Oops! I unintentionally skipped over two bullet points on one slide in Novembers “Benefits of Barefoot” presentation on the World Massage Conference – sorry! So to make up for it, today’s blog will cover one of those points: lubrication!



Never compromise if your client’s skin is too dry, or too slick.

Part of Ashiatsu’s luxury factor is the lotion/crème/oil that allows us to glide the pressure – rather than the pure compressive “back walking” that our barefoot massage ancestors such as Shiatsu, Anma and Thai bodywork offer. With the westernized technique of the modern Ashiatsu that you know and love pioneered by our modality, too much lubrication and you’ll be constantly over controlling your stroke to avoid slipping, but too little and you’ll find your foot skidding to a stop – Yee-ouch!

Just like any session, your choice in the amount of lubrication used can help you easily give more or less pressure without effort. Your speed, pacing, depth and “zen factor” can be moderated by your choices in how much lotion/crème/oil is applied – and how gracefully you apply it… (but that’s another post!)

What is the best type or medium to use during Ashiatsu sessions?

What is the best type or medium to use during Ashiatsu sessions? It’s all relative. Every client’s skin is different and can absorb your product fast, or not. Preferences are different even from day to day. The local weather and temperature of your massage room can affect the product being used at the moment. Even your skin and body temperature makes a difference during the session!

Many of our graduates use a crème. (I personally am really looking forward to trying Bon Vital’s new Coconut Crème) Our founder Ruthie uses a whipped body butter that feels like a fluffy crème – which is great for traction – but has a slight oil feel to it, not only allowing for a smooth glide, but it also prevents the crème blob on her arm from drying out and falling to the floor! Try it out, you can order from DeepFeet.com. Stay tuned for more amazing new Ashi-Body Butter coming in the new year!

Chivutti Thirumal, one of the ancient styles of barefoot massage that our technique was inspired by, uses Ayurvedic oils – and lots of it! To honor our roots and give a relaxing, calm and grounding start to the session, some of our graduates use a very light coat of warmed oil on their clients – my current personal favorite is, you guessed it, Bon Vital’s Coconut Oil!

A nice touch using another amazing product during our Lumbosacral “make nice” moments of barefoot bliss, is to apply a small amount of Prossage, which will create a warm therapeutic feeling, resulting in better pain relief and comfort. A dab or spritz of BioFreeze after the session on the Ashi-Points that our strokes aim for, and voila – your client feels good as new. The fresh sensation on their skin will remind them of your massage throughout the day.

What is your favorite product medium to massage with?

Tell us in the comments below!

Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy® is the leader in Continuing Education for Massage Therapists  nationwide. Our method of deep tissue barefoot Swedish massage using an over head support system has improved the quality of life for many massage therapists around the world. Learn more at www.deepfeet.com.