7 Great Massage Supplies for the PT Practice


Massage therapy complements physical therapy and contributes to rehabilitation. It calms people in recovery and provides lasting stress relief. Deep-tissue massage can serve as the core aspect of a physical therapy treatment plan. In addition to improving patients' state of mind, the best massage supplies also help with pain management.

Massaging an injured area improves blood flow to that part of the body and loosens cramped muscles. Improved circulation cuts down recovery time and speeds up healing by bringing nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to injured parts as well as cells of the immune system. The key to enjoying these benefits is using essential physical therapy massage supplies.

1. Massage Table and Chair

A massage table is necessary for massages during physical therapy sessions. Depending on the size of the practice and the clientele, you may need a stationary table for the office and a portable massage table to take to client locations. Chairs are also necessary massage equipment items. Traditional massage chairs are foldable and portable. Keep clients comfortable while using massage tables and chairs by adding accessories like neck bolsters, footrests and face cradle covers.

Consider robotic massage chairs with padded armrests and reclining seats for a physical therapy practice without a dedicated massage therapist. These pieces of massage equipment have built-in motors, gears, rollers and airbags that mimic the hand motion of a masseuse. Carts are also essential massage room furniture. They're useful for storing massage and physical therapy supplies. Consider getting a mobile cart you can wheel around to transport physical therapy massage supplies between treatment rooms in the clinic.


2. Sheets, Pillows and Towels

Covers, sheets, blankets, knee pads and pillows make massage tables more comfortable for clients. The best massage accessories in this category are made of plush, soft and breathable materials like cotton, fleece and flannel. Sheets cover massage tables and may double as blankets to cover clients during massages. Use pillows and body cushions to support clients when repositioning them. Pads also provide support for knee and elbow joints as well as the neck.

Make sure to have a ready supply of towels for massage therapy. These physical therapy massage supplies serve multiple functions. They are useful for covering and drying clients before, during and after massages. Therapists also need them to carry and handle hot therapy products. Have a towel rack or cabinet in the massage room to keep these accessories within quick reach.

When choosing these sheets, towels, covers and other bedding accessories, consider their colors in addition to the fabrics used. The best massage accessories help make these calming sessions soothing and have colors suitable for healthcare environments. Look for covers, sheets, blankets, pillows, pads and cushions in neutral colors. Bright colors may be distracting for some clients while others will find dull colors too drab. Consider getting these physical therapy massage supplies in different shades of white, beige, ivory and other earth-tone hues.  

3. Hot and Cold Therapy Products

Hot and cold therapies are essential aspects of using massage therapy for physical rehabilitation. They're effective for pain relief, especially when treating sore and stiff muscles. They also boost blood circulation. For these reasons, hot and cold therapy products are must-have massage equipment for physical therapy clinics. Use them after working out with physical therapy exercise equipment for faster muscle recovery.

Hot therapy uses dry and moist heat products. Electric heating pads are the best massage accessories used in dry heat therapy. Compared to wet heat products, these heat up quickly and stay hot for longer. Wet heat products are better for deep tissue massages and do not dehydrate or irritate the skin. The best massage supplies in this category include steam towels, gel packs and moist heat packs.

Hybrid heating pads offer dry and moist heat benefits. These microwavable and reusable heating packs are safer to handle than electric heating pads. Hydrocollators® are also massage equipment used for heat therapy. They are standalone liquid heating devices that offer precise temperature control while heating up bentonite-filled packs. Massage therapists need physical therapy massage supplies like towels to remove and wrap heated packs prepared with Hydrocollators. Physical therapy clinics looking for simpler alternatives may use hot stones.

The best massage accessories used for ice massage therapy are cold packs. These are easier to handle than hot therapy products, and you can find them among personal care medical supplies. Physical therapists use cold packs to reduce inflammation, numb soreness, minimize tissue damage and reduce pain.


