What are 2 Amazing Massage Techniques?

Technique: Barefoot Massage: Ashiatsu and Sarga!

Other than awesome!! Barefoot Massage is a technique where the therapist uses their feet to deliver the massage instead of the traditional way using hands, thumbs, elbows etc. While there are a few different types or styles of barefoot massage, the two ways I am going to talk about are Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage and Sarga Bodywork.

What is Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage?


Ashiatsu is a Barefoot massage technique using deep compression strokes that glide over the body. The root word “Ashi” is Japanese for foot and “Atsu” means pressure. The therapist’s body weight is utilized for leverage and to apply deep pressure reaching your deeper muscle groups. This is a western version of an ancient form of bodywork dating back thousands of years. Originating from different cultures including India, Japan, Thailand, China and the Philippines.

How does it work?
Gravitational force is combined with swirling, sweeping or long sustained strokes to create a structural change in chronic soft tissue damage. These movements along the paraspinals and the lumbar region help to open the inter-vertebral space allowing more room for the nerves. It helps to relieve irritation on the spinal nerves and connective tissue. Many of these movements help to elongate the spine by dramatically stretching the shortened muscles relieving muscular discomfort. It also increases circulation by bringing more freshly oxygenated blood to the area being treated. Bars are used above head for support and balance. Massage cream or oil is applied to the body prior to the massage. Depending on the client’s body type, weight, pressure preference and other factors, is how the therapist determines the amount of pressure to use. Some clients benefit from one footed strokes (one foot on the table and one foot on the client). While other clients benefit from the therapist using their full bodyweight with 2 feet.

The benefits……The biggest benefit of this massage is that after a few treatments it will help improve the client’s posture and movement while relieving pain, improving bodily functions and creating a state of well being. It provides deep relaxation and stimulates the body’s self healing capabilities.

  • The feet are broader than the hands and cover more surface area and are more comfortable than thumbs or elbows, massage isn’t painful. They also enable the client to relax deeper into the strokes. It is known to induce relaxation quickly.
  • Gravity enables the pressure to be deeper than with hands-on.
  • Increases circulation quickly
  • Its both luxurious and therapeutic at the same time
  • It warms up the larger muscle groups
  • Relieves tight muscles and stress
  • Feels like a Swedish massage with the benefits of deep tissue

What is Sarga Bodywork?
Born in Hawaii, this barefoot massage technique employs the use of a fabric strap fastened to the bottom of the massage table to perform the massage. This fabric strap is used by the therapist for stability and to add tensional and gravitational force. By pulling up on the sarga strap and applying downward pressure with the feet into the client, the therapist efficiently uses tensegrity (when “push” and “pull” have a synergistic relationship.)

What to expect. While standing on the table, the fabric strap is used by the therapist for stability and to add tensional and gravitational force. Myo.Rub is used during this massage. It is a massage cream made from organic coconut oil and Hawaiian beeswax. This simple, unscented, high-tack cream is ideal for myofascial and deep tissue massage techniques. This simple, unscented, high-friction cream is ideal for myofascial and deep tissue massage techniques. The thick viscosity and high coverage of this product allow it to last much longer than most massage lubricants.

The benefits…… Sarga is myofascial technique over effleurage or deep tissue techniques. It is defined as a myofascial technique characterized by slow, sustained, oblique, and high friction contact. With the aim of stimulating a stretch response in the fascia or connective tissue associated with muscle (think shear-force). This technique helps to facilitate length, hydration, and mobility in recipient’s connective tissue. It acknowledge the broad, densely innervated surfaces of the feet as an effective and intelligent tools for this purpose.

In conclusion:

The two types of Barefoot Massage referenced above are Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage and Sarga Bodywork. Both perform the massage utilizing the feet, however there are slight differences.

Those differences include Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage using bars for balance while the foot sinks into the deeper layers of muscle tissue.

And Sarga Bodywork uses a fabric strap for balance. Also by pulling up on the strap while applying downward pressure into the client gives a unique oblique pressure.

Should you get either style? Yes!