Southwest Ashiatsu Massage & Bodywork Academy 


Brenda Blakesley
Brenda BlakesleyTucson, Las Vegas, On-site
After graduating from massage school in 2003, Brenda experienced the massage therapy field in a wellness center and gym format. Soon the spa format became an opportunity. In Las Vegas, at Spa Bellagio, Brenda’s true passion for Ashiatsu was born. Working ten hour days and feeling every minute in her shoulders and arms, barefoot massage quickly became her go-to modality. Since the spa days, she’s gained moore experience working in additional formats including physical therapy and chiropractic offices, as well as yoga studios and salons . Within these varied formats, Brenda began developing more techniques and methods to prevent injury or burn out for any therapist wanting to provide barefoot massage. The past decade has been dedicated to resolving every and any reason a therapist has had to not provide Ashiatsu.
Aimee Phillips
Aimee PhillipsSan Clemente, CA
Up until 2015 Aimee had spent her 13-year massage career in the luxury spa industry. Seeing multiple clients every day eventually caused repetitive motion injuries to her shoulder bringing her to the conclusion that she was going to have to end her career. “It was at that time that I received an Ashiatsu massage and fell in love with how amazing it felt. I came to learn that not only could I extend my career by using my feet instead of my hands, but that I could also introduce this technique to clients who loved deep tissue work.” She jumped feet first into learning Ashiatsu and opened her own business specializing in the barefoot technique. Seeing the reaction and results her clients got, her passion continued to grow leading her down the path of becoming an Ashiatsu Instructor. Being a part of the SAMBA team has fulfilled yet another dream. It is her hope and desire that teaching Ashiatsu in a safe and effective way, has as big of an impact on your career as it has hers.
Meagan Pavlina
Meagan PavlinaSan Clemente, CA
After studying Kinesiology as Washington State University, Meagan began her massage career in 2019, primarily in clinical settings. She wanted her techniques to be just as relaxing as they were therapeutic and effective. Unfortunately, it only took 2 years for her to realize she wasn’t going to be able to maintain this kind of work forever. These techniques were already taking a toll.

In 2021, she moved to beautiful San Clemente, CA, and decided to take a crack at massage in the spa industry, hoping it would be easier on her body. (Hint, it wasn’t). There, she met her mentor Aimee Philips, who introduced her to Ashiatsu. Little did Meagan know, her career was about to be transformed. “Ashiatsu changed my life. It seemed too good to be true. I was finally able to deliver consistent, deep, therapeutic pressure without hurting myself, and the best part- I was able to charge more per session for work that was easier for me. I was providing a vastly better service, something I could be proud of.”

As an Instructor for SAMBA, she hopes to spark that light in other therapists, reigniting them with the excitement and passion that brought them into the massage industry in the first place. “We are here to help others, and it doesn’t have to be done at the demise of our own bodies. You’re a more effective healer when you’re not hurting.”

Sara Partridge
Sara PartridgeBoise, ID
Sara had a dream at the age of 18 to work in a field where she could make a difference in people’s lives while doing something she loved. Massage Therapy was a perfect fit. Since 2002, Sara has practiced in various formats including spas, chiropractic offices, and a successful independent practice for 15 years. Sara naturally gravitated towards a deep tissue clientele where she could have the biggest impact. Discovering Ashiatsu brought new life into her passion as a way to extend the longevity of her massage career and provide better client relief.

In April 2017 she met Brenda Blakesley and became certified in Ashiatsu. Learning the modality was exciting, challenging, and very rewarding. Upon completion, she started her own practice called High Bar Massage. Her books filled up overnight as people in the Boise Valley heard about this remarkable new massage.

Sara’s love for the modality and desire to see Ashiatsu grow motivated her to become an instructor and join the SAMBA team. Sara resides in Boise, ID with her husband and four children.

How we got here.

Why Ashiatsu?

This is an amazingly comfortable, significantly effective modality to provide and receive. It deserves the research and development SAMBA, LLC is committed to offer. We hope to meet you in this wonderful world of barefoot massage and share the passion with you!

“In the early 2000’s, I began practicing barefoot massage techniques through a training with a former employer. Immediately, I fell in love with the grace and gravity of the modality, and I found the challenge of learning it motivating.

After experiencing first-hand that while Ashiatsu can save hands, arms, and overall energy of the therapist, if providing more than one a day, it could also be more exerting than traditional hand-delivered modalities. Due to the love of this new work, research of how to resolve all issues arising from providing it for all of my colleagues and myself became my goal.

Several years after providing this work, I was asked to become an instructor of it. Hesitant but excited, I began my own teacher-training program by flying to different classes across the states, and eventually going over-seas to gather a deeper understanding of the origin and evolution of the work. During the years of teaching under a more commercial umbrella, it was clear this modality deserved the honor of sharing facts, truth, and resolutions in order for it to grow and truly add longevity to therapists’ careers. Because of the restrictions I was under, I felt the need to step out from under the umbrella and share the discoveries that were helping many therapists keep safe and happy while developing their skills. That’s when SAMBA first got to bare its sole, and we’re still learning and growing ourselves.”
-Brenda Blakesley

Today, we have shared details and techniques that have saved not only therapists from leaving the modality, but converted many prior recipients of the modality to return to it, all reaping the benefits of it. Sharing “secrets” of the work and the set up required to keep providing it without injury to therapist or client, have become a passion that continues to grow.

