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Common Misconceptions About Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Debunked

In recent years, Ashiatsu barefoot massage has gained popularity in wellness circles. This unique approach to bodywork utilizes the therapist's feet in addition to the hands. However, with its rise in popularity, various misconceptions have also surfaced. We'll debunk some of the most common myths surrounding barefoot massage, shed light on its benefits, techniques, and safety considerations, and help you decide whether it's a viable massage modality to add to your massage practice or wellness studio.

Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Trainining in NC

Myth #3: Barefoot Massage is Only for Athletes


Myth #1: Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage is Painful

One of the most prevalent misconceptions about barefoot massage is that it's painful due to the therapist's use of their feet.

Debunking:  The pressure exerted during barefoot massage can be adjusted according to the client's preferences and comfort level and the broader and more consistent pressure actually feels better than traditional hand techniques. Many clients find it relaxing and therapeutic, with the added benefit of broad, consistent pressure that can effectively target tense muscles. There's no pokey elbows or knuckles that may also contribute to a painful massage.

Myth #2: Barefoot Massage is Unsafe

Some individuals may worry about the safety of offering Ashiatsu barefoot massage, fearing that they may inadvertently lose balance or apply too much pressure and hurt their clients.

Debunking: To ensure safety, choose a reputable company that provides in-person barefoot massage classes, not online. Our instructors at NC Ashiatsu emphasize the safety and appropriate application of barefoot massage by requiring students to give and receive feedback while learning in class. We provide experienced clients for them to work on to receive valuable feedback from their learning experience. Based on the instructor's and client's feedback, they learn proper body mechanics, balance techniques, and how to adjust pressure accordingly. Additionally, massage tables are equipped with sturdy support bars on the ceiling for the therapist to hold, enabling them to use gravity and their body weight effectively while reducing the risk of imbalance.

Myth #3: Barefoot Massage is Only for Athletes

There's a common misconception that barefoot massage is suitable only for athletes or individuals with high pain tolerance.

Debunking: While athletes may benefit from barefoot massage to alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility, it is suitable for individuals of all ages and activity levels, provided there are no contraindications that would prevent them from receiving barefoot massage. Whether you provide relaxation, stress relief, or relief from chronic pain, barefoot massage can be tailored to complement your therapeutic offerings to your clients.

Myth #4: Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Isn't Specific Enough

Many massage therapists who treat pain and specific populations discount barefoot massage, thinking it's not specific enough for their clients' issues and their feet can't have as much sensitivity as their hands. 

Debunking: The feet are just as effective a tool as the hands. With the proper training, your feet can become just as sensitive and intuitive as your hands, allowing them to be highly effective in identifying knots, adhesions, and restrictions. Our advanced barefoot massage classes and specialized tracts teach you how to incorporate stretching, joint mobilization, trigger point therapy, and myofascial work, giving you various techniques to address many of your client's tissue issues. NC Ashiatsu instructor Julie Marciniak ROLFS with her feet! If she can learn to Rolf with her feet, then what's holding YOU back? 


Myth #5: I'm Not The Right Size to Practice Barefoot Massage

Many therapists feel they are too big or must be a certain weight to learn barefoot massage.

size but by your physical fitness, flexibility, coordination, and willingness to learn. This deep-pressure massage is ideally meant for clients 50-100 pounds heavier than you. If you are massaging clients who weigh less than you, then you'll be working too hard against gravity – sometimes, even working on someone comparable in your size/weight can be more difficult to massage with your feet if they cannot tolerate deep pressure. 

Barefoot Massage training

Do you have a client base that meets this weight requirement and loves deep pressure? After receiving proper training and practice, individuals of all sizes can become proficient in performing ashiatsu massage techniques, adding barefoot massage to their skill set. We have different class levels to accommodate all therapists. It's best to discuss any concerns with a qualified instructor who can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.



In conclusion, Ashiatsu barefoot massage offers a unique and practical approach to bodywork. Yet misconceptions about its safety, effectiveness, and techniques persist. It's important to dispel myths surrounding Barefoot Massage and highlight its therapeutic benefits. By doing so, massage therapists who better understand and appreciate this modality can consider adding it to their skillset, extending their careers for many years, and effectively providing clients with relaxation, pain relief, and overall well-being.

Remember, when seeking Barefoot Massage training, choose a qualified, experienced CE provider who prioritizes safety, in-person learning, and mentoring opportunities so that you can be supported and grow more in this career-saving modality. 

NC Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Training is the Durham campus for the Center for Barefoot MassageWe focus more on advanced myofascial barefoot training, so we have a limited number of introductory Fundamentals classes per year. Follow NC Ashiatsu on Instagram or Facebook.


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