What's different about working with the obese?

There are physiological considerations when working with an obese person. Large people are often in constant, chronic pain; their joints ache, their muscles are fatigued. They are used to ignoring their body and its pain - they want to fit in, be 'normal' and often under-report discomfort because they don't know its O.K. to say that they are in pain.

Fat people are strong and have normal flexibility but may have trouble reaching their full range-of-motion (ROM) unassisted. Large people benefit from mobility work for their joints and muscles.

Many obese people suffer from sleep apnea, asthma and other breathing problems. Many are unable to lay on their back or stomach for extended periods of time. If you can't breathe if you can't relax! I will work with you to find positions that are comfortable and effective.

The benefits of massage for the obese include: reducing chronic pain, inflammation and swelling; improving mobility and circulation. Massage can help increase the amount of exercise you're getting by helping your body recover from exercise faster. It can reduce physical and emotional stress and improve sleep.

For people who are more than 300 pounds, lying on a massage table may be uncomfortable. Even though my table is wider than average, it may be too narrow for a large person to get really comfortable. That's why I give my clients the option of working on the floor. Floor work greatly increases our options with regards to positioning, bolstering, and the amount of stretching and mobility work we can do. The important thing to remember, regardless of whether we're doing table or floor work is that the more comfortable you are, the more effective the massage will be!

I have clients who are active in the Fat Acceptance movement, others who have had the bariatric surgery to effect weight loss. In my opinion, there's value in looking at both sides of the question. So here's links to two organizations:

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Phone (206) 280-1131
Send mail to:    Theresa L Brennan, erostree@gmail.com    about obesity.