I was in Japan recently and while I was there, I got certified as a Sokuatsu Therapist at Asian Therapy School. Here’s the certificate although it’s all in Japanese.
Sokuatsu (足圧）literally means foot pressure. It’s a way to massage someone using your foot in various ways.
Meet my new massage tools. My feet and five finger socks or toe socks. You don’t have to have this kind of socks but it helps.
This week I’m going to show you how to massage someone’s sole with your sole Sokuatsu style.
But before I get started, in case you have heard of Ashiatsu, let me explain the difference between Ashiatsu and Sokuatsu.
The kanji or Chinese characters are the same but it’s read differently. Often Ashiatsu is done with a client on a massage table and the therapist holds onto the 2 bars installed on the ceiling and massages with their feet on bare skin or over a sheet.
Sokuatsu is done on the floor with a client lying on a futon mattress with clothes on. You don’t need any setup like a massage table or bar installation or having to remove your clothes to receive it. I actually took their introductory class 2 years ago which I will include the link for. I looked very different back then. I was thrilled to finally take the full certification course this year.
Sokuatsu Class in Japan (2016)
I have received Ashiatsu and Sokuatsu several times over the years and they both feel amazing. But I wanted to learn Sokuatsu more because of the simpler setup and also I get to share this amazing unique way to give massage at home or outside on the beach where there is no ceiling.
I’m going to use this black and gray striped toe socks because I’m wearing black and gray today. I am clueless about fashion but this is as much coordination I can do. And having a good balance is a big help in Sokuatsu.
Have the receiver lie face down. Starting from the side opposite from the receiver’s head is facing. So if the receiver’s head is turned to the left, start from the right foot. And if the receiver’s head is turned to the right, start from the left foot. Stand at the extension of the subject foot. Press the sole between the heel and toes with the pinky side of your foot in 5-7 sections gradually without bouncing. Repeat this 10 times. Your foot should be perpendicular to the receiver’s foot. Start light and gradually increase the pressure by leaning in more.
When you use your foot, you can fully utilize your body weight and you’ll be surprised how much pressure you can give even if you think you aren’t putting that much weight. The side of the foot is like a blade. It’s effective but can be sharp and too much. So always start light and check in with the receiver if the pressure is ok. If it’s still too much, use your arch to press which is much softer than the blade.
Around the ball of the foot, make three sections. They can overlap with each other. Then for the last press, aim at the base of the toes and firmly dig in a little. You are not stepping on the toes directly with the blade.
Sometimes the receiver has tight ankle joints as in this case. There’s a big space under the ankle. Use caution of course instead of forcefully try to flatten the foot. You may have to reposition yourself so that you don’t have to twist your body to achieve the 90 degree angle. When you do it right you shouldn’t have any strain on your body. Just natural, smooth body weight transfer.
Have the receiver turn their head to the other side and repeat on the other foot.
The benefit of massaging with your foot is that you can cover more surface than your hand or fingers and the receiver has less soreness even if you go deep and the effects last longer. And it also saves the practitioner’s body. In fact, the giver will develop more balance and solid base as you practice more.
In the beginning, you will tend to look down to see what you are doing, but once you get it you need to stand up straight because your neck and back will be sore if you keep looking down. Your arms should be crossed behind you. If you put your hands on your waist while stepping on the receiver, you look too superior or too much power like Superman. By crossing your arms behind you, you preserve your humbleness according to the teacher. It also helps to stretch and open up your chest and shoulders.
As you can see this is the ultimate arm and hand and finger saver because you don’t use them at all. Yes, you will be stepping on someone but sensibly. Some people have their kids walk on their back to massage their back. This is the enhanced version and kids can do it too.
I’m creating a video course on Sokuatsu which will be added to my existing programs sometime next year in 2019. If you like to be notified when it’s ready, please subscribe to my newsletter.
Also, I made some changes to my programs and I will have a special discount for my newsletter subscribers starting January 1st. That’s besides the Free Couples Massage Guide to Pamper Your Partner from Head to Toe. So if you like to learn how to massage your partner without hurting your fingers and hands, click the link below to claim your free guide.
Happy New Year!
Massage Monday #427 – Sokuatsu Style Foot Massage http://bit.ly/mm-427