In April, I took an intro course in Fijian Massage. As an Ashiatsu Practitioner (a barefoot massage modality), I was curious and wanting to learn more about other styles of barefoot massages. This led me to looking into Fijian Massage. Like Ashiatsu, it is a style of deep pressure massage that is done solely by the feet, rather than the hands, and has been westernized to achieve a more comfortable experience for both the client and therapist.
Fijian Massage was founded by Lolita Knight, who had lived in New Zealand and Fiji for about 20 years. While there, she discovered and learned this barefoot massaging technique that had been passed down from generation to generation, from a local village doctor. She then took this style and modernized it be more adaptable and comfortable for Westerners.
Fijian Massage is typically done with the client fully clothed and lying on the floor or on a mat and utilizes all aspects of the therapist’s feet to deliver a deep tissue massage while sitting or standing. The therapist never fully stands or walks on you. When standing, they use one foot at a time, and the two footed techniques are done while the therapist is sitting or lying down. The client is lying comfortably on the ground with pillows or cushions for added support and comfort while receiving their massage, allowing them to fully relax and enjoy the deep tissue work. By using the feet, the massage is a lot deeper, with more pressure, and has the ability to move the facial tissue and muscles, breaks up adhesions, and increase mobility, all with a gentler and less sharp or pointed feeling than you may get from a therapist who uses their hands and elbows.
Some benefits of receiving Fijian Massage:
Fijian Massage is a form of deep tissue massage and sports massage, as well as relaxation massage. Each session is geared to each individual’s needs and goals. It is great for athletes, office workers, those who simply like a deeper pressured massage, or those who prefer to remain clothed. Fijian is not ideal for those who are pregnant, have osteoporosis, phlebitis, or varicose veins. As always, if you have any health issues/concerns, or recovering from an injury or surgery, you should always check with your physician to make sure that you can receive a direct, deep pressured massage.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.