resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
January, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 01
Things to Consider Before You Buy
By Angie Patrick
In massage therapy, one of the biggest purchases you will make is your massage table. Choosing the proper table and accessories to buy can be a daunting task. There are so many choices, so many manufacturers, a multitude of table names, varied widths, specialized uses and a rainbow of colors. Whether I am on a trade show floor, speaking at a school or in our call center, the same concerns seem to be global in the industry. How can I possibly make an informed choice with so many decisions to make?
I would like to share with you some bits of information I hope may help you sort through some of the options and enable you to make the right choice for your needs, your body type and your budget. In this article, you will find some of the more frequently asked questions answered in a non-biased and informative manner. By taking the time to consider some of the points to follow, you can be confident you have made the best possible buying decision for you and your unique needs.
How do I plan on using my table?
You may be a spa company, student, seasoned professional, homemaker or a grandparent buying a gift for a loved one. What are your specific reasons for purchasing a massage table? Will you have a brick-and-mortar business? Or will you be on the road? Are you specializing in mobile therapy at sports events or will you be seeing individual clients? Once you have firmly established your needs for a table then making some of the other choices gets a bit easier.
How much can I afford to spend?
Believe it or not, this decision is not driven by budget alone. Once you have decided your intended use, you can weigh out the benefits of an open-end model as opposed to a more professiona-grade table. For instance, an average consumer wanting a massage table in their home will not have the same requirements a professional massage therapist will have. The needs are different.
Some will tell you to buy the most expensive table you can find because they equate cost with quality. Others will tell you to spend as little as possible because they are penny-wise and pound-foolish. The truth is, high cost does not always indicate quality and a less expensive table is not always a lesser quality table. The most important thing to remember is to buy professional-grade equipment for your practice.
You do not have to spend a great deal to spend wisely. The most economical purchase a massage therapist can make is an informed purchase. Investing in a product that can withstand repeated usage day after day, is far more economical than replacing a table every three years. Over the long haul, what features will withstand the ravages of time and usage? Comparing woods, vinyl, hinges, face rests, joints and support cables can help you decide what will best fit your needs.
What width table do I need?
This often is the biggest reason for buyer's remorse among therapists. The old adage "bigger is better" does not always apply to massage tables. Your own body style has a great deal to do with the width of the table that you will find most comfortable day after day.
If you choose a table too wide for your body type, you can begin using improper body mechanics and cause yourself discomfort and stress to your lower back. In most cases, if your height is approximately 5'4" to 6'5", I suggest the use of a table from 29" to 31". The most popular and widely recognized standard size table is 30" in width. This table accommodates most therapists, and a large percentage of clients will fit comfortably on this size table. If you are more petite, you may need to consider a table 28" - 29" wide. If you are taller in stature, you may want to consider tables 32" and up.
What height range should I look for?
Table height is determined by practitioner stature and the modality they practice. The majority of portable tables on the market today can adjust to a varied height of 24" to 34" or higher. This can accommodate most needs and is widely accepted as the average. Some modalities require the table to adjust lower or even lie flat on the floor. For example, shiatsu and Feldenkrais both require lower adjustment. Look at your needs to determine if this is a feature you will require in your regular practice. Keep in mind proper body mechanics when you are considering a table. You do not want to lean over too far and cause stress on your back; conversely, you do not want to stand on your toes to reach the mid-back of a client. Protecting your own health is paramount because an injured therapist is an unemployed therapist.
Is table weight really important?
Most wooden portable tables weigh in ranges of 30 lbs to 38 lbs. You also can purchase some well-made aluminum models that are 21 lbs to 29 lbs. You should think about how often you will be transporting your table. If you are planning to work outcalls, then weight is a factor. Keep in mind your carry case, face cradle, sheets, fleece pad, table warmers, oils, tools and bolsters will add weight to your transport. It's important to choose a quality carry case with cross-body, carry straps to minimize the wear and tear on your body.
One amazing little miracle designed to save the therapist's back was the invention of the table cart. These fabulous little devices are fantastic for a mobile therapist and can alleviate much of the transport woes for your table and peripheral products. Thanks to the genius of this cart, you can consider a heavier table and know that you will only be lifting it in and out of the car, rather than carrying it from the car to the client's door.
