The highest education and best equipment for Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage.



The most fun way to earn your CE hours! This modality will simply change the way you work for the better. See why more therapists are learning to bare their soles.


PRIVATE Classes  FOR Individuals & groups

Private courses are able to be scheduled for licensed massage therapists & spas all over the world, with the objective to increase their value and level of expertise.

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SHOP Ashiatsu Supplies & Equipment

Find unique, high-quality equipment for your Ashiatsu room. Search easy to install, attractive brackets. Browse beautifully crafted sturdy, custom Ashiatsu stools.


“Ashi” in Japanese means “foot.” “Atsu” means “pressure.” In the US, Ashiatsu has become the familiar term to describe barefoot effleurage massage. This effleurage (which means 'gliding') style originally derived from Chavutti Thirummal, an ancient massage technique developed in Kerala, India by martial artists influenced by Buddhist monk traditions. The style of martial art was the first in the world, called Kalaripayattu. Their style used one rope over a beam. In Japan & China, it was seen as 'interruption' of the qi/chi to use barefoot or hand pressure directly over skin or glide with oils. The Asian styles of barefoot massage, traditionally known as Ashiatsu, were not gliding effleurage, but rather compression-over-clothing combined with stretching, following meridian lines that needed to be unblocked

The ancient martial artists of Kerala practiced barefoot effleurage massage to stay in shape as well as to provide treatment for healing and recovery during their in the off season For centuries, throughout the East, Chavutti Thirummal and other styles of barefoot massage were used to create balance in the Qi (marma points/meridians) of the body and alleviate everything from headaches to heartaches. Traditionally, the treatment was a 15 day process, with blended essential oils and specific techniques that began on day 1 with very light pressure, increasing to very deep by day 7, then a day off and continuing back down the scale of pressure. What we now have is the ability to control pressure, application, and session times to best suit the needs of clients and therapists in the US.

With the rise of Portuguese influence and settlers in India (mostly in Goa and southern regions) came different styles of barefoot massage. Women, not just men, provided it as a massage therapy more than as a martial art. These styles were also based on Ayurvedic tradition, as Chavutti Thirummal was known for. Soon, the person receiving work was placed on a table for more comfort and ease. Therapists (the healers) climbing onto the table and using barefoot effleurage began. Using poles, beams, ropes, and anything they could hold on to, they evolved this barefoot modality from the mat on the floor to the massage table. Since then, barefoot work has continued to evolve and gain popularity for it's diversity in the massage industry. 

Many versions of Ashiatsu have developed over the years, and opposed to the term’s original roots, gliding effleurage is what it’s most famous for now in the United States: deep, gliding, compression. Padded, sanitized, soles, provide a luxurious feel that is not only deeper, but more soothing and comfortable than traditional massage. Feet vs. hands stimulate the clients’ parasympathetic nervous system, allowing them to dive deeper into relaxation. Therapists can achieve better, more satisfactory results for clients, while sustaining fewer injuries to their own muscles & joints. 

It is simply the most effective massage, with the longest lasting benefits.



Provides more consistent, fluid, satisfactory & desired pressure

The broad pressure from the whole sole increases blood & lymph flow

Soft, padded soles are able to create changes in chronic soft tissue damage faster than hands/arms

More comfortable to receive than bony compression from hands, fists, forearms, and elbows

Elongates the spine; creates space in the vertebral column

Deepens relaxation for clients by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system

Enables therapists to use less time to complete areas of work than using hands

Comfortably releases trigger points in tissue –effortlessly for therapists

A more gentle deep tissue; a more relaxing experience with longer lasting results and greater effectiveness than hand work

Alleviates pressure/pain in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar area

Relieves sciatic pain




Ashiatsu has become an increasingly popular modality due to the superior results for clientele, as well as offering incredible benefits to therapists who provide it. It is literally the most evolutionary & progressive modality to add to your repertoire. 

"I found learning this artistic, effective modality (ASHIATSU) was akin to riding a motorcycle: it takes time to evolve. Being a motorcyclist, as well as a figure skater, it was a perfect fit for me. My soles were born!"
-Brenda Blakesley
Founder of Southwest Ashiatsu Massage & Bodywork Academy

Problems Solved! That's what makes Southwest Ashiatsu and Brenda so different. Through years of listening to every student, colleague, and Ashiatsu provider, Brenda has been able to dissect this modality and find solutions for even the most hindering reason anyone had for not practicing Ashiatsu. From issues with shoulder and knee pain to sheets and pillows, Brenda has teamed up with other therapists, physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, as well as eastern based practitioners of Ayurvedic & Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists to create solutions for each of them. Thorough research & development among these peers, the knowledge of how and why these same injuries, frustrations, and issues were happening among Ashiatsu practitioners was determined. Using a process of elimination, trial and error, and experimentation, each issue has been resolved. Many therapists who have tried practicing Ashiatsu in the past without satisfaction agree that these changes in equipment and body mechanics along with the addition of the many new techniques offered by Southwest Ashiatsu has vastly changed their mind about providing this modality to their clients. These courses and techniques are not based upon one groups' opinions. They are based on many, many opinions over the years - literally hundreds - with harmonious agreement in the discoveries and results the SAMBA courses and techniques offer.

If you’re a massage therapist & serious about learning barefoot massage, then you’re ready to Bare Your Sole! These courses are the most up-to-date & informative classes in the world of barefoot effleurage. The content in Southwest Ashiatsu courses is not offered anywhere else in the country. Southwest Ashiatsu Courses are structured to offer plenty of practice time and focus generously on body mechanics. These courses contain easy to understand instructions for everything from bar installation to draping methods to keep you working safely, happily, & injury free for years to come.

"Building a strong foundation for your safety & success is my passion."

There is so much more to this artistic & creative therapy than just going deep. I am passionate about sharing the evolution from basic, deep work, to working with ease while offering more effective therapy to your clients. I am dedicated to continuing & evolving my own education & practice to provide you with the highest level of education. 

-Brenda Blakesley


These priorities are the very core of Southwest Ashiatsu. My goal is to instill knowledge in every therapist to be confident incorporating Ashiatsu into their practice. 


Explore The Possibilities

The techniques from the ancient art barefoot bodywork are so plentiful, there’s no way to put them all in one course. New courses and information will be available to you and are currently in the works. There is always something more to learn whether you're a beginner or a skilled Ashiatsu therapist. 


The content in these courses is suitable to be taken from the classroom to the 5-Star spa, private practice, Chiropractor’s office, Wellness Center, or wherever professional, skilled, & licensed therapists seek to provide it.



The first-hand, real-world experience of providing Ashiatsu in several formats for over fourteen years has given Brenda a great foundation for teaching it. Those years have come with opportunity of working in a private practice, two world-class spas, a wellness center, and ownership of a fitness and massage studio. Being a former fitness trainer & enthusiast, Brenda focuses on the longevity of the modality by paying extra attention to form and body mechanics in her classes. She also offers private classes, enabling her to thoroughly detail, correct, demonstrate, & explain the Ashiatsu technique, while increasing her teaching skills. The number of times she teaches per year far exceeds what the calendar of classes shows. The privilege to teach private classes several times a month since 2007 is what has developed the necessary skills to teach a class of two or ten with the same integrity, information, and passion. Her patience &  empathetic nature make her a valued & desired instructor. Her dedication to improving, updating, and growing in her field is what makes Bare Your Sole her journey, not just her business.