By: Allie Schmier, Lead Massage Therapist
Have you ever seen a movie portraying a massage therapist who is just walking on a client and holding onto bars that are above the practitioner’s head? Or have you noticed in the massage rooms at Vis-a-Vis, that there are bars above the tables? Have you ever wondered what THAT is all about? Those bars are for a specific modality of massage. Ashiatsu is a deeper form of massage where the practitioner stabilizes themselves with the bars to apply more pressure through their feet onto the client with slow, deep strokes (don’t worry, they are clean and smooth feet!)
The foot of the massage therapist feels exactly like a hand, but covers more surface area. The deeper pressure through the feet is used to elongate and broaden your muscles and increase circulation during an Ashiatsu Massage. The pressure is evenly distributed and is maintained for longer periods of time. This modality may be perfect for you if you wish to have the benefits of massage last longer, if you LOVE deep tissue massages, if you are seeking postural alignment, or if you absolutely love massages (even lighter to the touch ones) and would like to try something new!
Do’s & Don’ts
After any massage, there are cautionary don’ts and do’s. Specifically after an Ashiatsu massage, you should drink LOTS of water, do gentle stretches, treat yourself with a nice hot shower or sit in a sauna, and use Biofreeze to your lower lumbar area as needed. You should not lift heavy objects (even a child over 35 lbs.), do any sports that are rough contact or have you twist your back muscles, sit for long periods of time in a hard chair, or drink heavy alcohol within the first 24 hours. Basically, treat yourself with love and hold off on any activity that is strenuous on your body for at least 24 hours.
Does the actors exaggerated portrayal of a massage therapist make more sense or even why there are bars above the tables in the massage rooms? Hopefully, this discussion has given you some insight into the massage world, whether you are a connoisseur of massages or have never had one before. Give Ashiatsu a try, to assist your body into a relaxing state or work out any muscles tension you’re experiencing!