Are you in need of deep tissue work, but don’t enjoy the discomfort that comes with pointy elbows and thumbs? Ashiatsu might be the treatment for you.

Gravity enables Ashiatsu therapists to deliver up to three times deeper pressure than with traditional hands-on treatments. In the Japenese language, “ashi” translates to “foot” and “atsu” means “pressure.”

Ashiatsu is a barefoot massage technique in which the therapist delivers deep, broad, consistent pressure while utilizing their feet and body weight. Working with gravity instead of against it, Ashiatsu therapists are able to provide an effective therapeutic massage without causing pain or discomfort to themselves or the receiving client.

Ashiatsu is deeper than deep tissue massage, and is a truly unique experience to receive. It is deeply relaxing and highly therapeutic.

The history of Ashiatsu spans several continents and more than 3,000 years. Many different styles of barefoot massage have originated from India, Japan, Thailand, China and the Philippines. Some are practiced on a floor mat, others require balancing props, such as ceiling bars, chairs, bamboo rods, poles, and even ropes and chains.

Many of the early forms of Ashiatsu were recognized as a healing art, not massage, passed down through the generations.

From the Buddhist monks, who would only massage through clothing, to India’s Chavutti Thermal, which uses oils on the body and a single rope for balance, barefoot massage is ancient history in many cultures, yet relatively new to North America

After only a few treatments, Ashiatsu barefoot massage has been known to improve posture and range of motion. It will significantly reduce or eliminate chronic muscle pain, and improve bodily functions, which will create a higher sense of balance and well being for the client.

Many Ashiatsu strokes help to elongate the spine. These movements dramatically stretch shortened muscles, which help in relieving pain and discomfort. These long fluid strokes also help flush the body’s lymphatic system, which releases metabolic waste at a very high rate.

Although Ashiatsu is fairly new to our area, many clients can benefit from this modality. Ashiatsu is great for athletes, as the therapist is able to work deep within the muscles to help elongate and release them. It can also assist in improving flexibility.

Adhesions and tight connective tissues create much of our discomfort, therefore anyone with chronic pain can benefit greatly from this massage as the compressions increase the circulation that flushes out inflammation that causes pain.

Brittny Valburg is a licensed Ashiatsu barefoot therapist at Inner Peace Massage in Bluffton.