Imagine this: you are a young mother with two toddlers struggling with a tremendous amount of pain back pain. You work full time and try your best to mother your two young children and be engaged in your marriage relationship, but the pain is making you miserable. You don't feel like you can be successful at anything, because the pain is all you can focus on day after day, and all your emotions come out as angry.
You've been to the doctor off and on for over 8 years, done countless rounds of prescribed physical therapy, taken pain relief medications that give you all sorts of side effects, all without lasting success. The next step is to consider surgery.
All you know is that YOU DON'T WANT BACK SURGERY, but you feel helpless and without control.
Then, someone suggests you try something different. Your friend found pain relief doing Stott Pilates. Maybe that will work for you too?
The idea seems too simple. You're pretty resistant to the idea since you've already done rounds and rounds of stabilizing your core without much success. Plus your insurance doesn't cover the cost of the classes.
How do you know it's worth a try?
You don't, but your DESPERATE so you decide to reach out and try one last time.
This is my client Ann. This is her story.
Now let me preface set the background for you. Ann came to work here at Pain Free Posture MN after being referred to me by my friend Alaya Sexton (former owner of Vitality Pilates, St. Paul, MN).
Alaya and I both have extensive comprehensive certification and training in Stott Pilates and I had the privilege of working for her for a few years. Early on in the course of my teaching profession, I began to specialize in chronic pain relief and posture restoration. Although Stott Pilates is amazing, sometimes a client needs to unravel major postural dysfunction and chronic pain before learning pilates. Over time I added certifications such as The BioMechanics Method, Egoscue Posture Alignment Therapy, National Posture Institute, and Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga so I could better created programs unique to my clients posture/pain issues.
When Ann reached out to me, I was keenly aware that Pilates WAS NOT the solution to her pain problem at the moment. We had to get to the ROOT CAUSE of her pain and identify the dysfunctional load joints and muscle/joint imbalances that had not been corrected.
That was a very radical concept to introduce to Ann. But I must have said the right things that meshed with her intuition. She took a chance that her body could heal if we gave it just half a chance. She began with a customized program of posture alignment therapy, got the pain under control and started learning Stott Pilates.
And three years later, she's proficient at a lot of modalities and now has progressed into strength training, HIT (high intensity interval training), knows how to do self myo-facial release techniques and is at an advanced level as a Pilates student.
She's become a happier and more balanced person, and now is able to help her own family and extended circle of grace with her newfound energy and body confidence. The best part is, she's at peace with herself, and knows how to recognize the onset of symptom or dysfunction and take care of it on her own!
Here's a short interview with Ann.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself (age, occupation, family etc).
A. I'm 37 years old and work full time as an environmental resources specialist and have a part time job with Nerium International. I am a mother of two awesome girls ages 9 and 7 and I'm married to my college sweetheart for nearly 12 years.
Q. What is an interesting fact about you?
A. One interesting fact about me...so many to choose from, but I'll go with this fact. I was living in fairly significant pain from 2001 to 2011 which kept me from many activities I loved...I now consider myself completely cured and stronger than I've ever been in my life and it is 100% because of the knowledge I've gained from working with Deb at Pain Free Posture MN.
Q. How long have you been training at Pain Free Posture MN (PFP)?
A. I've been working with Deb at Pain Free Posture MN for almost 3 years.
Q. What is the most significant change you've seen in yourself since starting at PFP (body, diet, strength etc)?
A. My most significant change since starting with PFP is I've been able to turn my life around and start in down a positive track in all aspects of my life. I was in too much pain to even think clearly. I was in a bad place and now I'm solidly on a positive track. It's so awesome!
Q. What are you goals?
A. When I started my main goal was to avoid surgery. I was told that was my only option. Once I achieved a pain free state my goal has been to become stronger and to be able to manage any issues I have as well as help my family members who need posture changes. It's been amazing learning these methods and to know how to help my kids.
Q. What is your least favorite workout or movement?
A. My least favorite movement used to be squats because they never felt right. Recently I did a workout with Deb that was heavy on squats and it felt fine doing them and later I felt the correct muscles were sore in the right spot. It was awesome!
Q. What is your favorite workout or movement?
A. My favorite workout is hard to answer as I've done so many cool things and I like it all, but I do feel like I want my family watch me do a work out on the reformer as I'm sure they would be amazed at what I can do.
Q. What was your athletic/fitness background before working at PFP?
A. I am a former high school tennis player who worked out fairly regularly at a gym until my low back started hurting. I then frequented several different types of Physical Therapy where I did everything they told me. I did get some temporary pain relief, but was still very broken.
Q. What made you seek out Deb's help?
A. It was my friend Susan who pushed me to try Pilates. I honestly didn't think it would help as I had done so many rounds of core stabilizing work to no avail. But my friend was working at Vitality Pilates with Alaya Sexton and she wad impressed with her. She told me to try and get in with Alaya as soon as possible since she was moving out of town and it was my last chance to see her. When I called Alaya and she figured out my location she referred me to Deb because she was leaving and Deb was the one they sent people to who they couldn't fix. That excited me tremendously...It was fate.
Q. Any memorable moments since starting PFP?
A. Memorable moment was near the beginning when I didn't realize how afraid I was off the pain and really hesitated to do a roll up maneuver where your legs are up over your head...I even cried, but through it all deb was supportive and assured me that she would never have me do something I wasn't ready for. I trusted in her words and it has always been true and I can rock that move now.
Q. What advice would you give people just starting at PFP?
A. Do not wait to start. You are in amazingly capable hands that will take you to new heights in every aspect of you life. Just take it one move and one breath at a time and you will get there. It is worth every penny!!