| ||I've seen ads for other barefoot classes that look similar. Why should I take your class?|
We all need to make sure we get the best bang for our buck, especially where our continuing education classes are concerned. The questions you need to ask are: What is the student to teacher ratio? (Ours is one teacher to 8 students or less). Is the instructor teaching more than one class simultaneously?(Our attention is solely on our students!) Is a one day class enough time for you to learn barefoot massage properly? Do you learn about contraindications on your first day (which you need to know in order to do this work)? Does your class include safe bar construction, marketing techniques and guest clients for you to practice on? Will your instructor be available to you in the future if you have questions regarding anything you learned in class? All of our instructors happily answer questions about marketing after class, and I even proof students' brochures at no charge if they wish.
| ||Can I learn barefoot bar massage from a video or DVD?|
Would you trust your doctor if s/he learned how to diagnose you via the internet? How about having your child learn how to drive from a DVD? Sorry, but my opinion is that you really need to take a hands-on class in order to learn proper form and palpation skills.
| ||I've heard people call this "AOBT." What's that?|
It's simply the initials for our technique, Ashiatsu Oriental Bar TherapyŽ. Because we have such a long official name, many people simply call it "Barefoot Bar Massage" or even just "Ashi"! You may actually hear it called "Deepfeet" too. Our official name is both Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy and now also Deepfeet Bar Therapy.
| ||Can you actually feel things with your feet?|
Yes, although it may take time, just like when you were in massage school. With practice, your feet can become just as sensitive as your hands. It's also really important to take good care of your feet. The softer they are, the more the therapist can hone in to his or her sensitivity on their feet! We recommend regular pedicures for this reason, and the therapist makes sure to clean their feet prior to every session.
| ||Can you do Ashiatsu barefoot massage and Ashi-Thai when you're pregnant?|
If you have good balance and permission from your OB/Midwife, then YES! I worked until 33 weeks while pregnant with twins and until 40 weeks in the next pregnancy. Doing the barefoot massage actually saved my career as I had difficulty bending over to do traditional hands-on massage in my 3rd trimesters.
| ||Can I just buy the video?|
No. The video is available to therapists who have taken our 3 day, 25 credit hour course. It is a wonderful recap of the strokes taught in class, and it would be a disservice to the public to try to teach this modality any other way.
| ||Do you have a height and/or weight requirement?|
No. For Barefoot Basics, the first class, you only have one foot on the client's body at a time while you're standing up. You are in complete control of your pressure at all times. We do recommend a certain amount of coordination and general fitness, but I have trained therapists ranging from 95-200+ lbs. You must, however, be able to easily stand up on a 24" stool without falling.
| ||Can men be trained to do barefoot massage?|
Absolutely! This modality is great for any therapist who wants to decrease strain and stress on his/her own body.
| ||What is Ashi-Thai?|
Ashi-Thai is a variation of traditional Thai massage. Normally, Thai massage is done on a floor mat, and the therapist uses his/her hands, thumbs and arms to move the client into various positions. With Ashi-Thai, the client lies comfortably on a massage table. The therapist uses overhead bars for balance and primarily uses her legs to maneuver the client.
| ||What are the benefits of Ashi-Thai?|
Ashi-Thai, like traditional Thai massage, helps to loosen up the client's body. Although we don't study the sen lines in class, they are affected throughout the movements we teach. Many people believe that Thai massage can heal a variety of illnesses.
| ||Are the bars hard to install?|
On the last day of the workshop, we go over how to install bars in a variety of ceiling types. The complexity of installation increases with specialty ceilings such as vaulted or concrete.
| ||What is your certification process?|
We have 2 different forms of certification, and we are dedicated to the highest standards of safety and professionalism for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar TherapyŽ. During class, the students will work on the instructor and a guest client, then they have the option of taking a written test after having practiced after class. Or they may do a tutorial on an instructor and received detailed feedback on their session.
When our therapists become certified, it means that they have practiced their specialty and are proficient in the technique. By requiring certification, the public at large knows that they are getting the original Western form of barefoot massage in this country, and that we hold our therapists to high standards.
| ||Have any articles been published about Ashiatsu Oriental Bar TherapyŽ?|
We have been nationally televised on CNN and the Discovery Channel. As many luxury resorts and spas offer our style of barefoot massage, we have also been featured in major publications such as Massage&Bodywork, Massage Therapy Journal, Self and Health magazines! You can read an article about Ashiatsu in the AMTA journal. (Copy and paste this on your browser) http://www.deepfeet.com/press-e-touch.html
| ||Do you ever teach at spas or schools?|
We certainly do! Because of our equipment, there are a lot of details that go into training at your site. A minimum of 6-8 therapists are required (the number varies due to travel distance), and the spa or school is responsible for providing a location. We have taught at spas all over the U.S., from Urban Oasis in Chicago to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, and even on the cruise ship the Queen Mary II.
| ||Who originally brought these techniques to the United States?|
Ruthie Hardee, our founder, is the original teacher of this technique here in the States. She had seen a variety of types of barefoot massage when traveling as a child but wanted a luxurious style of massage where she could use her feet for deep pressure. She pioneered Ashiatsu Oriental Bar TherapyŽ, and all intructors authorized by her have been taught by her.