How To Choose The Right Massage Therapy Tables and Accessories

blacl-and-white-pic-of-woman-lying-on-massage-table.jpgWhen I first started massage therapy I had an interesting experience. I bought the wrong table. Sure it was great for the client; nice and thickly padded, soft head piece and comfy foot bolster…but after three massages and found my arms were aching.

Not having the experience or maturity as a massage therapist I did what most young people do; try and make it work. I told myself it was just me and there was nothing wrong with the table. After all I had paid $170 for it and I was determined to get my moneys worth as a massage therapy tool I would value.

After ten massages of this confounded thing I took it back. My massage therapy treatments just felt hard and difficult to apply to my clients. Massage was feeling like too much hard work. So I went into another store called Firm N Fold and explained my problem to the assistant there.

“It’s your table, it’s at the wrong height, its 5 cm too high for you” she said kindly.

I was really surprised. How could something so small cause so much of a problem. After all by this stage I was the one needed massage! My arms and now lower back were starting to give me trouble.

She explained to me, and I understood being a massage therapist, that repetitive movements at a fraction just too high can put stress on the muscles and joints through slight hyperextension. Over time small increments of hyperextension fatigues the muscles that you use for massage.

She then asked me to stand straight. I did so out of curiosity. She then placed her thumb on my hip and said “your table should come no higher than your hip joint. In fact a little lower to allow for the height of the body.”

My current massage table was higher than my hip joint by about an inch. Just enough to wear any massage therapist out!

From then on I knew how to choose my massage table. I ended up getting one customer made which made an immediate difference on the way I felt in doing my massage. I was comfortable and relaxed in my upper body, arms and shoulders and lower back too. It was a much better state to be in.

Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the right massage table and accessories.

Firstly having a table that’s adjustable is the ideal. All different clients come to different heights on the table according to their body weight. Not two people are the same, and as a massage therapist no will appreciate this more! So don’t be afraid to get a massage table customer made that’s also adjustable.

Comfort. Once you’ve got the table height suited to your height then think about this next aspect to look for. Table Padding. A lot of massage tables can be really hard to lie on. That’s ok if you’ve got a good lot of padding you can throw on the massage table, but again that will raise each person by a few centimeters. Its best to find a table with really comfortable padding yet has durability too.

The massage table padding naturally has a lot of bearing on client comfort, but not just to lie on. If the massage table is well padded you can lean against it yourself whilst massaging them. There are a few massage table companies who offer double and triple foam padded massage tables such as Stronglite and Oakworks.

Don’t be confused by lots of foam padding equaling density to firmness. The actual mass thickness that makes up the density of the massage table relates to the weight of the foam, not how soft or firm the massage table is.

The face rest should be able to slide into the massage table easily, without stiffness or problems. It should be adjustable and very comfortable for the client. There should be adequate face-space so the client can breathe comfortably.

You can also add some luxury to your massage table by purchasing an arm support. The arm support is a padded piece that sits under your face piece. Like a platform to rest their arms on. This is especially effective if your client has a shoulder problem and has trouble hanging their arms down or placing them by their side face down. The arm support provides extra comfort for the client. If your client has a problem in their shoulder area, you can use the arm support to open up the Trapezius and Rhomboid areas very effectively.

The same goes with finding a massage table bolster. The massage bolsters are a firm foam padded piece that is placed under the clients ankles to raise the feet, which in turn takes pressure of the clients lower back. This is a brilliant massage accessory because of the amount of people with lower back pain. It’s more comfortable to have it raised high enough that their toes are not touching the table.

This will make your job as a massage therapist easier and more enjoyable; taking the pressure of your body as well as providing superb comfort for your client. After-all there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable on the massage table!

So think about these things with much consideration and you will find you can last in this business a lot longer and you will be able to provide excellent service to your clients.

Amy Roberts

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1 Response to “How To Choose The Right Massage Therapy Tables and Accessories”


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