Our amazing team of Ashiatsu instructors have a passion to transform the lives of other therapists. We thought we’d do a little Q and A to give you a little more insight on this amazing group of women and what makes us all tick. Our last Instructor was on the west coast so we thought we’d travel over to the other side and check out the east coast.

1. Where are you from originally?  I am from Fairmont a small town in southeast NC

2.  How long have you been a massage therapist? 23 years 

3.  What made you want to get into massage? I was a biology major, dropped out of college and was working as a bartender. Later I saw an ad in a local paper and thought it was interesting. Never had a massage in my life!

4.  What did you do before massage school? Bartender 

5.  How long have you been doing ashiatsu, and where did you originally learn? 13 years, Denver, CO from Ruthie Hardee

Ashiatsu class of 2002
Ashiatsu class of 2002

6.  What drew you to the modality originally? I had developed thoracic outlet syndrome from doing so much deep tissue for 10 years. I was walking on clients backs but was hesitant to work with lubricant because I was just using the wall and touching the ceiling for balance.  Saw Ruthie’s ad in a magazine and I knew this was what I was meant to do! 

7. What percentage of your clients do you do barefoot massage on? 98% of my clients I do barefoot ashiatsu on or I use my feet to Rolf.

8.  What other modalities do you do in your massage practice? I practice deep tissue, trigger point and Rolfing® SI.

9.  How to they complement each other? I have lots of tools in my toolbox and there’s never a dull moment! 

10. How long have you been teaching barefoot massage? 8 years 

11. What made you want to teach? I DIDN’T but Ruthie kept bugging me and wouldn’t leave me alone. 😉  I really had no desire to teach and didn’t have the proper space. Once I decided to go to Rolfing school, I had to find a larger office.  Since a previous NC instructor, was stepping down in my area, it all fell into place. I really don’t like talking a lot and speaking in front of groups makes me nervous but its worth it if one student out of every class “gets it”.

12. What makes teaching Deepfeet rewarding? I love seeing the “lightbulb” come on when students realize they can do ashiatsu and how GOOD it feels to do ashiatsu

13. How do you feel like you can transform other massage therapists’ careers? I feel that I am a perfect example of how it can transform your practice. I never would have been able to keep doing deep tissue for another 13 years or successfully complete Rolfing school without Ashiatsu. Now I’m confident that I can effectively do the type of deep bodywork that I love for as long as I desire!

14. Do you have a favorite moment or testimonial to share?  This my favorite testimonial from Brady Preyss; it really speaks to the Rolfer in me, “I took Barefoot Basics and then the Anterior and Side-lying class on a separate occasion. The way that I am able to work feels so healthy for my body. I am enjoying using my body in proper alignment, working with grace and ease and delivering the most thorough and effective work that I have ever given. I am no less connected to the client by working with my feet, as a matter of fact, I have found that the compressive depth of the foot pressure helps drop my clients into deep relaxation, and I am enjoying working with clients who are completely blissed out from the massage. Julie’s instruction is thorough on all accounts with a good balance of anatomical information, style and grace, constructive feedback and fun and humor. She is a great teacher to learn from and knows how to make the class enjoyable as well as educational. “

15. Any crazy or funny class moments you’d like to share? Not everyone can appreciate the humor but we’re really into our BBQ on this side of the country. One of my students brought this T-shirt to class and we got a kick out it!

Hip Hiker 1, 2, & 3 anyone?
Hip Hiker 1, 2, & 3 anyone?

16. Do you blog anywhere other than here? What’s your site? Yes, NCAshiatsu.com

17. Married? Family? Pets? I’m married to a great guy, Michael. He’s currently deployed and I’m holding down the Marciniak fort. This isn’t our 1st rodeo. We have a 15 year old daughter, 19 year old son, and two miniature dachshunds Max & Jack.

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18. Can you drive a stick shift or farm equipment or ride a motorcycle? I grew up on a farm and was driving a tractor at 5 and a stick shift since I was 12 maybe?

19. What do you do for fun? Hmmm…. fun?  I’m a workhorse I guess you could say. I always have ongoing projects; working in the yard, demoing something, painting, decorating. Puttering around fixing things.  I also like reading, cooking and entertaining in my home.

20. Any other interesting tidbits? When I was in High School I would go to this summer camp at Appalachian State University for Biology. There was a counselor there named Pundit(weird name, weirder yogi) He would lay down in the parking lot, lobby, anywhere and ask me to walk on his back because he said I was the perfect size!  I knew diddly squat about massage.  Isn’t it funny how things work out? 😉