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As 2020 draws to a close what message would you like to share with massage therapists across the UK? Ask the Muscle Whisperer series

by Samantha Jenkins December 18, 2020

As 2020 draws to a close what message would you like to share with massage therapists across the UK? Ask the Muscle Whisperer series

We are really excited to share with you the final instalment of our "Ask The Muscle Whisperer" series for 2020. This month we have asked the industry's top leaders what message would they like to share with massage therapists across the UK. Below our panel of experts share how they feel about our industry at the end of this unusual year and what lessons 2020 taught them as a massage therapist?

You can watch the full video with all the specialist's answers compiled together HERE.... or watch each specialist's answer individually in shorter snippets below underneath their name!


    Rachel and Meghan from JING kick off their last thoughtful message for 2020 with a big congratulations to massage therapists for rocking such a tumultuous year! The team at JING have been so pleased to see the massage therapy community come together and in the words of Rachel's favourite mantra "keep on keeping on!" Whilst this year has thrown up lots of challenges for us to embrace as massage therapy business owners for Rachel and Meghan the key take away from 2020 has been that we need to diversify our businesses to really highlight our skills as professionals and this extends to upping our consultation game to really demonstrate our knowledge of anatomy, physiology etc and take our massage treatments to the next level! Finally Rachel and Meghan want to stress how important our practices are going to be in the near future and to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas filled with lots of well deserved R&R!. 







    Watch Rachel and Megan answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!



    To see JING's upcoming training courses please click on the image below or follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

     JING Advanced Massage Training  

    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Sunita Passi
    Carl Newbury
    Emma Gilmore profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    For Emma 2020 has in some ways been an incredible year. The second lockdown saw sports and remedial massage therapists receive recognition and be able to continue working and in general our industry has seen a fantastic shift and for Emma it is wonderful to see our skills be recognised on a wider scale! Despite the tumultuous times we have achieved huge amounts and there has been some interesting shifts for our industry that have allowed us to work in new and exciting ways, including with clients who are not local to us. Being able to access supervision is really crucial to Emma and the shift in our perceptions due to the lockdown has meant more and more therapists are able to get supervision as they are no longer soley depending on local networks! Emma wraps up her message by looking forward to a positive 2021! 








    Watch Emma answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!


    You can see the latest courses on offer at School of Bodywork by clicking the image below! You can also follow on Facebook and Instagram.

    School of Bodywork logo

    Emma Gilmore
    Earle Abrahamson
    Sunita Passi
    Carl Newbury
    Earle Abrahamson profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
    For Earle 2020 is best described as a year that required us to innovate to navigate the changes that were brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. For massage therapists the year was a huge lesson, with time to reflect on what matters to us as massage therapy business owners and how we could adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. Throughout the lockdowns the industry came together in a collective effort to receive the recognition massage therapy deserves. Earle believes that it has been interesting that through this crisis we have learnt to reflect on our practice and develop ways to enhance our work to a new level of professionalism. For Earle 2020 has been a year of hope, frustration, anxiety and anger, a year where we have been brought closer together yet driven apart and a year that has created opportunities for our industry to be elevated to a new level! 









    Watch Earle answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below! 

    You can find more details on Earle's latest book 'Muscle Testing – A Concise Manual' by clicking the images below or find out more details on the next Hands On Training courses by clicking here.



      • Making Sense of Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lotus Publishers 2016


        • Concise Manual of Muscle Testing - Handspring Publishers. Due out October 2019 
      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Carl Newbury
      Sunita Passi

      For Sunita this year has brought a lot of challenges with many therapists being greatly affected by the lockdowns but there is hope on the horizon. Next year can bring lots of opportunities if we remain positive and continue with a self care practice so that we can give to others from a place of strength. This year has taught us that looking for an alternative income stream is always a good idea, whether that is being a product ambassador for a brand or teaching classes online. Tri Dosha have set up a course to help massage therapists navigate this change so you can get teaching self care online to your clients so that you are not solely reliant on hands on treatments for your income.

