As a massage therapist, 95% of my clients come in reporting pain somewhere on or very close to the spine. I have spent many years studying modalities to provide the best bodywork I can, but it will take much more than a massage to get rid of the pain.
I became a certified STOTT PILATES instructor because I wanted to be able to help my clients with body awareness and correct patterns that may be contributing to their pain.
Prior to becoming an instructor, I tried doing Pilates a few times in a gym setting, and I always ended up hurting my lower back and neck. The last time it happened, I thought, I’m never doing this again. What made me change my mind?
I attended a two-day Anatomy Trains Course. My orthopedic massage practice cites Tom Myers and Anatomy Trains as references, so I attended the course because I wanted to learn more. It was an amazing class and a great learning experience for me.
Why take Pilates sessions?
I was reminded of how important it is to re-educate the body with soft tissue, and also with specific exercises that keep the body in alignment. Every teaching assistant in this particular class was both a body worker and a Pilates instructor.
I had every intention of visiting one of the local practitioners to learn more after my experience, but she was busy and we couldn’t seem to align our schedules. I already had a variety of regular exercises, so I wasn’t able to fit in the Pilates at that time.
I participated in Triathlons for 4 years. I started doing them because I thought it would be a great way to cross-train and have fun. Unfortunately, I developed a knee injury after my first race.
My various injuries over the years have been frustrating because I’ve always had to stop doing the activity that I love and start from the beginning. After doing physical therapy for a few months, I was able to make my way back into my training schedule and continue doing my races.
At the time I was participating in triathlons, I sponsored and belonged to Northeast Multisport. They were affiliated with Symmetry Pilates Center and held a meeting at their studio to teach triathletes about how Pilates could improve athletic performance and decrease injuries. I was completely blown away by everything they described. Their philosophy and practices perfectly fit into my practice of orthopedic massage. I had also recently been in physical therapy AGAIN for my knee, so I was hopeful that their private sessions would be of help to me.
I am using it as a tool to improve my posture and also to make me a better athlete by being in the right position while I engage in sports and everyday activities. I am still figuring out when my body is neutral, which is a very challenging discipline. It is as much a workout for the mind as it is for the body. I often say that it makes my brain sweat.
Achieve a Stronger Core by Combining
Pilates Training & The Reformer
In my own practice of Pilates, the Reformer and other Pilates equipment have helped me regain stability and strength in my core and other intrinsic muscles throughout my body. The matwork is the foundation of Pilates, and it has numerous health benefits. However, it is my opinion and the opinion of many Pilates experts that the Reformer helps bring you to the next level of strength and stability.
As I had mentioned previously, a combination of matwork and Reformer work has allowed me to run without experiencing pain, and to develop an awareness of my posture that has been so useful in helping me stay injury-free!
Remember, not all Pilates sessions are equal.
The differences between Pilates sessions may cause different effects on your body. The sessions that I took at the gym were not STOTT Pilates and the individual attention was the key.
My vision for becoming a STOTT Pilates instructor was to integrate soft-tissue work (massage) with Pilates for immediate neuromuscular reintegration. If we perform exercises with soft tissue work, our body is more likely to remember and stay in the correct position or posture for a longer period. I will also give you some home exercises so that you can continue your body’s alignment.
A good massage can last about three days, but I don’t have any clients that are able to come in every three days.
The expectation that my soft tissue work is going to “fix” you unfortunately just isn’t true.
I only have access to your body for 60 to 90 minutes once a week to once a month. While I can’t offer an immediate fix for you, I can help you get to know the root of your body’s dysfunction.
We hope to give you the tools to reclaim your life and allow you to continue doing what you love.
We now offer private Pilates lessons and our studio is fully equipped with everything we need to serve every body. And we are thrilled to have an additional Pilates instructor with 40 years of fitness experience.