The Parasympathetic Nervous System is your counter balance to the Sympathetic Nervous System. Together they make up the Autonomic Nervous System. The body’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) balance each other out. The SNS is catabolic and mobilizes the body’s resources to help the body “fight or flight” threatening situations. The PNS is anabolic and helps the body rest, digest, and recover. The body is designed to spend the majority of its time in the PNS. Ideally, it only uses the SNS for true life-threatening emergencies. Activating the PNS response allows the body to adapt and recover. This will help ensure that muscle soreness and swelling diminish more quickly (http://www.ptonthenet.com/articles/activate-the-parasympathetic-nervous-system-to-improve-recovery-3910).
Ashiatsu uses the foot as the massage vessel. Feet are broad and smooth. Hands or fore arms are poky and bony. Barefoot Massage is delivered from above the body so you receive a downward pressure that effectively compresses muscle tissue against bone, stimulating the joints and tendons as well as the muscle tissue. Hands simply don't have this ability. This is where the muscle coaxing instead of bullying can take place. This is where your body can experience lasting results and effectively reduce chronic pain.