      Sunita feels that sadly our industry was largely overlooked by the government, with a lot of uncertainty around protocols and many massage therapists falling through the cracks of financial support. But through this our industry has come together and pulled our socks up and come out stronger after lobbying government for the recognition we deserve! For Sunita there has been lots to be proud of with some amazing displays of community in her town of Nottingham. This year has not broken our spirits and there is lots to look forward to in 2021! 



      Watch Sunita answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!

      To check out all Tri-Dosha has to offer, including Sunita's newsletter, give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

      Tri-Dosha logo

      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Carl Newbury
      Carl Newbury profile for Ask The Muscle Whisperer
      For Carl Spring 2021 will be the time that we will see Massage Therapy start to bounce back! He is confident because the awareness around procedures needed to keep massage therapists and their clients safe is improving all the time. Professional associations have been fantastic at representing our interests and helping massage therapists digest information from the government and Carl stresses that massage therapists shouldn't hesitate to reach out to these organisations with any questions if they are nervous about restarting their massage therapy businesses. 

      For Carl the main lesson of 2020 has been to not take clients for granted! In good times it is easy to imagine our clients will never leave us but this year has taught us how quickly our circumstances can change! In 2021 Carl recommends massage therapists band together in their local marketing efforts and evaluate how their businesses might need to shift to reflect the changes we have seen in the wider world. For example anyone working in corporate massage might have to visit offices more often to catch workers who are now alternating between working remotely and in the office. 







      Watch Carl answer your "Ask the Muscle Whisperer" Question below!


      To check out the latest from Massage World Magazine click on the image below and be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and Instagram.


      Massage World Magazine

      Emma Gilmore
      Earle Abrahamson
      Sunita Passi
      Carl Newbury

    Samantha Jenkins
    Samantha Jenkins


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    Massage Table Size Guide

    Massage tables comes in many different shapes and size. It can be confusing for you, the customer, to choose the right one but we are here to help!

    A lot of customers call us up after they have bought the wrong size massage table elsewhere and we would like to help you avoid this mistake. It normally goes something like this; they like the look of a picture of a massage table on a website, they like the low price and then they check the carrying weight is ok. If the carrying weight fits their needs they click add to cart and the new massage table turns up at their doorstep in a few days. They unfortunately assume all massage tables are pretty much the same width and size.

    The standard size of a massage table is 28 inches wide (71cms) and 73 inches (185cms) long. One of the reasons many "lightweight" budget massage tables are so cheap is because

    1.  They are smaller in size (normally around 61cms wide) and as such have less materials
    2. They are sold by specialist retailers who also sell anything else they can import and turn a profit on. As such they just buy the cheapest massage tables they can find in China. They go for smaller sizes as they are cheaper.

    Make sure the massage table is the right size for you and your clients as the narrow massage tables at 61cms can be very uncomfortable for anyone who isn't petite and many clients cannot relax with their shoulders and arms unsupported.


    The Width of the Massage Table:

    Almost all therapists choose the standard 28 inch wide massage table. All our massage tables are the same length so it is only the width and shape our customers need to decide on.

    Your massage table should be wide enough to cater for the wide variety of shapes and sizes of your clients. It needs to be wide enough to comfortably accommodate your treatment style, while being narrow enough to ensure you don’t have to strain your own back during treatments.

    Each therapist's postural training and ability is different, so only you will know what massage table width you can handle. We have spoken to therapists who are five feet tall and get the wider 30 inch massage tables, and we speak to six foot therapists who have back problems and go for a 25 inch wide massage table. Everyone is different.

    Generally speaking, if you are of smaller stature, you may do better with one of the narrower 25-inch massage tables. If you're quite tall, or are particularly keen to offer your clients a very spacious experience, a 30-inch massage table might be more suitable.

