Ashiatsu is a massage technique that uses a therapist’s feet to apply pressure to the body. It has a long history of therapeutic healing, dating back to ancient India, Japan, China and Thailand.
Traditional Western techniques use thumbs, fists and elbows, which can be uncomfortable for clients and tiring for a massage therapist. Ashiatsu is a Western adaptation of these long-practiced Eastern techniques.
Many clients seek out deep massage for pain reduction and healing. Ashiatsu massage is a deep tissue technique that manipulates the deeper layers of soft tissues to reduce pain by loosening tight muscles and releasing fascia.
This style of massage is also more precise and less rough than traditional hands-on deep tissue, reducing inflammation and increasing circulation. The therapist can control the amount of pressure applied to the bars and their body weight, so it’s less painful.
In addition, a good deep-tissue massage like those from Motion massage should stretch muscles and ligaments like the iliotibial band outside your knee. Stretching these ligaments helps the muscles and fascia recover from injuries and stress. This allows the ligament to be more flexible and prevents adhesions in the future. This is especially important for athletes with the flexibility to play their best. Keeping the body relaxed and free from adhesions promotes healthy joints, tendons, and muscles.
Ashiatsu massage is an ancient barefoot technique that uses the therapist’s feet to apply pressure against the body. Traditionally, it was done on the floor or a padded mat. It is now practiced in Western spa settings on a massage table and may or may not be lubricated with therapeutic oil, creme, or no lubrication (if the client remains clothed).
Using feet allows therapists to distribute consistent pressure over a larger area than hands can, creating more profound results in a shorter amount of time. Its long gravity-assisted gliding strokes can broaden muscle fibers and lengthen muscles, helping to improve flexibility in tight muscles. Its advanced two-footed techniques allow intervertebral spinal traction and can articulate stiff or stuck structures, encouraging structural shifts.
Ashiatsu is especially effective for those clients who readily seek outcomes from their massage and are looking to relieve pain, correct posture imbalances, increase their range of motion or want a deep, luxurious experience. It is also great for larger clients and those with difficulty finding enough pressure from traditional hands-on massage.
Ashiatsu massage is an alternative form of bodywork that originated in Japan and came to the United States. The technique is delivered on a massage table and uses the therapist’s feet to manipulate pressure on large muscle groups like the back.
The therapist is supported by bars above the massage table, allowing them to vary the weight and pressure used. The therapist applies a thick lubricant to help the feet slide smoothly over the muscles and skin.
Studies have shown that massage improves circulation. One possible explanation is that the massage stimulates the circulatory system to increase venous and arterial blood flow. Another reason is that the massage increases the body’s yin-yang energy, or Qi, by removing any imbalances or blockages. This can improve your body’s ability to heal itself.
The long gravity-assisted strokes of Ashiatsu massage broaden and lengthen muscle fibers. They can also loosen adhesions between muscles and increase flexibility. This is especially helpful for athletes. The iliotibial band, which runs along the outside of the leg from hip to knee, is a common source of pain for distance runners. Ashiatsu improves flexibility and can reduce pain in this area.
The therapist’s feet have a larger surface area than hands, elbows, or forearms, so they apply pressure with less pain to clients. This helps clients remain relaxed and allows therapists to work longer, increasing session time for maximum benefit.
The therapist’s feet also have a more precise touch than fingers and thumbs, so they can better target trigger points. This results in a deeper, more intense experience that alleviates pain faster than traditional massage techniques. This can help you recover from intense workouts more quickly. It can also relieve lingering pain from injuries or stress.