Why should you learn barefoot massage? First, what is a Barefoot massage, and why is it different? Barefoot techniques use the massage therapist’s feet instead of their hands to perform a massage. And it is performed on a massage table with overhead bars or a floor mat with portable floor bars, or a stool. And no other massage technique is deeper than Ashiatsu. You are only two feet away from relief.
Here are 6 Reasons to learn barefoot massage:
1 – Learning Barefoot Massage Protects The Longevity Of Your Career.
With this in mind, it changes your life whether it’s from bad habits, overworking, or clients that require more pressure than we can deliver. The fact remains, that the struggle for longevity in a massage therapist’s career is real. The statistics show the average career span of a massage therapist career is just six years. To relieve another’s body pain is hard on a massage therapist’s body, unless they add hand-saving modalities to their skill box and learn barefoot massage.
2 – Barefoot Massage will save your hands, elbows, and arms from overuse injuries.
Even with proper body mechanics, many massage professionals damage their hands, arms, and shoulders with the high demands of deep tissue therapy. Many therapists have incurred shoulder, back, or hand injuries within two years of beginning deep tissue work. When you utilize this method, different parts of the foot provide varying amounts of pressure. In addition, the sole or the base of the heel is gentler, while the toes can provide a more concentrated stroke, and the lateral edge and metatarsal phalangeal joint can go deeper into muscles.
3 – You’ll strengthen your core and reduce back strain.
When you’re standing on the floor, repeatedly bending over a massage table, you’re giving 100% effort and muscling through your upper body, the shoulder girdle, arms, and even the neck are going to pay later. With this method, you stand on the table with your center of gravity closer to the client’s body, engage your core, and use your feet and body weight to provide all the pressure a client could ever need! The pelvic girdle by design is a weight-bearing structure. And the natural weight of the hips and legs makes a perfect combination for providing more pressure in a massage. There’s no need to “push” as you would from your shoulder girdle.
4 – Most everyone can perform a barefoot massage – there’s no size limit.
And, it one of the most asked questions. A petite framed person is not a requirement to offer barefoot massage modalities. It is faulty thinking. As a matter of fact, while teaching a class, a guest client requested a therapist with more meat on her bones. In like manner, it led to me revamp the routine so that everyone could apply barefoot techniques. So, the only rule now is that the table can hold you and the client. And of course, there is the option to do Ashiatsu and Fijian on a floor mat.
5 – Increase your massage options
And, what if you have a client that doesn’t want to remove their clothes? Or just needs a good stretch after sports? With our online courses, we teach several modalities that include Fijian where your client can remain fully clothed. But in addition, we offer a barefoot Thai stretch routine. Because the client is dressed, there are no draping nightmares. And it provides a deep stretch that a client can’t do alone. Also, Barefoot Stretch Massage is a combination of Thai stretches and facilitated stretch techniques. So, in other words, East meets West. Barefoot Stretch provides flexibility for joints, muscles, tendons and relieves tight muscles. For those who are not ready to try using their feet, we also teach warm bamboo massage along with facial massage. Equally, it gives the wrists and hands a nice break.
6 – Mobility & House Calls
For the Office and Mobile Massage Therapist
Yes, you can provide deep-tissue barefoot in the office or for a mobile massage house-call. There is no need to use bars for Ashiatsu Seated massage. Like traditional massage, the client lays on a massage table, and the massage therapist performs a seated routine from a tall bar stool. The deep-tissue application gets into those awkward side-lying spots without having to put the client in a side-lying position. IKEA makes a lovely 29-inch foldable bar stool that you can throw into your car or is nice enough to display in your office.
Truly, learning Barefoot Massage has been a blessing to my life and massage practice. I’m pretty sure without it; I would have resorted to a desk job. Barefoot massage is a career saver. How will you do a massage if something like a broken arm happens to you? Do you have a backup? Or want to learn how to add Ashiatsu to your toolbox? Check out our courses: The Barefoot Masters®
Michelle D. Mace, an LMT of over 20 years, is the founder of The Barefoot Masters®. An NCBTMB Provider 403532. We develop unique massage CE’s that save the hands of therapists. With over a dozen courses to choose from, there is something for everyone. For more information go to The Barefoot Masters®. Or join our Email List for up-to-date info about massage issues or for upcoming classes.