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Ashiatsu Massage

Ashiatsu Massage
Photo by Todd Buchanan

When I think of massage, this is the image that comes to mind: A white room. A dainty, barefoot woman suspended from poles, walking on someone’s back—probably the back of James Bond or Bruce Lee. Whether this peculiar, haunting scene ever existed in film or I just imagined it, I know for a fact that it’s the reason I tripped over myself racing to check out Spot Spa’s Ashiatsu massage.

It turns out that in today’s world there are two major benefits to this barefoot, back-walking massage. One, it allows the masseuse to go much deeper and exert much more pressure because she can use all of her weight and strength to press down on your body, rather than just using her hands. Two, Ashiatsu is gentler than other types of massages, because instead of using small, pokey fingers and elbows, the masseuse uses the larger platforms of her foot—the same way someone can stand comfortably on your lap barefoot, but couldn’t if she were wearing stiletto heels.

While the masseuse used the ball, heel, and sides of her foot to press and extend the big muscles of my back, I had more useless thoughts about Bruce Lee. Thoughts such as: So this is how it feels to be a dance floor. And: If I were standing on someone’s oiled back, I’d slip right off. And: Thank you, heaven above, for having my addled thoughts lead me to such a pleasant result. 

If you’re someone who wishes that massages were both deeper and gentler, report to Spot immediately. And if you’re someone who recalls the movie scene I’m conjuring up, write me. It’s driving me nuts.

What: Ashiatsu Massage
Where: Spot Spa,
401 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-331-4182
1600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-7768
Time: 70, 90, or 110 minutes
Price: $70 and up


The Expert:
Jon Charles Salon creative director Craig Weitz teases the tresses of a number of notable Twin Cities news anchors. He also gives lessons on how to achieve the perfect blowout at the salon’s Blow Dry Boot Camp (it’s free!).

Product Pick:
“Before drying hair, always apply a heat protectant,” says Weitz. “Kerastase Ciment Thermique ($34) doesn’t leave that product feel.”

Secret Weapon:
Weitz uses a round boar-bristle brush ($38) to really grab the hair. “One with a cork handle will keep hands from slipping.”

For more information about Blow Dry Boot Camp, call 612-724-2444 or visit joncharlessalon.net.


Sigh + Boutique

Instead of working out your stress on a turtle sundae, strike a pose at Sigh Yoga and Boutique. The swanky new south Minneapolis studio serves up a spa-like experience for anyone who could use a little breathing space. Though tiny and bright, Sigh is big on thoughtful extras: luxe locker rooms, aromatherapy amenities, healthy treats, and locally made yoga gear. 612 W. 54th St., Mpls., 612-824-1317, sighyoga.com


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