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Guidelines for Therapists Taking Part in #massagetherapiststogether Campaign

First off, thanks so much for taking part in the #MassageTherapistsTogether campaign to donate treatments to NHS front line workers! It's a great thing to do to give back and also a great endeavor for the industry we all so dearly love.

We've written some guidelines for you below which are based on questions you've asked.

But first of all we would like to clarify the role of Massage Warehouse.

We started this campaign to give the massage and complementary healthcare industry a positive boost when we all return to work and to give therapists an opportunity to give back. As an industry we've been badly hit by the restrictions resulting from COVID-19 and the positive PR we can achieve from this campaign will be greatly welcomed.

Our (Massage Warehouse) role is as follows based over 7 different stages:

  1. To make therapists aware of the campaign through marketing and awareness campaigns - Now Complete 
  2. Recruit therapists and have them fill out forms to collecting details to build the campaign - Now Complete
  3. Build software and searchable map where NHS staff can find the details collected in stage 2 of therapist's near to them - Now Complete
  4. Add therapists details to the map so they can be found - Now Complete
  5. Collect questions from therapists and provide some guidelines - Now Complete
  6. Get national press for the campaign so the industry can get some positive PR - Ongoing
  7. Encourage therapists to gather their own local press and raise awareness for the campaign. In doing this they will hugely benefit their therapy businesses - Ongoing

Essentially we are the matchmaker allowing NHS front line workers to find you, the therapist and reach out to book an appointment. 

Please note we are not a professional association, so we cannot give you guidance on anything to do with the treatments. Your professional associations are the best place to look for this guidance.

Thank you from the #massagetherapiststogether campaign


After much back and forth from the government, therapists in England are now due to return to work from the 13th of July whilst therapists in Wales and Scotland are set to return later. 

After speaking with therapists in our Facebook group it is clear that understandably, for a variety of reasons, many complementary therapists are still preparing or deciding when they wish to return to work. 

Therefore in order to give therapy businesses time to source PPE, prepare their treatment rooms and procedures and to allow time for the dust to settle and await for further regulations to be made clear we have made the decision to push back the launch of the #massagetherapiststogether campaign to the 1st of September.  

As before this start date is subject to shift to meet any regulations should they change. In the meantime we will be hard at work continuing to promote the campaign to a national audience and asking therapists to support us and boost their own professional profile by sharing their involvement with local media.

So from the 1st of September NHS staff can get in touch with you to make a booking within 30 days. You can speak with them, take details and accept their booking but you do not have to provide an appointment until you are comfortable to do so.

When the person gets in touch to avail of a donated treatment but you do not know when you will be back to work yet whether it's via phone, email or messaging service, please say something along the lines of;

"Thank you for your booking and I am looking forward to offering you a free treatment. I have not decided on the date I will return to treating clients yet but I can confirm that you have secured a free treatment with me and I will be back in touch with you to confirm a time and a date for your appointment once I have decided on a return to work date."

The campaign will last for 30 days from the 1st of September as long as governmental regulations do not change. We feel 30 days is long enough for NHS workers to avail of the campaign and puts a time limit on the campaign so that you the therapist are not contacted indefinitely. During those 30 days, the NHS worker can get in touch with you to book an appointment. The appointment does not have to happen within those 30 days. You can arrange with them for it to happen anytime once you feel safe to return to work.  

We recommend you donate a minimum of 1 treatment and a maximum of 5. However it is entirely up to you and depends on how much time you can give and your availability. The NHS front line workers can contact you via phone or email and you can accept or decline the booking as you would do any normal client or patient. If you reach your limit and get a booking request after that, you can let the most recent booking requester know that you have already allocated all your donated treatments.

NHS doctors and nurses carry an NHS ID card which states their job title, photo and card ID number. When the person gets in touch saying they would like to avail of the offer please ask for a copy of their card sent via email or messenger and let them know you will be asking them to present it when they visit for their appointment. It is up to you which way but it is best to confirm they are a doctor or nurse with the NHS.

There are no set rules surrounding the treatments and bookings and you can proceed as you do with your other clients. When filling in the form you will have given either a phone number, email and/or website or Facebook page. The client may contact you via one of these. Once first contact is made and you decide to accept them, you can confirm over the phone or email or if you have one you can give them a discount code to use on your own booking system. 

No! Please treat a booking for the donated treatment like you would any booking. If there is anything about the client or situation which does not fit with your normal acceptance procedures you can decline the booking request.

Yes, absolutely. Once the campaign ends after 30 days, we will be removing the map from our website and deleting all the therapists listings. 

Yes, there can be! Doctors and nurses are plugged into the healthcare system. Some of them may be friends with local GP's or work at smaller local clinics. It would be great to get some referrals out of your generosity.

After the treatment, you could politely ask the client any of the following:

  1. Can I take a photo of us and share it on social media to mention I donated a treatment to show my appreciation of your service
  2. Ask them whether they can share a photo or video on their social media mentioning you and the treatment they received
  3. Ask for a review on Facebook or google maps mentioning the campaign and sharing their experience of your service
  4. If they are a GP ask if you can give them some leaflets / business cards to share your services with any patients in need of treatment

Also, if that client ever wants a treatment again in the future, chances are they will come back to you. And I am pretty sure they will recommend you to their friends and family because of what you have done. 

We have been in the business of serving therapists a long time and we are the UK's only specialist complementary healthcare retailer. We are also run by therapists so we care for the therapist community and industry. What we do is our job but also our passion. Our industry is down now and because of the touch aspect of our profession we have been one of the worst hit industries. We have started this campaign not only to give back to the NHS workers fighting for all of us, but also to support the massage and complementary health industry as we try to get back up on our feet. Therapists within our industry are not only our customers but also our friends and colleagues, we want us all to come out of this keeping up the positive momentum our industry has seen in recent years and even possibly stronger after some very positive PR and public awareness.

We're glad you asked! Your business can benefit greatly from this campaign with just a little effort. Local newspapers and radio stations are crying our for things to write or talk about! Thousands in your local area will read the local newspaper or listen to the local radio and this is a great opportunity to get in front of them for free!

Here is what to do:

  1. Download our press release here
  2. Insert your logo next to ours and add your business name to the first line and anywhere else you think appropriate so that it is "Your Business Name & Massage Warehouse" Campaign. Make this your campaign locally and you are doing it alongside us
  3. Make a list of all your local newspapers, magazines and radio stations and find out the phone number and email address of the relevant person to let know about this
  4. Send them an email explaining a little about the campaign and attach the press release you downloaded and edited
  5. Follow up with a phone call to that person to tell them you've sent them an email you think would be a great positive news story for them and mention in both the email and phone call that you are trying to get the word out to local NHS front line workers so they know about the campaign
  6. Sit back and wait for the positive press!
  7. Let us know how it goes for you inside the FB group. We would love to hear how this works out for you and every other therapists taking part!


Check out the PR Sarah from oxford School of Massage did on her local BBC radio below.




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!