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Tao Trading, Corp., Massage Equipment & Supplies, Chicago, IL

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Massage Table Buyers' Guide - BestMassage The Super Store for Bodyworkers
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Massage Table Buyer’s Guide

What is the best table for my practice?
What tables are best for Ashiatsu massage?
What tables are best for Ayurvedic therapy?
What tables are best for using Cranial Sacral techniques?
What tables are best for Osteopathic therapy?
What tables are best for Reiki?
What tables are best for Shiatsu and Thai massage?
What tables are best for acupuncture?
What tables are best for Acupressure massage?
What types of tables are good for beauty work as well as massage?
What tables are best for using Cranial Sacral techniques?
What tables are best for deep tissue massage?
What tables are best for Myofascial Release massage?
What tables are best for Osteopathic therapy?
What tables are best for sports massage?
What tables are best for Stone massage?
What tables are best for Swedish or Classic massage?
What tables are best for trigger point?
What table size is best for me?
Which thickness of foam should I look for in a table?
What is the advantage of the double lock system?
What is the patented Auto Lock Frame and Leg System?
How much weight does a BodyChoice Massage™ Table support?
What is a UL Listing?
What should I do to keep my massage table in good condition?


What is the best table for my practice?

We sell tables for all purposes and types of massage. Of course, personal preference comes into play when choosing a massage table but there are also some basic guidelines to follow.  Below, are questions we commonly receive with regards to what tables are best for specific massage techniques. Because the tables we offer change from time to time, we will discuss what features to look for in a table, rather than recommend specific models.

What tables are best for Ashiatsu massage?

The main concerns with Ashiatsu are that a table is very strong, stable and sufficiently wide. Check the working weight in the technical details of a given table’s information to verify that it is high enough to satisfy your needs. In the case of Ashiatsu, we recommend a table that can support the full combined weight of you and a client, even though the bars take much of your weight during a treatment. Many of our clients who are Ashiatsu practitioners choose a stationary table for the clinic because they can support a very large amount of weight and also because therapists who use bars to support themselves in an Ashiatsu treatment are typically not mobile therapists. That said, many our portable tables are strong enough for the method as well. For Ashiatsu practitioners who do not use bars, we recommend tables with a feature called the Shiatsu cable release (AKA a push-lock table). This feature allows you to place the table top directly on the ground. The firmness one looks for in a table is very subjective but many Ashiatsu therapists prefer a firm table with two inches or less of foam. These firm tables provide the greater resistance and support which is useful for techniques which use great amounts of pressure.

What tables are best for Ayurvedic therapy?

Massage therapist who use Ayurvedic methods typically focus on the use of oils. All of our tables are water and oil proof. A main concern with this type of therapy is the cleanliness of the table. To ensure the cleanliness of your table we recommend using oil-proof covers (available in the accessories section of our website) and vinyl and leather cleaning fluid (available in the oil section of our website).

What tables are best for using Cranial Sacral techniques?

Our tables provide enough leg room to perform these techniques. We also sell table extensions in the accessory section of our table to elongate the working surface as necessary. The headrests of all of our tables can be removed to give you access needed to perform cranial techniques. Because Cranial Sacral techniques are generally gentle, you can make client comfort a priority and get a table which has thicker, three inch foam, preferably including memory foam. The soft foam will make it more comfortable for the therapist as well if he or she needs to perform movements with his/her hand under the client’s body.

What tables are best for Osteopathic therapy?

It is somewhat difficult to make specific recommendations for therapists who use Osteopathic methods because the approach encompasses such a wide variety of techniques, many of which overlap with other types of massage. Many of our clients who practice Osteopathic therapy choose a table with two inches or less of padding which provides firmness and resistance. Many osteopathic therapists choose a stationary table with an adjustable back for its versatility, similarity to a traditional physicians table, and because it provides a sturdy surface which a patient can alternate between sitting on the edge of and lying on, depending on the technique being used.

What tables are best for Reiki?

While several of our tables are not designed specifically for Reiki, they provide enough legroom to work well with Reiki techniques. Several of the tables come equipped with Reiki panels for added leg room at either end of the table so you can perform necessary techniques on the crown, third eye, and root chakras, even when you are sitting in a massage stool. We also sell Reiki panels in the accessory section of our website which can be used with many of our tables. Because Reiki is generally focuses on the client’s energies and Universal Energy, you can make client comfort a priority and get a table with three-inch foam and preferably including some memory foam. If you use crystals when you are doing Reiki, it is a good idea to consider a wider table of 30 inches so you have room to set the crystals around the client.

What tables are best for Shiatsu and Thai massage?

