Ashiatsu, an adaptation of an ancient Asian massage, utilizes deep compression and acupressure to relieve the discomfort and strain of tight muscles. The word translates to “foot pressure”(Ashi means “foot”) and (Atsu means “pressure”). Massage techniques are performed by a skilled and barefoot therapist walking on a client’s back while hanging on to ceiling bars that help alleviate the weight. .
Dating back as far as the fifth century, Ashiatsu is directly associated with Keralite foot massage or ‘Chavutti Thirummal’. This ancient treatment incorporates breathing patterns, emotional states, focuses heavily on diet and is administered with the client positioned faced down, laying on a mat and covering the body with oils. The practitioner grabs hold of the overhead bars (sometimes it’s a rope) using them to balance while performing this Hindu and Ayurvedic ritual with bare feet; following the energy lines similar to Thai Massage. This begun in India and has since spread through surrounding countries and continents of Asia, the Oceania and Pacific Islands.
Today, there are several forms of barefoot massage performed throughout the United States. Over the past five years the treatment has grown in popularity because of the consumer demand for a more sophisticated and unique service. A growing number of therapists are also becoming certified to preserve their hands and add to their list of capabilities.
This non-surgical technique for the treatment of chronic lower back and neck pain is approved by the NCBTMB, the National Certification Board for Theraputic Massage and Bodywork. It is considered extremely beneficial to anyone in search of a less invasive but effective method of pain relief. In addition to being a specialized service, clients have the option to request more or less pressure to desired or pained areas.
Ashiatsu is not used on the front of the body or the head. It also is not a recommended service for pregnant women or for those taking aspirin or other medication, those who have had recent eye surgery, breast implants within the last nine months, cancer, heart conditions, varicose veins and high blood pressure.