Step into the next level of your career today!

Ashiatsu Courses

Southwest Ashiatsu Massage & Bodywork Academy Videos


TUCSON, ARIZONALocation Instructor: Brenda Blakesley
Address and directions for group classes will be dislcosed upon registration.
The address for One-to-One and 2-LMT learning is:
6522 E Carondelet Dr Tucson, AZ 85710; BLDG C SUITE A

Uber, Lyft, Rental Car

Airbnb, Vrbo are highlty recommended in this area

Nearest hotel to the Carondelet studio is the La Quinta Inn East+1(520)747-1414

Everyone is required to bring food to class. There are delis, markets, fast and not-so-fast restaurants all within a mile of class.

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIALocation Instructor: Aimee Phillips & Meagan Pavlina
111 W Avenida Palizada, Suite 111, San Clemente, CA 92675

Classes are held within the business of Barefoot Bliss Massage located in the beautiful beachside community of San Clemente.

Uber, Lyft, Rental Car

Airbnb, Vrbo

Nomads Hotel
101 Avenida Serra
San Clemente, CA 92672
5 Minute Walk from Barefoot Bliss Massage.

The Volare Hotel (walking distance to class)
111 S Avenida De La Estrella, San Clemente

Comfort Suites (2 miles from class)
3701 S El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672

Holiday Inn Express
35 Via Pico Plaza, San Clemente, CA 92672

Hotel Miramar
2222 S El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672

There are many restaurants and grocery stores located within the center and walking distance.

There is street parking and a parking lot available adjacent to the shopping center.

BOISE, IDLocation Instructor: Sara Partridge
Address and directions for group classes will be dislcosed upon registration.
The crossroads of the class location are Eagle Rd & McMillan Rd

Uber, Lyft, Rental Car

Airbnb, Vrbo are highlty recommended in this area

My Place Hotel – Boise/Meridian
3050 E Jewell St, Meridian, ID 83642

Hampton Inn & Suites Boise-Meridian
875 S Allen St, Meridian, ID 83642

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Boise West
3355 E Pine Ave, Meridian, ID 83642

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Boise West
2610 E Freeway Dr, Meridian, ID 83642

There are many restaurants and grocery stores located within a mile.

There is street parking available.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADASpa Group Lessons Only
The crossroads of the class location are: Buffalo Drive & Beltway 215 West

Uber, Lyft, Rental Car, Share Rides

Airbnb, Vrbo

Holiday Inn Express
(877) 863-4780
Ask for the hotel on South Rainbow at Patrick Lane

What Our Students Say

“Brenda and this class was absolutely wonderful! I am very thankful that I was able to take this class and learn as much as I did. Not only was she great at teaching Ashiatsu but also made me very excited to start incorporating this massage in my work. If you are a therapist wanting to expand your modalities this would be a perfect class to take. Thank you so much!”


“See! Feel! Do! Repeat! Is not just Brenda’s motto, it is her mantra. This is one of the best trainings I’ve ever attended. The best part is my clients love the modality and my body is stronger and more at peace as a result. I will attend ongoing training with Southwest Ashiatsu whenever possible. I’m so grateful to Brenda for all the coaching and resources. She continues to follow up and provide support across state lines.”


“Brenda is a fantastic teacher. She is very thorough and explains in a variety of ways that work for every type of learner. In addition to learning the modality, you will get all the info you need in order to practice ashi on your own (proper equipment set up, tips for marketing yourself, logistics, etc.) Ashiatsu is an amazing modality and Brenda is THE person to learn it from. You can tell she is very passionate about ashi and truly wants everyone to be the best therapist they can. I can not recommend her enough!”


“Brenda is my super hero! I am so appreciative of her flawless integrity and commitment to teaching this work. I have taken several Ashiatsu courses from other providers, but Brenda’s course really framed the technique for me in a way that is light years beyond what I have previously experienced. If you are on the fence about where to start, look no further. The massage profession is changing rapidly in content and approach with the current research pointing us in a more therapeutic direction. The science is catching up with the “magic” of what we do and Southwest Ashiatsu is on the leading edge of this exciting trend. Experiencing Ashiatsu this way is like Christmas for 3 days in a row, don’t waste your time settling for anything else. Mahalo nui loa Brenda from Maui Academy of Healing Arts!”


“I took the introductory ashiatsu class from Brenda at Southwest Ashiatsu almost exactly a year ago now. As a full time massage therapist at a thriving country club I cannot count the number of times I’ve looked at my schedule and thought “Thank god for ashiatsu!” Not only do I love receiving ashiatsu, but I absolutely love how it has helped me to grow as a practitioner. Brenda’s focus on body mechanics and form has enabled me to safely incorporate ashiatsu into my practice and continue to be successful over time. Her instruction was concise, focused, and practical and her wisdom was invaluable. The instruction I received at SAMBA has been invaluable to my health and growth in my bodywork career!”


“I found learning this artistic, effective modality (Ashiatsu) was akin to riding a motorcycle: it takes time to evolve and commands deep commitment to develop the necessary skills to progress safely through levels of expertise. It’s also akin to figure skating–using both an inside & outside edge to glide with integrity. Being a motorcyclist, as well as a figure skater, it was a perfect fit for me. My soles were born!”


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    (480) 331-ASHI (2744)