4. Foam Rollers

Foam rollers are both exercise and massage equipment. They help people recovering from muscle injuries and managing chronic pain conditions. These cylindrical foam tubes are among the best massage accessories for loosening stiff muscles. By providing myofascial release, foam rolling also strengthens and conditions recovering muscles. When used in physical therapy, rollers can boost blood circulation and improve posture, flexibility and post-exercise recovery while reducing muscle pain and healing time.

Foam rollers are simple, affordable equipment you can use anywhere. These physical therapy massage supplies target different muscle groups. Use them to massage back, shoulder, calf and neck muscles. Physical therapists can also use them on patients with hip pain as foam rolling is effective for massaging the IT band, a collection of muscles and tendons extending from the knee through the thigh to the hip.

When selecting foam rollers, consider their firmness, size and texture. Standard-sized rollers are suitable for massaging the back and limbs, while shorter ones are ideal for calves and other small sections of the body. Standard-density rollers are excellent all-round exercise and massage equipment. Choose a soft-density foam roller for gentle massages and for very young and elderly clients. Firm-density units are best for active individuals with well-developed muscles.

5. Massage Tools

Besides foam rollers, physical therapists use other exercise and massage equipment to help clients relax and regain motor functions. Some of these are for whole-body massages, while others target specific body parts, such as arms, hands and fingers. Examples of massage equipment commonly used in physical therapy are massagers from brands such as Thumper® and exercisers.

A handheld massager typically contains up to eight spherical balls. Also known as a percussion massager, this tool belongs in the same class as massage guns. They are some of the best massage supplies and equipment for deep tissue massages. Some tools direct massaging action downward, while others do so in a horizontal direction. They rub and manipulate sore muscles. Theses tools are available in manual and electric models.

Exercisers are small massage equipment for strengthening fingers, hands and forearms. Most of them are balls but a few are bands for finger exercises. Check the extensive selection of CanDo® products for physical therapy at CeilBlue™ to find different types of exercisers as well as exercise balls, resistance bands and foam rollers. 


6. Massage Oil, Creams, Lotions and Pain Relievers

Even when used for physical therapy, a massage should be a satisfying and soothing experience for the client. Have a ready supply of massage oils, creams, gels and lotions for the massage rooms in your physical therapy clinic. These are the best massage supplies for lubricating and moisturizing the skin. They also help patients and clients relax during massages by releasing tension and by their pleasing scents.

When shopping for aromatherapy products for massage sessions, make sure to select hypoallergenic products to avoid irritating sensitive skin. Some clients also prefer organic physical therapy massage supplies. Look for products with organic ingredients with soothing and aromatherapeutic properties. Examples include chamomile, jasmine, rose, sandalwood and lavender oils.

Not all massage cosmetic products are for lubricating the skin and improving clients' sensory experiences. Some of the best massage supplies in this category have hygienic and therapeutic uses. These include body scrubs for gentle exfoliation, hand sanitizers for disinfecting hands before massages, and topical pain relievers. Physical therapy clinics can also use these products and other massage equipment in other areas of their practices. For example, people in rehabilitation may need topical analgesics after working out with resistance bands, exercise balls and free weights.

7. Relaxing Music and Candles

A relaxing massage satisfies all senses. It's about sight, sound and smell as much as touch. Some of the best massage accessories for improving clients' experiences help create a relaxing ambiance in the massage room by filling it with slow, calming music. Play nature sounds or similar low-tempo instrumental music to take the client's mind off their immediate pain. Scented candles can also help improve the sensory experience of a massage. Such physical therapy massage supplies add warmth and welcoming aromas to the room. Get a variety of scents and ask clients for their preferences before lighting the candles.

Individuals in rehabilitation recover faster when massages are included in their physical therapy treatment plans. In addition to helping them relax, the best massage equipment and supplies keep clients comfortable, provide pain relief and/or improve motor functions. Browse the large inventory of general supplies at CeilBlue to find a wide selection of essential physical therapy massage supplies and tools for your practice.