To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Invest in Your Practice: How Purchasing High-End Items Helps Create Business Success,” , in the August 2011 issue. Article summary: Technical skills, skillful marketing and excellent customer service are all understood to help massage therapists rise above the competition and bring in more clients—and another often overlooked way of building a massage practice, investing in high-quality equipment, should be considered by any massage therapist wanting to build an advanced practice.

by Rebecca Savich

The most important piece of equipment for medical massage is the massage table. That may seem obvious, but consider the fact that most therapists are still using standard flat-top tables. Unless you have been exposed to the new mulifunction massage tables, you may not be aware of the amazing new choices available.

Medical message is expected to be rehabilitative, but if the client is uncomfortable, he may be fighting against the therapeutic treatment you are trying to provide. The new era of massage tables offer incredible options that address issues of comfort for the client and convenience and easier access for the therapist.

Breast discomfort is a huge issue. All skilled therapists realize that women, no matter what their breast size, can have major problems handling the pressure applied to their backs while lying in the prone position. Keep in mind that augmented breasts should never have any pressure applied, directly or indirectly. This of course, may affect the ability of the therapist to do the necessary treatment required, leaving both sides unfulfilled. There are options in massage tables, such as an adjustable platform built into the massage table, that alleviate this all together. If the breasts are recessed, the spine will align and proper techniques will be more affective while allowing your client to relax.

Electric hydraulic-lift tables have been around for a long time. But if by chance you don’t have one or yours is outdated, you should certainly check out the new ones that offer various adjustments. There are lift tables that offer an adjustable platform built into the table top that can be raised above the table, allowing for advanced stretching and physical-therapy type maneuvers. This type of table has many benefits and if you have the skill set and the creativity for this type of table, you just may find yourself on your own path of reinvention and renewal.

Remember that in this competitive market, therapists and offices may want to do some research to make sure you are keeping up with your competition. Staying up to date with equipment may make a big difference in adding to your client base.

Rebecca Savich is the inventor of the ABC system. She lives in Los Angeles where she founded the massage and medical design firm, Contour Table Systems (www.contourtablesystems.com).

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