How do you make your weight your strength?

To apply a force to your clients’ bodies, it is easier and more effective to use your upper body weight rather than your upper body strength. You must get more of your mass above your work, either by growing taller, or by lowering your table. The latter is more practical.

Ergonomically speaking, weight = power. Your patient is experiencing your touch completely differently when powered by weight compared to touch powered by force.

Hands powered by strength may elicit resistance to your treatment intention. You are pushing your client, and your client may push back. Also, when using strength, you may well also be transmitting tension from your own compromised posture, or perhaps even discomfort and pain. In this case, it’s more likely that the client will perceive the intervention to be painful, or the results are unsatisfactory.

Hands powered by weight, on the other hand, are saying to the patient’s tissue: “let’s get together on this, let’s find ways to arrange this more appropriately.” It’s cooperative. I like a phrase from the philosopher Heidegger to describe this as “allowing will.” By contrast, touch powered by force, or strength, is what he calls “willful will.”

To make weight your power in your day-to-day work, you have to lower your client to the level where you feel your hands become empowered by your upper body weight. At what level that happens for you depends on your body shape, your height and the size of your patient.

Let us do a little experiment. Stand in front of your chair and place the palms of your hands on it. Do you feel your upper body weight in your hands? (If you are very tall, this may be too low for you.) If it feels about right, deduct the “depth” of the patient and that will give you the low end your table has to go to. If your chair is 20" high, then you are looking for a table with a lift range 6" to 8" below 20"!

Care-Tech Research
Makers of ergonomically superior electric massage tables for 25 years.
Fanny Bay, Canada

sitemap | copyright | contact |