While the services of a trained and professional masseur can still be availed of at home, there are now special massage parlors that run commercially. The art is now enjoying the status of a full-fledged business, where walk-in customers can receive a massage at a price.
There are a number of specially designed and crafted tools and support gadgets that are now marketed to add sophistication and more comfort to the endeavor. The commercial massage table is an exclusive design, which can be cleaned very easily before every use, and is heavily padded to offer the feel of ultimate luxury. The surface material ranges from fabric to faux leather, and comes in a variety of colors and textures. The quality, durability, and design largely depend on the budget.
The massage tables have a horse-shoe-shaped support structure for the head. This enables the client to breathe easily while enjoying a back massage and lying face down. The massage tables can be both, stationary and portable. The portable variety has small, sturdy wheels attached to the legs of the massage tables.
The orthopedic pillows and bolsters are designed and marketed by professionals. They are great in achieving the desired and correct body position for a massage. The mechanical massage chairs are ergonomically designed. They are designed to position the customer, who will be receiving a massage, in the position apt for the head, neck, hand, or foot massage. The function of a massage chair is similar to that of a massage table, and the chairs too can either be stationary or portable.
The massage chairs are easier to maneuver than the tables. The practitioner can maneuver the massage chairs around the parlor, in case there is a space constraint. A chair massage is very often offered at outdoor festivals and shopping malls.
One of the most important massage tool is the massage oil. You can work even in a regular setting, with regular, stationary furniture, but definitely not without the oil! The massage oil functions not only as a lubricant in the exercise, which is of course very important, but also as a healing tool.
There are different types of oils that are considered by the masseur or therapist according to the body part and complaint being dealt with. The oils can be used directly or fractionated. The tried and tested, and widely used massage oils, include, extractions of coconut, grape seed, sesame, mustard, olive, pecan, macadamia, almond, pine, and neroli.
Oils are also extracted from flowers, like arnica oil that is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the Arnica Montana. In aromatherapy, the massage oils are mixed with other oils known as carrier oils. Olive oil works well as a base oil, when used medicinally. It is important for the masseur to view the massage area well and detect any kind of rash or reaction developing due to the use of an oil or when pressure is applied.
Along with furniture and oils, the correct type of lighting also plays a very crucial role in a massage. Massage parlors can be fitted with special focus lights that are commercially marketed. Today, electronic massage equipment is available in the market, which operates without the requirement of additional manual assistance.