Barefoot Massage / Ashiatsu in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Ca. (Deeper than Deep)

What is Barefoot Massage?


Barefoot massage uses deep strokes from the therapists’ feet. It is a western version of an ancient form of bodywork, with roots dating back thousands of years from cultures across Asia, India, Africa, and the Pacific Rim. The therapist delivers deep, broad, consistent pressure while utilizing their feet and body weight.

Benefits of Barefoot Massage / Ashiatsu

Improves Posture and Decreases Pain

After only a few treatments, ashiatsu barefoot massage has been known to improve posture and range of motion. It will significantly reduce or eliminate chronic muscle pain, and improve bodily functions, which will create a higher sense of balance and well-being within the body.

If your clients are in need of deep tissue work but don’t enjoy the discomfort that comes with pointy elbows and thumbs, then Ashiatsu DeepFeet Bar Therapy® is the treatment for them! Gravity enables Ashiatsu therapists to deliver up to 3x deeper pressure than with traditional hands-on treatments. Utilizing the broad surface of your foot as your massage tool provides consistent pressure and contours nicely to the body. As a result, clients will enjoy the same extra range of movement and decrease chronic tension relief without having to endure painful strokes.

Movements along the paraspinal and the lumbar region can relieve muscle spasms and open the intervertebral foramen (where spinal nerves pass through). It will give the nerves more space as well as increase circulation by bringing more freshly oxygenated blood to the area being treated.

Many ashiatsu strokes help to elongate the spine. These movements dramatically stretch shortened muscles, which help in relieving pain and discomfort. These long fluid strokes also help flush the body’s lymphatic system, which releases metabolic waste at a very high rate. We recommend drinking plenty of water before and after a treatment to help with the detoxification process.

Ashiatsu is not suitable for everyone:

Due to the compressive nature of Ashiatsu barefoot massage, therapists must take extra precautions with certain client conditions. This a just a hand full of conditions that would be contraindicated for receiving an ashiatsu treatment. However, ​a certified Deepfeet Therapist will have full knowledge of all contraindications for ashiatsu and how to best address their client’s needs.

  • Pregnancy or trying to conceive
  • High blood pressure
  • Recent injuries or surgeries
  • Contagious skin disorders
  • Compromised immune system
  • Acute liver or kidney disorders
  • Certain medications
  • Acute autoimmune disorders
  • Recent surgical implants
  • Advanced Diabetes


Barefoot – Fix your Pain

Barefoot Massage dates back centuries. It’s believed that it was first developed in Kerala, India 2000 years ago by practitioners of martial arts and used as part of their training to increase flexibility and to increase recovery time from injuries. The barefoot technique utilized is known as “Chavutti Thirumal” which translates into “foot pressure” in the Malayalam language. This form of barefoot massage is performed on a floor mat, while the practitioner holds onto a rope for balance and support. The practitioner glides vigorously over the patient’s body with a generous amount of medicinal herb-infused coconut oil. The study and practice of Chavutti Thirumal are all-encompassing and involves several levels of training and application.

The practice of Barefoot Massage soon spread to other parts of Asia. In Japan, it is known as Barefoot Shiatsu. An extension of traditional Shiatsu, which uses the hands and fingers, barefoot Shiatsu employs the feet to apply pressure to various points along the body. Correct application will restore imbalances and open up energy channels. This form of barefoot massage is performed on the floor while the practitioner holds onto a bamboo stick or chair for support and balance. Practitioners work through the client’s clothing and focus on the pressure points relating to the balance and circulation of Chi (energy). The practice of Barefoot Shiatsu involves much more than just bodywork, it’s a whole-body approach that follows the principles of TCM which takes diet, breath, nutrition, and posture all into consideration.

Throughout the centuries many forms of ancient barefoot massage have evolved and spread all over the world. In Thailand, therapists have used their feet for hundreds of years to stretch and compress muscle tissue. In Hawaii, Kua Lua’s back walking stems from ancient martial arts. This form of barefoot massage is a spiritual practice for native Hawaiians. Therapists utilize a bamboo stick for support and balance while employing pressure along the back and spine. Fijian barefoot massage is performed without bars, overhead ropes, or oil. The technique mirrors sports massage and is performed on the floor in seated and standing positions. Each barefoot technique is uniquely beneficial and considered a healing art form. Most of these modalities are inherited from ancestors who pass down techniques by word of mouth from one generation to the next.


What is walking on back massage called?

This ancient practice—which involves a massage therapist literally walking on your back—has been performed by Buddhist monks for centuries and is now available in various forms across America. 

What is  AshiAshi (foot) -atsu (pressure) is a deep, painless form of barefoot massage that you will love. Deep tissue massage fanatics often ask for more pressure than the therapist is able to consistently provide.

What is Ashiatsu?

That’s too much!

It dates back as far as the 12th century and was associated with Keralite foot massage called “Chavutti Thirummal”.

The person lies prone on a mat and the body is covered in special oils, the practitioner would grab a rope overhead for balance while performing ritualistic massage with bare feet. The technique was given in conjunction with following the energy lines, similar to Thai massage. It was performed with the foot sliding quickly from one end of the body to the other.

Japan was credited with barefoot shiatsu. The fully clothed person was positioned on a mat on the floor while static compression strokes were applied.

On one of the islands of Fiji, the technique has evolved to using only the foot to perform the massage and not walking directly on the person. One foot is kept on the ground at all times. This is how it is now taught in the United States with modifications, we have bars in the ceilings and the person disrobes and is prone.

This massage has been growing in popularity with well-known resorts having practitioners learning this modality because it serves the needs of the client who is looking for the deepest tissue massage they can find.

What does Ashiatsu mean?

Ashiatsu is a Japanese word that means “foot pressure”. … We call this style Ashiatsu Therapeutic Massage. It incorporates a variety of therapeutic massage techniques such as deep tissue, trigger point, active release, and myofascial release therapies.

What is Shiatsu?

Nicola, LMT doing Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage therapy relies on the use of the fingers, thumbs, and palm to apply pressure to various areas of the body’s surface to help heal common ailments and conditions, and correct imbalances in the body. Pressure applied to points on the body promotes energy flow and corrects disharmonies throughout the patient’s body. In addition to being a deeply relaxing experience, Shiatsu helps relieve stress, treat pain and illness, and contributes to a patient’s overall health and wellbeing.

Shiatsu regulates the automatic nervous system activity and stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems. Poor posture, joint problems, sprains, arthritis, sciatica, acute and chronic neck and back pain, sinusitis, and bronchitis are treatable with Shiatsu.

Shiatsu helps to aid migraines by relaxing the body and increasing blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Shiatsu is also a non-invasive therapy that helps reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression by leaving you relaxed and calm.

Shiatsu practice originated in Japan based on traditional Chinese medicine with elements of Western therapies, according to the Shiatsu Society. It amplifies the body’s own ability to heal itself.


more info at:


Therapeutic Swedish Massage, Sports Massage Therapy in Santa Barbara, Goleta

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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