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What is your self imposed dress code?

by Samantha Jenkins August 09, 2019

What is your self imposed dress code?

Starting your career as a massage therapist without a defined uniform it's tricky to know what to wear. 

What works for a Swedish massage therapist might not be suitable for a sports massage therapist. If you work in a spa or a beauty clinic, you might need to change what you wear to fit with your surrounds more than a mobile massage therapist. 

Is it even necessary to have a uniform? 

So where to begin?.... 

We looked into the different options chosen by fellow massage therapists to provide some inspiration and guidance so you can find a uniform that is a perfect fit for you! 

 

Gym Clothes 

 

Physical therapist applying young patient medical tape

 

Combining a smart pair of jogging bottoms with a smart t-shirt can be a great uniform especially for sports massage therapists and therapists working in gyms. Just be sure to stick to one smart colour like black, white, grey or navy and where possible, try to avoid branded items. For a professional finish, brand your t-shirts with your massage business's name! 

 

Facebook post from John Marasigan about changing his uniform for his massage therapy business

 

As well as smart jogging bottoms, for female massage therapists gym clothes might include leggings or shorts and a t-shirt. 

 

Facebook post from Amy Beth about choosing gym clothes as her massage therapist uniform

 

Amy makes a great point that having a uniform removes wasting precious time deciding what to wear each day, time you could spend on quick self-care exercises that could save your health and your career. It also saves you ruining clothes you love with any massage or essential oils that you use during your massage treatments. 

 

Loose trousers or skirt and a polo shirt 

 

Woman having back massage in medical office from a male therapist wearing a polo shirt and loose slacks

 

Another option taken by many massage therapists is to combine a loose-fitting chino style trouser with a smart polo shirt or t-shirt. Again, plain colours are best and you brand your tops with your clinic's logo you'll appear extra professional! 

 


Facebook post from Kerrie Flynn Lmt about wearing comfortable trousers and a polo as her uniform as a massage therapist

 

Kerrie raises a valid point! By self-enforcing a dress code for your massage therapy business you help maintain important boundaries between you and your client. If you dress the same for all your treatments, no creepy clients can get the wrong impression and think you are dressing up just for them! 

 

Scrubs 

 

 Young female massage therapist massaging a female client

 

Popular with therapists who work in spas or clinics which offer beauty treatments as well as massage, scrubs can be an easy option to throw on in the morning and instantly have a professional edge. 

 

Facebook post from Julie Hathcock about choosing scrubs as her uniform for working as a massage therapist

 

However, Julie is right, knowing your clientele is key and what works for one therapist's clients won't work for another.

Don't be afraid to ask trusted clients for their input in annual surveys. Whilst lots of clients appreciate a plain, more medical or a spa-like approach, Donna's clients appreciate her sense of humour and more laid back style! 

 

Facebook post from Donna McCann about choosing a funny t-shirt as part of her uniform as a massage therapist

 

If you don't like the look of full scrubs or find them restrictive for your style of massage, a scrubs top can always be combined with black leggings or smart shorts for a professional-looking combo. 

 

A massage therapist is treating a female client on a table in an apartment

 

Ultimately, what you wear has to suit your massage therapy business and your clientele. As long as you keep this in mind and keep your chosen uniform looking clean and professional then chances are your clients will be impressed by the overall feel of your massage therapy business. 

 

 Facebook post from Teresa Martinez about keeping your uniform looking professional

 

 

We would love to know what uniform you wear as a massage therapist! Let us know on our Facebook thread




Samantha Jenkins
Samantha Jenkins

Author



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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!