Founder's Vision


Ruthie Piper Hardee, the founder of Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy® is the original pioneer of gravity assisted barefoot-bar massage used in the spa and massage industry today. She invented the Hardee-Ashiatsu Portable Bar apparatus which is utilized worldwide.

Ruthie was born in Tampa, Florida and first studied massage therapy in southern California in 1990. She became National Certified and licensed through Florida in 1995. Relocating to Texas in 1996 required yet another state licensure and more classes. However she has always been drawn to the powers of “healing others” before she ever enrolled in a massage school.

Her grandfather, Arthur L. Piper M.D., served for 40 years in Africa and affected the lives of thousands of Congolese, Europeans and Americans. He built the first medical hospital in the Belgian Congo in a small rural native village called Kapanga. Her mother was the first white baby born at Kapanga and later became a nurse to assist her father, Dr. Piper.


Ruthie’s father was a doctor as well, specializing in treatments for tropical diseases.
Both parents served as medical missionaries in Africa and traveled all over the world aiding various medical dispensaries. Ruthie and her older sister had the good fortune to travel with them on numerous projects. Ruthie was exposed to various “healing rituals” being performed in regions of India, Africa, and the Philippines.

Ruthie accidentally stumbled into a situation in the Philippines one day and unbeknownst to her, she was watching something that would change her life forever. In a public gathering place outside the Menora Hotel in Manila, there were rows of padded cots and an assembly line of petite women massaging as many as five men at the same time under one roof. All would hold onto a long, wooden bar spanning the entire ceiling, sometimes engaged in very loud conversation with each other as they pummeled and rocked through the men’s clothing. One of the women even had a baby on her back while massaging her patient. 
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