7 electric massage table tips

{Today’s post has been brought to you by our Durham instructor Julie Marciniak, who is under 5′ tall.}

It’s been 15 years since I learned ashiatsu! Learning ashiatsu was a career saver for me.  There’s no way I’d be able to maintain a practice of 25+ years without it.

I still remember how excited I was to come back and put up my eyebolts and get my feet on clients. I had a taste of what it was like to be able to REALLY go deep without hurting myself. Nothing could hold me back now! Except…table heights.

Ughhh…. When you’re short, it’s all about height. 😕

The first ten years of my massage practice I learned that I needed a low table for me to deliver deep pressure. But when I came back from learning ashiatsu I realized that for me to work at my current table height, my bars had to be low.

The only system of overhead support back then was using eye bolts, only available when you could locate at your local home improvement stores. Eventually, I figured it out and made it work with my current table but I knew an electric table was in my future.

15 years later, I now own four electric tables. I still have my original Oakworks table(she’s ten years old!), and I also have 3 Earthlite Elloras. (Read our post about the Earthlite tables here.)

So I know a little bit about working with electric tables. 😌

There’s one thing I recommend to students learning ashiatsu.  You NEED an electric massage table. If you are in this for the long haul, then make it a priority. It’s THAT important, and you WILL thank me later. Here are a few tips I recommend for your current or future electric table and these tips are more specific with ashiatsu therapists in mind.

  1. Shop around. There are more options out there than there use to be and the price is more reasonable if you’re going for a basic model.  I’ve even seen a few electric tables for sale on Craigslist.  They can be pretty heavy so check the shipping/delivery charges to see how much it adds to your final costs.
  2. Make sure it’s ADA(American Disabilities Act) compliant. This means it lowers to a height of 17″ to allow for wheelchair chair transfer. It also means you may qualify for a 50% tax credit(different than a deduction). Check with your accountant to see if you are eligible but it that’s like you’re buying it for half price once you get your taxes back.
  3. Scissor leg electric table or pedestal type? With us ashiatsu therapists stepping mostly around the corners and outer edges of the table, a pedestal type table is not going to work as there’s only support in the middle of the table. You need scissor legs like the Earthlite Ellora has.
  4. Protect your investment. Buy a power surge protector to protect your table from lightning strikes or power surges. Also, you may want to keep a few basic tools around the office to check your joints and tighten them on a regular basis.  I have a set of hex key or Allen wrenches, a set of pliers and some white grease. Check your manufacturers’ instructions for maintenance. And keep those in a safe place too!
  5. A little trick I learned with the power cords. I turned my rug upside down and cut a 3″ slit in the rug to pull the power cord through and under so that I didn’t have to use one of those ugly floor cord hiders. I also have a table warmer and that cord as well runs under the rug. It makes it easier to roll your stool over, it’s easy to do, and it doesn’t cost anything!
  6. Put the wheel end of the table towards the head. Most electric tables come with a stationary end and a wheel end. Placing the wheels at the head of the table allows for you to pick the table up from the feet and roll forward or backward depending on how close to the wall or your ashiatsu stool you need to be. With my short legs, I need the face cradle to be touching the stool.My other therapists need to to be several inches further away from the stool. If we get in the room and forget to adjust the table and the client is already lying down, it’s easy to slightly pick up the end of the table and move it to where we need it.
  7. Get the widest table possible! With ashiatsu therapists spending most of their time up on the table I highly recommend the 35″ option with the Earthlite Ellora or Earthlite Ellora Vista. It’s a $250 upgrade but worth every penny! You may think, what’s the big deal? It’s only 3″! But that 3″ is where I live when I’m doing ashiatsu.

    It’s the extra 3″ that give larger clients more shoulder room, their elbows are supported, and there is space for their tree trunk legs!

    They can spread out a little bit, and the therapist has more room to do posterior and superior arm and hand work with ashiatsu.I too used to think it wasn’t that big of a deal. After all, my old Oakworks hydraulic table is 32″.

    But after all these years of doing bodywork, it’s the little details that stick out to me now and I’m a lot more comfortable working on the wider 35″ than I am on the 32″.Even a few female clients have commented that they liked the wider table before I upgraded my other therapy rooms.

    So the 32″ was retired to the Ashiatsu training room and all my treatment rooms have 35″ Earthlite Elloras, because I want my therapists and clients to have the best table I can afford.


    Share, like this content all about ashiatsu barefoot massageStill waiting to get an electric table? They are worth the investment! For a discount on these fantastic tables, contact
    👣 Julie at julie@barefootmassagecenter.com or
    👣 Mary-Claire at mc@barefootmassagecenter.com or
    👣 Mariah at mariah@barefootmassagecenter.com