Should I invest in an adjustable face rest?
In all things, a positive first impression is key. When it comes to the comfort of your client, nothing should be left to chance. There are a wide variety of manufacturers producing adjustable headrests and most are well worth the investment. A few things to look for are quiet release knobs, easy adjustment and overall strength. Your clients will feel you have provided a more personalized treatment if you can adjust the headrest to fit their comfort level. To go one step beyond the adjustable cradle, perhaps you should consider a memory- foam face rest. This table additive can enhance the overall massage experience by reducing facial pressure points and preventing sinus pain. This also can make the best of a standard non-adjustable platform if budgetary restraints are an issue. In most cases, manufacturers offer their tables in packages and often include a carry case and adjustable face rest.
Endplates? What are endplates?
You often will have an option of choosing standard or Reiki endplates. The differences are subtle but important. Many modalities, including varied types of energy work, require you to position your knees under the table while seated. If you practice one of these modalities or like the idea of enjoying that capability, then you will want to ask for Reiki endplates. These are the support beams on the ends of the tables and can be built to allow easy access for your legs. If your planned modality will not require you to work in a seated position, you will do well with standard endplates that cross the lower portion of the table.
I have no idea what color to choose! So many choices!
Individual tastes vary, but ultimately there are a few colors that have been proven to be tried and true favorites: teal, agate, black, burgundy, green, tan and purple. But even though these are the most commonly stocked and readily available does not mean they are the only options. In fact, there are so many colors on the market the choices are virtually endless. Ultimately, your table rarely will be seen by anyone, given you have properly layered it with a body warmer, fleece pad, fitted sheet, top sheet and blanket. Perhaps you will leave your table stationary for the most part and have décor to consider, or you may want to be bold and make a personal statement. In either case, manufacturers have a wide array of colors to suit your needs. Some colors may require special ordering and may take a bit longer to ship. So just have fun, and do what makes YOU feel good!
I have seen tables at discount/wholesale clubs with a great price. They look OK, so why should I continue to look?
Have you ever heard that beauty is only skin deep? It can be especially true of discount or bargain store tables. Here are a few things to consider when you are comparing tables.
Wood: You should look for well-made construction of hardwoods such as oak, birch, bamboo or maple. Avoid soft woods your fingernail can sink into. Soft wood means low weight support, and can result in table warping and bowed legs.
Hinges: Additionally, you should pay attention to the hinges used to join the two halves of your table. A full-length hinge is best in avoiding table torque and twist. The center of your table is its weakest point. You should be sure the hinges are built to withstand weight and repeated usage.
Foam Density: "Discount" tables often have a 2" - 2.5" single layer of foam or less. This will not withstand repeated usage on a professional level. These are better suited for the consumer who is looking for a table for home use. For better comfort over the life span of your table, I recommend tables with double- or triple-layered 2.5" foam systems or higher. Most professional-grade tables have a multi-layered 2.5" - 3" or higher foam system, built to withstand the needs of the professional user. Multiple layers of foam in varied densities help to prevent the client from eventually "bottoming out" on the platform of the table. The single- layer, single-density foams have a distinct habit of wearing out and breaking down with repeated use.
Noise Reduction: After time, some discount membership club tables can begin to squeak and creak, leaving the client uncomfortable and concerned about the table integrity and ability to support their weight. Tables built with the professional in mind will have squeak-resistant legs and joints, built to withstand continuous use.
Some Basic Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Table
Just as with your car, truck, lawnmower, or any other equipment you depend on, your table requires maintenance. I suggest going over your table once a month to make sure the wheel knobs are securely tightened. Check your table legs to inspect for any fractures or cracks that may have developed. If you have screws or bolts, check them to make certain they are tight and secure. If you take the time to make sure your table is performing up to par, you will lessen the likelihood of mishaps and table failures.
There are many manufacturers and retailers that provide professional products. Most have very informative Web sites you can peruse and see images of the tables before you buy. Do your research online and make the comparisons. You are now armed with a bit of knowledge that should make choosing the right table much easier.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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