We often get the question: “So how is ashiatsu different than regular deep tissue massage?” First, ashiatsu is a form of deep tissue. I would even be bold enough to say, in my experienced opinion; our Ashiatsu Therapeutic Massage could arguably be the best deep tissue massage in Austin! In this post, I will explore a few key distinguishing elements between ashiatsu deep tissue and regular deep tissue massage. These examples should give you a good mental picture, but ultimately the real test is in the experience itself. Wouldn’t you agree?
The first time I ever experienced an ashiatsu massage; the sustained deep pressure struck me. There are certainly deep tissue therapists who can pull this off with their hands and forearms, but it takes a tremendous amount of strength and leverage. I know this because when I worked as a deep tissue therapist, I would do whatever it took to achieve deep pressure. And it was HARD WORK! I was willing to wear myself out to deliver the best massage for my client. To my surprise, this ashiatsu therapist was working effortlessly to offer me the sustained deep pressure my body was craving! Wow! I was sold! I mean seriously, when I am receiving a massage, I don’ t want to be concerned that my therapist is wearing her/himself out just so I can feel better. I can’t help but feel a bit guilty when I see my healer sweating. Am I right? I take comfort in knowing it is a win win.
There was another thing that happened in that first ashiatsu massage that had never happened to me before. You know that nagging knot that often sits right on top of one or both of your shoulders? Well, when she was able to press directly into that knot with her heel I thought I must have died and gone to heaven! No therapist had ever been able to get enough pressure to release that knot like she did. And up to that day, I had never felt my stress tension release like that!
The areas of tension an ashiatsu practitioner can release is pretty phenomenal. Another good example is ashiatsu hip release work. Here again, it is challenging for traditional deep tissue massage to get deep enough into the hip for a profound release. Often times, the deep tissue therapist will resort to using an elbow, but can I just say, “ouch!” Have you ever had a massage where the practitioner used a lot of elbow? The experience can be quite painful and can even leave the tissue bruised. With ashiatsu, the practitioner is able to use different parts of the foot such as the ball, heel, edge and even the entire foot to work with the various muscles as they release. If your hips are tight, you won’t believe the freedom of movement you will experience from ashiatsu hip work.
One of the things I absolutely love about ashiatsu is that you literally feel like your body has been ironed out. The broad surface area of the feet combined with the deep sustained pressure, allows for entire muscle groups to be worked all at once. With regular deep tissue, this can be achieved with a forearm. However, the difference is that the foot is flexible and can adjust to the contours of the muscle as it moves along, where the forearm is one rigid bone. It’s like the difference between using a foam roller and a wooden rolling pin. The foam roller has a certain amount of give whereas the rolling pin is unforgiving.
There you have it! These are some major distinctions between ashiatsu deep tissue and regular deep tissue. There are other nuances you will find as you experience ashiatsu for yourself, which I hope you come in soon to check it out! But I want to leave you with an image of feet and hands working in unison to offer you the tension release you have waiting your whole adult life to experience!