"Ashi-what? " is the response I get most of the time from clients and friends when I talk about this extremely effective style of massage that I learned a few summers ago.
Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy was developed by a massage therapist, Ruthie Piper Hardee, about 20 years ago, as a way to offer the deep tissue massage everyone loves with out causing pain and damage to her own body.
Self preservation is a must for people like massage therapists, as our work is very physical and can take a toll on our joints and muscles. Needless to say, I was excited about learning ashi for the sake of extending my career but I also experienced the effectiveness of deep compression early on in my first job as a massage therapist.
The woman who owned the massage establishment that I worked at would train us in an shiatsu technique that I now describe as more of a deep compression with feet which is the literal translation of ashiatsu.
Ashi= foot and Atsu= Pressure.
We would stand on the table and compress our clients with our feet holding on to a light fixture on the ceiling which is nothing like Shiatsu oriental bar therapy. Sometimes it was dangerous but it sparked my interest. The deep compression seemed to melt away the tension better than any compression technique I could do with my hands. I knew I had to learn more about barefoot massage techniques.
A few Summers ago, I decided to make it happen and signed up to take Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy from Jeni Spring of Heeling Sole Barefoot Massage in San Antonio. Jeni is one of ten AOBT instructors, including Ruthie Hardee, the founder of this specific technique.
I went down to Jeni's studio for an intense three day training to learn the art of barefoot basics. I was so in love with it from the beginning, even though it was exhausting and difficult, I knew I had found my new niche. It was going to revive my massage practice and after almost 10 years of massaging people, I needed NEW more than anything!
I practiced my new technique for several months on my husband (he loves it!) and friends before offering it as an option to my clients and continued to take trainings. This past summer I traveled to Houston to learn Ashi-Thai, which is an awesome blend of ashiatsu and thai massage. My next training will happen this coming year, where I'll learn advanced ashiatsu.
I'm so happy to be able to offer this unique style of massage and would love to work on you! Periodically, I hold open houses at my office, where I do live demonstrations of Ashiatsu. If you like deep tissue massage and are interested in booking an ashi session, send me an email or book your massage online under the appointments tab.
Ashiatsu is not for everyone. Because of the depth of this bodywork, people with recent injuries or surgeries should refrain from booking anything until they are fully healed (6 Months for surgeries.)
- It's not suitable for pregnant women,
- People with fragile bones (Osteoporosis or osteopenia)
- People who don't like deep pressure
- Unmedicated high blood pressure
- People with heart disease
If you have any questions, please contact me before booking your session.