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A Custom Moment with Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy


Annie LaCroix, MS, BA, LMT, and founder of Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy elaborates on why she and her students use Custom Craftworks tables and equipment. Annie serves as the founder and primary science instructor of her massage school in Wentachee, WA.

Q: Tell me more about the mission and goals of the Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy. Describe how your program offers an apprentice-like learning atmosphere, and how does that benefit your students? 

A: "After becoming a massage therapist and successfully operating my own private practice, I saw a need for better entry-level education for massage therapists. Starting from the ground up, I designed curriculum that focused on practical application and resourcefulness rather than memorization." 

Annie felt strongly about emphasizing the science component of massage therapy, along with the artistic nature of massage. The curriculum at Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy is heavily evidence-informed, graduating students who have a high level skill set in research literacy and science, which is not typical of the massage industry. "My goal is to find the specific natural skill set of each student and help them flourish in that area."

Q: How does your Massage Therapy Center operate as part of your program, and what types of massage do your students perform in this setting?

A: The Massage Therapy Center is where the students get their required clinical hours.  Most of the massage is relaxation, adapted to the particular needs and requests of the patient.  We also include cupping, hot stone, pregnancy massage, and reflexology.


Photo courtesy of Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy


Q: What are some of your table needs as a massage school and instructor, and how does Custom Craftworks meet those needs? 

A: I need a durable, versatile table and Custom Crafworks fits those needs. That said, my primary reason for using Custom Craftworks is the customer service.  I can get comparable tables other places, but I struggle with decent customer service.  That has been a non-issue with Custom Craftworks.

You have recently purchased Practice Essential Kits (Challenger & Luxor tables) from Custom Craftworks.
Q: What are your favorite features of these kits, and how do they help your students?

A: I like the Practice Essentials Kit because it does not include a bunch of stuff they don't need and it covers the basics they need to perform massages at home or with one another.



Practice Essentials Kit (Luxor)

Standard Features:

  • Load Capacity: 550 lbs.
  • 30"W x 73"L x 24-34"H
  • Table weight: 35 lbs.
  • Shiatsu release cables
  • Solid beech wood frame
  • Reiki end panels
  • Dual knobs
  • 8" on center dual-end accessory ports
  • Rounded corners
  • 3" Multi-layer foam with 3/4" memory foam

Table Includes:

  • Solutions classic adjustable face rest with deluxe memory foam pillow
  • Folding front arm shelf & carry case

Practice Essentials Kit (Challenger)

Standard Features:

  • Load Capacity: 600 lbs. 
  • 30”W x 73”L x 24-33”H
  • Table weight: 30 lbs.
  • Black aluminum frame
  • Finger joint craftsmanship
  • Auto-hold hinge system
  • 8” on center face rest ports
  • Dual-end accessory ports
  • 3” Multi-layer foam
  • Rounded corners

Table Includes:

  • Solutions classic adjustable face rest with crescent pillow & carry case


Q: Why do you recommend the Challenger and Luxor portable massage tables (and kits) to your students?

A: I recommend the Challenger because the aluminum tables are far easier to adjust than the wood tables. Some students just choose another option, most often the Luxor or Heritage.


Photo courtesy of Columbia River Institute of Massage Therapy

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