Ashiatsu Training for International Massage Therapists

I am fairly certain barefoot massage has been around as long as traditional massage. Massage clients likely have always wanted more pressure and practitioners have always been looking ways to alleviate the physical strain the job places on the hands and wrists.

In the last twenty years, barefoot has grown dramatically in popularity. Modern twists and adaptations have been make to this ancient modality. One of the most popular forms of barefoot massage, ashiatsu, is a favorite among massage professionals and their clients here in the United States.

The popularity of ashiatsu is spreading. Some of the most frequent massage professionals to take my online ashiatsu course reside in Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

If you are a massage professional outside the US, and want to learn more about ashiatsu, you have likely found that finding live ashiatsu courses in your area can be extremely difficult.

Today I want to answer some questions about ashiatsu, specifically for non-US based massage colleagues desiring to complete an online ashiatsu training course and integrate the modality into their massage business.

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Do You Have to Be A Massage Therapist to Practice Ashiatsu?

6632470867_c939222cd4_mThere are a few people who have not had prior professional massage training contact me about learning ashiatsu and taking an ashiatsu course. These are people who have seen videos, pictures, or demonstrations. Others are those who have just experienced the benefits of ashiatsu.

Often the inquiries come from those who are already involved in the health care/wellness field (i.e. personal trainers, Yoga and Pilates instructors/practitioners). Maybe you are one of them. You wonder if just taking an ashiatsu course is all you need to do in order to work on the public, family, or friends.

Today, in order to protect the public from unqualified practitioners, most states regulate the practice of massage therapy. Massage therapy is defined typically by these states as “the manipulation of soft muscle tissue.” So, those practicing massage therapy, or manipulation of soft tissues, without appropriate education or license, are subject to high fines and legal action.

Ashiatsu falls under the scope of practice of massage therapy. Ashiatsu massage practitioners manipulate the soft tissue with their feet instead of their hands. So, in order to practice ashiatsu, you need prior professional massage training and a license (if required in your jurisdiction).

My ashiatsu training course is a continuing education course for massage professionals. It only reviews massage contraindications and basic anatomy; then introduces barefoot massage technique. Like all other continuing education courses, it is not an entry-level professional massage training.

If you want to become an ashiatsu practitioner, you need to complete massage training first (most states have a minimum of 500-1000 hour requirement). This will give you the foundation you need before ashiatsu training.

There is one exception to this rule. Ashiatsu training can be appropriate for other licensed health care professionals, such as chiropractors and physical therapists, if manipulation of the muscle or soft tissues is legally part of their professional scope of practice.

If you have any other questions about ashiatsu training or certification, you can email me:

Photo Credit:The quiet librarian

Is Ashiatsu Training Necessary?

Thanks to Google Analytics, I am able to see that this site receives a fair amount of traffic from people wanting to learn more about how to install ashiatsu bars. I also know nearly every ashiatsu CE training will include an installation guide.

Because of this, I have reason to believe these searches are from people wanting to skip one VERY important step: training. Maybe you are one of them. If you are, you have probably asked yourself:

Is ashiatsu training really necessary?

All I really need is to look at a picture on Google, make a trip to Home Depot, find a friend with a drill, get a good pedicure, and enlist a few willing volunteers.

As an ashiatsu practitioner, what do I think?

You’re a massage therapist, you know what to do. I understand. Honestly. I have no doubt that most competent massage professionals can figure out what to do when given the opportunity to use their feet.

It is tempting to just install the bars and figure the technique out for yourself, but you are doing your clients and yourself a disservice by skipping training and most likely failing to adhere to a professional Code of Ethics.
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Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Videos

I posted a couple videos last week for my ashiatsu course on YouTube.   I really enjoyed making them, and look forward to making a few more videos for YouTube. I will also be adding a few videos the ‘Marketing Resources’ section for those who take the ashiatsu course, and posting a few videos here that will be available to all barefoot practitioners.

Perpetuating Myths: A Gatekeeper’s Duty

If Someone Told Me That, It Must Be True.

gatekeeperAll of us who have been massage therapists for any considerable amount of time have heard, or been taught, “massage therapy flushes toxins.” Was this the truth? Was it reality? No! It was something false that was repeated continually until this widespread myth was finally debunked.

The same can be said for the argument about the safety of home study massage therapy courses, in this case specifically, ashiatsu continuing education courses.

If you believe learning this modality or any other modality at home is unsafe, then I would ask that, for a moment, you open up your mind and ask yourself why you believe this is so dangerous. [Read more…]