Zen Zone offers unique massage therapy technique

by Michele Collins

Laurie Weber has been a licensed massage therapist for 11 years. Her original practice name was Laurie’s Healing Hands, but today Weber can be found doing Ashiatsu massage – a technique in which she uses her feet for performing deep tissue massage – at a new location in Hudson.

“The massage done with the feet allows the practitioner to use gravity to provide the deepest massage,” she said. “And once my clients get an Ashiatsu massage, they never go back to the traditional hands-on massage. They say it’s the best massage they ever got.”

Weber added that she is one of only two Ashiatsu practitioners in Northeast Ohio. 

According to Weber, Ashiatsu is a unique massage technique that involves the application of the therapist’s feet to deliver long gliding strokes and deep compression. It is believed that it was first developed in India about 2,000 years ago by martial arts practitioners and used as part of their training to increase flexibility and decrease recovery time from injuries.

The benefit to Ashiatsu massage is a “smoother glide,” she said, because there are “no pointy elbows or digging fingers.” Therapist can also apply deeper pressure than they can with their hands, and the pressure can be adjusted according to the client’s comfort, Weber notes.

“Ashiatsu techniques include deep tissue, relaxation, sports or medical massage [such as] myofascial, neuromuscular and trigger point therapies,” she said. 

For Laurie’s Healing Hands, Weber had worked out of a home office. In May, however, she opened the brick-and-mortar Zen Zone at 56 Milford Dr., behind Acme Fresh Market.

Weber hopes that clients will give the Ashiatsu technique a try. She said that sometimes people are “a little unsure” about a massage using feet, but she sanitizes between each visit so her feet are clean and ready for the next client. Also, Weber holds on to a bar above the patient so that she doesn’t fall and can control how much pressure she uses on clients.

She first became interested in Ashiatsu massage after a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome made her afraid she might not be able to practice. Weber has now recovered and can do both types.

Massages start at about $80 per visit for both the Ashiastu and traditional hand massage. For more information, visit zenzonecenter.com. ∞

Photo: Zen Zone offers Ashiatsu, a technique in which she uses her feet to massage clients. Photo submitted.