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Now offering cupping therapy! Can be added to any session.

"OMG my hour and half barefoot ashiatsu massage was awesome! This was my 1st time trying this type of massage. I get deep massages at least once a month at various places and I have to say this was the best ever. See you again soon!" - Marchelle
"Mary-Claire is an extremely talented and caring professional. I recommend her to anyone and everyone!" - Debby Herman
"Excellent!" - Mark Mahoney
"Mary -Claire is the best thing since cell phone technology! What more can I say? Do yourself a favor an schedule a appointment!" - Rodney smith
Allison D. says:
I had a great experience with Mary-Claire's pregnancy massage. I am due to deliver any day now and feel ready now that Mary-Claire worked her magic. I have already spread the word so that others can experience her talents!
I wanted to thank you for your skill and professionalism.  I am amazed how good I feel.  I was really at wits end when I showed up at your door.  My doctor was getting on me to get more active, but it had turned into a vicious circle trying to do so.  Thanks again.  P.S. My tummy is very sore, but it never felt so good.  Thanks, again.   Rick M. 
Brenda S. says:
I had a 60 minute Ashiatsu treatment from Mary-Claire that was just incredible. She has great flow - really taking her time. She recognizes the trouble spots and has an amazing way of working on them to help alleviate pain. Her office is comfortable and well-presented. Her manner is warm, professional and welcoming. I definitely plan on return visits!
Lizzie B. says:
 It was so wonderful to get a massage! I had never had one before, but my husband got me a prenatal massage as a gift. It felt so good... I sure hope to be going back during my pregnancy.
 Great massage!
Harry S says: 
I had the heated bamboo massage and it was fantastic. After 16 years without a massage I was looking for a deep massage but not the ashiatsu (bar) treatment. This massage was perfect. My muscles were very tight and she was able to loosen them up. My hope is to work up to the deeper massage provided by the ashiatsu method. My wife and I are planning to have back to back sessions. I highly recommend Mary-Claire.
MelanieT B says: 
it was awesome! I will definitely be scheduling conssitently thru my pregnancy
Gene H says: 
I have had about a half dozen "massages" over the past 6 years and I finally found out what a truly deep massage feels like. I opted for a 75 minute Ashitatsu massage. Okay, I was a little apprehensive after signing up then watching a video on Youtube. I kept an open mind and I am thankful I did. Mary-Claire can do things with her feet most can't do with their hands. I left there convinced that Ashitatsu is the only way to go if you want a deep massage.

Ashiatsu Deepfeet Massage Therapy

Register here for classes!

Kick start your career with some new moves!

Why learn Ashiatsu Barefoot Bar massage?

Eliminate stress on wrists, thumbs and reduce therapist burn out.


Make more money by the hour and see more clients per day!


Have fun while you work.


Take years of stress off lumbar area from bending over the massage table.


Provide your clients with improved posture and movement while relieving their pain


Deliver greater pressure with your feet.


Enjoy your clients' raving about your fabulous, comfortable deep tissue barefoot massage.



The 2015 class schedule is now available!

REGISTER HERE for Ashiatsu or Ashi-Thai class!


Ashiatsu class schedule

Ashiatsu in ActionBarefoot Massage by Mary-Claire Fredette
Class descriptionsCheck out the quick videos clips
Learn Barefoot Massage Certification Courses
Ashiatsu bare feet

Where can you learn Ashiatsu Barefoot Bar massage ?

I specialize in deep tissue massage therapy and offer continuing education classes for massage therapists in my Mt. Healthy studio (Cincinnati). The massage therapy studio is located at 7813 Affinity Place, Cincinnat, OH, 4421. You can even buy a non-fattening, perfect size massage gift certificate for a favorite person-online and instant! Purchase it here!

I teach Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (Deepfeet Bar Therapy) and Ashi-Thai at my permanent training facility in Cincinnati, and portable Ashiatsu bars allow me to train Ashiatsu or Ashi-Thai at your location in the Midwest. I typically travel as far as 12 hours driving distance from Cincinnati. Give me a call at 513-238-0970 or email me for more information at More  information can be found here.

Photos of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy classes can be found here.

Register for Ashiatsu or Ashi-Thai class HERE-pay with credit card or PayPal.


Your existing clients will be amazed at the depth of compression you can give to the back, legs and hips. Your new clients will keep coming back for more. This is just the beginning of reduced therapist fatigue and increased profits! 

