resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
May, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 05
The Truth About Import Tables
By Michael Callara
Editor's note: In the spirit of healthy debate, and in order to provide our readers a comprehensive look at all sides of an issue, the following article is offered as counterpoint to Linda Riach's article, "The Hidden Costs of Purchasing Massage Tables," in the January 2004 issue of Massage Today.View Linda's article at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/02/12.html.
The massage table industry, like many others, has seen an import trend over the last several years. And with import tables now outselling domestically manufactured tables, this trend is likely to continue. To help student and professional massage therapists make a more informed decision when purchasing a portable massage table, this article will examine some facts about purchasing import tables.
After years of losing market share to import tables some leading equipment manufacturers and distributors have taken unfair aim at the import table market by making false and misleading blanket statements about product quality, safety, factory working conditions, and other issues. Many of these statements are little more than self-serving attempts to dissuade consumers from purchasing import tables altogether.
Satisfying the need for a value-priced massage table intended for home use, import massage tables began appearing in a variety of catalogs, nearly five years ago. Enjoying explosive growth, today import tables can be found in many upscale catalogs, including SkyMall, Hammacher-Schlemmer, Sharper Image and Frontgate; and can also be found on several e-commerce Web sites, as well as "big box" retailers, such as Costco and Sam's Club. Along the way, these import tables (designed for home use) began appearing in massage schools throughout the country, purchased by students who were unable or unwilling, to spend up to $700 or more for a portable massage table package to begin their careers. This trend demonstrated a need for value-priced professional massage equipment, and in the last couple of years, some select import tables have made considerable improvements to overall product quality, further enhancing their value.
In an effort to recapture lost market share and needing to offer a better value to the massage student and professional therapist, many domestic manufacturers are incorporating more foreign-made parts and accessories into their products. These items include table hardware, components, carrying cases, bolsters, and a variety of other accessories. "Professional quality import massage tables is now our fastest growing equipment category," says Brennan LeBlanc of www.massageking.com (a massage therapy equipment distributor), "and now account for better than 50 percent of all table sales."
It is a well-known fact that labor rates in some Asian countries are far below the labor rates of North America. Does this mean that the labor is exploited? Not necessarily. Wages are lower, yet they are in line with the cost of living and standards of living in these different economies. Numerous labor laws protect the workforce in these countries, and the employees appreciate the jobs and opportunities they now have. In addition to reduced labor expenses, the cost of materials is also lower.
With lower labor rates and the lack of government over-regulation, raw materials are lower in cost, though not necessarily lower in quality. In these emerging economies all levels of quality of raw materials are available at substantial savings. Not offering the full complement of custom options offered by leading American manufacturers, import tables are most often produced to industry standards that account for more than 80 percent of all portable table sales.
This allows import tables to be manufactured in a more streamlined, highly efficient manner, reducing manufacturing costs, and facilitating an even greater value. In nearly every industry, import products entering the market have had a long-term positive impact, from improved competition with more product choices, to improving our own economy as a result of the higher value offered by import products.
Something that would make any domestic portable table manufacturer envious is the fact that professional quality import massage tables are manufactured in ISO-9001-certified facilities [set forth by the International Organization of Standardization]. This certification is an internationally recognized manufacturing quality standard, and serves as an assurance of quality throughout the entire manufacturing process.
As with any product, regardless of where it is manufactured, there are varying levels of quality available. This is equally true for both the domestic and import massage table markets. Import massage tables today are of higher quality, as a whole." Quality import tables not only give a better value to the buyer; they also improve the competition in the same market," says Greg Holt, a massage equipment industry consultant. You can now find import tables that are UL-listed [through Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.], and more impressively, some professional quality import tables are now backed by an industry leading lifetime warranty. These professional grade import tables are designed and tested to withstand the rigors of repeated heavy use.
Quality import tables are available if you know what to look for. Begin by looking for quality materials. Look for select grade hardwoods used on the frame and understruc-ture for superior strength and stability. Quality hardware, such as carbon steel, will also add to the strength and durability of your equipment. High-quality, furniture-grade, multi-layer foams enhance client comfort and overall durability. Another key feature to look for is a quality, 100 percent polyurethane vinyl with a thick fabric backing for outstanding performance and durability.
Perhaps the most important indication of product quality is the warranty offered. A table that is poorly constructed, or utilizes inferior materials, will not hold up to the rigors of professional use, and will have a warranty of one year (or less), and is often not recommended for professional use. Conversely, most import tables that offer lifetime warranties are skillfully crafted of high-quality materials, and are designed and tested to provide exceptional strength and durability with continued heavy use.
Research indicates that today's consumers are more value-driven than ever before. Today's quality import massage tables offer a value that better meets this need and may soon set a new standard of value for professional therapy equipment. "I'm impressed with the quality of these new-generation import tables that are designed for professional use; they bring a higher level of value to the market," says LeBlanc.
Over the past 25 years, American table companies have enjoyed robust sales growth and profits, while facing little domestic and no foreign competition. Now that the landscape has forever changed, and American table companies are forced to "hold their own" in today's global economy, things could get worse before they get better for domestic manufacturers. Industry experts believe that many domestic table manufacturers will need to focus more on value to remain competitive in this new business landscape.
An often overlooked benefit from the growth in home-use massage tables (a market that was created by the introduction of import tables) is that more people then ever are discovering the many benefits of massage, which should help fuel future growth of touch therapy. This directly benefits the massage industry on many levels, and strengthens the outlook of the industry as a whole.
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