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Ashiatsu massage

Ashiatsu massage originated in Asian culture almost 3,000 years ago. In Japanese, ashi means foot and atsu means pressure. This massage therapy technique uses the feet to massage. The therapist stands above the client and uses their feet to perform the massage, using gravity as a tool to apply pressure. Ceiling bars help the therapist maintain balance, provide support, and ensure client safety.

This massage is done on a table with oil, gel, or cream. The application of a product on the skin, like any oil massage, allows the feet to slide easily over the muscles.

Ashiatsu massage is used for both relaxation and therapeutic massage. Different techniques allow the therapist to meet the needs of the client.

Benefits

With good pressure, Ashiatsu massage can be likened to a deep tissue massage without the discomfort that can be created by the pointiness of fingers or elbows, because the weight of the therapist’s body is spread over the larger area of the foot. For the therapist, this technique allows for the diversification of the work posture, because it uses the weight of the body.

This massage offers several benefits common to massage therapy. Among the benefits, Ashiatsu:

  • Relaxes the muscles by elongating the fibres;
  • Helps to drain toxins from the lymphatic system;
  • Improves posture and range of motion;
  • Helps to reduce chronic muscle pain.

Proceedings

The Ashiatsu massage takes place on a massage table. The client is dressed in only their underwear and covered by sheets and blankets to preserve their modesty. The therapist will first apply the oil, gel, or cream to the client’s body using light motions and other massage therapy techniques.

Thereafter, the therapist will stand on the table and “swing” using parallel bars installed above the table. They will be able to perform several massage maneuvers with precision, using gravity as a tool to apply pressure. The therapist will often use one foot to perform the massage, while the other remains on the table or on a bench to partially support their weight.

With the help of the bars, the therapist adapts the pressure according to the client’s requests. The larger surface of the feet sometimes feels like being massaged by big hands. Compressive, large, and fluid movements will be paired with more targeted pressure in the case of a more therapeutic massage.

Contraindications

Contraindications to Ashiatsu massage are the same as most other techniques: fever, infection, wounds or skin problems, and a history of cardiac disorders. Some extra precautions due to the more present pressure of Ashiatsu massage will have to be taken into consideration. Among these, we find:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Breast augmentation;
  • Recent surgery of the eyes;
  • Arthritis;
  • Herniated disc.

In addition, the therapist must consider the total weight supported by the massage table. It is important to consider the weight of the therapist, the client, and the weight added by the work.

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