One of the massages’ out there, which you may or may not be aware of, that starts out painful, but eventually can not only create pain relief, but can also put you into a state of relaxation that you wouldn’t believe, is a massage called a back walking massage. But, does the back walking massage for pain relief really work? That’s what we are going to find out in this article.

And guess what? Yep. As you can probably tell by the name, the massage is done by using feet rather than hands. It’s an interesting technique that not many people know too much about, so today, we’re going to go over what a back walking massage really is, how it came to be/the history of it, and the benefits of it, as well as the risks. So, let’s get started.

Before visiting back walking massage, get our head around what is massage.

What is a Massage?

If you’ve ever had a massage, chances are that you are already aware of the fact that there are different types of massages’ out there, each one feels different. Similarly, being a different experience, and each one achieving a different goal. Some are easy and soft, and some are hard and painful.

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They’re all different from one another in just about every way, but they all have one thing in common. They all have a goal, a purpose for the technique that is used during that specific massage. They all provide some type of relief, and even if it takes a while to get there, you should eventually arrive at some form of relaxation and zen.

Whether the massage is soft or rough, light or deep, incredible or incredibly painful, whether they use hands or feet, the massage should make it to that point at some point, where you’re in a stage of relaxation.

What is Back Walking Massage?

A back walking massage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a massaging technique where somebody walks on your back.

It can be excruciating, as it sounds, but it’s not always painful. That really depends on the person receiving the massage, and the person giving the massage, but it is possible for it to hurt a little, or a significant amount. However, it’s important to note that the person walking along your back is barefoot, but even if they have no shoes or anything else on their feet, it can still potentially be painful.

But in the end, it can achieve the same things that almost every massage achieves, no matter what the massages’ specialty achievement is:

pain relief,

relaxation, and


Back walking massage has been known to show positive results in the majority of people who receive this type of massage. Some people are on the fence about getting a massage where somebody literally walks on your back, but that’s why we’re here today. To present you with all of the information on back walking massage, so you can make an informed choice for yourself about receiving one, or you can decide to either continue researching, or come back to the idea later.

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If you’ve done any research on back walking massages’ before, I’m sure you’ve heard the term Ashiatsu thrown out there a handful of times. Well, now, we’re going to talk about that word, and what it actually means. So, let’s do that now.

What is Ashiatsu?

Ashiatsu is the professional and technical name for a back walking massage. It is called this because Ashi means foot, and Atsu means pressure. Ashiatsu massages’ are viewed and considered more of a “healing art” to treat somebody’s pain, rather than a “massage form”.

The massage’s main goal is to help relieve your muscles
by applying deep pressure to release waste and toxins, and also to activate the self-healing capabilities that your body has.

The massage can be given on the floor, with the help of aids such as ropes and chains, or sometimes balancing props such as bamboo rods, poles, chairs, and/or ceiling bars.

So, now that we’re aware of what the massage actually is, let’s get into the history of it, including how it got its start, exactly where it originated, and where it’s popular now.

History of Back Walking Barefoot Massage?

Ashiatsu got its start on the east coast, but its history is really in several continents, and the history of it actually has a time span of over 3000 years, leading up to today.

Depending on the country, the massage is done in a few different ways. It has many different styles, which is hard to believe since it’s someone just walking on your back, but it’s true, since there’s a lot more to it than that. It has different styles in countries since China, Japan, India, Thailand, and the Philippines, and as you can tell by that knowledge. However, the massage technique has a history across most continents, Asia has the most, and the richest history with the massage. In fact, that’s where it seems to have originated from originally, despite making its way to just about every other continent.

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So, now that we’ve talked a little bit about the history behind the back walking massage, let’s talk about what to expect if you ever get this type of massage.

What to Expect During a Back Walking Massage?

There are a few things you can expect while having a back walking massage, including the following:

1. Expect the obvious, someone will be walking on your back with bare feet.

It might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but you can be the one who decides whether it’s a feeling you like or don’t, or a feeling you want to put up with, or you don’t

2. Expect for them to check in on your physical health before your massage (especially if it’s your first time getting a back walking massage).

They may ask you some brief health questions and give you a quick check-up to make sure you’re not suffering from any conditions or problems that could be made worse by the massage.

3. Expect there to be restrictions.

A few spas only give this massage to people over the age of 18, people in good health, etc.