Just a random sample of testimonials...


"Since we started using Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy® in our office, we have had some breakthroughs that no other type of massage has been able to accomplish."
--Dr. Eric Dieffenbaugher; Progressive Chiropractic, Fairfield, OH


"Thank YOU! I had the BEST time. YOU are a GREAT instructor and am going to be recommending you to everyone!!! Can't WAIT to come back for deepfeet TWO and more!!!!"
--Megan Rice, Cincinnati 

"Astounding her ability to address learning styles of all participants--visual, auditory and kinesthetic!"
--Josh McKirk, Denver

"Mary-Claire is an excellent instructor. It was obvious that her goal was for her students to succeed. She is wonderful with matching her demonstrations with her verbal explanation."
--Julianne Bruce, Minneapolis, MN

"I loved the work-both giving and receiving! And the instructor's spirit and down to earth teaching style!"
--Andrea Auflick; Newtown, OH


"This was one of the best massages I've ever had, and definitely the best in this part of the country. Mary-Claire really paid attention to the areas where I was having pain, and I left feeling better than I had in months. I've had massages from others who left me feeling more beat up than when I arrived after they finished working on the painful areas. Mary-Claire thoroughly worked on the areas where there was pain and really made it better, not worse, and left me feeling relaxed as well! I will definitely be a repeat client!"
--Carol O, Cincinnati

"Just a note to let you know my shoulder is feeling great!! Not only did my golf score drop 8 strokes this week end, my softball hitting produced 2 singles in two at bats.. Feeling good!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Mary Claire.. Rick "

"Just to let you know I have
felt better after the session today, thanks. I was very tense within and felt the deep tissue massage worked as I feel light now. 
Thanks, KK"

"I felt so much better for six days after my massage last week. I wasn't even sore at all. I love Ashiatsu!"
--Karen M, Fairfield, OH

Many more massage client reviews for Mary-Claire can be found here.

By adding Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy barefoot massage to your repertoire, you instantly  increase the clientele you serve.Big men and women and athletes who may have in the past look at you and think, "You could never give me enough pressure" will be amazed at what even the smallest of therapists can do for them utilizing this modality. 

Are you a bigger therapist? You can still learn this style of barefoot massage. It's all about grace and shifting your body weight. 



Learn better one on one? Private classes are available at my location. Add $200 on if you take it by youself or split that additional cost with a friend and pay $100 each therapist additional. Email me for details at 

Barefoot Basics ©
Introductory - 3 days - 25 CEU - $649
Pre-requisite: Licensed Massage Therapist understands anatomy and physiology.

Barefoot Basics is just the beginning in this entry level 3 day cours. It  is designed to teach massage professionals how to utilize gravity to perform the ultimate barefoot effleurage application. Learn how to save your hands by letting gravity assist you on the table. Therapist will learn how to safely perform one footed posterior strokes, history of barefoot massage, cautions, contraindications, proper body mechanics for gravity assisted massage, proper draping, construction and design of bars in the treatment room, marketing the technique and foot hygiene. 

You will feel every single stroke from the instructor and she will feel yours. On the final day, we provide seasoned male guest cllients for the therapist to utilize their new barefoot deep tissue massage skills. The course is designed for all kinds of learners: those who like to read will have a manual with all the strokes clearly explained. Therapists will receive the work from other massage therapists in class as well as the instructor. They will also have the opportunity to watch an educational video. 

Classes at your location are possible with a minimum number of students--cost is $700 per therapist, and additional fees may apply.                                        

Barefoot Anterior and Side-lying©
1 day - 8 CEU - $229
Pre-requisite: Barefoot Basics must have been taken first.                                               .

This course can be taken with Barefoot Basics or by itself. It is conveniently  taught right after Barefoot Basics for convenience and for those therapists who want more in-depth knowledge of anterior work. Therapists will be taught a protocol that will integrate anterior and side lying strokes. The client's eyes are comfortably draped in the anterior routine so he/she doesn't stare up at you!

Side lying strokes can be used in conjunction with sports massage or when working as a team with your clients to locate the source of pain patterns and to treat them. You will learn to effectively work muscles that are difficult to palpate in the prone and supine position. Therapists often stay for the anterior work but love to receive the side-lying!

Advanced Ashiatsu
3 days - 25 CEU - $649
Pre-requisite: Certified graduate of Barefoot Basics.

