You already have the two most important pieces of equipment you’ll need for your career as a massage therapist: your two hands. But for the massage professional, it helps to have the right gear for your massage therapy business.
Massage Table: Your biggest investment will be your massage table. Look for a portable and adjustable table made from high quality materials that has a working weight capacity up to 450 pounds. The table covering should be vinyl or a non-cloth material so that it can be disinfected between appointments. There should be high-density foam padding on the surface for comfort. The table also needs a headrest, and a multi-tilt headrest best for client comfort.
Table Extras: You’ll need a carrying case if you are traveling with your table to see clients. It also helps to protect your table when not in use. Additional pillows are helpful to have on hand during a massage for the client’s neck and chest.
Sheets & Blankets: To cover your table, you’ll want twin sheet sets with a high thread count (225-250 is good). If you buy sheets using a cotton/polyester blend, a higher percentage of cotton will be softer. Some companies even sheets designed to fit massage tables. Flannel sheets are a nice option for winter or cold rooms.
Creams/Lotions: Make sure to use hypoallergenic massage cream if you have sensitive clients or if you are sensitive to fragrances yourself. Use a pump bottle for creams so you can access them without lifting both hands from your client.
Music and Lighting: A portable music player like an iPod provides continuous music. There are amplified speaker systems that an iPod will attach to easily. The music is better when it is relaxing and non-vocal and may even include “natural sounds” like birds, the surf or a babbling brook. Ideal lighting is a floor lamp that is dimmable, non-fluorescent, sconce, or provides indirect light.
Additional tools that can provide a better massage experience include: a clock to ensure that the massage ends at the agreed-upon time; disinfectant wipes; massage stones and a crock pot to warm them; aromatherapy diffusers; additional towels for draping, and also for clean-up; an adjustable height stool; a device to warm massage creams; a small fan, as well as a small space heater, to help control the room climate as needed; and a mirror to help clients dress after massage sessions.