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Choosing your first table

posted by Steve Jurch, A.T.C., L.M.T on July 25, 2017

You’ve done it!  You’ve graduated, gotten your license, and want to start your practice.  The product catalogs, mailings, and emails have been piling up but what do you really need to get your business off the ground?

One of the best things you can do to help you make the right equipment decisions is to evaluate yourself and what kind of clientele you want to have.  Without question, the most important piece of equipment you will need is your table.  If your school did not include a table, here is my purchase advice summed up in two words…quality matters.

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There are plenty of “economy” versions of tables out there but in the end, spending more on a quality table will pay off in the long run.  I purchased my first table when I was still in school and went with a quality, more expensive option but it lasted me 20 years.  I practiced almost exclusively in sports and clinical settings, putting my table through the ringer, but the investment definitely was worth it.

What you should look for

I recommend that your first table be portable and the more adjustable, the better.  Look for a height range and width that fits your frame and the type of work that you will be doing. 

American Made- Athena Portable Table

• Portable & customizable
• Table weight: 31 lbs. (standard)
• Load rating: 650 lbs.
• Height range: 25"-35" (standard) OR 18"-26" 
• Length: 73" (standard) OR 78"
• Width: 30" (standard) OR 28," 33," 36"



Make sure the face cradle is highly adjustable as it is one of the best ways to make sure your clients are comfortable. 

Heritage new image.jpg

Solutions Series- Heritage Table

• Table weight: 35 lbs.
• Load rating: 550 lbs
• Dual-end accessory ports perfect for the  Classic adjustable face rest & cushion

• Carry case & front arm sling

I have never found any advantage to including additional padding as part of the table as you can always add it later and it will increase the flexibility of the table. 

Considerations such as a wood versus aluminum frame are a personal preference and might be based on weight and the amount of traveling you will be doing. 

Alumuminum Frame

Solutions Series- Challenger Aluminum Massage Table

• Portable
• Table Weight: 30 lbs.
• Width: 30”
• Length: 73”
• Height Range: 24” - 33”
• Load Rating: 600 lbs.




Wood Frame

American Made- Omni Table

• Portable
• Table weight: 37 lbs
• Height range: 25"-35" (standard) OR 18"-26" 
• Length: 73" (standard) OR 78"
• Width: 30" (standard) OR 28," 33," 36"


It is easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles when it comes to features but you can always add them later so invest that extra money into the quality of the table and you won’t go wrong.

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Tags: Chair Massage, table

About Author

Steve Jurch, A.T.C., L.M.T

Steve Jurch, A.T.C., L.M.T., has over 20 years’ experience as a massage therapist and athletic trainer. He serves as director of health and human services at Community College of Baltimore County, in Maryland. An NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider, he is the author of a clinical massage therapy textbook and is on the Editorial Review Operational Committee for the AMTA Journal.