4. Expect there to be pain.

Not everybody experiences pain while getting a back walking massage. Though the majority experience some pain, a lot of people don’t, as well. But go in expecting the worst in that way, just so you’re prepared if it does happen.

5. Expect to not know exactly what to expect.

Everybody and every place is different while giving a massage, so be mindful of that.

Now that we’ve discussed some things to expect when going to get a back walking massage, let’s get deeper into the benefits of receiving a back walking massage.

Benefits of Walking On Back Massage

These types of massages’ sound as if they would be painful, and in all honesty, they usually are. But, it actually has some benefits, and the benefits the massage has are often worth the pain to those who receive them.

In some cases, the benefits of the massage are already evident by the end of your massage. By the end of your massage, it is possible that you will already be feeling the positive effects from the massage. It doesn’t always work like this, and often, even if you feel the positive effects the massage can have on you, the massage may leave you in pain for a few days before you get the full effect of what the massage has done for you. But this is a good massage to get, especially if you’re dealing with muscle pain or tension, for these reasons:

  1. It goes deeper into the muscle tissue, so it reduces pain and muscle tension, as well as flushes out inflammation that may cause pain.
  2. It improves muscle-elasticity and body flexibility.
  3. And something that not many people know, it’s basically the equivalent of a deep-tissue massage. Still, even though a back walking massage can potentially be painful, it’s actually gentler than a deep tissue massage, so the pain is not quite as bad.

While discussing the benefits of back walking massages’, we discovered that back massages’ eventually relieve pain. Well, let’s dig a little deeper into that topic now, and discuss if a back walking massage actually does ease back pain.

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Would Back Walking Massage Relieve Back Pain?

Like we already discussed above, the answer to this question is Yes. Although having someone walk on your back creates some pain on its own, the end result should give you some pain relief, especially from pain in the muscles. It does this by stretching out your muscles, which improves muscle elasticity, which can actually help with any pain you may feel in your muscles, which are often the cause of back pain.

The massage can also ‘crack’ your spine as well. The spine is also often a cause of back pain. So, if done correctly, cracking your spine might relieve that pain. So yes, if the massage is done correctly, it should relieve pain in the end.

However, if it is done incorrectly, or somebody makes a mistake along the way, well, something could go very wrong very fast, and cause some real damage or issues, either immediately, or down the line.

Just like there are benefits of these massages’, there are risks as well. So, let’s discuss the risks of back walking massages’ now.

Risks of Walking on the Back Massage

Like I said, just like there are benefits to back walking massages’, there are risks as well. If you get a massage for a situation in which it is not recommended (such as a certain problem with your muscles or bones or some type of disc disorder or disease where doctors, or specifically your doctor, does not recommend it for you specifically, in your condition), or you get a back walking massage by somebody who has no idea what they’re doing, the consequences could be dire.

The following are things that can potentially happen during the massage under the right circumstances:

  1. Your spinal cord could be impacted, either making your current condition worse, or adding another problem to your list.
  2. Muscle tears could occur, almost either making your current condition worse, or adding another problem to your list.
  3. Although not too common, it is possible for a bone to be broken, as someone is literally walking on your back, putting their entire weight on you.

So, take these risks into consideration when deciding whether or not a back-walking massage may be the right fit for you.

Walk On Back Massage Dangers

There’s danger in just about everything you do, but there is definitely quite a few dangers in having somebody walking on your back to crack it and massage it.

Like I explained above, all of those on that list are potentially dangers for receiving a back walking massage. Receiving a back walking massage could result in some pretty dire consequences and damage that was definitely not the goal of getting the massage.

You could rip a muscle, or maybe even break a bone, depending on what might go wrong during the massage.

So, before you get a back walking massage, consider these dangers, as nobody plans for them, but once they’re done, they can’t be undone. Remember that.

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In conclusion, although back walking massages’ may start out painful for some, they almost always can eventually be the thing that takes away your pain, provided no mistake it made during the massage.

They can create pain relief in your muscles, which can, in turn, improve your muscle elasticity and flexibility. So, if you feel as though the benefits of this massage outweigh the risks, and you feel as if it could really help and benefit you personally, and maybe want to try something new to help with muscle pain you may be experiencing in your back, a back walking massage might be the right fit for you. Definitely do what you feel is best for you, and what you feel will help you the most.

I hope you found the information that you were looking for, and thank you for reading!