deliberate_creator (brenda_k_a) wrote in _massagetherapy,

Sleep Apnea & Massage

I had a client this past week who, for a number of reasons, I am requesting to not work on again. He was generally inappropriate but in a way that did not quite warrant just stopping the session. I won't get into all of that. One issue that did come up, and I'd like some feedback on, is that he exhibited severe sleep apnea. He did not mention this to me prior to the session beginning. When I had him turn face up midway through the session he fell asleep. As soon as he was asleep the apnea kicked in. He would stop breathing and I would watch to make sure he started again. Many times (at least five) it would take so long that I could see his whole body become agitated in it's struggle for oxygen. I would have to stop what I was doing and go reposition his head to open up his airway. One of the times he woke enough that he was able to complain about having sleep apnea, so I know that he was aware of his condition (yet still didn't inform me beforehand). I have no idea if he is being treated for this; like is he using a CPAP machine at home?

I am feeling that based on this alone he should not be getting massage. Unless he can either remain awake through the session or use a machine during, I don't see how this is appropriate. I could not do my job while worrying about whether my client was breathing. I'm wanting to know what other therapists thoughts are on this. My clinic managers/owners aren't therapists themselves and frankly don't always know how best to handle a situation like this.

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