1. Provide enough treatment room space. It’s easy to think that a therapist needs only enough room to walk around and stand next to the massage table. However, standing is not an ergonomic stance in which to perform massage. Visualize yourself standing and rounding forward to massage someone—does your back hurt yet? Imagine performing six 55-minute massages in that position.
✷ Healthy advice: An ergonomic massage stance is dynamic. Massage therapists need enough room in a treatment space to do a yoga standing posture alongside the table, and enough room between themselves and the table to allow them to lean forward with a straight back rather than rounding forward. A minimum guideline is two feet of space around the perimeter of the table, allowing extra room by the head for the face cradle. Three feet or more is even better.
2. Make sure tables are adjustable. Proper height of a massage table is crucial to an MT’s comfort and ability to perform massage without strain. Tables need to be adjustable to account for the height of the massage therapist, the size of the client and the type of massage being performed.
✷ Healthy advice: Be sure the table can go low enough (around 20” high) to accommodate the needs of shorter therapists and tall enough (around 30” high) to accommodate the needs of taller massage therapists.