Massage foot techniques are provided on the table or on the floor with a mat. Both allow the therapist to provide a deeper tissue massage treatment than by just using the hands.
For therapists who work in a private practice, it is an ideal way to continue working when their hands are tired, and the stresses of years of massage have taken a tole on the wrists.
Because we have a greater lower body strength than upper body, we can give a deeper massage using the feet.
Ashiatsu is the most common form of foot massage. It uses oriental ceiling bars, which help the therapist control pressure and keep balance.
Foot massage techniques may also be provided on a low table or floor just using the feet, with no bars over head. Both allow the therapist to give pressure of body weight.
The therapist may also use a high stool, with a low table, without getting on top of the table to provide the massage. This does not allow as much pressure as with bars overhead, but it still saves the hands from deep tissue work, and still offers deeper work than hands can provide.
This is one of the massage videos that demonstrates foot massage on a low table:
Here are a few tips on providing this therapy:
1. Make sure your table is as low to the floor as possible.
2. Choose a stable chair with no wheels, one that you are confident will hold you up for a long period of time.
3. Start with the person lying on their stomach, and use pressure with toes and arched area of foot, around the shoulders and then to the mid and low back.
4. Use the heels for added comfort and increased pressure.
5. Have tables or other chairs around the lowered table or mat for additional support. Use things that are very sturdy and provide you great stability.
6. Ask the client many times about the pressure. Do not add entire body weight unless you are a small framed person.
If you are interested in learning more about massage with feet or Ashiatsu, Edward Spencer's website Ashiatsu.us is a great resource.