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Barefoot Hands Massage Puts A Twist On The Art Of Massage

By Keith Donaldson

Most people think of massage as using hands, but for Barefoot Hands Massage in Madison it's all about the feet. Utilizing Deepfeet Bar Therapy, Barefoot Hands stands apart from any other studio in Madison. Owner Al Policaro took some time to answer our questions.

What ​was the inspiration behind opening Barefoot Hands Massage? How long have you been in business?

It's Madison's diverse and its growing community of people who are open to welcoming something alternative different and effective that will enhance their overall healthy and mindful lifestyle. Barefoot Hands Bodywork was conceived and continues to serve the Madison and its neighboring areas since 2016.

​Can you explain a little more about the Deep Feet Bar Therapy you offer?

Al Poliarco, LMT and owner of Barefoot Hands Bodywork and Therapeutic Massage is the first and only Certified Practitioner to offer Ashiatsu - Deepfeet Bar Therapy in Madison.

"Ashi" in Japanese means "foot." "Atsu" means "pressure." Deepfeet Bar Therapy uses gravitational force combining centrifugal and centripetal movements to create a structural change in chronic soft tissue damage, instead of the hands. Al Poliarco uses parallel bars, attached to the ceiling, for balance and proper weight distribution. The larger size and padding of his soles provide a push-pull-pump technique that is not only deeper, but more comfortable than traditional hands massage. Feet, compared to hands, have a greater affect on the client's parasympathetic nervous system, which allows the client to dive deeper into relaxation. It provides deep relaxation while stimulating the lymphatic and circulatory systems of the body. Treatment helps relieve muscle pain, increases range of motion and flexibility, improves posture and creates a state of well-being.

Ashiatsu is a great treatment for everyone particularly to those active individuals, athletes, and larger people who need a stronger treatment. One Deepfeet Bar Therapy session can give the same result as two or three consecutive Western style massages. Any blockage or stiffness in the muscles, joints, or spine releases. The Deepfeet Bar Therapy works systemically on many body systems - the myofascia, the lymphatic, the nervous, the cardiovascular, and perhaps the endocrine system. Al's Ashiatsu routines will work on the whole body, while honing on any particular area of the body.

How would you describe the atmosphere your massage studio offers to clients?

Whether it's your first time or a regular clients of Barefoot Hands, the same warm welcome awaits you. Before your treatment you may select a pure essential oil blend to add aromatherapy to the session. Steamed towels are also used during the massage, applying soothing heat therapy to sore or tired muscles. Stretches are incorporated, as clients preferred. These amenities are all provided at no additional charge. Al's treatment space is carefully arranged to provide a peaceful relaxing and unforgettable experience. Your 60-minute massage means 60 minutes on the table. Al will allow needed time in between each massage session, to know you and to do a thorough intake with each client.

Why do you think someone should choose Barefoot Hands for their massage needs?

I'll let my repeat clients answer this last question:

Al is a massage therapist who listens to you as you explain what you need out of the massage, and better yet, he listens to your body as he works through each muscle group. We are both weight lifters and runners, and Al is our go-to therapist for post-workout relief. He's able to find tension points we didn't even know existed (even in the face and scalp!), and by the end, we're rejuvenated and ready for the next workout. When we need it, Al is also there to help us just relax and wind down after a long week, providing a comforting and soothing massage in an environment that is inviting and warm. We recommend Al to everyone we know, and highly recommend him to anyone looking for a great massage therapist they can trust. - Alex Bryant and Dan Beltran

After working all day in construction. I tend to have some sore muscles. Al has been helpful working out the aches and pains. I highly recommend Al, his deep tissue techniques are great.- Joel Nelson

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