Posts filed under Self Care

Ashiatsu: The Ultimate in Deep Tissue Massage

     

 

 

Looking for the ultimate in deep tissue massage? Ashiatsu is the answer! Ashiatsu gets it's name from the Japanese word "ashi" for foot and "tsu" for pressure. The combination of gravity combined with the broad surface of the foot makes for a profoundly therapeutic yet relaxing experience. Because the pressure is spread out over the surface of the foot, clients are able to tolerate very deep and therapeutic massage with consistent pressure. Starting with clean, sanitized feet that are warmed with hot stones, I start the massage on the shoulders while seated. Once the muscle tissue is adequately warmed up, the real work begins! Upon stepping onto the table,  I'm able to leverage my body weight by holding overhead bars and alternate between using one or both feet, always staying within your tolerance for pressure. While just walking or stepping on the body can feel great, nothing compares to the luxurious glide of this style of massage. Often people ask if I can feel the muscles with my feet like I do my hands and the answer is YES! I use all surface areas of my feet, the heel, sole and even my toes to deliver pin point pressure as needed.

So who is ashiatsu good for? It's ideal for anyone who feels that they can't get the pressure the want or need from traditional massage. In particular, athletes are perfect candidates. They tend to have more dense musculature yet strong bodies that can withstand the pressure. Anyone that is into Cross Fit, yoga, running, cycling and yoga would definitely benefit from this type of body work. It's also a great choice for those with back pain and fibromyalgia, This isn't the massage for everyone though. If you've had a recent surgery, osteoporosis, pregnancy, heart issues or heart devices such as a pacemaker then you should not receive this work. Be aware that after an ashi session it is NOT the time to work out, mow the yard, run around with your kid on your back, go on a red eye flight etc. You have to take care of that newly loosened up body!  I recommend taking it easy and staying hydrated for after care. A nice hot soak with some Epsom salts would definitely be beneficial!

I am happy to incorporate ashiatsu into a massage session if you don't want to commit to a whole ashiatsu session. Massage cupping and ashiatsu make for a very effective pain relief session while ashiatsu combined with the flow of lomi lomi makes for a very relaxing yet healing experience. I don't charge additional for ashiatsu. I don't feel it's fair to charge more when your body requires more pressure.  I do a very thorough health questionnaire before your session so we can discuss what will be the best treatment for you on that day. Let me know if you have questions!  teresa@akuawellness.com

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Want to know more about ashiatsu? Click on the photo below!

Massage Cupping

  Round cupping marks seen on Michael Phelps occur when the cups are stationed in one spot for a period of time. Massage cupping involves the cups moving over the body resulting in little marking and discoloration.

Round cupping marks seen on Michael Phelps occur when the cups are stationed in one spot for a period of time. Massage cupping involves the cups moving over the body resulting in little marking and discoloration.

Undoubtedly everyone has seen many athletes at the Olympics sporting the telltale round marks from cupping, in particular Michael Phelps.This technique can be an effective adjunct therapy when incorporated into a massage session.
I practice massage cupping, also known as vacuum therapy. Rather than keeping the cups stationary, I use them to glide across the skin, lifting fascia and bringing increased blood flow through trouble areas. It is a very efficient means to warm the tissue, allowing me to work more deeply and therapeutically. When the cups are in constant motion, there is little to no discoloration like traditional cupping. This technique is helpful for many conditions such as IT Band Syndrome and Frozen Shoulder. Curious if it can help you? Let me know the next time you book a session and I will happily incorporate it into your massage. There is no additional charge for massage cupping.


 

Foam Rolling- It Doesn't Have to Hurt

Foam rolling is a very effective way to give your body self care between massage sessions. I find though that a lot of people equate foam rolling with pain. It doesn't have to be that way folks!

The following video is by Ian Harvey of Massage Sloth. I consider him to be the "Yoda of massage therapy". This video was originally made for massage therapists but I figure that everyone can benefit from it. The key is to start slow and listen to your body. If it's too "sharp" try different angles and lifting your body weight off the roller. You might also try foam rollers with different density. To address the IT band you don't have to go crazy on it. Try working the muscles that give it it's tone: gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae.

 

2:06 Foam roller basics (how to get on the thing)
3:21 How to roll out your mid and upper back
4:35 Unilateral back work
5:10 Working on your lateral ribs and scapula
5:57 Rolling out the glutes and low back
8:30 Foam rolling for IT band pain
9:52 Foam rolling for low leg pain (shin splints, charlie horses, plantar fasciitis)