Ashiatsu: What it is (and isn’t)

Maybe you have seen or heard the term “ashiatsu”.

Your massage therapist or spa started offering it, or a friend / family member recently raved about it.

You might be a massage therapist and have been hearing colleagues talk about the benefits of this technique for both you and your clients.

Whoever you are – you’re curious now, and you want to learn more about ashiatsu.

There are a few other modalities (massage techniques) people commonly confuse ashiatsu with. If it is not a Swedish, relaxation, or deep tissue massage, then what is it? Today, let’s clear this up and talk about somethings that ashiatsu is not.

Ashiatsu is not Reflexology

“Oh, ashiatsu. That is where they massage your feet, right? Yeah, I’ve had that before. My feet felt great afterwards.”

Tony Barrientez - ReflexologyReflexology is based on a theory that areas of the feet correspond to certain areas of the body. During a reflexology (or zone therapy) session, the practitioner applies pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe applying pressure to these specific points on the foot will bring physical change to the corresponding part of the body.

Ashiatsu is quite different. During an ashiatsu massage, the therapist uses their feet to massage the client. The feet are massaged too, but with the practitioners feet. With the exception of the face and stomach, the massage practitioner can use their feet anywhere they use their hands.
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