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Archive for the ‘Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy’ Category

Do You Ashi?

My nephew doing a perfect Ashi Wing Walker***

Every so often someone asks if Ashiatsu is safe. They have looked at some pictures or read a description and gotten the idea that experiencing Ashi may be akin to being trampled by a small elephant.

I’m here to assure you that is not so.

Many of my clients have taken to telling their friends and family and actually introducing me as the massage therapist who walks on people. I got tired of correcting folks, it’s a distinction really, so now I just smile and nod yes, that’s me, the lady who walks on people and calls it a funny name.

And while I technically do not walk on people, I do a pretty good impression.

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy or DeepFeet Bar Therapy was created to deliver deep pressure to the client safely.

So I can say it’s safe all day long, but what do I do to make it safe?

Don’t walk on people

I really do NOT walk on you. I use my foot or feet to glide over and compress the muscles. It’s different from walking because even with two feet my weight is rarely ever fully on the client and I never shift weight from one foot to the other while working.

Use the right tool for the right job

Sometimes it’s not safe to receive Ashi. If you’re pregnant, if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or uncontrolled diabetes or problems with circulation or recent surgeries, you should not have Ashi. That’s why I ask so many seemingly invasive questions when we first meet.

Also, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage and Ashi-Thai moves are designed to be performed in a certain way. If I’m using the wrong foot to do a particular move, at best, I’m going to get stuck and have to make clumsy adjustments. At worst, I might hurt my client. So there’s a right foot and a wrong foot to use for each move.

No free-stylin’

I use only one foot at a time when working with clients who weight less than 40 lbs. more than I do. No, I’m not going to ask you how much you weigh unless you really need two feet, and you’re really close to the me+40 limit.

Regardless of whether it’s with one foot or two feet, I only perform moves I learned to do the safe way in training.

No goofing around on the table, EVER

This is probably the most dangerous thing an Ashi therapist can do. Goofing around and / or not paying attention to what they are doing is going to result in falling off the table and / or on the client. Neither of which is good for everyone involved.

We are trained specifically on how to move and navigate while on the table with a client. It may look simple and fluid, but it’s not all that intuitive and our instructors spend a lot of time trying to ingrain safe on-the-table habits.

Always be gentle and considerate

I try to never touch or cross the spine while working. Since the pressure is deep by the nature of Ashi, getting too close to the spine could cause a lot of pain or even injury. Also, stepping on or pinching the client’s skin is bad form. As is getting your toes tangled up in their hair. Not good… Oh, and I wash my feet obsessively between clients.

So that’s what I do to keep Ashi safe. I hope these answer your questions about Ashi Safety. If not, please leave a comment and I’ll write about it.

***I should point out that what he’s doing isn’t really perfect in that he’s unsupported. His form is pretty good and his balance is great, but as an adult I would never attempt this because frankly, someone could get killed.

I won’t tell you not to let your kid walk on your back. I think it’s a right of passage myself, but do be aware of the receiver’s physical limitations and the weight of the child. My nephew and I had a good weight difference when this picture was taken, probably about 90 lbs. difference.

But he’s growing and I’m growing older and I can almost guarantee we won’t do this again because our weights will be too close for it to be safe. Not to mention even in this photo, at these weights, one wobble the wrong way could have sent him crashing down into me and there’s at least one of us injured if not both.

But… it was fun anyway and a great memory that we will both have for posterity. I’m glad we got it in electrons 🙂

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Exclusive Provider of Ashi-Thai Massage!

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Jordan Ben doing Ashi on the portable bar system

Jordan Ben getting sassy on the portable bar system

Recently one of my Ashi sisters called wanting to rent my portable bars for an event. Turns out she got a gig at a “Girls Day Out”. She kept saying it was about swimming and eating and massage and pedicures while the guys were out hunting or fishing or doing whatever they do when they’re not around on the weekend.

This is one of the many pictures that came out of the event. I love that they were outside. The tent the host provided was huge and had curtains for privacy if the client wanted them. She was set up on grass and at first I thought that might be a problem, but apparently the portable bars handle grass alright.

I love the Garden Party aspect of this event that she did. I wish I could have gone with her, but now that we know, anyone? Ashi at your Garden Party? Family Reunion? Random outdoor event?

I’d love to bring the portables and do massage for your friends and family!

Sharon Bryant Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Exclusive Provider of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy!

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Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy anniversaryI just realized that today is my 3rd anniversary of being a fully certified Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy therapist.

I remember driving all the way to Cincinnati, OH by myself. Gulp! I was acting like a big girl, but felt a little like when I was in driver’s ed and the teacher told me it was time to drive my passenger side tires off the roadway. You want me to do what?!?!

I learned how to not freak out and jerk the wheel that day so long ago just like I made it safely (and on time) to Ohio. That trip was great, except for the getting lost part between Mary-Claire’s gorgeous training facility and the HoJo I was staying in. That only happened the first day and after that I was set.

