Massage is very physical work. Even with proper body mechanics and self care, at the end of my day I am pretty exhausted. Try adding carrying my massage table and supplies up and down multiple flights of stairs and the exhaustion is two fold. I count my blessings that I have a growing number of private clients who prefer massage in their homes, but there are some days where I wonder if I can really keep doing this. While I was in school, I had purchased my first massage table to use at home for practice and eventually, private in call clientele. The table weight is about 42 lbs. With bolsters and supplies, I would fairly estimate the massage luggage to be around 46 lbs. This is the table that I have carried up 5 flights of stairs, precariously balanced on one shoulder while hailing a city cab and dragged into the narrowest of living rooms to perform what I can only describe as “ninja” massage for the contorted positions I had to take in order to do my work. This table was never meant to be portable and as this past summer came to an end, I knew I needed something lighter…FAST!
I perused a number of sites including Massage Warehouse, Massage King, Best Massage and finally, Amazon.com. Most of the tables that were listed as portable were between 25 and 35 lbs. Although way lighter than the 46 lbs. bundle I had been lugging about, this range was not what I defined as easy to carry. Nevertheless, I finally settled on a 25 lbs. table advertised on Amazon that was ridiculously cheap due to its unpopular baby pink hue. In the description, it noted the total package weight (i.e. table with packing materials in its box) to be 32 lbs. When the table arrived, I was surprised to see the only packing material was a single plastic sheath. The table weight was 32 lbs. When I contacted customer service, they told me I had “misread” the BOLDED seller description that stated “Lightweight Massage Table – just 25lbs.” I could argue till blue in the face, but in the end, there was no way to get a refund or exchange because the table was on clearance. Despite my deep frustration, I tried to make the new table work and it did…I ended up leaving it at a client’s apartment and it has essentially become her private table for our sessions. I reverted back to the 46 pounder during the Holidays for a few sessions, but felt broken by Valentine’s. I refused to believe that there weren’t any tables on the market below 25 lbs. I just hadn’t searched hard enough or opened my budget up to a bigger investment. In the long run, if I am going to have a successful practice, I kind of need my body to not fall part at the seams.
Cue the angelic chorus in the background…
HUGE search later, I found the California based company Pisces Productions whose New Wave Lite II massage table is “The lightest full size massage table available – a remarkable 20 1/2 lbs.” See below for the goods:
I was able to customize my table, via the drop menu order form, to the specifications of my choice. The whole thing came out to just under $700. I placed the order last week and hoped that the multitude of guarantees on the site would ensure that this table would indeed be 20.5 lbs. I curl 20 lbs weights in my sleep, kid! (sorry, the Queens in me just slipped out on that one).
On Tuesday evening, my New Wave Lite II arrived. I slid it out of the box and with one hand lifted it above my head. Yes, it was SUPER light.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I examined its mechanisms and read the Quality Control sheet and Manufacturer Guarantee they included. Here are the facts: The table is supported by an interlocking canvas weave with a buoyant enough soft vinyl bed and face pillow; however it is pretty vulnerable. The table closes by velcro, which over time will start to wear off. If I am not careful to overly bump around while riding the subway and city transit, I could pop a hole in the vinyl of both the table and face cradle. The table can handle up to 500 lbs of body weight, BUT the larger your client is the more towards the ends (front or back) the client will have to mount the table in order to get on it because the center is its weakest point. The guarantee for the table is 5 years, but if damage happens to any of the vulnerable noted points, they will not replace the table. The face pillow is only guaranteed for a year, which is the most vulnerable of all parts because people’s faces are pressing into it for lengthy periods. The pillow can be re inflated, but the air hose for that is not included with the table.
This all being said, the table has in theory saved my broken a**. In practice remains to be seen, but I am optimistic my tendons will be thanking me.