Though Ashiatsu sounds similar to Shiatsu, they’re not exactly the same thing. Shiatsu translates to “finger pressure” while Ashiatsu translates to “foot pressure.” Ashiatsu is performs on a massage table or a mat on the floor. Bars are set up either next to the Ashiatsu practitioner or above them. These bars are primarily used for balance while one or both feet are used to give the massage.
Ashiatsu is often for people who need deeper work, who are large, or want to try something new. Beyond the basic Ashiatsu classes there are advanced levels as well as Thai Ashiatsu. Thai Ashiatsu is often done clothed, as you would for Thai massage.
I received my Ashiatsu training from Red and Natalie at DeepFeet Bar Therapy in 2017. The class is 24 hours with mandatory 30 hours of documented practice outside of the class plus a test to become a Deepfeet Certified Ashiatsu Therapist. After 6-12 months of actively practicing Ashiatsu as a certified Ashiatsu therapist I will take the Thai Ashiatsu class. One day I will be certified in all advanced courses in Ashiatsu.
Ashiatsu Feels fantastic. You can get deeper work done without pain like you might with elbow work. A typical full body session lasts for about 90-minutes. If you have specific work you want done this can be extended to a 2 hour session.
There are certain considerations for people who want to receive an Ashiatsu session. People who are pregnant should not receive Ashiatsu. Alcohol and other dehydrating drinks may not agree with you before or after a session. Regardless of what kind of bodywork you have done, it’s important to stay hydrated.
If you’re not sure if Ashiatsu will work for you please talk to an Ashiatsu therapist and be honest about your health information. Your Ashiatsu therapist can give you more information specific to your circumstances.
While many people have never had a massage before most of us have seen a chair massage setup at some point. Often you will see them in a mall, at a fair or festival, or an airport. I worked at Massage Bar, Inc. inside the Seatac International Airport in Washington state for approximately 3 years in total. Our primary focus was chair massage. They were great, heavy-duty chairs that could accommodate most people. I’ve probably massaged over 1,000 people in
my short time there.
One of the questions I asked in my verbal intake was “have you had a massage before?” I would say that over half of the people who said “yes” went on to say “I’ve only had a real massage though, not one of these.” Even other massage therapists who came in would often make a statement that chair massage isn’t “real” massage. My question to other therapists was always “why?” and they could never seem to come up with an answer.
Chair massage is just as “real” as table-top massage. There are many kinds of massage out there, sports, Ashiatsu, chair, hot stone, Thai, Swedish, Watsu, and many more. Not all of these are performed the same, they all have various layers of (un)dress. I can say, as someone who provides many of the above, that chair massage is no less real. There are things a chair massage can offer that others cannot. It’s a tool when used appropriately it will get the job done. Chair massage is fantastic for shoulder work. Though side-lying may be one of the best ways to work on low-back and hips, I can get great work done in a chair.
Chair massage is also a great way to introduce people to massage. It’s a low-risk, clothed option that can be given in short or long times and lets people get a feel for the massage therapists touch. If you have never had one, I highly recommend seeking out a licensed massage therapist who provides chair massage as part of their regular services.