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How to Choose a Portable Massage Chair

A portable massage chair is an essential piece of business equipment for massage therapists offering onsite chair massage.

When you select a massage therapy chair, important features to consider include ease of set-up and transport, client comfort, durability, and ease of use for you.

Portable Massage Chair with parts identified

How Adjustable Is the Chair?

For client comfort, adjustability of the chair is an important factor. You want to accommodate as many people as possible, from the smallest to the largest. While a variety of adjustable parts let you more easily adapt the chair to fit any client, some therapists find too many knobs and levers can become confusing and distracting. Pick something you are comfortable learning to use.

Most chairs have an adjustable face cradle, chest pad, and arm rest, and some chairs also have an adjustable seat. Learn to work all the adjustable parts before you start seeing clients. If you fumble with a chair during a massage session, it can distract and annoy clients.

Other Portable Massage Chair Features

Just as when you shop for a massage table, look for features in a portable massage therapy chair to accommodate both you and your clients. Here are some items to consider:

  • Removable knee rests to accommodate clients who cannot bend their knees to place them on the knee pads.

  • Standard sternum pads are flat. Optional sternum pads are shaped like a triangle and can be more comfortable for larger clients and women with large breasts.

  • Well-padded, comfortable face cradle.

  • Lightweight, portable, yet sturdy construction. You want both an easy-to-move piece of equipment and a steady chair that doesn't move much or squeak during the massage.

  • Durable covering—most manufacturers use a durable vinyl.

  • Good warranty.

  • A carrying case for ease of transport and to keep the chair clean.

Popular Choices

Three of the most popular brands of massage chair are Stronglite, Oakworks, and Earthlite. All three manufacturers offer top quality chairs, and choice is largely a matter of personal preference.

An alternative to a full massage chair is the desktop unit, like the one pictured. This unit is the top half of a massage chair designed to sit on a desk, table, counter, or other convenient surface. The client sits in a regular chair. The TravelMate works great for providing back massage to clients in wheelchairs or for moving around an office and giving back massages at desks.

Keep all these factors in mind as you shop, and find the best massage chair for you.

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