resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
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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