Sports Massage Santa Barbara Goleta

Sports massage Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage by Nicola of Riktr Pro Massage


What is Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage? 

DEEPER THAN THE DEEP – That’s what Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage is!

Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage by Nicola of Riktr Pro Massage
Sports Massage Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage by Nicola of Riktr Pro Massage

Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage

Riktr Pro Massage offers barefoot deep tissue massage techniques. Ancient barefoot massage has been around in different cultures (Thailand, Japan, and Australia) for hundreds of years, an organic form of touch barefoot deep tissue massage is rich in history and tradition and is available in Santa Barbara at Riktr Pro Massage. Barefoot deep tissue massage is not something you typically see at local spas or massage places. I’ve used Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage on athletes to the elderly and on my clients who love the long-lasting effects of prolonged ischemic (Restriction of blood due to factors in the blood vessels with damage to the tissue) pressure.

Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, is also called Ahiatsu Barefoot, is a massage technique that applies therapeutic or Ischemic compression pressure which is much deeper than what can be done by your finger pressure.

Another myofascial trigger point release is Ischemic compression. In this technique, the pressure is applied slowly and progressively over the trigger point as the tension in the trigger point and its taut band subsides.  Pressure is maintained until the tenderness is gone or the tension is released.

Barefoot deep tissue massage is perfect for lovers of deep tissue work or can’t seem to find a therapist to do deep enough work for them.  It is also useful as a sports preparation or athletic maintenance, as the elements of stretching and engaging the large muscle groups are incorporated. It is also a great way to quickly warm up the large muscles for more detailed therapy, especially on people who are very muscular, although there are no restrictions on body types who can receive Ashiatsu, due to the therapist having control of weight distribution. It feels like a “good workout” to some, leaving them refreshed and relaxed rather than tired.

Ashiatsu massage with overhead bars has not been practiced on a widespread basis until recently. The roots and history of Ashiatsu, or barefoot massage, go back further than one might think.

Barefoot deep tissue massage techniques are ancient and barefoot massage has been around in different cultures (Thailand, Japan, and Australia) for hundreds of years and is an organic form of touch. Barefoot is rich in history and tradition, and now is available in Santa Barbara. Barefoot is not something you typically see at local spas or massage spas. I’ve used Barefoot Massage on athletes to the elderly and my clients are loving the long-lasting effects of prolonged Ischemic  (Restriction of blood due to factors in the blood vessels with the damage already to the tissue) pressure.

Ahiatsu Deep Tissue Barefoot massage, in general, can have many positive effects on the body and mind.

Ashiatsu: Deeper than Deep Tissue Massage is a deep, painless form of barefoot deep tissue massage that you will love. Ashiatsu is a massage where massage strokes are performed with feet. The pressure can be applied as deep as necessary because the therapist can engage the whole body to perform the moves unlike only the upper body strength with regular deep tissue massage. Ashiatsu massage can be as relaxing as  Swedish and as light and painless if you want it to be. As well t can be more intense in muscle tension relief is that is whats necessary to do during the session.

It’s been shown to help people with back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also reduce something in the body called substance P (which causes pain), improve sleep, increase circulation, boost immunity, raise levels of serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter) and decrease levels of cortisol (a stress hormone).

Benefits of sports massage


When broken down, the word “ashi” means foot and “atsu” means pressure. However, ashiatsu practitioners may also utilize their knees, elbows, palms, and fingers.

Ashiatsu includes the combination of Swedish, myofascial, and compression massage strokes. It includes long gliding strokes associated with Western or Swedish massage and aspects of the ancient Eastern techniques and philosophies of Shiatsu and Ayurveda. Thai techniques stretch, and compression may also be used.

This modality has long and interesting history, but a relatively new and growing following here in the United States. It may also be referred to as barefoot massage or gravity assisted massage.

Ashiatsu Barefoot is for people who have chronic pain in their muscles as well as people who have range-of-motion problems. Athletes may be the best candidates. They tend to have tense, tight muscles, and their strong bodies can withstand the increase in pressure. A couple of my patients — both were athletes — found that Ashiatsu Barefoot massage helped them relieve tension in the lower back and hip. Ashiatsu Barefoot is one of my favorite modalities to receive massage.