The two main features our clients who practice Shiatsu look for are table strength and firmness. Our tables are all very strong and can support the added pressure of shiatsu massage. Check the working weight in the technical details of a table to verify the working weight is high enough to satisfy your needs. In the case of Ashiatsu, we recommend a table that can support the full weight of you and a client, even if the bars take much of your weight. Many of our clients who are Ashiatsu practitioners choose a stationary table for the clinic but our portable table are strong enough as well. We also offer tables designed to make Shiatsu easier. The feature called the Shiatsu cable release (AKA a push-lock table) is ideal. This feature allows you to place the table top directly on the ground when you need to exert great amounts of pressure on the patient. The firmness one looks for in a table is very subjective but many Shiatsu and Thai-style therapists prefer a firm table with two inches or less of foam. These firm tables provide the greater resistance and support which is useful for techniques which use great amounts of pressure.

What tables are best for acupuncture?

For acupuncture, we recommend massage tables that are very comfortable. A wider, 30” table with three inches of foam is preferred. It is important that your client is very at ease during these techniques. Many times, the client will want to remain lying in the table after a treatment is done while their body clarifies or detoxifies. Thus, a comfortable table is essential. Sometimes, a client may lie on their back and may or may not want to use the headrest at these times. So a long massage table is also advisable.

What tables are best for Acupressure massage?

Acupressure massage typically uses pressure focused in very specific points. Therefore, a massage table with three inches of foam is acceptable because you will not often need the added firmness of two inches foam like you do with many deep tissue methods. For many techniques, the patient is required to sit. A sturdy stationary massage table can provide an ideal bench for them to sit on. A table with the quick release / shiatsu cable release / push-lock feature may also be appropriate because you can set the table directly on the ground and let the client sit on it with crossed legs, giving them comfort and you total access to the points you need for treatment. Alternatively, have a separate place for your client to sit during these techniques.

What types of tables are good for beauty work as well as massage?

Beauticians generally favor massage tables with adjustable backrests. This feature lets the client either lie down for a massage or recline for waxing and other beauty treatments.

What tables are best for using Cranial Sacral techniques?

Our massage tables provide enough leg room to perform these techniques. We also sell table extensions in the accessory section of our table to elongate the working surface as necessary. The headrests of all of our massage tables can be removed to give you access needed to perform cranial techniques.

What tables are best for deep tissue massage?

For deep tissue massage, you will generally want a massage table with two-inch thick foam instead of three inches. The added firmness of these tables will help you obtain the deep penetration you are looking for. However, you can also get the same result with three-inch thick foam massage tables, but you may have to work harder because the extra foam equates to more pressure needed.

What tables are best for Myofascial Release massage?

For Myofascial Release, therapist may use deep, penetrating motions with their knuckles, forearm, elbow, etc when they do direct techniques. If these methods represent a large part of your routine, a massage table with two-inch foam may be favorable because it will be firmer and will not work against you during such movements. For softer, indirect Myofascial Release techniques, you do not need to worry about having a firmer table.

What tables are best for Osteopathic therapy?

It is somewhat difficult to make specific recommendations for therapists who use Osteopathic methods because the approach encompasses such a wide variety of techniques, many of which overlap with other types of massage. Many of our clients who practice Osteopathic therapy choose a massage table with two inches or less of padding which provides better firmness and resistance. Osteopathic therapists also tend to prefer wide tables. Many osteopathic therapists choose a stationary massage table with an adjustable back for its versatility, similarity to a traditional physicians table because it provides a sturdy surface which a patient can alternate between sitting on the edge of and lying on, depending on the technique being used.

What tables are best for sports massage?

Sports massage encompasses a wide variety of techniques. With sports massage, there are a few factors to consider when buying a massage table. First, you will want a firmer table which means two inches of small cell foam. Sports massage often involves deep tissue penetration and percussive or tapotement techniques. Thus, a massage table with very thick foam can make these techniques more difficult to perform. Second, with sports massage you are, of course, working with athletes. Keep their size in mind and get a wider massage table although this will be more or less important depending on the sport your athletes practice). Additional table widening may be a smart purchase if you expect to have some very large clients. Some sports massage therapists, however, find a massage table with an adjustable backrest beneficial because they use this feature to help a client elevate their legs before, during, or after a massage. Bolsters are also useful for this purpose. Also, consider getting a few massage tools for times when your hands feel to worn out to get really deep.

What tables are best for Stone massage?

Different therapists use different techniques with hot stones, and these will influence what massage table is right for you. If you practice hot stone massage, you may want to consider a table with a heated top. These heated table tops do not need to be activated for every massage but together with the hot stones they can help you leave your client feeling extremely relaxed and tranquil. Especially in the winter time, the mild heat they provide is a feature your client will appreciate. When it comes to using the massage stone as a tool, therapists are very different in their techniques. If you like to use a large stone to get very deep, a firmer table with two inches of small cell foam may be a good idea because, like with any deep tissue massage, it will be easier to penetrate. For many stone therapists, however, comfort is of the utmost importance and three inches foam is ideal. Even for deep tissue work, the added pressure and focus that comes with using a stone can make a table with three inches suitable.