It is highly recommended that the Barefoot Basics deep tissue massage grad has had plenty of time to practice Barefoot Basics and is comfortable performing all the strokes. This course is recommended for either smaller to medium sized therapists who regularly work on much larger, healthy clients and for those with very good upper arm strength.  You will need a healthy fitness level, with upper arm and abdominal strength to deliver comfortable two footed moves to your training partner. Students will learn two-footed posterior strokes that are gliding to be combined with the sequences and protocols learned in Barefoot Basics. Theory and lecture focuses on specific back conditions while identifying and qualifying clients for this treatment.

On day one, the therapist will learn both two footed strokes as well as modifications to these strokes. The modifications will be the perfect way to add more moves to your one footed routine. Days two and three, we will bring in healthy male clients for the therapists to work on. On day three, therapists will learn amazing strokes which will help them smoothly transition one foot to another without having to leave the client. Two different routines will be taught in this advanced level deep tissue barefoot massage class.

All therapists will receive work during days one and three of this class. 


2 days-16 CEUs-$429
Prerequisite: Basic understanding of anatomy

In this Ashi-Thai workshop, you'll be guided through many manipulations why holding onto a bar for better balance, stability and support. The Ashi-Thai workshops has been divided into two modules-Anterior and Posterior. The combinations of the techniques have been arranged following traditional energy lines and stretches for elongating and relieving tightness in commonly used muscle groups. Unlike Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, in Ashi-Thai the client wears comfortable and loose fitting clothing. No oil or cream is applied.

This flowing and rhythmic approach was developed for any body worker who prefers using the massage table over a floor mat and wants to stretch a client prior to a massage. As a complement to any Ashiatsu session, Ashi-Thai can revitalize energy lines and leave a profound effect by relieving muscular tension and improving range of motion. Ashi-Thai can also be used as a treatment by itself.

Class cost includes Ashi-Thai manual, CEUs and certification. You may purchase the 2 DVD set Ashi-Thai educational DVDs to study at home if you wish ($100). They are available at class.




Mary-Claire  has a relaxed, friendly, fun format of teaching.
--Tammaie Sesco; Mansfield, OH

I loved this class. Staying for the 4th day (Anterior and Side-lying) was invaluable. You are so patient too!
--Abigail Savage; Chicago, IL

Thank you from the bottom of hearts, the soles of our Ashi feet and the top of our spirits for bringing your beautiful smile and energy to us! Your time and dedication are not in vain! You've made this class exhaustingly fun!
--Leigh Hatton, LA

I love your easy teaching style!
--Stacy Barron; Denver, CO

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy should be available to most clients who need deep tissue work. This session can be modified for light pressure to very deep--in fact, I have massaged clients weighing well under 100 pounds to over 375 lbs. Ashiatsu is a great way to alleviate discomfort of tight muscles in large muscle groups.

During our Ashiatsu class, you will receive the strokes for about 2 hours on 2 days of the workshops. If you have health issues that may prevent you from receiving work during class, please contact me prior to training at

Unlike some other forms of barefoot massage, this ashiatsu technique is done with the client on the massage table, and massage cream is used. Overhead parallel bars are used for the massage therapist's balance. Consider being one of the deepest massage therapist around--train in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy!

Register here for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy massage class!

Ashiatsu Massage

My favorite part of the class was learning the new moves for the deepest most luxurious massage on the planet! I cannot wait to take all the classes with Mary-Claire!

--Melissa Simmering, Bettendorf, IA


Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage---Massaging with Sole

Originally written for the Ohio AMTA chapter by Mary-Claire Fredette, LMT

Affectionately  coined as "the deepest most luxurious massage on the planet," Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy allows the massage therapist to use gravity instead of sheer muscle strength. Using cleaned, sanitized and soft feet, she or he is able by using body weight to press, sweep and swirl along muscles to give broad, fluid movements.

Ashiatsu at AMTA

Ruthie Hardee, founder of Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (AOBT), had seen various types of barefoot massage as a child while traveling with her missionary parents. She witnessed different styles of barefoot massage in Manila, Africa and the Indies.

