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What is the Ideal Temperature for Your Massage Room?

October 07, 2014 3 min read

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Treating clients as the weather turns cold can be a real challenge.
A body on a massage table tends to cool down quite quickly, while the body moving around the massage table warms up! This presents a challenge: keep the client warm, while allowing the therapist to access the body and simultaneously stay cool enough to deliver an effective treatment.
In order to get around this tricky situation, there are a couple of simple steps you can take:
Heat the room to a warm temperature - around 25°C is pleasant. In order not to overheat yourself, dress yourself in light layers that can be removed. Some loose cotton pants and a tank or t-shirt with a light sweater is a good combination. This way you can lose a layer if you’re getting too hot.
You can then set up a small fan that will flow away from the client if you are too warm. Having some moving air coming towards you can certainly help keep your temperature down when you are practicing. 
If you do not have a heating system that will heat the room effectively, then it’s very important you take alternate measures to ensure your clients’ comfort. Invest in a good table warmer and start warming the bed 30-45 minutes before the client is due to arrive. 
To really make the most of the table warmer, cover it with a fitted sheet and a top sheet. This will warm the sheets nicely as well, creating a warm cocoon for the client to crawl into when they arrive. 
Additionally, you can use back and neck warming pads to heat these areas that are often exposed during treatments (and can always do with a little relaxing before you get to them!). We have found that reusable heat packs are the simplest option for this. 
These heat packs are a thick plastic filled with sodium acetate, a 100% non-toxic gel. You click a metal disc in the pack, and the friction causes the gel to solidify and generate a lot of heat. This last for 60-90 minutes, so they are a very useful tool to add to your practice. Then you simply add them to boiling water for 10-15 minutes to return them to gel form for your next treatment.
While these two options will likely keep your client comfortable in most situations. However, if it is very cold, you might need to deliver even more warmth in order for them to have a comfortable and relaxing treatment.
Some therapists keep extra blankets on hand for this purpose. However, some clients dislike the heavy weight of thick blankets, and of course it’s key to choose blankets that are pleasant on the skin while being breathable. This can present a challenge in itself!
A simpler option is to keep a fleece pad set handy for those very chilly days. A fleece table cover and head rest cover will add a great deal of warmth and comfort to the table. These sets are very plush, adding over an inch to the thickness of the table. The client will feel completely enveloped in the cosy set and will be sure to relax completely with the extra warmth and padding. 
If your treatment room is freezing, you could use all three options in tandem - the electric table warmer, covered with the fleece set and supplemented with the back and neck warmers. If your client is still cold after that, you might want to check their pulse!
Some final pointers on maintaining the ideal temperature for your massage room:
* Make sure there are no drafts from door or window jambs
* Warm your oils or lotions so that they are not cold on an otherwise warm body
* If you are likely to get very hot and sweaty, have a towel on hand for yourself, or even sweat bands if you feel it necessary. 
* If your hands are instead very cold, keep some warm towels or hot water nearby to warm them up before treating the client.
* Keep some water on hand to stay hydrate and for your client to rehydrate at the end of the treatment.
Now we’d like to hear from you! How do you maintain the ideal temperature for your massage room? Any tips or tricks up your sleeve for reaching a happy medium that works for both you and the client? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know!

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