Posts Tagged ‘Ashiatsu’

Many of you already know I recently went to San Antonio, TX for a big training. I took what is formally called FasciAshi Fundamentals which is a big fancy phrase for more Ashiatsu barefoot massage training. What that means to you, I have new techniques to help you get out of pain!

It was a lot of very hard work, but I am so energized and proud to be bringing these new skills to my clients.

Enjoy the photo show!

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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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