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HOW TO CHOOSE A MASSAGE TABLE

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HOW TO CHOOSE A MASSAGE TABLE

07/02/2018

Picking The Right Width:

In your practice you will come across a wide range of body types. Some will be tall and others short, some wide and others narrow. Your massage table needs to be wide enough that all kinds of customers will be comfortable, while allowing you to deliver an effective treatment without putting strain on your own body.

The best table width for you will really depend on your training and ability. Each therapist is different, and wants different things from their table. We often speak with smaller therapists who opt for a 30-32” table, and very tall therapists who decide that the narrower 28” table is a better fit. It really depends on you.

A good rule of thumb, though, is that if you are a smaller person, you might be better off with a narrower table of 28”. If you’re taller, or it’s very important that your clients have lots of room, a table in the 30-32” range is better.

If you’re unsure about the right fit for you, head down to your local training college or therapy room. Ask to see the tables they use, and find out how wide those tables are. You can then work out whether you need something of a similar size, or need something wider or narrower.

If that’s not possible, however, there is a work-around you can use to figure out what width to choose:

Cut out a few pieces of cardboard in the widths you are trying to choose between. Lay each piece over the kitchen table and lean over it. Imagine having a client on that cut-out in order to see if they will have enough space and if you will be comfortable working over it.

massage-table-width

You want to be sure you can get close enough to the table that you can comfortably square your shoulders to the clients’ hips, having pivoted at the waist to have your hands parallel to their spine. This position will protect you from developing an injury, so it’s vital to factor this into your choice.

The industry standard width is 30”, as this suits most clients very well. While we do offer 28” tables, they are best suited to therapists who are shorter in height and are at risk of back strain with a normal table.

The other reason to choose a 28” table would be if you need an extremely light table. By making the table a little narrower, we can reduce the overall weight of the table too. If you are a mobile therapist, having a very light table is worthwhile – even if it means a little less client comfort – as you will be carrying the table frequently and need to avoid injury.

In recent years, massage table design has had some very innovative developments. One of these is the introduction of hourglass-shaped massage tables, which solves many of the problems therapists commonly experience with their tables.

Hourglass massage tables have a tapered shape, being wider at the ends and narrower in the middle. This makes the table very comfortable for the client, while caring for your posture and health, as the client has 30-32” in the shoulder and leg areas, while you get much greater access over the 26-28” center zone.

Height of the Table

While width is a key factor, it’s also very important to think of the length of your massage table. Having enough length can significantly increase the comfort your clients experience. These days, most tables come with removable face cradles, which can add plenty of extra length for even very tall clients.

The standard length for most tables is 73”. You can, however, get shorter models if you particularly want one.

Adding an adjustable face cradle to the end of the table will usually add 7.5” to 9” to the total length. For a regular length table, that will bring the total up to around 80” or 82”. As the face cradles are removable, they lend a lot of flexibility to your treatment options.

When you’re trying to settle on the best length, there are really only two things you need to consider:

If you are a mobile therapist, a shorter table can mean less weight to be carrying around every day. However, it also means that tall clients may experience a little ‘overhang’ at the end of the table.

As long as the table you choose has a breath hole and removable face cradle, you will have all the flexibility you need across treatments.

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