According to Heeling Sole, run by therapist Jeni Spring of Alamo Heights, Texas, ashiatsu barefoot massage (“ashi” – foot, “atsu” – pressure) is beneficial for many reasons:
“It offers direct application of pressure through muscle into underlying bone…sustained, deep compressions provide fast acting, long lasting results. Ashiatsu movements along the spinal muscles and the lumbar region help to open the intervertebral disc space, increasing the discs height which allows the nucleus pulposus inside the disc to assume a more central position within the annular fibers, relieving irritation on the spinal nerves and connective tissue.”
Image courtesy of: alan.michael.wong
Ashiatsu.net, run by therapist Ivy Hultquist, who has been offering ashiatsu for over a decade and provides a home course through her site, offered this thorough blog on when NOT to give ashiatsu massage — for your own health and safety.
Check out the video of ashiatsu provided by Barefoot Studio in South Florida, and then read up on the contraindications for massage therapists.
“As massage professionals, we frequently discuss the contraindications for our clients. But, there are also times when ashiatsu is contraindicated for the massage practitioner. Your health and safety affects your client’s safety and health.
Because of the unique physical demands of ashiatsu, practitioners should be in good physical condition. If you are considering ashiatsu training, here is a list of a few acute and chronic conditions and situations that may temporarily or permanently keep you grounded (on the floor). Some conditions or situations may require you to modify your table or balancing bars.
Ear infections (possible dizziness), any symptoms of dizziness, or balance disorders
Ashiatsu requires the practitioner to have a good sense balance. Balance helps practitioners maintain foot and pressure control. For those practicing on an elevated massage table, dizzy spells could result in injury from a fall off the table, or onto your client.”