Selection of massage couch

Selecting and purchasing a massage couch can be difficult as there is a wide choice available.

Selection is often based on the cost of the couch, but there are other important points to bear in mind when buying. Consider the following points:

® It must be wide enough for the clients to turn over easily and to feel safe and secure.

® It must be long enough to support the length of the body.

® It must be robust, secure and firm. It must not move or rock with the massage nor grate or squeak as this will disturb the client and prevent her/him from relaxing.

® It must be at the correct height for working. If it is too high the therapist will have to stretch to reach certain areas. S/he will not be able to use body weight correctly to apply the required pressure. If it is too low the therapist will have to bend over too much. This will cause shoulder and back problems. When standing upright next to the couch with the arms by the side, the couch should be just below the level of the wrist.

® The covering should be of smooth, washable material that is easy to wipe over and keep clean.

® If you need a couch that you can move from room to room or take on home visits then select the portable folding variety. Ensure that the legs are sturdy and that the hinges are secure and firm. Apply pressure sideways and to the top and bottom to test whether it shakes, rocks or stays firm.

If you are using the couch for other treatments, select from the multi-purpose varieties. The most useful couches are the adjustable height hydraulic varieties, but these are expensive and may be outside your budget. However, they are ideal for massage as the height can be adjusted to accommodate all types of client such as small and thin or large and obese. Some couches have a hole for the nose and mouth, to make positioning and breathing easier when lying prone.

Figure 3.2 A prepared treatment couch.
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