Barefoot deep tissue massage brings relief to clients

Over a period of 23 years, Kevin Bachman of Marshalltown said he was seen by 20 doctors, visited the Mayo Clinic and received expensive cortisone shots.

And his lower back pain persisted.

“Nothing helped,” he said.

That was until he saw a newspaper ad placed by Tasha Schnathorst, LMT, of Marshalltown.

Now he uses the word miracle to describe the relief Schnathorst has brought him with her unique barefoot deep tissue massage.

“At first the relief lasted several days and now it is up to one week,” said Bachman, who works assembly at Marshalltown’s Lennox Manufacturing, Inc.

Schnathorst, while holding on to a secured, horizontal pole for balance, uses one or both feet to massage a client’s body.

She said using one or both feet allows her to apply more pressure on the body, versus traditional forms of hand massage.

An average session lasts one hour.

However, Schnathorst has performed two hour sessions.

“It is a technique for those who like more pressure,” she said.

In addition to Bachman, Schnathorst is building a resume of satisfied clients.

“It is one hour of bliss,” said client Fauna Nord, a Marshalltown businesswoman. She heard about the barefoot technique and decided to try it out.

Nord said she will return to Schnathorst and has recommended her to others.

Bev Espencheid of Traer, a Marshalltown real estate broker, saw Schnathorst’s Facebook ad.

“It was my first experience with barefoot massage,” she said. “It was interesting, unique and really good. I’m going back.”

She too, has recommended Schnathorst to others.

“This is the kind of service you would expect in a larger community, so it is great to have it in Marshalltown,” Espenscheid said.

The origins of barefoot massage can be traced back to ancient India and Thailand, said Schnathorst, who said it is just starting to become popular in Iowa.

Schnathorst, who has been practicing four years, said she is one of a few therapists doing the technique in Iowa. Of certified therapists, only about five, including her, are trained in more advanced, two-footed moves, she said.

She was taught at a Des Moines school – where her teacher had learned the technique in India.

Schnathorst advanced from student to become dean of the school.

Marriage brought her to Marshalltown.

Barefoot massage is just one aspect of Schnathorst’s business, aSPArations Salon and Day Spa, 204 S. First Ave., which opened in late July.

It offers hair styling, products and tanning options.

Contact Schnathorst at 641-753-4095 or email