Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy vs Ashi-Thai


You may be wondering what is the difference between Ashiatsu and Ashi-Thai. In this article we will cover the unique differences between these two beautiful and amazing barefoot bar modalities, both created and developed by the Deepfeet Brand. Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy involves gliding effleurage fluidity like that of a Swedish massage. This continuous compression swirls into rivers of muscles and flows with a smooth soothing touch. Ashi-Thai is a series of rhythmic compression-over-clothing movements while providing a continuous hypnotic & lymphatic flow of energy to the body.

Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy is the original western barefoot bar massage technique using deep tissue/compression effleurage strokes that glide over the body. Movements are combined with centrifugal and centripetal directions. Specific strokes create a structural change in chronic soft tissue damage and provide deep relaxation.  Bars are used above the head for support and balance. Lubricant is applied to the body. Developed by massage therapist, Ruthie Piper Hardee in 1995 as a result of her own scoliosis and disk pain associated with bending over the table to deliver deep tissue massage.

Ashi-Thai is an expression of traditional Thai stretches that have been modified utilizing the overhead bar system and therapists’ body so no heavy lifting or bending occurs at the waist. This flowing and rhythmic approach to Thai massage was developed for Ashiatsu therapists seeking to expand their barefoot knowledge and add more strokes to their Ashi tool bag. Ashi-Thai can easily be incorporated into a regular Ashiatsu session or can also be considered as a stand-alone treatment.

Both techniques are applied with warm, sanitized feet so soft and comfortable, you would never know the practitioner is not using their hands. Using the broad surface of the soles of the feet as appose to thumbs, wrist, knuckles and elbows feels far more luxurious. We feel our specific application will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system much faster than a regular hand massage resulting in a luxurious state of being that promotes a lasting deeper relaxation experience.

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Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy® is the leader in Continuing Education for Massage Therapists  nationwide. Our method of deep tissue barefoot Swedish massage using an over head support system has improved the quality of life for many massage therapists around the world. Learn more at