I had my desk custom built almost 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve had a handful of jobs where I didn’t use it — it also doubles as an excellent TV stand, student desk, and sewing table. It is deeper (from me to the client) than a standard manicuring table at 22 inches, and not as high as a standard table at only 28 inches.
I used to really prefer working on a bare surface. Without an armrest or various towels and such underneath our hands. But somewhere along the way, I could no longer tolerate the clients’ tendency to cement their arms to the table surface. Just glue their arms down! Lock them down and not let me pick them up to get my own hands underneath theirs.
It astonishes me how many people entirely fail to grasp exactly what it is I am trying to do here. (scratching my head)
So I found an armrest — under the guise that it was for their “comfort,” but really it got their forearms up off the table so I had some space to work.
Naturally, the comfy armrest resulted in a tendency to plant their elbows firmly into the padding. This shoved their shoulders up to their earlobes and locked their entire arm into one position that did not allow me to rotate their hands at the wrist. It also resulted in breaking down the padding of any armrest I had and leaving huge dents where everyone put their elbows.
Finally, I stole a small bolster from Mom’s massage room (back when she did massage and worked with me). It’s a tall, three-quarter circular bolster and it’s made with some nice, firm foam. It sits just a tad higher than the top of my gel lamps (as you can see in the picture) and is just high enough that people are not comfortable leaning their elbows on it.
As long as you relax your arms, they will set perfectly on the bolster, allowing me to move them freely in any way that the human musculoskeletal system normally moves. Making my job much easier while staving off the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis for a tad longer on my part — and probably my client’s as well.
But most of them hate it. They don’t complain that it’s purple and doesn’t match the desk or the decor (which is what bothers me), they complain that they can’t — you guessed it — lean their elbows on it.
Well, my hands have to last another 20 years in this business. If the worst thing you encounter at your nail appointment is that you have to do something good for your posture, I think you’ll live. And you’ll be much happier with the quality of my workmanship.