. We recommend the Earthlite Ellora or the Earthlite Spirit – or something comparable. No aluminum legged portable massage tables. Our classroom is stocked with 32″ & 35″ Earthlite Spirits, and our treatment rooms have the two versions of Earthlite Ellora’s – so you can try the tables out during your Ashiatsu training in Texas. I am an Earthlite massage table retailer, so I can help you pick out new discounted equipment if needed.

Contraindications for therapists:

If you are currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant, have recently had breast/gluteal/calf implants and/or some select surgeries within the last 9 months, we regret that you cannot attend the seminar. Please review these contraindications that I uphold my clients to, and let me know if any apply to you.

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Speak with me to clarify your specific situation and see if Ashiatsu training through the Center for Barefoot Massage is or isn’t appropriate for you at this time. The deep compression provided by this modality could be dangerous for those still recovering from invasive procedures or ailments, and is not safe for prenatal therapists or their growing babies to receive this style of work.
It is not our intention to discourage or discriminate anyone from taking this class, we must focus on a quality workshop experienced by all and maintain the safety standards of the modality.  However, we do try to portray the amount of fitness that will eliminate some obstacles and make class more enjoyable for all therapists.

Ready to get steppin?

Click here to sign up now and learn Ashiatsu with Jeni Spring and Jessica Jenkins in Texas!

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One thought on “Learning Ashiatsu: Frequently Asked Questions #1

  1. Pingback: Learning Ashiatsu: Frequently Asked Questions #1 —Is there a Weight Limit? | Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy's Blog

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