I specialize in Pilates for your rehabilitation from injury, illness, or post-surgery...
and I also focus on rehabilitation for physical damage to your body from lifestyle, sports, or work-related stiffness and restricted movement.
(Please note that my studio in Scotland will not open until mid-2020)
I extend a very warm welcome to you.
I specialize in teaching the rehabilitative, healing, and strengthening exercise system of Pilates. My main professional focus is on teaching studio-based apparatus and mat Pilates (combined, where helpful, with other movement methodologies) to help you remediate problems in your movement and/or posture that may have neurological, illness, injury, work-related, or life-style origins.
and to be of help.
As a background to my Pilates teaching, currently based in Weston-super-Mare but relocating to the Inverness and Great Glen area by May 2020, I have been passionately involved intensively in sport and exercise since childhood, and professionally in teaching exercise and fitness in the UK and the US since my teens. In addition to my certification as a Pilates Teacher specializing in remediation and rehabilitation, I also hold advanced studies in exercise and fitness which include an MSc (Distinction) in Sport and Health Sciences, and a PhD, both with research specialisation in exercise and fitness for older women; and an MSc (Distinction) in Health Education and Health Promotion.
I focus especially on:
* Rehabilitative exercises for various injuries including those which are sports or exercise related
* Rehabilitative work for physical damage to your body from lifestyle, sports, or work-related stiffness and restricted movement
* Helping with postural correction and rehabilitation from posture related pain with focus on core development as well as affected areas
* Post-operative rehabilitation after knee, hip, shoulder, spinal, or other types of surgery
* Rehabilitation following illinesses, such as osteoporosis, MS, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease
* Rehabilitative exercises for correcting joint stiffness stemming from lifestyle
* Continuous/longer term work to develop your core (stability and strength), along with balance, flexibility, agility, and muscular endurance
With respect to work-related rehabilitation, I have a strong interest in helping you to overcome or manage your stiffness or movement problems that are caused or exasperated by your work spaces. This may include postural problems related to computer/office work, or aches and pains, especially in your lower back, associated with working in confined spaces by such individuals as electricians, marine engineers, security installation engineers, and plumbers.
Pilates is a complex exercise system designed to improve or create bodily alignment, thereby improving posture, muscular strength, core stability, flexibility, and agility. Pilates can be engaged in for exercise and physical development, or, with more of an emphasis upon correcting postural and movement problems which are the result of illness, injury, lifestyle, sports participation, or work.
Pilates is a fun and often challenging exercise system available for everyone who wants to engage with it. If you do, you will find numerous benefits which include improvements in your body awareness, in your pelvic and thoracic stability, and in your overall bodily alignment which in turn helps you to improve your posture. Through improvements in posture you are able to increase your overall stamina because you are not wasting valuable energy compensating for your bodily misalignment.
In today’s Pilates studio, you will find a range of apparatus that's nothing at all like the metal monsters found in gyms! Each piece of Pilates apparatus is a combination of engineering science, art and craft. They are constructed of precision metal springs, framed in highly crafted wood, padded flat surfaces, designed for gentle, carefully balanced movements which keep your body aligned and at the same time help you to activate your deep core muscles. The movements are so precise that they seem like you use very little effort or strength. However, each movement needs a great deal of concentration on your part.
Your core muscles lie within the group of muscles referred to in Pilates as the powerhouse muscles. The powerhouse muscles are all of those muscles which circle your body starting from just below your ribs and finishing at the end of your pelvis. When they are engaged by you, they act as a tight protective corset around your trunk providing support and stability to your back, hips, and pelvis, when you are moving or standing still. These muscles, as their name implies, also give you the power for dynamic movements. When all of these muscles are working together in harmony you have the foundation for moving and weight bearing. To activate and achieve the full benefit of your core/powerhouse muscles, you will need to be doing something very different than set after set of abdominal crunches and planks.
Before you engage in any Pilates exercise, apparatus or mat, you will learn how to activate your core/powerhouse muscles through lateral breathing. Lateral breathing helps you to lengthen your abdominal muscles thus expanding your ribcage to allow more space for air to flow into. Correct posture during your lateral breathing also allows your lungs to expand which helps in creating more air space. If you have a tendency towards rounding your shoulders or leaning forward from the top part of your body as you stand or perform an exercise, you are unintentionally reducing part of your available lung space. On your exhale, the abdominals shorten, the ribs move downwards, the upper ribs rotate slightly and the lower ribs move to the centre causing the chest to narrow from side to side and from back to front which forces more air out. Breathing correctly during your exercising gives your body the energy source it needs. On the other hand, diaphragmatic breathing (shallow breathing) does not engage the abdominal muscles and actually pushes them outwards, rather than inwards, which raises your susceptibility to injury in your back, hips or pelvis.
As you prepare to perform an exercise in Pilates, it is important that you bring your mental and physical focus to the centre of your body. You do this through your inhale which also starts the contraction of your core/powerhouse muscles. As you perform the particular movement you exhale. You will find that over time you will need to put less effort into each movement because your core muscles will become stronger and more efficient. You are thus able to do more with less effort as you are moving from a stable core/powerhouse base with strength, control, and dynamic energy.
Pilates mat exercises are very gentle resistance exercises designed to help build muscular strength and endurance. Using your own body weight allows you to reach these goals without struggling to lift heavy weights. Pilates, whether using apparatus or simply mat work, also helps build joint flexibility, agility, and muscular balance.
There is an endless range of Pilates apparatus and mat exercises and I teach these exercises combining both linear and non-linear movements which allow you to increase your personal flexibility throughout your body. However, no matter what the exercise is, and no matter what the difficulty level is, all Pilates exercises are to be performed in correct postural alignment for you to be able to gain the most physical benefit.
I teach on a one-to-one or small group basis, in my warm and comfortable home studio, which I will be setting up after my relocation to the Inverness area. I will share this studio with my psychological coaching partner, Keith. Having spent many years working out in cold gyms and studios, I am determined that all of my clients will be warm! Wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in, whether it is your workout kit or lycra, or whatever. You just need to feel comfortable in what you are wearing, and most importantly, able to move freely. Having said that, I do have two provisos. First, please do not wear anything with buckles or sharp objects on them as these can tear the pads on the Pilates equipment. And second, as shoes are not allowed in my home studio, I will ask you please to wear socks. My fees range from £40 down to £10 per person, per one-hour session, depending upon whether it is a one-to-one session or how many other people there are in the group. Please feel free to contact me by email or telephone (please see the Contact Information to the right) if you’d like to find out more about working with me. I'd love to hear from you.