Just catching up? Read Part 1-3 of this topic series here!

Ruthie Hardee and her team of dedicated instructors currently teach four classes in barefoot massage: Barefoot Basics, Anterior/Sidelying, Advanced Ashiatsu, and the all new Ashi-Thai!


The Barefoot Basics workshop is one footed strokes suited for the posterior side of the client’s body. Any therapist with grace and coordination can learn these strokes, and she or he learn to shift body weight according to the client’s needs. In Anterior/Side-Lying, the massage therapist learns both clinical side lying work as well as a luxurious spa approach to the anterior side of the client’s body. The client’s eyes are comfortably covered during this anterior massage, and all neck and pectoral work is done with the LMT seated on a stool. Arms and legs are included in the anterior protocol as well.


The Advanced Ashiatsu class, previously known as the separate Deepfeet 2 and Fusion workshops, teaches the massage therapist to use his or her entire body weight in two footed posterior strokes and blend them with flow into the basic one footed moves. Therapists need good upper arm and core strength to give this wonderful two footed massage.


Our newest course, Ashi-Thai, was developed by Ruthie Hardee and Kina Ueda, one of her Associate Instructors, isis an expression of traditional Thai techniques and exercises that have been modified to use with bars on the ceiling for the therapists stability, support and balance. Ashi-Thai massage is performed with the client fully clothed, without any oils or creams. This flowing and rhythmic approach was developed for any bodyworker who wants to stretch and loosen their client before a massage. As a compliment to any Ashiatsu session, or as a stand alone treatment, these combinations of techniques have been arranged following traditional energy lines and stretches for elongating and relieving tightness in commonly used muscles groups.


As author Toby Osborne says, “Of course, whether you try Ashiatsu because you want to recharge your chi or relax your body, barefoot massage has an illustrious past that’s worth celebrating.”


If you’re interested in trying Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (otherwise known as AOBT), Hardee’s website Deepfeet.com has a therapist locator service for all the states with certified Ashiatsu therapists. Not all AOBT therapists choose to list on the site, but you can always contact Ruthie at Info@deepfeet.com if you can’t find a certified Ashiatsu therapist in your area.