Massage > Massage Tables
working on a bed or floor is possible, a purpose made massage table is ideal for
your own health and ease of egress as well as being a good comfort option for
clients. Tables which are portable and easy to carry are also a good option for
anyone on the move or who does not have a room exclusive for massage. Portable
tables fold up and the smaller ones can be carried like a suitcase as in the
image right while the larger tables often come with a carry strap which can be
placed over your shoulder.
Click on the table images to learn more about that table and its options.
tables range in weight from about 12 to 20kgs depending on size and
construction. This table to the left complete with accessories is about 18kg.
In terms of height and width, it depends to some degree on your style of
massage and the person you are treating as well as your own stature and
Ideally your table will have a height adjustment so when massaging a
slim/small person you can set the table up higher and when massaging a big
person, you can set it down lower. In terms of width, if you are short, a
narrower table is better so you can reach over, however a 600mm wide table may
mean that your clients arms will hang down and if you have a forward arm rest as
in the table left, that's ok.
The standard table with is 700mm and many like an 800mm wide table which is
sometimes better for stronger work or when you want to climb on the table.
In terms of height, the tables I use adjust from 620mm-880mm from the floor and
as I am 6', I have my table set at a height of about 650mm for most people and
700mm for smaller clients.
The modern tables you see here have wooden legs with one part which can be
adjusted by undoing the bolt and moving the leg up or down. It takes 2-3 minutes
to adjust all 4 legs.
These tables have a combination wooden strut and under-wire bracing system
that provides great strength and stability. The Orion model right has a single
under-wire support which is adequate for most general massage treatments,
whereas the top left image has a double under-wire bracing system for much
greater strength suited to massaging very big people or sitting on the table
yourself. Both tables support over 200kg.
The table tops have a wooden frame with a plywood base. I suggest that if you
get an 800mm wide table or if you plan on lots of heavy duty work on a 700mm
wide table, have this upgraded to a thicker than standard ply as if a client
slips, they can accidentally put their elbow though it.
A high density foam makes the surface more comfortable and for added comfort
I prefer extra than standard thickness and most tables are covered with standard
marine grade vinyl which is about as strong as you can get, however soft touch
vinyl is another comfort bonus..
A head extension or a face hole in the table?
If you have a space restriction,
you need a face hole in the table. Older tables and the Cloud 9 tables in
particular had a reputation for discomfort due to poor design and a lack of
padding, however the latest Aurora tables have reduced this problem. The major
drawback with the face hole is when the person turns over, the hole is in the
way. You need to cover this hole either with the hole plug that comes with the
table or a pillow. Or a smaller person may slide down a bit, but then their head
may be out of reach as your come to that part of the massage, or they can slide
up, but still the hole must be covered else a draft flows around their neck.
If limited space is a consideration, get a table with a face hole and a face
An adjustable face extension is a must for any serious practitioner. The
adjustment allows for better access to the neck as tilting it down a little
elongates the clients neck.
Rounded corners; when you're busy, occasionally the square corners will catch
your thigh as you move round and I recommend the rounded corners.
Using Your Table
As you see in the image above, set-up is very quick although if you're in a
confined space, be careful you don't knock anything. When you have your table on
its feet, check the wooden stays are straight and the table is set level. From
here you can cover with sheets or towels ready for your client, or is you
massage on the bare vinyl, sterilise the surface before and after use.
How you stand and use your body to affect the massage determines how you are
during and after the massage. If your table is to high, you will have problems,
and if its torn low you will have problems and a great many therapists have
ended their careers due to the wrong table height, the wrong foot positions,
over bending their back and overworking their arms and shoulders.
Ideally as you stand beside your table, you stand near the middle with your
table side leg back toward the foot of the table and your heel turned out. Your
other leg is forward with the foot parallel to the table.
You move your entire body with each stroke so that you can lean your upper
body weight into your arms and hands without using much arm and shoulder
strength. Try bringing your weight forward
as you effleurage from the hips to the shoulders - bend your forward knee and
raise the heel on the back foot. To return simply straighten the forward leg and
rest the heel down. You can come back further by bending your back leg and
raising the ball of your front foot.
So if you're looking for a good table or want one made to your own
specifications, visit the team at
Aurora, and they also have good range of oils, balms and waxes. Prices
are in NZ$
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