Although many of the roots of Ashiatsu are Eastern ("ashi" means "foot, while "atsu" translates as "pressure"),  ashiatsu therapists in the United States use a distinctly different style of barefoot massage. Traditional barefoot shiatsu is done through clothing on a mat. With Chavutti Thirummal, performed in India for over 1000 years, the therapist typically uses a rope tied end to end and glides along the completely undraped client. Other forms of barefoot massage massage require props for balance such as chairs, poles a single bar, bamboo rods and even chains.

Hardee, however, wanted her style of barefoot (Ashiatsu) massage to be luxurious and comfortable for both the client as well as the therapist. Hence, the system of parallel wooden bars placed over the massage table. The  ashiatsu therapist is able to use the bars overhead for balance while she or he glides gracefully over the client's lubricated skin. Hardee began Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy training for therapists in over 10 years ago.

While other forms of ashiatsu massage take into consideration breathing patterns, chi, and other energetic work, AOBT focuses on muscle and bone. Many orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and physicians are fans of Hardee's style of barefoot massage. As Dr. Eric Dieffenbaugher, owner of Progressive Chiropractic Health and Wellness in Fairfield, OH says, "Ashiatsu is a wonderful adjunct to chiropratic care, in particular in regards to patients with lumbar disc problems because of it's deep compression and ability to traction out the spine."

This Western style of barefoot massage can be very deep but can also be modified for those who don't like as much pressure. While contraindicated for such clients as those who have uncontrolled blood pressure, women who are pregnant or are trying to conceive, and those on heavy blood thinners, this ashiatsu massage treatment can be very helpful for those clients with chronic low back pain. Ashiatsu massage is known to help improve posture and relieve pain, and yet do it in a gentle but deep fashion.

Have a group of massage therapists in your area wanting deep tissue massage barefoot Ashiatsu or Ashi-Thai training? Please contact me at

What I like about Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy," says fan Scot Voss of Cincinnati, "is that it's so much softer than regular massage. I don't have to worry about pointy elbows and fingers. It's really deep and relaxing all at the same time."

In fact, many spas throughout the country list Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy on their menu. Canyon Ranch health spas offer this style of barefoot massage in their locations in Tuscon, AZ, Lenox, MA, onboard the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship and at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Ashiatsu can also be found at prestigious massage spas such as Urban Oasis in Chicago.  The Insider's Guide "Best of the Rockies"  lists Ashiatsu massage at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek as one of the "Most Memorable."

Sports enthusiasts who require deep work are typically harder for massage therapists to work on because of their muscle density. But by using gravity assisted effleurage, trained therapists can save some energy, reduce fatigue and save their wrists by performing this style of barefoot effleurage. In fact, the September/October 2007 issue of Luxury Spa Finder list Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy as their "ultimate skier's massage."

Ruthie Hardee and her team of dedicated instructors currently teach four classes in barefoot massage. I teach on a regular basis in Cincinnati, OH and conduct ashiatsu training in Denver, CO, on a regular basis. Portable Ashiatsu bars allow me to travel and train ashiatsu therapists throughout the Midwest.

Barefoot Basics are one footed strokes suited for the posterior side of the client's body. Any therapist with grace and coordination can learn these strokes, and she or he learn to shift body weight according to the client's needs. In Anterior/Side-Lying, the massage therapist learns both clinical side lying work as well as a luxurious spa approach to the anterior side of the client's body. The client's eyes are comfortably covered during this anterior massage, and all neck and pectoral work is done with the LMT seated on a stool. Arms and legs are included in the anterior protocol as well.

The advanced class of Deepfeet 2 teaches the massage therapist to use his or her entire body weight in two footed posterior strokes which are well suited for larger clients who really need or enjoy deep tissue massage. Therapists need good upper arm and core strength to give this wonderful two footed massage. And finally, the Fusion-Blend is considered to be the final mastery of all the posterior strokes, and it may be taken after Deepfeet 2.

As author Toby Osborne says, "Of course, whether you try Ashiatsu because you want to recharge your chi or relax your body, barefoot massage has an illustrious past that's worth celebrating."


Ashiatsu Side-Lying Class

Here are some  Ashiatsu FAQ:

Wondering about the Ashiatsu portable bar dimensions? Weighing in about 75 pounds, they are 7'11" high, 6' long and 68" wide (a little over 5 1/2 feet). They set up in about 20 minutes and can be taken down in about 10 minutes. The portable bars are great for sporting events, poolside massage, health fairs, massage training sessions at your location, etc. You'll find pictures of them on my Ashiatsu massage class page and on the testimonial page. The dimensions of the Hardee Ashiatsu bars make them a spectacular site for outdoor events.

