If you're a massage student looking to buy your first massage table, it can be overwhelming to see all the choices available to you. Now that you're taking a massage class, you're itching to get your first massage table, so you can start practicing on friends and family!
So, what is the right table for you and your needs? There are different things to think about when choosing a table, and below I've highlighted some things you'll want to think about. While most tables look similar, there are actually some differences that may appear small, but can make a huge difference in the table you choose.
For instance, tables can be found in a standard size, or you can order them wide or narrow. If you're a shorter person with shorter arms, you may find a more narrow table would work better for you.
You'll also have to decide if you'll want a table that is portable or stationary. This is an important decision, especially if you're going to bring your table with you. You may even want to consider a massage chair.
With many companies to choose from, you'll come across brands, such as Oakworks, EarthLite, Master, Astra-Lite, Nautilus, EarthGear, StrongLite and Custom Craftworks just to name a few! With a little time and research, you'll find the perfect massage table for your needs.
One of the things you'll want to look at is the padding on the table. This is something you'll want to think about based on the modalities you'll be practicing. If you're doing deeper work, you won't want as much padding as someone who does primarily Swedish massage. Also, consider your client will be on the table from 30 to 90 minutes. You can also buy a separate pad at a later date if you choose to add more. I personally would recommend to buy the best padding you can afford. Don't forget to specify if you want medium or high-density foam.
One thing many people get caught up on is the color of the massage table. A gentle reminder that sheets will be on your table may help you realize it's really not as important as you make it out to be. While you may love a purple, blue or yellow table, you won't be seeing that table except for a quick change of sheets!
It's exciting to pick out your first massage table. Before jumping in though, consider that if you're in school, your school may have a discount program, so check first. You can also find channels online for a large choice of tables, as well as checking such places as eBay. My biggest recommendation would be to go to a showroom and try them out, if you have one nearby. Get on the table and see how it feels.
When looking at the table size, consider the standard length runs 73 inches. You can also order tables that range in length from 65 to 85 inches. Width is another place where you can find different sizes. Most massage tables range from 25 to 32 inches wide.
When choosing a cradle or headrest, there are different types once again. One is fixed, which you remove by pulling it out when not using it, while the other is adjustable and collapses when it's not in use. Which will you want?
Another option is looking at end plates. Based on the modality, you'll want to decide if you want open end plates or closed. If you will be practicing reiki, you'll want open end plates. This way you can place your legs under the table while practicing.
Will you be doing Shiatsu massage with clients? You'll want to look for a table that allows you to fold the legs beneath the table, so you can place it on the floor.
Sometimes you'll see the letters "UL" when a table is described. What that means is the table you're looking at has been through an independent test, and it passed criteria, such as weight bearing. Look for these letters when selecting your table.