What tables are best for Swedish or Classic massage?

Swedish or Classic massage is known for several specific techniques, each of which should affect the table you choose. If you are going to rock, vibrate, or oscillate your client you might want to use a stationary table because they are the steadiest. A wider 30” table is often a good idea if you will be rocking your client because you want them to feel secure on the bed’s surface. A steady massage table is also important for techniques such a long effleurage or sliding techniques and for techniques which use friction. A stationary massage table is ideal for these techniques if you have the option of using one. That said, our portable tables are very sturdy and, unlike many on the market, they do not creek. If you use a portable table for and do a lot of oscillation, make sure to regularly tighten the various screws and bolts of your table. Many Swedish massage therapists choose a massage table with only two inches of upholstery because some techniques involve using a good deal of pressure and the firmness of two inches of small cell foam is useful for these methods. Since there is a variety in Swedish massage, a massage table with three-inch foam table may be suitable for some therapists as well.

What tables are best for trigger point?

Trigger point therapy can use a variety of tables. Typically, a massage therapist will not use trigger point techniques exclusively, but will integrate them into their repertoire of healing methods for clients with strained of painful trigger points. Some therapists prefer firmer two-inch thick foam because they feel it is easier to maintain extended, even pressure on the trigger points, necessary in certain techniques. If you are using your open palm to apply pressure for extended period of time, a firmer table will be useful. If you are applying pressure to a very specific area and, especially, if you are just using your thumb or a similarly sized tool, thicker foam may be perfectly acceptable because the technique will not shift the client’s body as much. If you do extensive trigger point therapy, you may also want to consider some massage tools to help you get the pressure you need to apply without straining your own body in the process.

What table size is best for me?

The standard size of a table is 28 inches wide by 72-73 inches long (83 inches including the headrest).  This standard table matches the needs of the client who has an average body size and is ideal for the bodyworker who is less than 5 foot 9 inches.  Most body workers prefer to work with a 29 or 30-inch table, especially if they are over 5 foot 9 inches or work with large clients such as athletes, or people who are overweight. The 30-inch table is 2 to 3 pounds heavier than the standard table so some mobile therapists sacrifice some width for portability or buy either a massage table cart or wheeled carrying case (for those that tables that do not already include a wheeled case) to transport their larger table.

Which thickness of foam should I look for in a table?

Some bodyworkers prefer a table with 2-inch thick padding because it provides more resistance, and thus they can administer a more intense massage. On the other hand, some bodyworkers are more concerned with the client's comfort and thus choose a table with 3-inch thick padding. In either case, it is critical that you choose a table with dense, small-cell foam, so the table will retain its form after many years of use.

What is the advantage of the double lock system?

Double locks provide more stability for the table -- and thus for clients that feel uneasy on massage tables -- than just one lock. A single-lock table may sway slightly, taking away from your client's ease and relaxation.

What is the patented Auto Lock Frame and Leg System?

This system enables you to effortlessly set up your table in 5 to 10 seconds. There is no assembly required, and you can get to work right away. It does this without comprising the integrity or stability of the table.

How much weight does a BodyChoice Massage™ Table support?

All of our tables generally support at least 2,000 pounds of static weight (weight evenly distributed across the table) and 500 pounds of working weight. Please see the individual table descriptions for more details.

What is a UL Listing?

"UL listing" means that the massage table has been tested by Underwriters Laboratory, an independent product quality verification organization in the U.S. Only the best massage tables have this certificate of excellence. By selecting a UL-listed table, you demonstrate to your clients your commitment to their safety. You may find that having a UL-listed table is an advantage, should a question of liability arise.

What should I do to keep my massage table in good condition?

After you first receive your massage table, it is a good idea to check all screws and knobs to verify that they are still tight. During transit, temperature changes and varying humidity levels may loosen them. This process will take only a couple of minutes.

To help maintain the table's stability in the future, follow this simple maintenance schedule: Every 1 to 6 months (depending on how frequently the table is used), or if you notice any looseness in the table, check and tighten:
•the 8 knobs for the height adjustment (by hand)
•the 8 screws on both wooden leg panels (use a screwdriver)
•all joints of the leg and frame system (use an Allen wrench AKA hex key)
Of course, maintenance also includes cleaning the table after each use. We supply a variety of covers to aid in maintaining a clean table. To clean the table you can use a mild soap and water. We also sell a vinyl and leather cleaning solution for this purpose.

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