First, if you’ve never heard that word out loud, you can listen to it right here. Now you can ask for it and not worry, or you could just say, “I want that massage where they use their feet and walk all over me!” ((ha)) Either way, we’ve got you. Specifically, either Ryan or Nelly got you. They’ve worked hard to be certified in this specialty massage and they’re excited to bring Ashiatsu to people who need it and will definitely fall in love with it.
Second, Ashiatsu comes to us from Asia… as in, all over Asia, as it traveled and developed over a 3,000 year period. This sort of barefoot massage originated in the tropical coastal town of Karala in India. (If you’d like to see how beautiful it is there, click here.)
In the very beginning, this sort of massage was not seen as massage but rather a sacred healing practice (which, you know, massage actually is… right? How much more sacred healing can you get than taking compassionate care of your body?).
Eventually, it made its way to Japan and the form that uses the feet to apply pressure to various points along the body and thus correct imbalances and open up energy channels. It is performed on a mat on the floor.
Here, of course, we use stabilizing bars in the ceiling to regulate pressure (and keep our balance!).
The Japanese word itself can be broken down to “Ashi” translating to foot and “Atsu” to pressure.
Our therapists’ methods allow the deep tissues, joints, and muscles to be massaged while easing the nervous system.
You might be wondering how it eases the nervous system and how it differs from traditional deep tissue massage. Here are some brief explanations (and if you’d like even more, just ask your therapist):
- Because the therapists are using their body weight to regulate intensity, this is the deepest deep tissue possible. Though, thanks to the overhead bars, they can pull back where and when you need that. Never hesitate to speak up.
- Because the therapists are using their feet, the length and width of the surface area that applies pressure is larger, and they can create longer, consistent strokes.
- Because the therapists are using their feet, the intensity never comes with that sometimes pokey-ness of fingers, elbows, and other deep tissue tools.
- Because of that lack of pokey-ness, your nervous system is never, if you will, “poked” out of the state of deep relaxation that you’re in during the massage. We’ve all experienced those moments when something simply feels like too much and can startle you out of the experience.
- The type of strokes of Ashiatsu massage loosen adhesions, and they release the connective tissues. Because of this, alignments can go back into place quite naturally.
- The long, gravity-assisted strokes broaden and lengthen the muscle fibers. This improves and restores flexibility. Scar tissue and adhesions from past injuries and stress all respond well to this technique.
- Due to the type of strokes employed in this technique, you’ll leave fully relaxed and with no residual sorts of achiness that can sometimes happen with other forms of deep tissue.
Ashiatsu tends to be especially popular with people who have thicker muscle mass, like athletes, weight lifters, or even just bigger sized humans. Then again, all bodies will benefit from this approach regardless of your size or activity levels.
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