The Edmond Sun

September 9, 2013

Bare feet facilitate healing, wellness, balance

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — All the senses are touched as one enters the room with low lights, candles flickering, a warming fireplace, the soothing sounds of a water scape and a faint aroma of coconut oil lingering in the air.

The scene is set for one of the most relaxing forms of massage that can be imagined. Deana Rook, owner of Global Massage, is Mastery Level Certified by Health and Bodyworks LLC, for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy Barefoot Massage, the main form of massage she practices.

This doesn’t mean massaging the client’s bare feet, but providing the massage by standing on the client’s back.

It was a patient who suggested a barefoot massage and after checking into it Rook was on her way to earning certification to be a barefoot massage therapist practicing Ashiatsu and Ashi-Thai.

Although the Japanese term “Ashiatsu” is used in the trade name, the technique Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy and its application are very different. “Ashi” is a Japanese word that means “foot” and “Atsu” means “pressure,” so together they symbolize foot pressure.

Ashi-Thai is an expression of traditional Thai massage techniques, mostly compression and stretching. Ashi-Thai encourages full range of motion for relaxation and functionality.

Foot pressure is completely modified for every individual, men and women alike. Through foot massage Rook provides a wider base for various ways to give consistent, deep, luxurious, Swedish-style compression using her feet.

Parallel bars suspended from the ceiling are used for balance, control and leverage by Rook as she holds on to them while providing foot massage by walking on a client’s back. Rook adjusts her weight for the right pressure for different clients. She has studied physics, anatomy and the movements necessary to ensure safety.

The massage is done according to the client’s level of modesty, and a professional draping method is used by Rook. An organic coconut oil is spread with a brush on the body.

She researched Barefoot Massage and found Ruthie Piper Hardee’s patented modality. She studied Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy under Hardee, and returned with the ability to deliver the “deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet” as the Ashiatsu trademark tagline states.  

Hardee, the founder of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, is the original pioneer of gravity assisted barefoot-bar massage used in the spa and massage industry today. She invented the Hardee-Ashiatsu Portable Bar apparatus, which is utilized worldwide.

“Hardee was the first to bring barefoot Swedish massage using bars on the ceiling into mainstream America, and Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is now one of the most popular massage techniques in the country,” Rook said.

It was only natural for Rook to follow in Hardee’s footsteps — literally, and embrace her barefoot modality with passion. Rook is currently the only Mastery Level Certified graduate listed on the website for Oklahoma.

Rook is constantly expanding her education by going to seminars and learning new techniques. Her studies now include advanced studies under Erik Dalton (Myofascial Release) and Gephart Parzer.

“Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is the deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet,” Rook said. “Skilled and talented feet provide pressure that is customized for each individual’s comfort to deliver deep relaxation and muscle tension relief faster than can be achieved by hand, in most cases.

“Muscles along the spine, shoulders and pelvic bone are relaxed then stretching techniques allow the spine to slowly nestle into its natural alignment during the session. Work on the rest of your body will be so seamless, it will be hard to tell if it’s by hand or foot.”

GLOBAL MASSAGE is at 700 W. 15th St., Ste. 7, in Edmond. To book an appointment go to or call 458-0562 for more information. In order to learn more about Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy Barefoot Massage go to or watch techniques on