What is Barefoot Massage? (And What to Expect)

By: Vanessa Webb LMT

Have you heard of barfoot massgae? We love it! We talked with Vanessa Webb who is a barefoot licensed massage therapist based out of Somatic Sole Massage in Brentwood.

What is barefoot massage? Barefoot massage, often referred to as Ashiatsu, is basically a Swedish massage performed with feet instead of hands. It is the perfect marriage of pressure and relaxation, leading to total mind-body surrender within the first few minutes. Because we are working above you using our feet to perform the massage, you are able to get into a trance-like state–there are no distractions and dead air time with changing sides or lifting of hands to move around. The weight of gravity and the strength of our legs, mixed with the Ashiatsu safe and fluid
technique, will put you into a dream-like state that allows your body to give in and respond like never before.

How does massage help your body? A new study has revealed for the first time how kneading eases sore muscles—by turning off genes associated with inflammation and turning on genes that help muscles heal. This is particularly important if you are on an exercise regimen, since massage suppresses the inflammation that follows exercise while promoting faster healing.

Is it deep pressure? Since we are using our feet instead of our hands, you will still receive deep pressure, but it won’t be as pokey as if you were to receive a hands-on massage. Feet provide a broad, flat surface to deliver pressure with, as opposed to knuckles and elbows which can be painful. A more diffused, sustained pressure helps your body to relax, which is the whole point of massage, right?

How much is too much? We will ask you about the pressure, so it is important to check in with your body. If you feel yourself tensing up and bracing against your therapist, then it is too much pressure. If you’re tensing up, we are only creating more work for ourselves. Deep pressure only works if you are able to relax into it. So please let your therapist know at any time if you need a change of pressure.

How much should I undress? If you’ve ever had a professional massage before, the protocol for undressing is basically the same. We do say that bare is best, especially if you are experiencing low back, hip, and/or thigh tension. But if you would rather leave your underwear on, that is totally fine. We want you to feel comfortable first and foremost.

How often should I get a massage? It is important to get regular massage if you want to experience the full benefits. We recommend at least once per month, or as time and budget allows, to help keep muscle tension at bay.

How can I learn more about barefoot massage? Check out Somatic Sole’s website.

How can I schedule a barefoot massage? Call or text 314-527-1415 or click here to schedule a barefoot massage.

Vanessa Webb, LMT
2510 S. Brentwood Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63144

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