Massage and other such fascinating things

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How To Choose A Massage Table

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Doreen massaging in Lanzarote where we were running a course

When choosing your massage table…ask yourself the following questions…

  • How often are you going to use your massage table? If you’ll have light usage then you might find that a cheaper, less substantial model, would be ok for your use. If you’re planning to use the table more often, then it’s probably worth investing in a more substantial model. There’s a lot of choice out there and prices are pretty reasonable.
  • Where are you going to use the massage table? In your home only? Is it going to be set up in a room and not likely to be moved around much? Then maybe a heavier, non-folding table will fit the bill. Or even – budget allowing – a hydraulic table that you can adjust very easily either with a lever you pump with your foot or a button you push. These are very heavy and once in place not easy to move, but can be easily adjusted with the client on the table. If the room has other uses and you need to set up your table, then set it down again on a regular basis, then a folding table is the one for you.
  • Will you be visiting clients in their homes? You’ll  need to ensure that you’re able to lift the table in and out of your car fairly easily; and also carry it in and out of your clients’ homes (and sometimes up and down stairs) with relative ease. You can buy lightweight tables (around 7kg) which are really easy to transport, yet sturdy too. Though they’re more costly than heavier tables. If you don’t have a car but still would like to offer a mobile service, trolleys are available. Also check this link.
  • If you’re working in a health club, clinic or spa…do they have massage tables already? So do you need to buy one of your own at all?

We’d recommend the minimum requirements you’ll need are…easily adjustable height legs (so you can adjust the height up or down to suit how you work and to suit the frame of your individual clients); a face cradle (so you’re able to step around to the side of the face cradle – which is attached to one end – and maintain good postural alignment; it also makes your table longer for taller clients).

Generally massage tables are 24-28 inches wide and 72 inches long (excluding the face cradle). Some tables have a facehole set in the table itself instead of a face cradle. This means that taller clients will have their feet dangling off the end which may compromise their comfort. It also means that you might compromise your posture.

Narrower tables sometimes come with arm extensions but wider tables are available that are more comfortable for clients with larger frames. The downside is they are also heavier so less portable and could be more challenging to the therapist’s posture as you’ll may need to lean further across the table than usual.

Some massage tables have adjustable back rests which are great for clients who are unable to lie down, or if you practice another therapy such as reflexology or Thai foot massage.


Happy massaging!
Doreen and Dympna 🙂