Imagine your client has had a long day at the office, using a computer while sitting for eight hours.
Her back is tight and her hands ache. She enters her massage therapist’s office—where you are ready to massage the client with skillful feet.
Did I say feet? Yes!
Feet can get to the source of a client’s pain, releasing tension and tightness. Feet can feel all the client’s sore areas and can increase circulation, mobility and flexibility.
Did I say feet can feel all of a client’s sore areas?
Yes! Feet have many nerve endings, similar to the hands.
Why Massage with Your Feet?
Even with proper body mechanics, many massage professionals are damaging their hands, arms and shoulders with the high demands of deep tissue therapy. A large number of therapists have incurred shoulder, back or hand injuries within two years of beginning deep tissue work.
Consequently, they have had to limit their number of daily sessions, or even quit the profession they love, due to the strain on the upper body. Learning the Fijian barefoot method can help save a therapist’s career and allow the therapist to book more massages per day without injuring him- or herself.
Traditional Fijian massage is totally hands-free. For example, if computer work puts strain on a massage therapist upper body, then having an effective deep tissue Fijian massage method gives their hands a welcomed break. Hand usage is required of some other barefoot methods, such as holding onto an overhead rope or bars or combining barefoot and hand massage applications in the session.
Fijian massage does not involve walking on the client’s back. This technique advises that one foot remains on the floor. Or, you can sit in a chair while giving this massage.
Fijian massage can often provide deeper pressure than other types of massage that utilize hands. It also gives therapists’ hands, wrists, shoulders and backs a break, which is one of the main advantages of this technique. It can prevent, for example, carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful repetitive movement injury.
You can easily employ this technique for various client requests. Many therapists use a Fijian barefoot massage for clients wanting a deep massage and use their hands for clients wanting a softer touch.
What Components of the Foot Are Utilized For Massaging?
When utilizing this method, different parts of the foot can provide varied amounts of pressure. The sole of the foot or the base of the heel are gentler, while the toes can provide a more concentrated stroke, and the lateral edge and metatarsal phalangeal joint can go deeper into muscles.
The heel of the foot feels very therapeutic in the trapezius and upper back area, bringing pain relief to both office workers and athletes. The toes and metatarsal phalangeal joint can perform more targeted work.
Benefits to Your Clients
In addition to receiving a gentle, deep tissue massage, your clients can leave their clothing on. This saves time with disrobing, while some people may simply feel more comfortable remaining clothed.
The fabric of the clients’ clothing provides a base for short barefoot strokes, because slippery oil strokes are not employed in the basic Fijian technique.
The main benefit clients want is fast relief from pain. Often after just one session of Fijian barefoot massage, clients are smiling and free from the pain they had just a few minutes prior.
Marketing Fijian Massage
When you market Fijian massage to potential clients, stress that you will not be walking on them during the massage. This is a common misconception. You can also, in your marketing materials, highlight that this type of massage is different from what most people have already experienced.
It is easy to market Fijian massage once your clients have experienced the results. If they ask for a deep tissue massage, offer to have them try out Fijian massage for a few minutes.
Once clients feel the relief that Fijian massage can provide, there is a good chance they will rebook this service.
There are many options and styles to choose from when pursuing this technique, including classes that teach fusion techniques and some that address particular problem areas.
Many Thai therapists alternate Thai massage with Fijian massage, especially for upper back issues. Thai and Fijian methods are a great marriage of therapies. Many instructors add personal touches, and students are encouraged to take the basics from the classes and adapt them to their own style of barefoot massage.
By learning Fijian massage, you too can build upon the basics of barefoot massage and create your own unique style.
About the Author
Lolita Knight has been doing massage since 1974. She was licensed in 1979 and still enjoys giving and receiving massages nearly 40 years later. She spent time in Fiji in 1997 where she experienced barefoot massage. She developed a method and has been sharing her techniques with other massage therapists. Her real joy is having her instructors apply the methods that she created. The goal is to save therapists’ hands and extend their careers while helping clients who suffer from pain, tension and muscle ailments.
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