As a brand new professional massage therapist, you are ready to start exercising your skills and building a clientele. The most vital decision you will make as you embark on your career is what kind of massage table you will invest in. The importance of massage tables cannot be overstated: a table is, after all, your bread and butter; and clients will not return if they are not comfortable and fully at ease when in your hands. The question is, then, which type of table will be best for you? Here is a short look at both portable and stationary models to help you decide.
There are two basic types: portable massage tables and stationary massage tables. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the one you choose to buy will depend greatly on the type of business you plan to set up.
Portable Massage Tables
Rather than setting up permanent shop in a salon, many therapists prefer to travel to and from clients' homes, offering the convenience of coming to their homes and giving personalized service in privacy and comfort. For marketing purposes and to get their names known in their communities, many new therapists will also set up a table at local fairs, festivals, and so forth, offering complimentary or reduced-fee massages. Yet others may work several days a week at a salon then work several others at a chiropractor's office. In all of these cases, portable massage tables are the tool of choice because they can be taken virtually anywhere. A good portable model will weigh less than 30 lbs and the frame can either be made of hardwood or metal. The table must offer ease and convenience in setting up and breaking down and it must be designed for strength and especially stability in all situations.
Portability should never mean compromising comfort. Look for high quality models that offer soft polyurethane vinyl with at least 2 1/2 inches of cushioning to help your customers relax happily while under your hands. Portable tables are affordable since most are priced between $200 and $300.
Stationary Massage Tables
Stationary versions are ideal if you are planning on setting up shop in one place and do not plan on visiting clients in their homes or working elsewhere in town. Stationary tables offer the advantage of having self-contained storage cabinets and the therapist can also use a thicker cushion. It is versatile in that it can come with a tilt-top if desired and can have a more deluxe face cradle since its design doesn't have to accommodate portability. Because of all the added features, the cost of a stationary massage table is considerably higher than a portable one. Models can run from $500 for the most basic design to $2000 for one with electric lifts.
Unless they have their own salons, most massage therapists will opt for purchasing portable massage tables since these models are stable and durable yet much more versatile than their stationary counterparts. Buying a table is an important investment; it is wise to take the time to research, assess your clientele's needs, and then make an informed decision.