  • The feet are more comfortable than pointy elbows and thumbs (it’s not painful).
  • The broad surface of the feet enables the client to relax into the strokes. It’s known to induce deep relaxation quickly.
  • Gravity enables the pressure to be deeper than with hands-on.
  • Ashiatsu increases circulation quickly.
  • It’s both luxurious and yet therapeutic at the same time.
  • Ashiatsu is especially beneficial as it warms up the larger muscle groups.
  • Ashiatsu relieves tight muscles and stress.
  • Deep pressure stimulates the body’s self-healing capabilities.
  • Less soreness typically results than with deep neuromuscular work.


  • If you are a woman that is pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • If you’ve had breast implants within nine months
  • If you’ve had recent eye procedures/Lasik surgery within 72 hours
  • If you have a history of Tuberculosis, thrombosis, aneurysm, or ongoing kidney disorders.
  • If you are currently going through radiation therapy treatments.
  • If you’ve had any knee, hip, spine, shoulder, or major joint surgeries within 6 weeks
  • If you have phlebitis or cellulitis
  • Any Autoimmune Disorders (such as lupus, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, etc) and Lyme disease
  • If you are currently taking any blood thinners, painkillers, or muscle relaxants
  • If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart condition
  • If you have a pacemaker, stint or shunt
  • If you’ve had a rib or any bone fracture/break within 6 months
  • If you have Osteoporosis
  • If you have spondylolisthesis
  • If you have Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome, any neuropathy, or any neurological disorder that causes loss of sensation or muscle weakness
  • If you have been on a plane flight longer than 6 hours within the last 24 hours prior to your massage appointment.
  • If you are sick. (If I get sick, then I have to reschedule everyone)
  • If you weigh less than 120 pounds (Ashi-Thai and Ashi-Anma are OK for most any weight, but not Ashiatsu.)
  • If you do not like deeper pressure massage.
  • If you are under 18 years old.

*Exceptions apply to contraindications, some of the contraindicated people might be able to receive a part of Ashiatsu in certain areas. For example shoulder and neck area with a  massage therapist being seated instead of standing.


What is Sports Massage?

Working Post Event Massage at the SB Marathon – Sports Massage

Sports massage is designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery. There are three contexts in which sports massage can be useful to an athlete: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. It’s more vigorous than a Swedish Massage.

The purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those bothersome injuries that so often get in the way of performance and your athletic goals, whether one is an athlete,  or a once a week jogger.

This treatment is not just for the sportsperson: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).

Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. A skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge, and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training and minimize post-event injuries.

Sports Massage is best administered 1 /1/2 hours before your event or 1 1/2 hours after your event.

Sports massages alleviate muscle tension. A massage therapist is able to target tight and tender areas—also referred to as adhesions—with high levels of force. This signals your nervous system to relax, helping to alleviate tension within the targeted muscle.

Sports massages improve recovery.  A sports massage after a tough workout or game may improve recovery by increasing circulation. In fact, a study found that a massage decreased delayed-onset muscle soreness—the extreme soreness you get when exercising a muscle for the first time in a while—by about 30 percent.

Sports massages increase the range of motion. Have tight shoulders, hips or other joints? A sports massage can target the stiff muscles that are binding up your joints so you can move through a greater range of motion.

Sports massages are more targeted than foam rolling. Foam rolling is great, but a roller can only target large, broad muscles. Even a lacrosse ball can’t replicate what a massage therapist can do with their fingers, thumbs, palms, and elbows.

Sports massages are relaxing and feel good. Is your body banged up from constantly pushing yourself? Or are you a bit stressed from your jam-packed schedule of school, sports, training, and homework? A massage can help you relax and alleviate some of this physical and psychological stress.

