Massage Therapy Equipment: The Best Lotions, Oils, Linens, & More
- October 25, 2018
- Posted by: claudine
- Category: Best Massage Equipment
Massage Therapy Equipment: Our Top Picks
As a massage therapist, you have a lot to think about. Running a massage business is time consuming — and, often times, more than a little hectic. You have advertising to think about, a social media account and website to manage, appointments to sort through, phone calls to return, records to keep, bills to pay…and then, of course, you have to actually give your clients a massage. While you were in massage school, you likely spent the vast majority of your time thinking about the mastery of specific techniques and learning everything you needed to know about human anatomy. And, it goes without saying, you also probably spent a good deal of time thinking about and studying for the massage therapy licensing exam. Without a doubt, these are important things to have on your mind while you’re getting your massage education.
If you’re like most massage therapists, you directed most of your focus after finishing school to all of the details of starting your massage business. Would you go to work for someone else? Would it be best to start small, or go all in? How would you get the word out? Should you focus on a particular specialty within the larger field of bodywork?
One thing that few massage therapists consider in advance, though, is massage therapy equipment. The fact of the matter is that the right equipment is essential to offering your clients the best massage sessions possible. Despite this, though, many massage therapists consider their equipment to be an afterthought. Or, even worse, they simply buy what’s cheapest without putting any thought into the long-term ramifications of those purchases. After all, cheap massage equipment will tend to break down faster, leading to the need to replace various items in a relatively short amount of time.
There’s also something to be said for what your equipment communicates to your clients. A massage therapy practice with high quality, functional equipment is going to feel better (more professional, more inviting, more relaxing, and so on) to your clients than one which is populated with cheap, rickety massage tables and scratchy sheets.
With all of this in mind, we’ve decided to put together a list of our favorite massage equipment. Below, you’ll find our top picks for the best in:
- Massage tables
- Massage lotions
- Massage oils
- Massage linens (including sheets and towels)
Maybe you haven’t launched your practice yet, and you’re still studying for the massage licensing exam. If so, consider this list a primer for your future massage equipment purchases. That said, if you’re already a practicing massage therapist, this list can give you a solid overview of the best equipment out there. When it comes time to replace something in your current practice, you’ll know where to look.
Ready to get started? Here we go!
The Best Massage Tables
Perhaps more than any other item in your massage therapy practice, your massage table is crucially important. The right table will make your work easier, reducing strain on your body over time. It will also be more comfortable for your clients, and will hold up to repeat use. On the flip side, a cheap, poorly designed massage table can result in a terrible client experience — not to mention the need to purchase a new table sooner than you’d think.
Simply put, your massage table should last you many, many years. It’s important to think of it as the largest investment you’re going to make (aside from purchasing a practice location, of course, if you opt to go that route at some point). For this reason, it’s important to think of the cost of a quality table as dispersed over the course of thousands of individual massage sessions. It’s not a bottle of massage oil, after all: you’re not going to use it up and need to purchase another one. That is, assuming you buy a table that’s high enough quality to last indefinitely.
Before we list our favorite tables, there are a few important things to consider. First off, it’s essential to understand that different tables are right for different practices. Are you looking to do a lot of on-site or in-home massage in addition to running a practice somewhere? If so, it probably makes sense to invest in the best portable table you can afford. Are you planning to stay in the same location for many years to come? In this case, a table with an electric lift might be the best choice.
It’s also worth thinking about your own body and your personal ergonomics when selecting a table. If you’re on the shorter side and have a limited reach, don’t choose a table that’s particularly tall and wide. The opposite is true, too, of course: tall massage therapists shouldn’t choose tiny, narrow tables.
With all of this in mind, here are our favorite massage tables.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better portable massage table than this. For being such a strong table (it has a working load of 800 lbs.), it’s incredibly lightweight and portable. It’s also much better padded than the average portable massage table. It also looks sturdy to the casual observer, which is a huge plus. The last thing you want is for your clients to look at your portable table and question whether it’s going to hold their weight when they climb up onto it.
There are a lot of rickety, cheap, poorly designed portable massage tables out there. This one sets the standard for excellence.
As sturdy as the Earthlite portable massage table is, a portable table will never have quite the same sturdy, grounded feel as a stationary table. If you’re not planning on doing mobile massage and don’t have the funds for an electric table, the Master Massage Laguna is an excellent choice for a stationary table.
The Laguna is extremely stable, and features a storage area just above ground level. It features a maximum working load of 1,000 lbs., mean
ing it will feel extremely sturdy even when you’re applying considerable pressure during a massage session.
If you want a reasonably priced, top quality stationary table, this is the one!
