Side Positioning During Massage Therapy - Make Your Guests Comfortable

Side Positioning During Massage Therapy - Make Your Guests Comfortable

In a previous Blog Post we discussed the importance of achieving Peak Position when offering massage therapies to your clients. In particular we explored the right positioning during Supine Massage.

In this post, we will explore the correct way to accommodate your clients on your massage table when performing side position.

Quickly, we should remind you that “Peak Positioning” is a program that Nirvana Massage has designed to help MTs and other practitioners of the massage and wellness industry, find the adequate positioning for their clients. The ultimate goal is to offer much better sessions and results for the clients.

Peak Positioning is defined by three key aspects:

  1. Better ergonomics for client and practitioner
  1. Enhanced relaxation and body awareness for the client 
  1. Shorter treatment time to achieve goals

There are many videos, which you can watch HERE, and in which you can follow the guidelines to better understand this practice, as well as improve your massage techniques. 

Before we go into detail about how to apply the right position for your guests during side massages, we want to suggest a few massage tables, portable and stationary, which are great for any of these therapies:

Dharma Super Lite Portable Massage Table by Nirvana:

Harvey Tilt Stationary Massage Table - by MT Massage:


2n1 Nirvana Portable Massage Table - by Nirvana:


HiLo Stationary Electric Treatment Table - by Touch America:

Side Positioning During Massage Therapy:

Side is one of the most common positions for MTs to ask their guests to adopt during a massage therapy. In order to have the right positioning, and to better take advantage of the time of your guest, you must remember that you’re not trying to fix or force anything, but to simply help your guest adopt the proper postural variation.

After observing the client, you then start using the Peak Positioning Protocol, which consists of a series of gentle and precise techniques to beperformed in a specific sequence before the treatment begins. Check for the areas of tension in the lumbar region by rocking the hips.

You should make sure there is a symmetry in their body, so watch closely the differences and variations in each foot and leg, the pelvic posture, as to make sure it’s straight, make sure the lateral pelvic tilt is not affecting or causing any pain on your guest, and that the pelvic rotation, both left and right, are not causing any trouble either.

Now, to properly apply Side Positioning you only need ordinary bed pillows, depending on the client’s size, and then one or two bolsters to be placed under the neck as to keep the spine straight and neutral.

Maybe, even a small bolster under the feet is a good idea, as it will better keep the spine straight.

Since a side positioning can cause some discomfort in the shoulder area, a good idea is to use the Nirvana 2n1 Table, with the chest insert removed, so the client can have more space to place their shoulder and have a proper alignment of the back (check the image for reference).

2n1 nirvana foldable massage table

Begin by performing a little rotation on the shoulder and behind the shoulder blade.

Make sure the arm is well placed, looking frontwards. Then apply some pressure down the back, and make sure the pelvis is positioned properly. Adjust the leg if it’s necessary, sort of in a fetal position. Placing it on top of a pillow is a great idea.

Then, slightly pull for the back leg, and check the positioning of the feet. Once the client is positioned properly, you are ready to start treating them and offering the right therapy for them.

Remember, the clients or guests have come to you because they are looking for healing, for wellness. Sometimes, for them, the massage tables or beds are slightly uncomfortable in certain positions, side being one of them.

As explained above, it’s normal to feel pressure on the shoulder and shoulder blade, or to have a spine that’s not straight. The client might not say it because he or she are embarrassed or simply they have no idea.

That is why the Peak Position Protocol should be applied by responsible massage therapists. The idea is for you to check that your client is in the right position, and comfortable on top of the massage table. If such cases are true, then you are ready to start the therapy.

Please watch the video below as to better understand what we mean. If you have any questions, please leave them below. We would love to hear if you have such a protocol in place before any session starts.

Finally, if there are any massage accessories, or better, any massage tables from Electric and Hydraulic, to Portable and Ultra Light that you prefer for your therapies, please let us know too!

Peak Positioning Side Position For Massage Therapists Video:

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