Looking to Buy a Massage Table?
Most people make use of the floor, couch or bed when sharing massage at home. This is a good idea for the occassional massage exchange.
Investing in a good massage table makes sense if you are in the habit of sharing massage work in your family. The strain on your back and neck that can result from working on the floor can pay big dividends when you use a padded massage table. There are used massage tables available from time to time from massage schools selling used equipment or from massage professionals upgrading their equipment. If there are no such resources available to you, then consider these factors in making a prudent buying decision. Remember that a low price often reflects poor quality or workmanship. You want to feel secure when lying down on that table so you can relax completely. Tables that creak or wiggle do not make for a relaxing experience for those lying on the table.
Choose the width that is comfortable for you to lie on and for ease of reaching a body lying in the middle of the table. The most common widths are 28 -30 inches. When choosing width, you should consider whether of not you are likely to be working on large people, either in body weight or height. If you have the space to set up a wider table, go for the 30 inch wide table.
Most massage tables are manufactured with adjustable legs to accommodate people of all heights. Be sure to set the table at a height that protects your back when giving a massage.
73 inches is the most common length for a portable table. A face cradle adds 8 to 11 inches to the overall length.
These are designed to support the head and neck when lying face down on a massage table. Fixed face cradles are less expensive and support the head/neck in only one position. The more expensive adjustable face cradle is preferable if you have tense upper back and neck muscles, curvature of the spine, tender breasts, or a thick chest. The added comfort afforded by an adjustable face cradle is well worth the extra price. Most table manufacturers charge a separate fee for face cradles.
Working weight is the weight of the massager plus the weight of the recipient. For example, a table with a working weight of 400 pounds, and a massager who weighs 150 pounds, has a maximum weight for the recipient of 250 pounds. Add up the weight of you and the members of your family most likely to be on the table when deciding your needs. If you exceed the working weight of the table, the frame or table top may crack.
Most quality massage tables are covered with a durable vinyl fabric which is resistant to staining and cracking. This is often an area where some manufacturers cut corners to cut costs.
Table companies offer different densities of foam padding for tables. Consider your comfort while lying on the table when deciding on a thickness of foam. You can always add a mattress pad for additional comfort and thickness if you desire to save on the cost of the extra foam padding.
TYPES OF FRAMES and LEGS
Wood: Most tables are constructed of maple or oak. Both are dense hardwoods that are very strong and durable. If overall table weight is of no concern to you go with wood. If weight is of concern, go with aluminum and a thinner foam padding.
Aluminum: Certain companies use aluminum legs to make the table lighter, yet still as sturdy as wood. Wood is still used for the tabletop.
If you know a professional massage therapist you can always ask their opinion about what make and model of table to buy.