When I scheduled for the Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy at Yolo Laser Center & Med Spa in Guilford, Connecticut I admit, I was skeptical. The idea of having someone’s feet massaging me for an hour intimidated me. I did not know anything about the massage therapist so I didn’t want to offend anyone, it’s just that I had never had this service before and I had no idea what to expect!

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is the American adaptation of a treatment originally from the Philippines and then from India. The American treatment was founded by Ruthie Piper Hardee who was born with both scoliosis and mild spondylitus. Combined with the constant leaning over to give her clients deeper massages when requested, her lumbar situation was left extremely agitated.

Whether a massage therapist deals with physical disabilities such as Ruthie’s or not, practicing massage therapy can be very demanding anyways. Therapists will use their hands on multiple clients in a day, leaving their hands and bodies physically exhausted. It was on one of those busy days that Ruthie decided to give her hands a break and try using her feet instead. Having seen such services first hand, she trusted that with the knowledge she had, she would be able to deliver a very deep massage, which her final client was hoping for.

After a lot of trial and error, research and more, Ruthie mastered the technique and introduced it to America. It is now one of the most popular techniques in the country and I was getting anxious to try it.

I arrived to YOLO stressed, tired and my body ached…perfect day for a massage! Jess happily greeted me at the front desk and gave me a tour of the spa, like she would for any new client, and brought me upstairs to the very relaxing waiting room where I was able to fill out a consent form. The form allowed me to let the massage therapist know if I have a medical history, if I have had a massage before and so on. It made me feel more comfortable knowing that the massage therapist could see my history a bit before I received the service.

The Massage Therapist, Linda, walked in right on time for my massage and greeted me with a friendly introduction. I admit, I was still nervous at this point, not knowing what to expect. I was never the type to go out and get a massage, until I discovered the health benefits, but I definitely was not the bold and daring type to get a service such as this!

Linda and I chatted for a bit, and when I asked if I should be completely nude for the service, she suggested, “yes!” Of course I could undress to my comfort level, but she had described how much work she was going to do on my glutes and I wouldn’t regret having nothing on, so I went for it! Finally she asked me if there were any specific areas that needed more attention and as she pointed to my neck, I explained how I am constantly on my computer so I wanted her to concentrate on my neck and upper back. I was thrilled that she could already tell what I needed by just looking at me! I knew this was going to be a great service.

She left the room, allowing me to undress and get comfortable on the table. She entered the room which was very relaxing, with quiet music playing, and she washed her feet in a water basin next to my head. The sound of the water was also relaxing and the scent in the basin was very calming as I was waiting for my service to begin. Linda applied some massage cream and began to work on my neck and upper back, eventually working her way down all the way to my toes. At first I did not know that it was her feet that were doing all of the work on me, the touch felt very natural and I didn’t feel like I was being stepped on, it was as though she was doing the service with her hands.

With the deep strokes and the gliding motion of her feet on my back I felt incredible. I instantly felt more of an energy flow out of my muscles. What also makes an Ashiatsu service stand out from other services are the bars overhead. The bars above Linda help with her support and balance but it felt as though she was floating on top of me, and I never once heard her hit the bars or strain to stay up. She was comfortable and easily maneuvered her way down my body to give me an incredibly deep yet relaxing massage.

As Linda made her way down to my legs she asked if I was a runner. I was amazed that she could even feel through the work her feet were doing that I was a runner, as though she was using her hands. She has the same connection with her feet that any massage therapist has with their hands, also allowing her to know when and how to control her weight around endangerment sites such as arteries and veins.

After Linda had finished on the back side of my body, I was gently asked to flip over onto my back. At this point, I hardly knew where I was because I was so relaxed. Then I felt her place a couple of hot towels around my neck and I knew I could fall asleep right then and there. She then finished my service massaging my arms, legs and feet with her hands and I wanted to stay on the massage table forever. Even writing this blog post right now is making me return to that state of relaxation and I can’t forget how incredible it was!

When YOLO describes the massage as “The deepest most luxurious massage you’ll ever receive.” they are not lying! I felt like a marshmallow, I was in a wonderful world of my own! I was told to drink lots of water and not to lift anything heavy for the rest of the day. The Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy elongates the muscles and is a service that is to be taken seriously because it is very deep and you want to benefit not feel uncomfortable. The rest of the day I took it easy and relaxed, we deserve that kind of attention for ourselves every once and a while!

For more information about the history of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy visit the website deepfeet.com. For more information about our service and to book this incredible experience, visit our website!