Over the years, a lot of people have asked me how I was introduced to The Egoscue Method of Posture Alignment Therapy.
And in order to do the story justice, you need to know the backdrop. At the early age of nineteen, as a student-athlete at The University of Manitoba, I suffered a significant injury and was introduced to what the fitness industry today calls "corrective exercise." Having to deal with a severe rotator cuff, rhomboid tear, and shoulder injury, I learned a lesson that would forever change my life and impact my work with others.
While receiving treatment at the Athletic Therapy Center at The University of Manitoba, my athletic therapist and anatomy instructor Glen Bergeron told me that "bones will go where the muscles tell them to go." You see I was in debilitating pain. Like crazy in the head kind of pain. The kind where I was begging my parents to cut my arm off because it was so severe I couldn't eat, sleep, workout, or concentrate on my studies. Even breathing took effort.
It felt like a lot of bones in my spine were out of place amongst many other problems. And when I was in therapy I would also beg Glen to "put the bones back in" or cut my arm off. Didn't matter to me which one, although we all know keeping my arm on was a much better option! Glen taught me so much. Through him, and with time, patience and doing my athletic therapy exercises, I leaned that healing is more than just putting a band-aid on the symptom. There was fixing I needed to do above and below the area. In order for me spine and shoulder to heal, there needed to be muscular balance in all of the muscles that act on and cross the affected area. When balance came, the position and function would improve, and best of all, the pain would go away.
So despite my begging and tears, Glen did not put the bones back in place, but they did so one their own once I found muscular balance and corrected my movement patterns.
I never forgot the lesson.
Although the Egoscue Method and posture alignment therapy as terms were unfamiliar to me until seventeen years later, my educational background in biomechanics, motor learning, and postural analysis started me down the path of corrective exercise implementation. I graduated from The University of Manitoba with both a Bachelor's of Physical Education and Recreation Studies. After moving to the United States, I invested hundreds of hours studying and practice teaching to complete my STOTT Pilates Comprehensive Certification with a focus on Injuries and Special Populations.
I was terrific at helping people solve chronic muscle and joint pain problems using Pilates as the tool. But I also gave myself permission to deconstruct the movements, while teaching the five basic principles. You see if a person is in sever pain, you have to find a position in the body to work from. So while my least favorite class in university was biomechanics, I came to use the science EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Joints have a position and function, the muscles, fascia, nerves and internal organs all respond to how it is organized, both good and bad. When people would ask me how I could help them, it seemed silly, but my best explanation was that I could "see people from the inside out" which was my way of saying, I am always analyzing your body position relative to neutral. After a highly successful ten-year career as a STOTT Pilates instructor specializing in injuries, special populations, chronic pain relief and posture restoration, I was introduced to The Egoscue Method of Posture Alignment Therapy in 2007. I had an amazing opportunity to help run Pilates Maui, in Hawaii. My mentor, Monique Lavoie of Pilates Manitoba connected me with Jayme Newhouse of Pilates Training Center Hawaii. Jayme invited me to fly over to visit her studio and spend my one vacation day with her in Oahu. It was at Pilates Training Center Hawaii, I was serendipitously introduced to The Egoscue Method. I saw another instructor breaking down movements in the exact same way I did (and I had NEVER seen anyone else teach like me). It was so uncanny, I could hardly take my eyes and ears off of her! I asked Jayme what was going on, and she said that her instuctor was doing "Egoscue". I thought that was a Hawaiian word. Egoscue? Never heard of it. She handed me the book Pain-Free by Pete Egoscue and as I flipped through the pages, I thought "these are my people" and "this is what I've been doing for the last ten years"! As I paged through the book, I saw similar exercises and sequences (not all) I had made up and used with my clients with great success for the past decade. Right away I was excited and I wanted that certification. It explained me. I now had a better name to call what I was teaching me clients so through the work they could progress beyond a pain-free status and engage in a regular STOTT Pilates practice or other actives which they wanted to return to. In October of 2007, I flew to San Diego to finish her in person seminar component of becoming certified as an Egoscue University Certified Posture Alignment Specialist. Upon return to Minnesota, I rebranded my business (formerly Pilates Integration Mind. Body. Spirit.) to incorporate the Posture Alignment component and launched PainFree Posture MN In addition to my private studio practice, I went on to train, teach and mentor others who are or wanted to become Egoscue University Certified Posture Alignment Specialists. I joined the teaching staff as an Adjunct Instructor of The Egoscue University in March of 2010 and worked actively in that role until July 2013. During that time, I taught Posture Alignment Specialist Seminars (Level 1 and Level 2), Egoscue University Study Groups, Pain-Free and P3 Workshops, and Red Tomato (Patch Fitness) classes. I had the chance to do television appearances, and worked throughout the United States, Ireland and Canada. While I no longer teach for Egsocue University, I continue to provide mentorship and tutoring, along with offering Private posture alignment services and group classes in the Twin Cities south metro.
So there you have it. My Aloha Story. To learn more, please visit my ABOUT and CORE VALUES page.
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