Ashiatsu is a full body therapeutic massage treatment, comparable to traditional massage, but practiced with the feet, rather than the hands and arms. Ashiatsu is a Japanese word that translates as: foot pressure. Four overhead bars are used to stabilize the therapist and help them regulate pressure delivered to the client, based on what is appropriate for different areas of the body and client preference.
Ashiatsu had its beginnings in the East during the 12th century. It was practiced with the client prone on a mat and the practitioner using overhead ropes for balance while using bare feet for massage. Distinct styles of barefoot massage originated in India, Japan, Thailand, China, and the Philippines using balancing props, chairs, bamboo rods, poles, or chains. In the West, Ashiatsu is typically practiced with the use of overhead bars and the client in prone or supine on a traditional massage table.
By using the feet, the therapist reaches a large surface area in a short time with broad, even pressure, effecting multiple layers of tissue. The long, slow gliding strokes allow muscle and fascia to lengthen and loosen and the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest response” is stimulated, encouraging release of tension in the body! The heels, toes and balls of the feet are ideal for the "detail work" necessary to release adhesions, Trigger Points and other chronic restrictions! The results are dramatic and long lasting and include greater mobility and postural stability!