Does Ashiatsu Use Light or Deep Pressure?

A common myth with clients, and perpetuated by some practitioners, is that ashiatsu is only for deep-pressure-loving clients. Not so. Yes, ashiatsu is typically pure bliss for those clients who cannot seem to get enough pressure from a typical massage. However, ashiatsu strokes can range anywhere from light to deep.

A light pressure ashiatsu massage requires more restraint from the massage practitioner. The therapist must use less of their body weight when leaning in to a stroke. It becomes less of a gravity-assisted massage. For these reasons, giving a light pressure ashiatsu massage can be more tiring than a deeper ashiatsu massage, from a practitioner’s perspective.

People who enjoy lighter pressure will appreciate the broad, consistent light strokes from head to toe and the different directional application of massage strokes. Also, the surface area of the heel is larger than the thumb, and people who like lighter pressure will notice less pain than the pressure applied from the thumb. For these clients, ashiatsu can be a great, therapeutic experience!

If you are having problems getting clients to try an ashiatsu massage, maybe they assume that this massage is only for those who enjoy deep, firm pressure. Make sure you educate your clients that ashiatsu is much more than just a deep massage.

About Ivy

Thank you for reading this post! In addition to writing here at, I write about more general massage topics at Massage & Bloggywork, as well as teach massage continuing education at Advanced Massage Techniques.


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