I trained in Ashiatsu massage before moving to New Zealand. Ashiatsu techniques incorporate the therapist’s feet and body weight to achieve a massage depth beyond what is possible with hands and arms. It requires specialised bars mounted above the table for the therapist to use for balance, safety, and leverage.
I spent a couple years looking for the right people to design and build this equipment, and I am so happy I found Ryan and Wilde Signs in Miramar, Wellington. Though the entire process Ryan worked with us on the design, sending us expertly crafted blueprints and happily revising with us to get them right. His endless patience while we weathered COVID this year was so appreciated, and he was an absolute dream to communicate with.
The ball of the foot and the heel are used to apply pressure with Ashiatsu, both of which spread the pressure over a larger surface area resulting in less acute compression. This means less immediate pain but with a greater depth of compression. You will still feel the benefits afterwards, but without the acute pain sometimes caused by fingers, thumbs, knuckles and elbows.
More Depth, Less Pain
The depth afforded by a technique which allows the therapist to apply their body weight to a focused area provides penetration into the deeper layers and soft tissues. Recipients of Ashiatsu therapy experience all the benefits of hand-performed deep massage:
- broken-down scar tissue
- injury prevention
- restoration of mobility
- decreased anxiety
- enhanced microcirculation
- improvement of tissue elasticity
In addition to the above, practitioners of Ashiatsu avoid causing the “fight or flight” response that some people experience when fingers are used to apply deep pressure. The consistent pressure along the length of the muscle and the larger affected surface area curbs the pain response, resulting in a more relaxed muscle, deeper therapy, and a more relaxing experience overall.
The Dance of Ashiatsu
The movement forms which comprise modern Ashiatsu are informed by both the basic muscle coverage which all massage therapy achieves, and also specific problem areas which clients discuss with the therapist. Ashiatsu training includes description and practise of the forms of movement which allow the therapist to align with any of the muscles in the human body, using gravity to maximum effect while reducing physical strain for the therapist and increasing therapeutic benefit for the client.
The movements over the course of a session form a dance whose rhythms provide a consistent, predictable muscle response and an enjoyable experience for both client and therapist.
Experience Ashiatsu Today!
Heather Heals offers Ashiatsu service at a rate of $100 for a 60 minute session.