Ashiatsu massage is a wonderfully therapeutic and effective form of massage therapy. But the first thing people ask when they first see the therapist’s hanging from bars and using their feet is:
Is Ashiatsu massage safe and does it hurt?
I can tell you right away, and put your mind at ease by saying that Ashiatsu absolutely doesn’t hurt and it’s completely safe.
This is obviously under the assumption that you are going to a qualified therapist operating with a professional business.
If you do find the treatment uncomfortable or painful, you should speak with the therapist working on you as it’s not supposed to be.
If you have knots, a lot of tension in your muscles, or tissue injuries then you’re going to feel that. Just as you would with any form of massage, but it’s not going to be more painful just because the therapist is using their feet.
Is Ashiatsu Massage Safe?
Ashiatsu massage doesn’t pose any more risks than a normal deep tissue massage.
The therapists are using their feet instead of their hands, but they are managing their body weight using the overhead bars.
The therapists are not walking over their client’s backs. In fact, they are often only using one foot at a time, with the other taking their weight on a table.
The main difference between Ashiatsu and a Swedish massage and the reason they use their feet is to perform longer strokes.
This gives more freedom to work larger muscle groups with a soothing rhythm that’s more beneficial to the soft tissues being massaged, and more soothing for the client.
As long as you are being treated by a competent, trained professional, as I’m sure you will be, there are no more risks or concerns than any other form of massage.
There are some contraindications, meaning you should not go ahead with a session of Ashiatsu unless you’ve been medically cleared by a healthcare professional.
Avoid if any of the following apply to you:
- You are currently taking blood thinning medications
- You are being treated for cancer
- You have had eye surgery within the last 7 days
- You are pregnant
- You have had a major surgery within the last 6-8 weeks
- You’ve broken one or more bones within the last 6-8 weeks
- You have an autoimmune disease
- Your blood pressure fluctuates and isn’t under control
- You suffer from kidney problems
- You have a pacemaker or similar device affecting your heart
- You have suffered from blood clots
This list isn’t exhaustive. To err on the safe side you should always consult a medical professional if you have any concerns at all.
The therapist that will be carrying out your Ashiatsu treatment should also go through a checklist with you and will be able to answer any questions or concerns you have.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.