Bolsters: A Newfound Respect


I was recently asked to write a piece about the benefits of bolsters (yup bolsters!). In the spirit of honesty, I have to admit that I wondered quite how much I would be able to come up with. After all, a bolster is a bolster is a bolster. Right? Well, not necessarily. After a bit of outside research and some personal consideration, I’ve developed a newfound respect for our cushy little friends. Here’s the gist of what I learned (much of it rediscovered) in the process:

Bolsters have the ability to dramatically improve the comfort of a massage client. What’s more, bolsters help support practitioners in their goals for a bodywork session. There is more than one right way to use a bolster and bolsters vary in quality and innovation of design. Because clients are unique in their needs, their experiences with bolsters will be unique as well. It’s important to remember that the “norm” may not be ideal for every client. Practice and experimentation (within reason and based on the client’s comfort) are the two things that will – pardon the pun – truly “bolster” your long-term success.

At the end of the day, bolsters are all about comfort. Luckily, the massage therapist’s job is all about comfort, too. That makes the bolster (a seemingly innocuous prop) a crucial tool for the massage therapist. I chalk it up to this: bolsters improve client comfort and the more comfortable your client is, the better his or her massage experience will be. And that, my friends, can only serve to enhance your business. I’m pretty sure we call that a win-win.