As a massage therapist, I have received many massages over the years. I have been to spas, to chain locations, and to individual private practices. Some have been good, some just ok, and a few that were not so great. Every therapist is different, every environment is different, and even the modalities used may be different. I know several really great LMTs in the area who give wonderful massages, but as much as I enjoy them, none compare to Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy. Ashiatsu is the only type of massage that has consistently given me the relief my body craves and with long lasting results.
Despite my petite frame, I can take, and require, a lot of deep pressure on my upper body, glutes, and hips. Receiving the deep and direct pressure from the therapist’s foot is not only easier on the therapist, but it feels so much better than a pointy elbow getting jabbed into you.
If you have not received an Ashiatsu massage before, let me tell you a little more about it. Ashiatsu is known as the barefoot massage. It gets its name from the root words Ashi, which means “foot”, and Atsu, which means “pressure” in Japanese. By using overhead bars, that run parallel to the massage table, for support, the therapist uses their feet and body weight to give you a relaxing and deeper pressured massage. The barefoot massage technique uses deep compression effleurage strokes that glide over the body to stimulate relaxation. It also combines a push-pull pumping effect that is done with the feet to provide a deep pressure that has long lasting effects on the body. Ashiatsu is said to be the deepest, most luxurious, massage out there. I fully agree with this claim.
I first read about Ashiatsu while I was in massage school and was quite intrigued by it. During my final term in school, I discovered a LMT who practiced Ashiatsu in my area. After meeting with her and receiving one of her massages, I was hooked. I knew that I needed to learn Ashiatsu. Just over a year after becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist, I was trained and certified as an Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist by a certified instructor, here in Portland, Oregon. Within months, I converted about 90 percent of my clients to receiving Ashiatsu Massages. About a year and a half later I added Ashi-Thai Massages to my menu as well. When new clients come to see me, depending on their needs, I often will sway them to trying Ashiatsu for their first session. Almost every single client walks away, not only feeling better, but in awe of the long lasting effects of the Ashiatsu massage.
Ashiatsu is good for a variety of people. If you are an athlete, have a denser physique, or simply prefer a deep pressured massage, you will love Ashiatsu. The feeling of your muscles melting and elongating is like no other. It can do wonders for relieving upper and lower back pain, and I even love it to help relieve hip pain. Pressure is always adjustable throughout the session, no matter how deep or light you’d like the pressure, I can always adjust to make the most of your Ashi experience. Go ahead and give it a try! I bet you will enjoy it and the lasting effects from the 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.