A Touch of Red

Ashiatsu Explained


Ashiatsu massage techniques apply pressure using the surface of the foot instead of the hands. Special training is required for this deep-tissue massage modality. Ashiatsu is an international fusion of one and two footed techniques that have developed over the centuries to treat muscle and tissue stress. Some of the moves come from Japan, China, Thailand and Europe/USA.

The name is simple Ashi = foot, Atsu = pressure.


The client lies on a regular massage table and the therapist stands next to the client, holding onto bars that are above head level. The therapist holds onto the bars while applying foot pressure. The bars ensure balance and controlled pressure throughout the barefoot massage.


Ashiatsu massage can be done in an hour, but sessions of 75 to 90 minutes are recommended.


A typical session starts with the client face down. The therapist often begins by using a paint brush to apply hot oil to the client’s body, then rubbing the oil in by hand. ( BTW: this feels great! ) To begin the Ashiatsu treatment, the therapist stands on a stool then moves onto the table beside the client. Standing on one foot, the therapist uses the other foot to provide the special pressures and stretching motions unique to Ashiatsu. The therapist moves around the table as needed to address the areas on which the client needs work, holding onto the Ashiatsu bars to maintain position, balance, and control. An Advanced Certified Ashiatsu therapist may use booth feet at one time on the client while remaining in control and regulating the pressure.

The session is typically ended with work to the front side of the body, using a combination of feet and hands.


-Red Braat, LMP, Advanced Ashiatsu Certification Holder & Ashiatsu Mentor


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To learn the story behind Ashiatsu