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Massage Table – Purchase Guidance  


This page is based in part upon an extract from my training manuals and gives some tips on points to consider for energy healing students who wish to buy their first massage table. Much of this is common sense and seemingly obvious. However, there is a history of people going out and buying massage tables of a design that are fine for a client to lay on but are difficult for the healer to work around so the following guidance might be helpful.





Useful tips

-     Massage tables can be fold-up or fixed (that is, they do not fold-up). If you are likely to visit clients in their own homes, you will need a fold-up table.

-     If you are going to take a fold-up table to a client’s home, consider purchasing a light weight table so that you can carry it easily and so that you can lift it in and out of your car easily. There is no point in having good intentions to help other people if you hurt your own back through lifting a very heavy table.

-     If you are going to take a fold-up table to a client’s home, make sure that you can buy one that comes with a cover. That will protect the surface of the table from being scratched and torn.

-     Check that the material that the massage table is covered in can be washed easily and that it will be durable. Check also that the construction of the fold-up mechanism of the legs of the table will be sufficiently robust to survive the table being put and up down hundreds or thousands of times over the years.

-     If you feel that you might like to work a lot with crystals in due course, consider getting a wide table which will allow you to place crystals on the table around the client’s body.

-     If you are not very tall and have short arms, buying a wide table might be uncomfortable or not very practical for you if you have to keep over stretching yourself when placing hands on the far side of a client’s body.

-     It will be necessary from time to time for you to spend part or all of the time during a healing session in standing position around the client. To minimise the risk of your back suffering from the constant bending over the client (especially if you are tall), it would be helpful to consider the best table height for you. Tables are made either to standard heights, can be tailor made to suit your personal height, or might have adjusters on the legs so that the height of the table can be changed.

-     As it is likely that some of your time spent with clients will be with you in a sitting position, check that the construction of the legs and of any wires that support the structure of the table will enable you to put your knees and feet under the table in a comfortable way both at the ends and at the sides. Not all constructions let you do this. If you cannot get your legs and knees under the table in a satisfactory way when you are sitting at a table, you will end up being very uncomfortable.  

-     If possible, I would recommend that you consider buying a table where there are not just legs for the corners of the table but also where there are legs supporting the middle of the table. Some of your clients might be quite heavy, and the additional support given by the legs in the middle will help your table to last longer. If you cannot obtain a table with this construction, it is likely that tension wires will be used instead to hold the corner legs of the table in place and to provide stability for the structure. In this case, please check with the supplier what testing has been undertaken to ensure that the strength of the wire construction is adequate for normal day to day weight loads.     

-    Wood is a poor conductor of energy and metal is a very good conductor of energy. If you sit at a table with a metal frame and legs, it is likely that some of the energy flowing through you will be drawn through the metal of the table and away from the client. If you can find one, therefore, I would suggest buying a table which has as much wood in the construction as possible and as little metal as possible.

-    Sometimes variations on the design of massage tables allow for the resting of the head of a client either by way of small extensions at the end of a table or by removable oval shaped sections within the surfaces of the tables. It is not essential to have these but an extension might be helpful if your table is not long enough to accommodate very tall people. 

-    A good quality massage table that will last a long time will cost upwards from around 300 pounds in the United Kingdom.





Some examples

The construction at the end of table on the left is such that the healer will not be able to get his / her legs under the table and will have to sit at a distance from the client.  It will be uncomfortable for the healer to have to bend and stretch to reach the client and the healer is likely to get back ache if giving several healing sessions during a day. I have seen many Reiki people buy a table with this construction at the end, only to realise they have made a mistake. 

The table on the right is better. As you can see, the construction at the end is one that enables the healer to get his / her legs under the table and to sit comfortably.  However, this is still not ideal because the free space is restricted. If there is any chance to discuss the requirement to get legs under the table at the end with the manufacturer, ask if there can be a slight modification of the standard design so that the amount of free space at the ends of your table can be maximised.  




The construction along the length of the table on the left is based upon   tension wires running lengthwise between the legs about six inches off the ground.  The wire is part of the support structure that helps to keep the legs in vertical position. With such a table, the healer cannot sit properly with legs under the table unless they are swung over the wire. Every time the healer moves down the table, he / she is going to have to remember about the wire. The table on the right has a much better construction profile lengthwise and will be comfortable for the healer to work from. It has some central legs to provide support for heavy clients and the healer is able to get his / her legs right under the table for most of the length when working down the body of the client.      


All the other photos are copyright of Marshcouch and should not be reproduced without their permission.





Where to buy

The massage table that I usually use at home was made by Darley Couches in Cornwall. At the time of posting this listing, I will have had it in regular use for around ten years and it is still in good condition. Were Darley Couches still in business, I would have no hesitation recommending them as a source of good quality massage tables. However, I believe that the company has failed and went into liquidation so that is not possible.


Instead, if anybody is seeking to buy a good quality massage table, I would suggest that they consider a company called Marshcouch. This company’s website is at  www.marshcouch.com . Marshcouch are based in Hemel Hempsted just north west of London and close to the M25.  You can visit the company or arrange for the purchase of a table by mail order.  They will tailor make a table to your requirements or you can buy a standard catalogue model. The company is a member of the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) and all tables made by the company carry the CE Mark (European Union Safety Mark). Please go to the following webpage to read about the CE Mark. http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/sustainability/regulations/cemark/page11646.html


If you go to the Marshcouch website, you will find some guidance on what to consider when buying a table and will find descriptions of the different types of standard tables produced.


Although it is likely that you will be able to find other healers who also make massage tables and sell them for less money than a company such as Marshcouch, it is not advisable to buy such tables unless you can satisfy yourself that they are strong enough to be fit for regular use and will last a reasonable length of time. Sometimes you can find very good tables this way but you need to be mindful that sometimes cheapest does not always mean best value if the tables do not have a long life.


If you go to internet auction sites such as eBay, you will be able to find second hand tables for sale at reasonable prices. Sellers on such sites give descriptions of variable comprehensiveness so it is advisable to ask sellers a range of questions before bidding or buying. Particular points to query are:

-     Is the covering torn, stretched or stained?

-     Is the padding under the covering still intact and whole or has it started to break up?

-     Are hinges broken or intact?

-     Have the sockets for screws been over-widened through regular use and have difficulty therefore holding the screws in place?

-     Have any wires broken. If not, are all the wires taut when the table is standing?   

-     What repairs have been undertaken to the table in the past?

-     Does the table smell?

-     What damage is there to the table?

-     It would probably be best to try to view before buying if that would be possible. If the seller seems reluctant without good reason to allow viewing before purchase, it might be best to avoid.





Date of posting :  25th March 2007