Ashi = foot
Atsu = pressure
While it can be deeper than a hands on massage, it call really be whatever amount of pressure you prefer. Deeper pressure with the foot is more comfortable than deep pressure with the hands because the pressure is spread out over the entire surface of the foot rather than concentrated in a thumb or elbow which can sometimes feel pokey or like a "digging" sensation. When deep pressure is applied with the greater surface area of the foot, the body usually responds with a surrendering of tension that allows me to sink in with less effort and with more comfort on your end. You can communicate with me at any time if you want more or less pressure, this is YOUR session!
Some clients seem to crave that digging feeling from years of deep massage and the belief that there's "no pain, no gain". I've found that I can actually accomplish much more in the softening of the tissues without "digging" and can still achieve that depth that you crave.
Ashiatsu is particularly great for chronic low back pain, and many clients also find it deeply relaxing. Many comment that my feet feel like big hands, and they wouldn't know it was my feet if I hadn't told them!
I always clean and sanitize my feet before your session, and also warm my feet before placing them on your back.
While ashiatsu may not be for everyone (depending on health history and contraindications for certain conditions), I really encourage you to give it a try for a different, deeply relaxing experience that is also very therapeutic.
Have you tried ashiatsu? Leave a comment about your experience.