So when should you get a sports massage? In an ideal world, Stevens recommends getting one or two sports massages per week. If this isn’t feasible, then get a massage as needed or use a foam roller, which is a good (and free) alternative—although it’s not quite as effective as a massage as mentioned above. Also, make sure to give yourself 3-4 days between a massage and a big game to ensure your muscles are firing optimally when you need to perform

Benefits of sports massage

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Prevention

Sports massage therapy can prevent or relieve delayed onset muscle soreness. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12 to 24 hours after the exercise has been performed. DOMS may produce the greatest pain between 24 and 72 hours after the exercise has been performed. Sports massage therapy prevents delayed onset muscle soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout the body, preventing muscle fatigue.

Stress and Pain Reduction

Sports massage therapy can help a person manage stress. When a person receives a sports massage, their body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins. According to American Spa, endorphins are released by two centers of the brain known as the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, and they act as the body’s natural pain reliever. Endorphins that are released due to receiving a sports massage help to decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve mood and enhance a person’s state of well-being.


Barefoot deep tissue massage is direct applications of pressure through a muscle into underlying bone. 

This deep, broad-based form of bodywork
Assists with rest, recovery, & repair of muscle tissue,
and creates a positive structural change in chronic soft tissue damage.




  • Ashiatsu movements along the para-spinal and the lumbar region help to open the intervertebral disc space, increasing the discs height which allows the nucleus pulposus inside the disc to assume a more central position within the annular fibers, relieving irritation on the spinal nerves and connective tissue.
  • “Hurts so Good” NOT “Not Pain no Gain.” You can now experience pain-free, bruise-free pressure on the deeper layers of muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues without wincing, clenching or holding your breath from pokey elbows, knuckles or thumbs!Ashiatsu Barefoot massage is an effective bodywork treatment for treating and preventing all types of athletic injuries. Most clients report significant decreases pain with amazing increases in a range of motion and athletic performance. Clients with sports or repetitive strain injuries receiving this type of massage often find they are even more flexible after the sessions than before they were injured!Deeper than a typical Deep Tissue session, but feels like a Swedish massage, that perfect level of pressure you’ve been looking for with a stretch that takes you further than you could go on your own- the “deepest, most luxurious massage

If you are on the search for a consistent massage, Barefoot Massage might be it!

  • Long expansive head to toe strokes stimulates the lymphatic and parasympathetic nervous systems faster, creating a sense of well being, improvement of bodily functions, and homeostasis.
  • Typically, just 20 minutes of Ashiatsu can do what takes an HOUR of Swedish massage to achieve! Bring out the drool buckets and get ready to see a dramatic improvement in your tissue!
  • Centripetal and Centrifugal movements in our technique increase circulation bringing more oxygenated blood to the area being treated and help release toxins at a very high rate.
  • Long, consistent compression from a well-trained foot releases adhesions, trigger points, and chronic holding patterns, and encourages your body’s natural healing potential.
  • Myofascial stretching with vertebral traction elongates the spine, improving movement and posture while relieving chronic pain and spasm.
  • Deep, broad pressure improves flexibility and range of motion.
  • Hypertonic muscles soften and lengthen.
  • Muscles are flushed with interstitial stasis reduced.
  • Stretching muscle fibers increases capillarization.
  • Fascia is rejuvenated and enlivened.
  • Myofascial pain and secondary autonomic phenomena caused by trigger points are usually eliminated.
Benefits of sports massage


Experience a different, yet improved way to receive a massage. Ashiatsu, in Japanese, translates to “foot pressure.” It is a western version of an ancient form of bodywork, with roots dating back thousands of years.

There are many benefits to receiving Ashiatsu massage. By using the softly padded soles of the feet, broad, deep, even pressure is achieved which helps increase blood and lymph flow, elongate the spine, deepens relaxation by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, relieves sciatica and low back pain and provides an overall gentler, effective, relaxing experience.  Ashiatsu also helps to achieve better, longer lasting results in less time.  Book an appointment today and see why this is called “the most luxurious, unique massage you will ever receive!”

Benefits of Massage

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. Perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:

  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.

Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
  • Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from, strenuous workouts.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility. Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins-amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.





Other good Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage Links:


*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.

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