Grad of the Month

Karyn Verzwyvelt, LMT

Bend, OR, United States

Who was your DeepFeet Instructor and where did you train?

I took my original DeepFeet Barefoot Basics training in 2012 with Nancy DeLong at Mudra Massage in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, I got hired to work at Mudra Massage where I was able to practice Ashiatsu 90% of the time. Later that year I completed the Anterior/Side-lying and Ashi Thai Course.

Who's your clientele?

I work with a variety of clients from ultra-long distance runners, to yoga teachers, to artists and doctors, other LMT’s and retirees. Everyone needs a good massage! ☺ I do Ashiatsu on 99% of my clients. The only ones who don’t receive it are clients with specific contraindications. I also mix it up with cupping, hot stones, guasha, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular techniques and Thai stretching.

How has practicing Ashiatsu impacted your career?

Learning Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage was a game changer for me, especially having learned it so early in my career as a therapist. From a wear and tear perspective, I was already doing a lot of deep tissue and myofascial work on clients and my thumbs were feeling it after only a couple of years. Now I use my feet to do so much of the work my hands used to do. Haven taken DeepFeet courses, when I learn a new technique that is not Ashiatsu, I always consider, can I do this effectively with my feet instead of my hands? And that has led to some amazing creativity and of course, efficiency. Using gravity and my body weight to more effectively deliver deep tissue work allows me to see four clients a day and not feel completely wiped out afterward. From a business perspective, my clients love Ashiatsu. They feel (and I agree) that it is next level body work. As one of only a few Ashiatsu therapists in my city, this specialization sets me apart from other therapists and makes marketing myself easier. So learning Ashiatsu has been great for my business across the board.

What advice can you give to new graduates?

Learn as much as you can from as many different people as you can, then develop your own style within the DeepFeet framework. Discover what gets you excited about bodywork, then follow that path. If you do what lights you up, clients will come. And don’t be afraid to introduce them to Ashi. Clients love it!

What is your favorite stroke?

Ruthie’s wave. Since I have low back pain from time to time, I love that stroke! It feels so good and gets into the glutes and QL’s like nobody’s business.

What’s the best or funniest feedback you’ve ever gotten from a client after Ashiatsu?

“You are amazing! You had me so out of it, I put my pants on backwards!