Choosing a Safe Table for Ashiatsu

With the added weight of the massage practitioner on the massage table, choosing a safe, sturdy and reliable table is extremely important. When you choose a table, there are two numbers you should take note of; the static weight and working/dynamic weight.

Static Weight vs. Working/Dynamic Weight

Static weight is the weight of your stationary client on the table. Most of the time, we only consider the static weight of the client in concerns to table weight limits.

With ashiatsu, we also need to factor in the weight of the practitioner,
in addition to the weight of the client.

Working weight (also referred to as “dynamic weight”) is the sum your weight, the pressure you are exerting down onto the table, plus your client’s weight. Adding your weight to the table and the changing pressure of massage strokes may exceed the static and/or working weight limit. Look for a table with a high working/dynamic weight limit.

What is UL Listing on a Massage Table?

When shopping around for a massage table you may see the term “UL listing.” This means that the table has been tested by an underwriter’s laboratory. Not every massage table has this certification of quality. You may find that having a UL listed table is an advantage, should a question of liability ever arise.

Evaluating and Checking Your Table

If your table squeaks, creeks, or makes cracking noises, invest in a better table before you try barefoot massage. Having a table that collapses during a massage would not only serious injure a client, it would be seriously damaging to your business.

Between sessions, check for any loose screws and knobs, including hinges, leg supports, height adjustment knobs, and joints on the legs and frame. Check the cables and the plywood on the underside of the table.

Massage therapists have low liability insurance because massage therapy is safe; let’s keep ashiatsu massage safe too.

About Ivy

Thank you for reading this post! In addition to writing here at, I write about more general massage topics at Massage & Bloggywork, as well as teach massage continuing education at Advanced Massage Techniques.


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  1. I love the article and wanted to say thanks for contributing to the safety of both therapists and clients. However, I wanted to offer one correction/note and a few suggestions.
    UL certification is primarily related to the electrical, wiring and motor components…rather than the structure itself. A table with electrically actuated lift may (or may not) be UL Certified or similarly certified by one of a number of other companies. ETL is very common and universally accepted. On a manually adjusted table, UL would not be a factor.
    The most important pieces of a ashiatsu table is actually the width, materials and construction of the frame and top. A metal framed stationary table will aways be the safest and most stable option. Look for strong weld points, crossbraces, and the gauge (thickness) of the frame. On the top, avoid the cheap tables that are often based with particle board or very thin plywood. Look under the table and ask about the wood…often birch or maple and make sure each area is properly supported by the frame.
    My one last recommendation is to find a low height table. An ADA compliant table will drop as low as possible to the ground, allowing the therapist to remain closer to the ground and make for an easier time getting on and off the table.
    I hope this helps in understanding the ins and outs of table basics. I am always glad to answer any questions about massage tables or furniture.

    • Hi, Brian!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to educate myself and others. I always love when experts stop by. This is fanastic information and I will make some edits to the post just in case people do not make it down here. I am working on a massage table post for my other site (Massage & Bloggywork) and would love to use this information on there.

      An extremely happy Earthlite owner,

      • Ivy…I spent a few hours reading your posts and reviewing the sites. Great stuff! I’m excited to see this kind of straight forward Information put on the Web. Feel free to use anything I write as needed..but only if you allow me to refer your website to some my massage and spa friends! I know some folks who could greatly benefit from reading your sites. Thanks again!
        ….and I’m glad you love your Earthlite!

  2. Hi Ivy, I’ve been following your blog and researching to find the best set up for my Ashiatsu practice. I came across this table on AcuBest
    I would value your opinion!

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