So you’ve decided to take your business to the next level and invest in an electric massage table. Your clients will thank you, your back will love you and even your wallet may be pleasantly surprised by the range now available, but with so many options to choose from, how do you find the one that’s right for you?
Here are the top 10 considerations before you take the plunge and purchase a powerlift table.
With space at a premium in many salons and clinics, the length and width of the table may be an important factor to consider. You need to find the perfect balance between what will fit in your treatment room and what is going to suit your clients.
If the table is not wide enough, older clients may feel insecure or it may not give you sufficient working space if you need the arms down by the sides. Likewise, it’s no good buying a table that is 165cm long if your clients are 190cm tall basketball players!
The height range of the table is important too, does it go low enough to accommodate wheelchair access? Is it stable at its maximum height? Check the action as the table is raised and lowered, some frame designs move forward and backward with changes in height, which may cause a problem in smaller rooms.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Nearly all manufacturers describe their table motor as silent, but silence can be subjective! Ideally you should take the table for a test drive, if that’s not possible at least go online and read some reviews of the motor or table you are thinking about.
Check how smoothly the table glides up and down, and the speed it moves. With a good table you can hardly tell when it’s moving. Faster is not necessarily better, your clients will be relaxed, they’re not there for a thrill ride.
BEING IN CONTROL
Hand control or foot control? If you are working with oil the foot control is certainly the preferred control method and, for basic up/down tables, is generally all that’s required. If you adjust your table regularly throughout a treatment, the option to add a second foot pedal is a bonus so that you have control from both ends or sides of the table without having to keep walking around the table to adjust it.
Some key considerations relating to the design of the table frame are;
- Do you require leg room under the table for work from a seated position?
- Does the table have wheels so it can be easily moved?
- Is it sturdy and well-constructed?
- Is it stable at all heights?
- Is it stable when clients are getting on and off the table?
Some powerlift tables are flat, so the plinth raises and lowers in one piece, but others have the additional flexibility of moving in sections so that you can position your client more precisely. The top can also be a traditional rectangular shape or contoured or you might need something customised just for you.
The foam that is used is another consideration, a chiropractor will like a thin hard foam, a beauty therapist would probably choose a thick soft foam and a massage therapist somewhere in between. Does the company you are buying from offer a foam option?
Ultimately the design you choose will depend on the treatment options you wish to offer.
Have a look at what accessories are available to suit the table you are considering, it may alter your final decision. For example, don’t discount a table if it’s a little short as there may be a footrest extension that you can just add when you have a tall client. Additional armrests and headrest options are the most widely available accessories, even if you don’t need them immediately, see if the fittings are there so they can be added later if required.
Your electric table is an investment for your business so make sure it has a decent warranty. Check out who is offering the warranty, is it a local business or an overseas manufacturer? If something were to go wrong, how and where will it be dealt with?
When it comes to price, powerlift tables can range from around $1,200 to $12,000. All of the points in this article will have an impact on where in this spectrum your table sits. Most reputable companies will offer finance options to spread the cost over 1 – 5 years, which some small businesses find tax effective.
And finally, and I do stress this, check out the credibility of the company. There are physical stores and online retailers, with a good selection and great prices. However there are also some not-so-reputable companies with non-existent customer service. Search out independent reviews online, don’t just rely on the testimonials on the company’s website.