Where did Ashiatsu bar therapy come from? Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is an adaptation of ancient techniques from India, Thailand, the Phillipines and Asia. Our professional training program combines some of the styles of ancient bodywork by using the healing power of heels and other parts of the therapist's foot. With other forms of therapeutic foot pressure, a therapist or warrior would perform ashiatsu with his feet while using body weight and deep compression pressure along with healing oils. Unlike this style of ashiatsu floor massage, our professionally trained therapists use their feet to massage while the client receives their barefoot shiatsu massage on a massage table. Although many clients would say that the ashiatsu training allows the therapist to walk on a client's back, it's really the therapist uses their body weight to effleurage and massage more like a dance--graceful, fluid and smooth in their unstressing techniques.

What about the guys? Male massage therapists can certainly learn Ashiatsu massage as well. Men have just as many wrist, back and thumb issues as female massage therapists. Yet when they learn Ashiatsu, they can learn to give a full body massage much more easily. Barefeet massage originated in several countries with men actually doing the footwork. We're just coming around full circle in the United States with male massage therapists training in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy.

Chiropractors, medical doctors and homeopaths are often clients of alternative health. Our Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapists and instructors throughout the country use this style of deep tissue massage to work out the kinks, knots and stress of thousands of clients throughout the U.S. Using feet and massage together are very beneficial to both the massage therapist and the client.

Do you need massage therapy CEU's for your continuing education? Our classes are approved for NCBTMB and ABMP category A continuing education units. For more information about barefoot and bamboo massage, you can check out my barefoot-massage blog. Another one is Ashiatsuworkshops.


What does massage do for you? 

It eases pain, reduces tension, makes you feel better. Massage therapy can increase blood flow, lower blood sugar and improve feelings of self esteem. Reasearch has been done on many different types of massage, and the results are conclusive: massage is good for you!

Clients who schedule a massage on a regular basis are taking care of themselves proactivley. Monthly appointments can help to keep you healthy. Another benefit is that your massage therapist will notice if you have any changes in skin conditions and will let you know if you should see a dermatologist.

What kind of people receive Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy or Bamboo-fusion? Medical doctors, chiropractors, stay at home moms and dads, engineers, advertising executives, construction workers... Really, men and women from all walks of life who need massage to keep them feeling good and for those who can take just a little time to relax.

To schedule a massage, please contact Mary-Claire at 513-238-0970 or email at Rates and hours can be found here. I do schedule new clients whenever the availablity presents itself!



A client of mine told me about an interesting conversation she had with someone she knows relatively well. The client, whom we'll call Susie, has been receiving Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy on a regular basis for 5 or 6 years. She gets barefoot massage about once every other week, and it is very helpful in her pain management of an injury sustained at work.

This friend, "Larry," insisted that there was no such thing as "ashiatsu" and maintained that Susie was really getting Shiatsu treatments. No amount of arguing could convince Larry that Susie was really getting Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy. Since it wasn't listed in his shiatsu book that he showed her, in his mind, it didn't exist.

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is relatively new, at least in terms of how long traditional shiatsu has been around. Ruthie Hardee has been teaching our form of Ashiatsu since 1995, just over 12 years. In comparison to the thousands of years shiatsu has been performed in India, Thailand and Asia, it's not been long.

Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy is, however, growing rapidly in popularity in the United States. So for clients such as Susie, they're happy with their form of Ashiatsu, no matter what it's called.

Our Cincinnati area clients can also go to for more info on Cincinnati massages

Deep tissue barefoot massage classes should really be live, in a classroom setting. Those who believe they can learn to use gravity to do deep tissue massage, chew on this: your liablity insurance will likely NOT cover you if you've not taken an approved course. What happens if someone gets hurt during a session?

The great thing about our barefoot massage CEU classes is that you hear the instructor talk about the strokes over and over again. You feel each stroke from her. You WORK on her during class, receiving valuable feedback about your strokes; are they safe?, are they smooth?, are they comfortable?, can they better?

And to top it all off, we have seasoned male guest clients (not like steak seasoning, silly, like "well-trained") who will give you feedback about each one of your ashiatsu barefoot strokes. It's often the favorite part of class for the masage therapists.

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Affinity Massage Studio
7813 Affinity Place
Cincinnati, Ohio 45231

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