Fijian massage is a form of sports massage that uses the therapist's feet to deliver the deepest massage possible. The therapist may sit or stand and the client remains clothed while reclining on cushions on a floor mat. The quality of touch can vary from soft stroking with the sole of the foot to a very intense pressure over a larger area than a hand can produce.
The deepest massage you can receive is a massage delivered with the feet. Fijian Massage does not include walking on the client's back as the therapist either works seated or standing with one foot remaining on the floor next to the client. This deep, yet soothing, massage technique uses the foot to knead the muscles, relieving tension and pain.
I especially like this technique for opening hips or shoulders. Using my feet means that I can apply more force in the process of mashing your muscles - there is simply more strength in the lower body than in the upper body. When there are areas of trouble that need more specific work than the deep friction of the Fijian rolling foot stroke, the foot is an excellent tool for providing direct myofascial release or pinning for active elongation work. Leg length is also a benefit in setting up long side-body fascial stretches.
I combine work with the feet with passive joint movement and gentle precision work with the hands in areas such as the neck.
I was fortunate enough to be able to study directly with Lolita Knight, one of the developers of this modality several summers ago. Fijian massage originated on the island of Kadavu in Fiji, one of the islands in the South Pacific. A village healer named Simonis taught the basic standing stroke to Lolita Knight. Lolita took the knowledge back to New Zealand, where she was practicing massage at the time, and developed a gentler variant, adding several new strokes and changing the pacing. Later she brought that to the U.S., where she taught for many years.
I am now one of the instructors in the Olympic Massage group that she authorized to carry on her teaching legacy, now that she has retired to Australia.
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I want to reiterate that this is generally perceived as a very deep massage. It is not an appropriate choice for all clients. To minimize soreness after such a deep session, I would recommend that you have a history of regular exercise or massage so that your body is used to processing the changes that massage can facilitate, as this can create change more quickly than other methods. If you have trouble getting down on the floor or getting up from the floor, or have had joint replacement surgery, this is not the right modality for you.
For best results, wear loose, comfortable clothing that you would wear for a workout or a yoga class. It is less effective to work through a heavy fabric like jeans.