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Industry • Best Practice

3 Tips for Buying the Best Massage Equipment for Your Business

How to find quality equipment for your massage therapy business without overspending

If you’re running or starting a massage business, you want the best possible equipment and assets to help each appointment go smoothly. But the best massage equipment isn’t necessarily the same for each therapist. The ideal solution for your business is to strike a balance between products your clients and therapists enjoy and making purchases within your budget.

Easier said than done, right? Don’t worry! We’ve compiled this handy massage equipment and supplies reference guide to help you get started.

Building your massage equipment list for shopping

A massage therapy business doesn’t need every bell and whistle. A small at-home operation can be just as fulfilling as a full-blown spa retreat by making the most of its therapeutic massage equipment. Always start with these essentials before moving on to optional accessories and amenities:

The essentials

  • Massage table: The most crucial piece of equipment for massage therapy is the massage table. While overall prices are flexible, aim for dimensions between 60-90” long and 30-40” wide. This is the ideal size to ensure that the client’s back, neck, legs, arms, and other areas are comfortably supported.

  • Oils and lotions: Beyond a table, the only other necessity is a non-toxic lubricant that soothes and moistens the skin. Price is less important than personal preferences — skilled massage therapists don’t necessarily need the most expensive oil, but their favorites should be within budget. 

  • Towels and linens: Therapists should always have fresh towels and linens in stock for both client comfort and clean-up. The main consideration is fabric — cotton feels comfortable and retains warmth, while microfibre is durable with high stain resistance. Whatever the material, choose products that are soft, durable, and dry quickly.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment: Therapists typically won’t need cleaning products during a session, but they definitely need them between appointments. Find a combination of disinfectant sprays, hand sanitizers, and disposable wipes that will help make the room spotless before a new patient arrives. Having some PPE, such as masks, is also a good idea to help health-conscious clients feel more comfortable.

The accessories

  • Aromatherapy: Bringing essential oil aromatherapy into your massage session can make it even more relaxing with minimal extra effort on your behalf. Depending on the patient’s preferences, therapists can apply these oils on the skin alongside lotion or add them to a specialized diffuser. Whatever the case, be judicious when diluting essential oils — a little bit goes a long way.

  • Scented candles: If a full aromatherapy setup is outside your scope, more straightforward solutions like scented candles can also fit the bill. These products are visually appealing and have the calming benefits of scented products without the fuss of direct skin applications. Just make sure that your space is well-ventilated with an HVAC unit before lighting a candle — few things kill a relaxed vibe faster than a smoke alarm going off.

  • Sound system: Speaking of bringing other senses into your massage, calming music or soundscapes can help patients relax and be more receptive to treatment. The simplest option is a portable, waterproof speaker with a WiFi connection. Whatever you choose, remember that sound carries, so heavy-duty speakers will likely need to be paired with soundproofed rooms.

The nice-to-have amenities

  • Facial massage supplies: Most massage therapies focus on the back, arms, and legs, but muscles in the face and neck carry tension as well. Specialized creams, masks, and facial rollers can help clients relax in all-new ways.

  • Portable devices: To paraphrase the ancient Xzibit meme, we heard you liked massages, so we gave you a massage while giving you a massage. A portable foot or hand massaging device can help your client feel that extra degree of relaxation and comfort when you're pulling out all the stops.

  • Bathing facilities: Bathing amenities aren’t usually featured on a massage spa equipment list, but getting clean before a full massage is good for both the client and the therapist. By the same token, some patients also want to rinse off any oils after a massage before resuming their days. Stock up on additional towels and soap, and remind patients to avoid hot showers post-session to prevent dizziness.

With your massage therapy equipment list in hand, it’s time to start turning these recommendations into fulfilling spa experiences. Here are three tips to help you get started.

Tip 1: Expensive doesn’t mean better

Let’s go back to the massage table as an illustrative example: So long as it fits the dimensions described above, it doesn’t matter what material it’s made of or how much it costs. Don’t fall for the sunk cost fallacy that suggests a more expensive massage table (or equipment of any other kind) is always better better; the massage experience will only be as good as the therapist, with everything else involved only being able to support the therapist’s talents.

However, safety is still the top priority. For example, you should check whether any loose parts on a table could cause injuries to your clients, and if you opt for a folding massage table, it’s essential to go for a brand with demonstrated reliability. Beyond tables, you should research oils and aromatherapy solutions for potential allergy issues and come prepared with alternatives for clients who need them.

Tip 2: Sound is essential to the spa experience

Ideally, a massage spa will provide an all-encompassing experience of healing and relaxation, which makes a sound system is another essential piece of massage spa equipment. Significant evidence supports the claim that music helps patients relax during psychological therapy sessions, and it isn’t much of a leap to apply those same fundamentals to massage therapy.

Of course, the best sound equipment system in the world will be wasted if you don’t put any thought into what it’s going to broadcast. Look into buying some dedicated soundtracks of relaxing music — or at least an Apple Music or Spotify premium subscription. Unless you have a patient who is lulled to sleep by the sound of car dealership commercials and promotions for podcasts, always avoid ad-supported media in a massage therapy environment.

Tip 3: Think about what the patient doesn’t see

Even if it isn’t directly involved with administering massage therapy to clients, it’s worth considering the kind of equipment that will keep your business operating efficiently. You likely have a heavy-duty washing machine to clean your towels and linens, but have you thought about a filing system for patient records? How about booking software, payment systems, or inventory management tools?

These details are just as crucial to running a massage business as buying a table or lotions. That’s why Boulevard offers everything massage therapists need to run operations from a single software platform, including precision scheduling, custom reporting, built-in inventory management, two-way texting communication, and more.

Want to find more ways to keep your massage business’s momentum building? Download our Ultimate Growth Playbook today and keep your progress pointed in the right direction.

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