Every Massage Therapist has different reasons for choosing and using a particular table height.
If your fingertips, knuckles, or palms rest on your table without your shoulders scrunching while standing next to it, it is at the right height. An achy back (raise it) or shoulders (lower it) will indicate if the table needs to change in height.
As a massage therapist becomes more experienced, it is suggested that they begin lowering the table’s height, unless there is a physical reason they cannot do so. Aligning your hips with the table top keeps the therapist from reaching or bending and allows them to be on top of and behind their strokes. Lunging in a bow stance aids the therapist in aligning their hips with the table.
With that in mind, there are many other reasons to change a table’s height.
Different massage modalities such as Shiatsu and deep tissue require the therapist to use their body weight more, so lowering the table will accommodate that need. It will also demand less effort of the therapist by allowing them to be on top of and behind their strokes. Deep Tissue Therapists and those who work on larger or pregnant clients may want more padding, and of course, that needs to be accounted for when choosing the table height.
If a table is wider than average, it may need to be lowered to decrease the need to reach. (The average table width is about 31”.) Very short therapists may need to use a stool to stand on, but make sure that the stool is large and sturdy enough to allow movement without tipping.
When aiding with respiratory issues, a therapist can lower the head of the table where it is lower than the foot to allow gravity to help with respiratory drainage.
These are some of the most common reasons to vary table height. What are your reasons for the table height you use?