    If you are in doubt, see if you can go into your local training college and see whether the massage tables there suit you. However, there is another way to get a feel for what will work of you don’t have access to a couch when you are deciding:

    Cut out a piece of cardboard to the dimensions of both sizes you are deciding between. Put it on top of the kitchen table and lean over it. Visualise a client lying there, and see which width will suit you and your client best.

    measuring the width of a massage table

    Make sure you can get close enough to the table that you can pivot at the waist and have your shoulders squared to the clients hips, with your hands parallel to the clients' spine. Working in this position will ensure an injury-free career, so it's an important factor in your decision.

    The most popular massage table widths are 28 and 30 inches. We sell 25-inch massage tables but you should really only choose this width if you are shorter in height and having a wider massage table might put your own back at risk over the course of your career.

    You can also choose the 25-inch if you want to have the lightest massage table possible. By reducing the width of the massage table, the weight is also reduced. Now, this can mean a trade-off of some client comfort, but this trade is often worthwhile if you are a fully mobile therapist and use public transport frequently, where saving a kilogram or two will make a difference to you over time.


    The Height Of the Massage Table

    Nowadays, almost all portable massage tables come with height adjustable legs. Whichever massage table you choose should come with a large height range to accommodate you, and to cater for a broad range of therapies.

    A common height range of massage tables is between 60 to 80cm, and this height range should cater for everyone. To check which height you need your massage table to be at follow this rule of thumb:

    1. Stand up straight with your hands by your sides. Clench your fists.
    2. Measure the distance between the floor and your knuckles
    3. This distance should equal the height of your massage table.
    4. Add a few inches in height to allow for the body of the patient on the massage table.

    The height of a massage table is usually only adjusted when different therapists are using the same massage table, or if you have a client that is outside the average size you normally treat. So for example, if someone with a lot of body depth comes for a treatment after an average size person, you may need to adjust the height a notch or two.

    You should be able to adjust the height of a massage table in just 2-3 minutes. Even though you mightn't adjust the height very often, the faster the better when you do have to!

    There are 2 types of height adjustment mechanisms found on modern massage tables.

    1) Twisting knobs (found only on wooden massage tables):

    If you are working with a wooden massage table, it is better to have two knobs on each of the four legs for greater strength and reliability. When buying online, make sure to check how many knobs are on the legs. Cheap massage tables often only have one knob, and when you raise the legs to the highest heights they are less stable and have been known to snap.

    2) Telescopic push-buttons (found only on aluminium massage tables):

    The mechanism to adjust the height of an aluminium massage table is much the same as the push-button method on aluminium crutches. It only takes a few seconds to adjust each leg, and the mechanism is very reliable. Check out the video to see how it’s done.


    Massage Table Shape:

    The following are the different shapes of massage tables on the market.

    1. Rectangle shaped with square corners 

    This is the traditional shape of a massage table and the one you are probably familiar with seeing. Our Combi-lite 3 in 1 and Affinity Portaflex are shaped like this.

    2. Rectangle shaped with rounded corners

    Same as no 1 above in every way except the corners are rounded. Does not affect function in any way, just a different design/look.


    3. Hour glass shaped with gradual gradient 

    A fabulous massage table innovation in recent years, which solves a lot of the problems around choosing the correct width is the hourglass shaped massage table.

    This style of massage table is wider at the ends, and tapers somewhat at the middle. This provide a spacious and comfortable experience for your client (as the shoulder and feet area are 30 inches wide) without compromising your own posture and health, as the middle of the couch where you lean over is a much narrower 26 inches wide.Having recently upgraded to one of these hourglass massage tables myself, I can vouch that my working days are much more comfortable, and many of my clients have commented on the extra comfort from the wider shoulder area.


    4. Hour glass shaped with sharp gradient
    Same as point above but instead of the it gradually going from wide to narrow, the massage table changes quickly from normal width to narrow width so people of very short stature can get in close.
    5. Oval Shaped

     The name says it all! There are no corners on the massage table. Therapists normally choose this for one of two reasons. They simply like the look of this massage table and it is aesthetically more pleasing in their treatment room and/or they find it easier to move around the massage table during the treatment without having to side step the corners. This is particularly handy when space is limited in your treatment room.

    oval massage table


    Have any questions or comments about anything above? Please let us know in the comments below!