Massage Therapy Supplies: Basic Equipment List
Massage therapy can be as simple as a quick 15-minute stimulation of the body's pressure points, a breathing exercise, or more elaborate as an hour-long Swedish massage or hot stone therapy. Before a massage can be performed, however, a masseuse must have a wide-range of equipment at his or her disposal, as well as an understanding of what they are. These can be portable supplies, or ones used solely in a spa or wellness center. A masseuse will generally have various equipment based on the following categories:
1. MASSAGE TABLES, CHAIRS OR MATS - Portable or stationary tables and chairs (including the use of reflexology ones) are used for massages. Portable Thai mats can also be used, if desired.
2. AROMATHERAPY - This is the use of essential oils, absolute oils, and hydrosols to bring harmony and balance to one's life. The use of these produces enhances the massage experience by calming and soothing the body and mind. Products to choose from include:
ESSENTIAL OILS - Oils made from various parts of plants.
ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS - Oils blended to create an aromatic fragrance or for specific therapeutic purposes.
CANDLES - Scented candles used for aromatherapy purposes.
EAR CANDLES - Candles made from fabric and wax that are lit and inserted into the ears to draw out ear-wax and other impurities.
INCENSE - A mixture of plant or animal aromas and essential oils that are pressed into powder or stick form and burned to release the aromatic smoke.
NATURAL HERBS - Derived from plants and plant materials, they are infused or distilled with essential oils to be of use as medicinal aids in massage therapy.
REMEDY OILS - Essential oils used as medicinal aids in massage therapy.
AROMATHERAPY DIFFUSERS - A means of distributing the essential oils in the air within a room or a semi-confined space.
3. MUSIC - Used to enhance the massage experience by calming and soothing the senses and mind.
4. BOOKS - Used to provide a masseuse with valuable information on techniques, and to provide clients with answers to questions they might have. It is recommended to build a library of books for both uses.
5. VIDEOS - Used to provide a masseuse with valuable instructional information, and serve as visual aides to refresh on techniques.
6. CHARTS AND ANATOMICAL SUPPLIES - As displays, these tools provide education for patients as well as masseuses in understanding the human body, its muscular and skeletal functions, and how massage therapy can provide relief. Products to choose from include:
ANATOMY CHARTS - Charts citing points of reference in relation to muscular or skeletal functions and their locations on the body.
TRIGGER POINT CHARTS - Charts citing specific patterns of pain in a given area and their corresponding trigger points throughout the body.
REFLEXOLOGY CHARTS - Charts citing the organ and gland reflexes in the hands and feet.
SKELETONS - Skeletal models of the human body, used to understand where various bones, muscles, and nerves connect in the body.
POSTERS - Colorful wall displays bringing attention to specific points of reference in massage therapies and massage information.
DECODERS - Information wheels that provide a vast amount of information in a concise format. These include information on aromatherapy, specific massage therapy information, and herbs.
7. CLOTHING - Includes medical scrubs for a masseuse, and disposable boxers, briefs, panties, or bras for clients to wear during a massage.
8. HOT AND COLD THERAPIES - The therapies and their products provide hot and cold therapy massage relief. Products to choose from include:
COLD OR HOT PACKS - Freezable or microwaveable packs that can be used on various parts of the body for specific therapy relief, with or without a massage.
MOIST HEAT PRODUCTS - Products using moisture from the air to provide hot therapy relief in the form of heating pads or pillows.
HOT STONE MASSAGE PRODUCTS - Stones and accessories used to draw out muscular aches and pains. This is accomplished by placing stones heated on coals or with hot water on a towel and on the specific areas of the body.
HYDROCOLLATORS - Moist heat units used for hot stone massage, wraps, or spa therapies.
PARAFFIN TREATMENT PRODUCTS - Paraffin wax and accessories used to relief from joint and muscle stiffness or pain, and dry skin.
FOMENTEK BAGS - Multipurpose and versatile moist heat and cool therapy bags used for muscle and bone relief.
9. MASSAGE TOOLS - Products used by a masseuse during a massage, or available for patients to purchase for home use. Products to choose from include:
THUMPERS - Hand-held massage tools with eight massage spheres that are designed to provide stimulation of pressure points when applied in a downward pressure to specific areas of the body. These are available for manual or electrical use.
ERLS - Steps used to prop a massage table without having to adjust its height.
MASSAGERS - Massage tools in a wide-range of varieties designed to provide rubbing, massaging, or pressure relief when used on specific areas of the body. These are available for manual or electrical use.
MASSAGE AND MARBLE STONES - Stones used in hot and cold therapies and hot stone massage.
WARMERS - Electrical warming units for massage and marble stones, and spa use.
EXERCISERS - Small balls used for promoting better finger, hand, and forearm strength. They can also be used in hot and cold therapies, as they respond well to hot and cold temperatures.
CARPAL TUNNEL GLOVES - Fitted gloves used on carpal tunnel patients, to increase circulation and decrease swelling or discomfort. They are also used in conjunction with hot and cold packs, for added relief.
POWER PUTTY - Silicone rubber putty used to strengthen hand functions and strength, while following various putty-stretching exercises.
10. MASSAGE TABLE ACCESSORIES - Necessary products used for and in conjunction with a massage table. Products to choose from include:
CARTS - Storage areas for massage table accessories.
COVERS, SHEETS, BLANKETS, AND FLEECE PADS - Linens and pads for use on the massage table, available in cotton (sheets and blankets), fleece (sheets, blankets and pads) or disposable materials (sheets and pads).
FACE CRADLE COVERS - Cotton covers that fit over the face cradle on the massage table.
TOWELS - Terry cloths used in wrapping massage or marble stones.
BOLSTERS AND BODY CUSHION SYSTEMS - Pillows used to prop various areas of the body during a massage, including the backs of the knees, head, or neck.
DETERGENTS AND CLEANING PRODUCTS - Washing detergents, soaps, or sanitizers used to clean and sanitize the linens, massage table or chair surfaces after usage.
11. OILS, CREAMS AND LOTIONS - Necessary products used on the skin during a massage. Products to choose from include:
MASSAGE OILS, CREAMS, LOTIONS, AND GELS - These are applied to the skin during a massage for specific body conditions, friction, releasing tension, unclogging body energies, and soothing and moisturizing skin.
SALT AND SUGAR SCRUBS - Scrubs designed to leave the skin feeling smooth and moisturized.
TOPICAL PAIN RELIEVERS - Analgesics and various balms used to provide hot or cool therapies to the skin in order to relieve muscular or joint pain.
HAND SANITIZERS - Anti-bacterial sprays or cleansers to dispel germs.
SKIN SHIELDS - Specialized hand or body lotion for people with skin conditions. They are used to create a temporary invisible barrier against various elements and chemicals.
EXTRA STORAGE BOTTLES AND PUMPS - Containers used to store essential oils, herbs, lotions, creams, gels, scrubs, and other products.
12. MARKETING TOOLS - Products self-made or purchased that are designed to help promote a masseuse's business. Products to choose from include:
GIFT CERTIFICATES - Redeemable vouchers good for purchasing as gifts.
BROCHURES, BUSINESS CARDS AND FLYERS - Printed advertisements and contact information to provide to patients and potential patients.