resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.