No matter how careful you are or how much effort you put into being conscientious about your posture, body mechanics, and so on, there’s no getting around it: being a massage therapist takes a toll on your body. But one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your own body in good health is to ensure that you’re always performing massage at an optimal height.
Different clients will have different morphologies. This means that even if you set your table at a height that works for you most of the time, there will inevitably be clients who are slightly larger or smaller than average. As a result, your body mechanics can be compromised.
Just as importantly, it can be extremely difficult for clients to climb up onto a massage table that’s set at a comfortable height for you to actually perform your massage techniques. Even if you provide clients with a step stool of some kind, there will inevitably be those who simply can’t climb up onto your table. Remember, many of the people who come to see you for massage therapy are in considerable amounts of discomfort. This means that even if it’s technically possible for a client to get up onto your table, it could be extremely painful for them to attempt. And, of course, some clients with disabilities will have issues getting up onto virtually any table that can’t be lowered quite close to the ground.
With all of this in mind, we highly recommend the Earthlite Ellora electric lift massage table as an electric massage table often. Its electric motor features a 600 lb. lift capacity, and it can be lowered all the way down to 18 inches. In fact, this Earthlite Ellora is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA compliant). This means that it’s an excellent choice when it comes to serving clients with disabilities. And while this table is quite expensive, the fact that it’s ADA compliant allows you to apply for an ADA tax credit. This tax credit could save you half the cost of the table come tax time.
Our Favorite Massage Lotions and Oils
No massage would be complete without the proper massage lotion or oil. For certain massage techniques, in fact, the right oil or lotion is an absolute necessity.
There are literally hundreds of options out there, and it can be difficult to know where to start when trying to pick a massage lotion or oil. That said, our picks below feature primarily organic ingredients and little to no scent. Some clients love heavily scented lotions or oils, of course — but it’s important to keep in mind that clients may have sensitive skin and/or sensitive senses of smell. There’s nothing worse than going to get a massage and ending up with a rash as a result of a heavily scented lotion with an ingredient that you’re allergic to.
When it comes to massage lotions, our favorite is Sacred Earth. This unscented massage lotion contains organic ingredients and a variety of herbs that help to lubricate, moisturize, calm, and soothe your clients. It’s also vegan, something that certain clients may be concerned about. Sacred Earth can be ordered in bulk, too, and is paraben and dimethicone free.
As far as oils go, we recommend coconut oil. This product is natural, has little to no scent, and is extremely soothing for your clients’ skin. Coconut oil also contains a number of purported health benefits and healing properties, including the ability to reduce acne, cut down on inflammation, and kill harmful microorganisms. We don’t recommend any particular brand or variety of coconut oil — simply try a brand and see how it works for you. If you prefer not to have to work with a solid oil (coconut oil is solid at room temperature), fractionated coconut oil is an option.
Top Quality Massage Linens
Have you ever spent the night in a cheap hotel? If so, you’ve likely experienced the displeasure of sleeping on rough, scratchy sheets and drying off after a shower with scratchy, stiff, itchy towels. These sorts of cheap linens literally communicate the opposite of luxury and comfort.
At your massage practice, you want clients to feel pampered. Your sheets should be soft and smooth to the touch, and any towels you use should be thick, soft, and gentle. Not only will cheap linens be uncomfortable for your clients — they’ll also fall apart quickly, and before you know it you’ll have to purchase new ones.
While some massage therapists opt for microfiber sheets for ultimate softness, we recommend cotton flannel sheets. Specifically, For Pro Premium Flannel Massage Sheets are an excellent choice. They offer an unparalleled level of softness, and do a better job at regulating body temperature than microfiber. In the summertime, flannel sheets will keep your clients cool. In the winter, they’ll help your clients stay warm on the table.
When it comes to selecting towels, we recommend looking for a balance of quality and affordability. You’ll be washing your towels constantly, which means that even the best towels will eventually start to stiffen and fall apart. Plus, your towels will be exposed to oil on a regular basis, making oil stains an issue. For this reason, white is an excellent color choice.
Massage Licensing Exam
Well, there you have it: our top picks for massage tables, lotions, oils, sheets, and towels. With the above items, you’ll be ready to offer your clients a top-notch massage session.
Of course, if you’ve just completed your massage education program, you’ll need to complete the massage licensing exam (or MBLEx exam) before you can begin your career journey. While the prospect of taking the MBLEx might feel overwhelming, we’ve got good news: Bamboo™ can help! We offer the best in massage licensing exam preparation, including custom tailored and adaptive practice exams with unlimited attempts and thousands of questions. Our massage exam prep services are easy to access and incredibly affordable. Ready to get started? Click here to sign up now!