Having an electric massage table solves a lot of problems for barefoot massage therapists, one of which is the ability to use only one stool instead of two. You simply raise or lower the table according to your needs. When using a portable massage table, ashiatsu therapists typically need 2 stools–that is, until now, for we’ve got a meditation pillow to the rescue.
Typically when an Ashiatsu therapists does work while the client is on the table and she’s seated, she will need a taller stool. Proper alignment calls for the therapist’s hips to be about the level of the client’s back when she’s doing seated work.
However, we don’t recommend standing on the tall stool because the higher you go, the more unstable your stool will be. Plus, you end up with crummy body mechanics-you’ll end up hurting yourself or tipping the stool forward onto the client’s head. I’ve been on the receiving end of that and definitely don’t recommend that.
Having an electric table resolves the need for a taller stool because you just raise and lower your table as needed. Doing seated work, lower your table. Standing? Raise it. Jeni’s got a quick video explanation of how she does it using a bamboo stick.
The problems with having to switch out stools in the middle of your session are:
- you have to pick up or slide the stool out of the way and then
- pick up / slide the other stool into place
The difficulty lies in that the client’s head is only a couple of inches from your stool. If you’re not extremely careful, you’ll either hit the wall with one of the stools, which makes a big “clunk” or you’ll hit the face cradle.
Add into the time involved in switching out your stools, and the client may wonder what’s going on.
Using a meditation bolster completely resolves this issue. Now, the ashiatsu therapist can just use the short stool. When she needs to be higher, she quickly and quietly can simply place the bolster onto the short stool.
I’ve tried a couple of different kinds-one was filled with flax seed (or maybe buckwheat hull) and is squishy. It made a lot of noise when I sat on it, and it wasn’t terribly stable.
The kind that I’m using now are filled with cotton, are 6″ thick and are super stable and quiet.
An added bonus is that my SITS bones aren’t sore from sitting on a hard surface.
I tell you where I got this bolster in the video. They have lots of different colors. I simply chose paisley because I figured it would help disguise any random ashiatsu cream or oil drips. Students tend to be a little messy sometimes. 😉