You may not want to dip your toes in the water right now but you’ll definitely want to check out our ashiatsu instructor Cindy Iwlew in the Great Lakes area of Battle Creek, Michigan!

Ashiatsu Instructor Cindy Iwlew

  • Where are you from originally?
  • How long have you been a massage therapist? (Or what year?)
    Since 1999
  • What made you want to get in to massage?
    Growing up seeing my Dad deal with chronic back pain and having several surgeries for it. Then watching another family member go through cancer treatment really got me interested in holistic health and the mind-body connection.
  • What did you do before massage school?
    I was lucky enough to know right away that I wanted to go to massage school, but I lacked the funding for it so I worked in fast food management and factories for a few years to get myself through massage school.
  • How long have you been doing ashiatsu, and where did you originally learn?
    I took Barefoot Basics in 2006 with Mary-Claire Fredette. Her studio is in Cincinnati, OH but I was lucky enough to find her offering a class just an hour away from me in Jackson, Michigan!
  • What drew you to the modality originally?
    Funny story: the first time I came across ashiatsu, it was in an article in a magazine early on in my massage career. I thought it looked interesting, but remember thinking “that’s cool, but nothing I would ever want to do…”. Flash forward a few years into my busy practice with aching arms and shoulders > I come across that same article and it was an “aha” moment for me. Suddenly, I knew THIS was what I had to learn!
  • What percentage of your clients do you do barefoot massage on?
    About 75%, the rest are other modalities or combinations of ashiatsu with other modalities.
  • What other modalities do you do in your massage practice?
    Steam treatments, LaStone Therapy, Massage Cupping, and traditional hands-on techniques.
  • How to they complement each other?
    I think they all work well together and I love to mix it up in my sessions. My clients often comment that they love how no two sessions are alike and that I’m always adding new things. It isn’t so much that I’m continually adding new techniques, but that I have enough of a varied background in different things that I can always find something to make each session different depending on what their needs are that day.
  • How long have you been teaching barefoot massage?
    Since 2007
  • What made you want to teach?
    I honestly feel that I wouldn’t still be doing bodywork full time were it not for learning Ashiatsu. It saved my hands, my body, and reinvigorated my passion for massage. I love to teach and see that same thing happen with graduates.
  • What makes teaching Deepfeet rewarding?
    Seeing new graduates get so excited about the work, and hearing how their clients love it.
  • How do you feel like you can transform other massage therapists’ careers?
    I truly feel ashiatsu adds years onto therapist’s careers because I’ve experienced that myself.
  • Do you have a favorite moment or testimonial that you’d like to share?
    Going into my 8th year teaching, there are too many favorite moments to choose from!
  • Any crazy or funny class moments you’d like to share?
    Every class has some memorable moments! We always have fun. Though class is a lot of work (for both myself and the therapists), I strive to make it fun.
  • Do you blog anywhere other than here? What’s your site?
    I blog regularly for my online scheduling / massage software business Bodywork Buddy ( and have just started blogging for my massage practice and ashiatsu classes at
  • Married? Family? Pets?
    I’ve been married for 10 years to my husband Berin. We are animal lovers: Iggy the dog (who is also our branch manager at Bodywork Buddy), and Raven and Oscar are our cats.
  • Can you drive a stick shift or farm equipment?
    I can drive a stick shift and actually can’t remember the last automatic I had. While I grew up out in the country, I was never the one driving the farm equipment but can throw a bale of hay with the best of them!
  • What do you do for fun?
    Some of my hobbies include vegetarian cooking and dreaming of tropical locations to live instead of Michigan in January.

bio pic Cindy

Read about our other Ashiatsu Instructors: CharleneJulieNancy & Hanni


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