U.S. Manufacturer of Massage Tables, Chairs, Therapeutic Equipment and Related Accessories
"Bodies talk. We listen."
In the late 70s Linda and Jeff Riach were living in the Healthcote Community in northern Maryland, making a simple living doing woodworking and seminars. At the request of David Linton, a noted practitioner of Esalen Massage, they designed and built a portable massage table. The table was good–very good in fact. In 1978, they started making these tables under the company name Oakworks.
Since that time, the Riachs have created a very successful company based on high-quality products. They have worked to help massage schools and therapists in the long quest for the increased acceptance and understanding of massage therapy both by the medical community and by the public at large. They have actively worked with such groups as the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the Touch Research Institute and the Canadian Touch Research Institute and have supported legislation aimed at enhancing the professionalism and image of the industry.
Over the 25 years since its founding, Oakworks has grown into one of the most respected names in the design and manufacture massage and therapeutic equipment. They maintain a close association with professionals and they work with ergonomic specialists, improving the design of their entire product line.
The company produces a large variety of equipment, including massage tables (both portable and stationary), massage chairs and accessories (such as bolsters and face cradles). They also manufacture a number of chairs and tables for physicians, radiologists, physical therapists and for use in retinal surgery and athletic training.
The Oakworks Difference
All Oakworks products are made to be environmentally friendly: all woods are northern managed hardwoods and the padding is produced without PVCs or noxious compounds which could irritate clients and do harm to the environment. The company also uses a custom clean air system at their factory in order to reduce whatever pollution might be created by the production of their products. Oakworks also espouses a commitment to having a safe workplace.
Oakworks puts a good deal of care and effort into the design of their products, focusing on ergonomics, comfort and sturdiness. The engineering of their tables and chairs is very clever and allows for a great degree of adjustability, while maintaining excellent safety and stability. All products manufactured by Oakworks are subjected to rigorous and careful testing. The massage tables have a very detailed load capacity tag (which allows a bit of peace of mind when a particularly mountainous client gets on my table!).
My Own Experiences
I have owned an Oakworks Nova table and Portal Pro 3 massage chair for about four years and I have to admit, I am sold on the company's products. The table is solid, easy to set up (and pack up) and it is extremely comfortable. I do question their advertisements' claims about the incredible portability of such a table. I have taken it all sorts of places, but it is a bit of a bulky and heavy contraption.
The massage chair is even better: it adjusts in countless ways and is phenomenally comfortable–I often tell my clients that the massage chair is the most comfortable piece of furniture I own! Perhaps the best thing about an Oakworks chair is its sturdiness. When I get chair massages from other therapists, I am sometimes surprised by the seeming flimsiness of some of the massage chairs. Oakworks chairs (at least, the ones I've tried) are as solid as a rock and unlike that bulky table, it can be strapped comfortably across the shoulder and carried under the arm.
There are numerous companies which manufacture massage tables and chairs and quite a few of them are very good. Oakworks is among the finest of these companies, and many professionals consider them to be the gold standard by which all other products are judged.
After four years and hundreds of clients, my chair and table show slight signs of wear, but considering what I've put them through, they are in amazingly good shape, and that is about the best testimonial that I can give for the products that this remarkable company produces.
The Oakworks site at http://www.oakworks.com, plus several years of experience using their products, discussions with other therapists and users of various massage products.