Body Positivity in Physical Therapy

Judgement Free Care That Meets You Where You Are

radical inclusion body positivity in physical therapy dr. mary hausler des moines breathe physical therapy

As a plus size lady myself, I have been encouraged by the increasingly popular “body positivity” movement. I can now see women just like me rocking it in yoga studios, on runways and magazine covers, in movies and television, and at marathon finish lines. However, one area that I recognize to be “behind the times” is the medical field. Research has shown that those with excess weight often receive less than stellar care from medical professionals. Many plus-sized clients find those they trust to help them with their pain only to receive the response, “lose the weight”. 

Radical inclusion has always been a goal of mine, as I hope everyone feels welcome in my treatment room. I want it known that “size” is among the long list of characteristics not judged within my four walls. Traditional physical therapy can be an intimidating environment for a plus-size client. 

Fortunately, Breathe. has a different approach.

Here are a few things I can promise you:

  1. A judgement-free space. As a woman that lives daily to discover as many cheese and carb combinations as I can, I promise to never judge your life choices.

2. I am on your team. I think I missed my calling in high school because I am a great cheerleader when it comes to my clients’ successes in physical therapy. We can have open and honest conversations about your goals no matter how big or small. I can help you walk up the bleachers at your college without knee pain or I can help you to eliminate your back pain as you train for your first road race.

3. I won’t make you stop doing what you love. If board games, cross-stitching, or HGTV is your passion, great! We will work around what brings you joy and have plenty to chat about as we work. If crossfit, yoga, or weightlifting is your goal, great! We will lean into what brings you joy. Either way, my goal is to make physical therapy individualized and work for YOU!

4. I won’t just tell you to “lose the weight”. 

5. An individualized treatment room. Speaking from experience, I don’t enjoy revealing my tummy rolls on a treatment table in a large PT gym full of people. At Breathe. we have private spaces for each client to feel comfortable and confident in receiving treatment and discussing difficult topics.

Personally, acceptance of my own body is an ongoing journey. As the only plus-sized woman in my Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, I know first-hand how intimidating this field can be. So, with that, I hope you join me. I have decided to no longer wait for my dream body to appear in the mirror but rather use the body I have to achieve my dreams. Allow me to work alongside you and have you discover for yourself how amazingly powerful you are. 

radical inclusion body positivity in physical therapy dr. mary hausler des moines breathe physical therapy