Can your feet “feel” like your hands?

During massage training, I am sure your instructors said this at some point:

You will learn to feel muscles, tissues, swelling, or dysfunction.

Your palpation skills will improve with time and practice.

We were all cautiously reassured.

And they were right. Those skills did eventually develop and improved.  Palpation skills really do take time and practice.

So what about your feet? [Read more…]

Ashiatsu: It is not backwalking; Its a massage.

In order for your ashiatsu practice to be successful, you will have some educating/explaining to do. If you have been a  massage therapist for a while, educating clients is something I am sure you are used to doing by now.

When you say you are going to massage your client with your feet, some clients will automatically assume that you are going to be walking on their back (or that you have gone mad). Some clients instantly associate your feet on their back  with memories of when they were kids and walked on their parents back, or when they laid on the floor and asked their own children to walk on them.

As we know, this common misconception is not ashiatsu.

They will not be laying face-down on the carpet.

You will not be “cracking” their back, or walking on them.

Ashiatsu is a massage.

[Read more…]

Eliminating Dry Heels and Feet

Soon it will be winter in Iowa.  This means my clients will begin to mention their dry skin, and I will  go through more massage cream because of their moisture-deprived skin. Winter is also synonymous with paying extra attention to my feet and heels as the humidity in my house drops to desert levels. I also know there are others new to ashiatsu, or considering training ,  who want to work at getting their feet ready or remedy dry feet this time of hears. The good news is that their is usually quite a few things you can do to eliminate and prevent dry (or even cracked) heels and feet.

If you search “dry heels” on Google, you will likely encounter multiple and more advice than you would ever want.  There is plenty of advice from Oprah, Podiatrists, and Nail Technicians.

Here is a little advice from me about a few things you need (and need to do), a few things you don’t to maintain soft feet for work: [Read more…]

Deducting Pedicures for Ashiatsu?

Are pedicures “necessary and ordinary” for our job, or are they a “personal expense”? Is this something you should be able to deduct?  Or, is this and the daily visit with your pumice stone and aloe socks just part of your normal, personal upkeep? [Read more…]

Chavutti Thirumal – One Rope, Two Feet & Healing Oils

As you most likely know by now, Chavutti Thirumal is not widely practiced in the United States. Courses for massage practitioners to take in the United States are even more scarce. If you have ever thought about taking a course, plan on a trip to the UK (where it is practiced more so than in the US). Or, plan a trip to where Chavutti Thirumal (or Thirummal) all began (in India) for a few weeks. If you want to learn more about this modality before you fly half way around the world, there is one book you should have. [Read more…]

Balance Exercises for Ashiatsu Practitioners

I remember the first time I stepped up onto my table. I had not installed my bars yet, but I wanted to know what I was going to feel like to be up there. As I looked down, and walked around my table, I was thankful for my prior gymnastics training and my limited yoga practice. I was so excited to get my bars installed! I could hardly wait.

At that moment, I could tell working on improving my balance even more would be essential for me to be a confident and skillful ashiatsu practitioners. And it was something I wanted to work on. [Read more…]

Arm Strength and Ashiatsu

What kind of arm strength is needed for an ashiatsu practitioner?

The power and pressure during an ashiatsu sessions is a gift from the fantastic laws of gravity, plus some core and leg/hip strength.

The arms are used mainly to maintain balance during the massage(by using the overhead bars). The bars are a guide and valuable tool during the massage, but rarely are used to hold the therapists whole body weight during the massage (especially for beginners).  Arms, shoulders, and hands should be relaxed during the massage, but ready to grab that bar, or grasp it a little tighter,  quickly when extra balance is needed.  Even though the bars are built hold more than the practitioners weight, a practitioner does not hang from the bars.

So, why arm exercises today?

Two reasons… [Read more…]