Massage Table Recommendations
February 22, 2011 4:34 PM   Subscribe

My wife loves massages (I understand most people do) but I have trouble with my back and knees "doing it" on a bed. I'd like to get her a massage table for her birthday so I can "do it" staqnding up. Any recommendations on brands, features, options, etc?
posted by aspenbaloo to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One of my massage therapist friends bought a portable table from OneTouch Massage & tells me she's very happy with it. I think she said that when she bought it they were offering lower prices on Minneapolis Craigslist than on their website.
posted by belladonna at 5:53 PM on February 22, 2011

For simple at-home use such as you describe, I wouldn't spend more than $250. My first table out of massage therapy school cost $600, and it would be way overkill for your needs. You don't need any special features. I might get one of those egg crate mattress topper thingies for added cushion, and don't forget some cheap flannel sheets for it. You might also get a bolster style pillow for under the knees (when face up) and under the ankles (when face down).
posted by wwartorff at 6:20 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wwartoroff has it. Check as sometimes they have cheap tables. I will say it is nice to have an adjustable face cradle so you might want to splurge there. Once you get your table, experiment with the best height for you - it might be lower than you think. A small stool at the head of the table is great for you to sit on while doing detailed neck work. Lucky, lucky woman!!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 6:28 PM on February 22, 2011

Cosigned with wwartoff. Just get a basic table with decent headrest adjustment ability. Also, if you have no formal training, consider a simple class or two, or some research. Even a table won't help if you've got really bad form, and it's amazing how easy it is to over reach and push yourself.

Also: if you can, set the table up such that you can get all the way around it. It's a lot easier to move around to get to something closer to you than it is to reach to the far side. It will save you a lot of effort and pain.
posted by yeloson at 6:54 PM on February 22, 2011

I swear I don't work for Costco (though it seems like I'm always recommending them), but I've been tempted to buy one of their well-reviewed massage tables myself. The prices are not exorbitant and Costco's return policy is awesome if it doesn't work out.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:11 PM on February 22, 2011

Getting a massage table has been one of the best things we've ever done. We got a Master massage table (like the non-thermaTop one here). It's a good basic table with comfortable foam, a fairly wide top, adjustable headrest and an armrest (that we never use, but we rarely even put the headrest on).

Unless you really want, the custom covers for them are kind of overkill - we use a twin fitted sheet on the table, and then the flat sheet to cover the massage-ee if they're cold.

Also consider getting some massage oil (or just use olive oil). The scented kind are pretty nice and can be pretty relaxing. Using a thin layer of massage oil will save your hands and make it easier to give continuous massaging, especially if you work with the heel of your hand rather than your fingers.

Also, look into rolling muscle knots (with a sturdy rolling pin if you don't have a foam roller) and using a tennis ball on trigger points (ignore any sales links; I looked for overviews).

Massage tables also awesome for sleeping on if you have a sore back.
posted by bookdragoness at 8:01 PM on February 22, 2011

I have one of the Costco tables and it's held up really well for several years.

But consider an alternative, a higher bed in the bedroom. Newer pillow-top mattresses can be a lot higher than a regular set. Most people don't buy new mattresses often enough so perhaps you're due for a replacement?

I'm all for the idea of having a nice massage table, but consider improving your daily sleeping/intimacy situation too.
posted by wkearney99 at 6:41 AM on February 23, 2011

I got one at Academy sports for 150 back 10 years ago and it has held up nicely for me. A cutout at the head of the table is nice for putting knees under. A twin size heated matress pad or electric blanket is luxury. A couple of drops of essential oils in your massage oil is, again, easy luxury. The only other consideration would be her body. Fake hooters, being very heavyset, and future pregnancy are further considerations.
posted by kristymcj at 5:48 PM on February 23, 2011

oh, and if she has specific trouble spots consider going to a prefessional therapist and asking him to mark them with a sharpie.
posted by kristymcj at 5:51 PM on February 23, 2011

Check your local craigslist for a used table. This isn't something you're doing for a living, so a brand new, expensive table is definitely overkill. Buy something used, and then get accessories to make it fabulous (table warmers, sheepskin covers, bolsters, etc.). You can try out different face cradles to see what you wife likes best. There are tons of massage supply stores online.

bookdragoness is right - the fitted table sheets are a waste. Hit up a discount store like Marshalls or HomeGoods or something like that to get regular Twin sized sheets. They're all I ever used.

You might also want to experiment with different kinds of lubricants. I prefer a specific lotion, myself. A friend of mine preferred working with a gel. Everyone is different. Here's a sample pack that has oils, creams, lotions and gels. See what you like to use and what she likes the feel/smell of, and hopefully they're compatible.

Good luck!
posted by MsVader at 9:18 AM on February 24, 2011

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