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What is a Portable Massage Table?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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Massage, once prescribed only for back problems, has become a mainstay of modern relaxation.  Spas, wellness centers, and fitness facilities frequently offer massage services to clients.  The job of massage therapist has also gained respect around the world.  Massage is generally performed on a person lying on a massage mat or table.  A portable massage table is a massage table that can be folded and moved to new locations.  Even in permanent massage establishments, many of the tables in use are portable, if for no other reason than to give flexibility in room set-up or services offered.

There are many different kinds of portable massage table.  Some are cushioned, while others are firm.  Some have arm rests or face rests, and many are adjustable not just in height but also in angle, allowing a masseuse to concentrate on specific parts of the back or body in different positions. 

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Sometimes, portable massage tables are designed with a specific type of massage in mind.  Reiki healing massage, for instance, requires firm compressions of the masseuse’s palm into the client’s back, so a firm and flat massage table is best.  Sports injury massage often requires massage of not only the back but also the arms, legs, and neck.  A table that allows the client to comfortably change position or move from side to side is often best for sports massage purposes.  Aromatherapy massage aims to introduce the client to deep relaxation, and a portable massage table designed for this purpose should be as cushioned and enveloping as possible.

Many massage therapists, even those who work in a spa, sports clinic, or other fixed location, will make house calls. Therapists also sometimes visit popular areas like shopping malls or race finish lines to offer promotional massages. A portable massage table is an almost essential part of the massage supplies needed for these types of services.  Most portable tables can be folded, at least somewhat, to facilitate transportation by car or van.  A portable massage table is usually more comfortable for on-the-go clients than a massage mat, which while more portable, gives less form and cushion.

Massage tables are some of the most popular and widely available massage tools, but they are by no means the essential massage supplies.  A massage bed or a massage chair, although more cumbersome to move, are also popular massage options.   Portable massage tables are typically less expensive than permanent massage tools, and can be a good way to get a massage practice off the ground, or to introduce massage to a menu of existing services.

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