also known as Compressive Deep Tissue, or Barefoot Sports Massage, is a blend of Eastern barefoot modalities coupled with Western manual medicine techniques. These Eastern modalities includes Barefoot Shiatsu Massage, Chavutti Thirumal, Karali, TuiNa, LomiLomi; and the Western manual medicine includes Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, transverse friction, compression, tension, shear, PNF, stretching and other techniques.
John Harris, the Late Olympic Massage Therapist, included the term Barefoot Sports Massage, because he used such techniques on muscular, as well as petite athletes and musicians, professionals who operate at near failure, and truly benefit from deep massage therapy techniques.
While a superficial swedish massage can be very relaxing and therapeutic, to manipulate muscle, fascia, tendons and other tissues more deeply and effectively (and more cost-effectively), massage needs to be applied deeper (with more force, but typically less pressure than that using an elbow or thumb) and with various techniques. The heel, sesamoid, arch or whole plantar surface of foot are used, as well as thumb work, depending on the shape or pressure required. The therapist may be standing or sitting, depending on the angles required. Sensitive feet are excellently effective for such compression and shear work, which can send the client into parasympathetic response, while also working toward the goal to "fix pain" and improve function.
Sessions may last 2 minutes concentrating on a specific problem area, or an hour or two for a general full-body treatment, or some combination in between. When desired, stretching, repositioning, elbow or hand work is also easy to accomplish. Tools may be as minimal as a floor mat and several pillows.
Barefoot Deep Tissue allows the therapist to apply:
1. Fred Kenyon & John Harris, Fix Pain: Bodywork Protocols for Myofascial Pain Syndromes © 2002, Press4Health Press (Return to Reference 1 in text)
2. If a bodyworker claims that barefoot massage on a mat is "uncomfortable, rigorous and rough", then they are not a good barefoot massage therapist. If a bodyworker claims to use centrifugal or centripetal forces, ask him or her what will be spinning during your session (besides rhetoric). However Watsu and acro-yoga can employ these forces. (Return to Reference 2 in text)
3. John Harris. (Return to Reference 3 in text)
4. Lauriann Greene, Robert A. Greene. Save Your Hands! Injury Prevention for Massage Therapists Gilded Age Press; 1st edition (April 11, 2000), ISBN-10: 0967954908, ISBN-13: 978-0967954905 (Return to Reference 4 in text)
5. 2008 AMTA Industry Survey. 2009 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. Viewed 2009-03-09 from http://www.amtamassage.org/news/MTIndustryFactSheet.html (Return to Reference 5 in text)
Specializing in modalities clinically shown to promote pain relief, wellness, healing and relaxation, Trisoma® provides bodywork, instruction and student coaching, and worked at Dallmeyer Physical Therapy, Cottage Hospital, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital and for Corporate Touch in Santa Barbara County.
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