In the 16 years I’ve been a massage therapist, I’ve had lots of massages. Some good, some bad, many that were so-so. The great thing about getting massage, other than how good you feel afterwards, is that you can learn a lot from receiving. And receiving Ashiatsu from my students, fellow instructors and other therapists has taught me a lot as well.

Here are 7 simple ways to improve your Ashiatsu barefoot massage session.

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  1. Keep your room warm. When I’m a client, I don’t care if you run hot. I want to be comfortable. Keep a fan up high so it can blow on you, but keep it off me.
  2. Start with warm hands and feet. Unless you’ve got a hot-flashing woman or someone who actually says they like cold hands and feet, warm them up after you clean these tools of yours. How? Hands: hot stones, warm bamboo, flaxseed pillows (I personally use Mother Earth Pillows on the client’s erectors and place my hands on it for a few moment). Feet: Fomentek bag, stones, heating pad. Heck, you can even wash them in warm water and use heated slippers. Just get them warm. Warming the lubricant in the cold weather is a nice touch too.
  3. Apply lubricant and move draping like you want to receive it. Don’t vigorously rub in the cream, and don’t go shoving the sheet. Move the client’s arms and legs gracefully. Sometimes, your Ashiatsu moves themselves can be amazing, but your other hands-on stuff stinks.
  4. Use a soft, gentle approach whenever you are placing your foot on a body. Imagine putting lotion on a newborn baby or cradling a tiny kitten. Yes, I’m talking that gracefully.
  5. Table étiquette: Make a plan when you need to walk on the table and get there in as few steps as possible. No need to shift your weight back and forth 11 times when you try to figure out which foot to use for Hip Hiker One.
  6. Don’t leave your client alone and naked on the table when you’re working. Make nice. Don’t just stand there and get a drink or more cream while they’re lying lightly draped!
  7. Tell your client they’re in charge of telling you if they want more or less pressure. I joke and tell the big burly guys that it’s ok to cry, “Uncle!”



There are, I’m sure, a number of other ways to make your Ashiatsu barefoot massage even more splendid, but these are the ones I think make a big difference. Now go forth and Ashiatsu gracefully!