Why having the right tools matter to your spa or massage practice
By Jean Shea on Jul 16, 2015
No matter what profession you are in, you want to have the best tools. Not only will the right equipment make you more effective, it will help ensure a better quality service offering for your clients. If you are buying massage equipment for your spa or massage practice to get your business off the ground or are thinking it’s time to replace current equipment, there are some things you’ll want to consider.
Select a massage table that works for you and your clients
You want to buy a massage table that fits your needs and preferences and also ensures that your treatment is as effective as possible. If the client is uncomfortable, for example, your skillful treatment will be ineffective. The following tips can help you decide which table to buy:
Flat or Tilting:The type of massage you offer will determine if you need a flat or tilting table. Flat top tables are the most common treatments. Tilting tables, also called Reiki, enable you to lift one section into a vertical position.
Table Weight:The weight of the table matters. If your work is mobile, you’ll want a lighter more portable table. Also consider static versus working weight. The static weight of the table refers to the weight of the table itself; whereas working weight indicates how much weight the table can hold with someone lying on it. The type of massage you perform will determine the working weight you need. If you are working on clients who weigh more or use techniques such as shiatsu where you stand on the table, you’ll want a table that can support a high working weight. Tables can range anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds.
Padding for Durability and Comfort:The firmer the padding the more durable it will be; however, soft padding will be more comfortable. WikiHow suggests that softer padding works well for ‘soft techniques’ such as Swedish massage; while thicker, denser padding should be used for harder techniques such as sports massage.
Table Length and Width:The width of the table is important for the comfort of your client and you. Make sure that your massage table is wide enough to accommodate all kinds of clients and doesn’t put a strain on your body. Massage therapists and blogger Kim Davenport writes in “Massage Supplies: Tips on Selecting the Right Tables and Chairs” that the standard widths of massage tables available are 28 inches and 30 inches, with narrower tables available for massage therapists who are shorter than average heights. She recommends that the best and most comfortable table length to choose would be 73 inches as it can easily cater to most of your clients.
Consider care and comfort in choosing linens
Your choice of linens ranges from cottons and blends to flannels. Sheets that are 100 percent cotton are soft and comfortable and tend to release oils more easily than blends. Flannel sheets are preferable if you want to provide extra comfort and warmth.
Choose from an array of massage lubricants
You can choose between a wide range of massage oils, lotions, cremes and body butters and gels. While personal preference will play a role in your decision making, so will the type of massage therapy. Some modalities are better suited to cremes; others work best with oils, lotions or gels. Whatever you massage lubricant you choose; be sure to get the results you want both in terms of workability and what clients prefer.
Music and lighting make a different
The tools of your trade also include what you choose to create a pleasant and relaxing environment for clients. When it comes to lighting, natural light or floor or table lamps are so much more pleasant than fluorescent ceiling lights. You can create a different atmosphere in each of your rooms by choosing different but always subtle lighting.
If you want to create a truly relaxing environment for your massage clients, make sure that music is a key part of the experience. Select music with the goal of building a library of selections to meet the tastes and needs of your various clients and their moods. Music should be in the background and not so loud or intrusive that your client thinks more about the music than the massage. Also avoid music with a distinct tune or sing-a-long type lyrics since they can interfere with a client’s ability to relax.
There are many things to consider as you build up your tool chest of essential equipment for massage. Take time to explore options and ask questions to ensure you make the right purchases for your needs and the satisfaction and comfort of your clients.