Here at Lime Green Lotus I am always seeking out new ways to provide unique and beneficial experiences to my clients that are not available elsewhere. It is for this reason that I decided to learn Ashiatsu, and I am proud to be among the few in the area to offer this innovative take on a traditional massage that is branded by its founder as the “deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet”.
So what exactly is ashiatsu? This is a barefoot massage technique, consisting of deep compression and long, flowing strokes to stretch and elongate the muscles and spine, thus opening up the spaces between the vertebrae. As therapists, we use bars above the massage table for support and balance. For more details, including photos and videos, you can also check out the founder’s website.
Back in massage school, this was one of those modalities that I felt it would be fascinating to learn, but unfortunately it was not offered as part of the curriculum. I first tried it at an Asian massage place and was hooked by the deep foot pressure that seemed to magically iron out my aches and pains. I’m also the type of client who loves trying things that are unique and different, so ashiatsu really fit the bill.
And so it seemed rather ironic when the wellness center where I work told me they were planning on putting bars on the ceiling as one of the therapists had expressed an interest in learning ashiatsu. As it turned out, she didn’t learn it, but my colleague did and she decided to sign herself up for it. Excited to have a buddy to go to class with (learning is always more fun together!), I promptly signed myself up and so a fun and eye-opening time began.
Learning any new modality is an interesting experience, and ashiatsu all the more so because many therapists are so accustomed to using their hands and forearms. That said, Joanne and I are also Thai massage therapists, a modality where it is more customary to use your feet and so ashiatsu was a good fit for us.
If you’re wondering whether ashiatsu would be a good fit for you, I can tell you that we have gotten some rave reviews from the clients who have been lucky enough to try it, and I’d like to share with you some of the benefits:
Improved posture and movement.
Deep relaxation and stimulation of the body’s lymphatic system.
Many clients feel the deep compression strokes resemble a foam roller, rolling out their aches and pains.
An excellent choice for runners and other athletes as it enables more targeted work on the hip and leg muscles such as glutes, IT band, gastrocs and peroneals.
Feet are larger than hands, making them ideal for performing broader, deeper strokes on larger muscle groups such as those above.
In addition, the large area of the foot is less painful than pointy elbows/thumbs for performing trigger point work.
Great for those who feel that deep tissue work doesn’t get deep enough as the therapist can use the gravity of the bars to impart deeper pressure.
So all that remains for me to ask you is: when are you going to try ashiatsu?
Yours in healing,
Sarah Downing is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Lime Green Lotus. Get in touch to learn more.