It was a great training, physically very demanding, but so worth the effort. I will admit after the first day of DeepFeet2 class I was beginning to wonder whether my triceps would survive. I had lots of strength issues remaining even though I’d been practicing one-foot moves on clients for six months. The triceps survived, but I finished that class wondering if I would ever look as graceful as Mary-Claire while working.

I left Cincinnati stronger and more confident on so many fronts. I made a bunch of friends, discovered that I never wanted to travel alone again without a GPS, fended off a HoJo stalker (scary, but no harm done), and learned AOBT with two feet.

Ashi has defined my massage career. It has brought me so much joy and allowed me to bring comfort to so many of my clients. Here’s to many more years of bringing the Ashi love.

Thank you, Mary-Claire Fredette. I dream of being the Ashi goddess you are.

***Harvest Moon Massage is Decatur, Alabama’s Exclusive Provider of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, Ashi-Thai and Bamboo-Fusion Massage

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Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the portability of my Ashi massages. And I’m happy to say that, yes, I can come to your location. In early 2011 I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a set of Hardee-Ashiatsu Portable Bars.

I have the ability to travel with my portables for different events. To date I have had been able to use them at several outdoor 5Ks and occasionally I throw them up on my front porch just to play with them. I am always searching for more opportunities to travel with my bars. I enjoy introducing the public to Ashiatsu. The adult reactions range from sheer boredom to fascination. The kids are so much fun and will gather just to watch and wait for the opportunity to jump on the table. And yes, I work on kids, but mostly it’s just a simple stretch and they get a tickle if they want it. The adults are a little harder to get on the table, but once they do they are so glad they did.

Portables aren’t really appropriate for just one or two massages unless you’re willing to pay an outrageous set up fee. What they are appropriate for is events or conventions or office functions or anything really where people gather who would like a massage therapist on hand.

The following video features my lovely Ashi-Thai instructor, Jeni Spring, assembling a set of portable bars. I find it highly entertaining as she is really much taller in person than on the video. Her sense of style cracks me up and you can really see her personality coming through starting around minute 3:30 and continuing on until the end. Enjoy!

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I was asked by my fabulous Ashi-Thai instructor, Jeni Spring, to write a guest post for the Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy blog. It’s all about my experience at World Massage Festival.

So, if you’re interested you can find it here!

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I want to start out by saying, “Wow!” World Massage Festival was fantastic. There were vendors hocking everything from CEUs to massage gadgets to music to essential oils. I don’t know what I was expecting, but whatever it was, I got it plus some!

I spent the weekend helping with the DeepFeet booth. I got to do a lot of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage on other therapists wanting to try it out. I got to watch Julie Marciniak, an AOBT instructor in North Carolina, and Ruthie Hardee, the founder of AOBT, both do AOBT massage on other therapists. It was very interesting and I learned a lot.

Apparently they were pleased with my help because Ruthie invited me to help with the booth at the American Massage Therapy Association National Convention in October over on the west coast in Portland, Oregon. I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to go what with the cost of a flight, hotel and ground transportation, but what an honor. I am so honored to even be asked.

I’m sending a big thank you out to Julie for teaching me a new move she created and I’m sure if you’re one of my clients you’ll want to send out a big thank you to her as well. I’ve already tested it out and it got two big thumbs up.

And speaking of clients, I know it’s been tough the last couple of weeks to get in if you’ve called at the last minute, but things should start opening up so call now to get on the schedule.

Something else I wanted to mention since a lot of folks have asked about it, Bamboo Fusion. The Bamboo Fusion class I wanted to take in June was cancelled and I’ve been looking for another one to schedule into. I made some contacts this weekend with a few therapists in Georgia who are going to try to host a class so I will let you know when and if that happens. If you’re a therapist looking to take a Bamboo Fusion class, let me know and I’ll get you information as I get it. And you can always hit the Massage CEU Central group on Facebook for developing CEU information, but be sure to let me know you’re interested. If we can get 8 commitments for North Alabama I can get someone to come to us.

So, what’s next? Well, I think I’m going to write a series of Burning Questions posts as I got a lot of the same questions over and over again at WMF this year. So stay tuned for answers to questions like, how I keep my feet so soft, how bad was DeepFeet 2 really, and can I feel with my feet like I do with my hands. And if you have any other questions about massage, barefoot or otherwise, leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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My post on World Massage Festival is coming, I promise. The holdup is that I’ve been asked to write a post for the Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy blog on World Massage Festival so I don’t want the posts to stomp on each other.

For now though, take a look at this interview by Massage Nerd. That’s me with Ruthie Hardee. I did a lot of smiling and nodding, but if you’re patient you’ll get to hear me talk a little around the 4:30 minute mark.

Enjoy!

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