Perfecting Your Work Space

Adapt Your Area Without Sacrificing Body Mechanics

By Barb Frye
[Body Awareness]

Think about the last time you were in a situation where you felt as though you didn’t have enough space around you—for example, standing in a crowded elevator or sitting in a packed movie theater. How did the lack of space affect your behavior, mood, and movements? 

In a tight or cramped space, your body mechanics can become restricted because you sense that you must conserve your range of movements and adapt yourself to the limited space. When you are concerned—consciously or unconsciously—about bumping into a wall or nearby object, you cannot give your full attention to your work (below). In this situation, your touch is negatively impacted and, chances are, so is your client’s response to it. 

When you have adequate space, you sense that you can move freely around your table without hesitation and access a full range of body mechanics. Working in this kind of environment allows you to devote all of your attention to your work, positively impacting your touch (left).

You might not be able to afford a large treatment room, or you might work in a medical office, spa, or other facility where the treatment rooms are very small. If you do not have enough space, there are some ways to adapt to the space available without sacrificing proper mechanics: 

• If possible, clear the room of all unnecessary furniture and other items taking up valuable space. 

• Place your table so it has equal space around all sides. 

• Use mirrors to help create a sense of spaciousness. 

Pay attention to how you feel while working in your space, and consider making changes if something isn’t quite right. You may end up positively affecting your behavior, mood, and movements and, in turn, those of your client. 

 Barb Frye has been a massage educator and therapist since 1990. She coordinated IBM’s body mechanics program and authored Body Mechanics for Manual Therapists: A Functional Approach to Self-Care (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010), now in its third edition. She has a massage and Feldenkrais practice at the Pluspunkt Center for Therapy and Advanced Studies near Zurich, Switzerland. Contact her at


The Color of Money

Colors are used to establish the tone of businesses and can often be used to sway consumer spending habits. Check out the meanings of the following colors and the companies who choose to use them in their logos and interior design. What does your logo and color design say about you? 

• Blue: loyalty and calm (Chase Bank)

• Green: growth and nurturing (Pampers)

• Orange: affordability and adventure (Home Depot)

• White: purity and simplicity (Apple)


Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies. “The Impact of Color and Your Massage Office.” Accessed April 2013.

wikiHow. “How to Create a Massage Room in Your Home.” Accessed April 2013.

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