This is the most common comment/question I get when people hear about Ashiatsu. The most common answer is “””mmmmm kinda but not really..” I mean, I’m no longer a 7 year old and chances are, your not an older sibling of mine. (I was the runt of the bunch, they used to make me do this all of the time!)
The literal translation of the Japanese word, Ashi=Foot Atsu=Pressure. Sometimes referred to as the deepest most luxurious massage on the planet. I definitely use pressure, but in no way would you want all 150 lbs of me just walking around on your back! Here’s the skinny… As the therapist, I hold on to a set of parallel bars overhead, that lets me distribute weight and pressure as needed. Not everyone gets the deepest pressure. As always, every massage is different, because everyBODY is different. Yes, it can be THE deepest massage you have ever gotten but it doesn’t have to be.
The 2nd most common question I receive about Ashiatsu is, “Is this like the Chinese guys who do massage at the mall?” The most common answer? ..You guessed it!!! “Mmmm not really..” I don’t even really understand why people are comparing the two. Is it because it’s an Asian word that people really just assume all Asians most know how to do it? It actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me tell you why…. Those “Chinese guys” at the mall likely have had no professional training whatsoever. Chances are, (and these are really, really good chances) these people who work at these places aren’t even licensed more/less insured or formally educated. This is the reason they can charge less than a State Licensed Massage Therapist.
Ashiatsu made it’s debut in the US in the mid 90’s when Ruthie Hardy took what she saw overseas after a long day of working with her hands all day as a massage therapist and probably said “eh, what the hell!” and gave it a whirl! She perfected the technique, equipment, and began teaching other massage therapists how to massage with their feet! The company she founded now called DeepFeet has been educating therapists around the country!