My name is Josie and I am a 56 year old Registered Massage Therapist.  

While vacationing in Maui in February 2009, I fell, sustaining a compression fracture to my L1 vertebrae.  For the first few months of my recovery, I needed to wear a body brace and use a walker. Due to the extreme pain, instability  of my spine, and my inability to even walk a straight line, I believed that my Massage Therapy career was over.

Among other treatments, I undertook a comprehensive Pilates Rehabilitation program at Pacific Interior Pilates, designed specifically for my needs.  During the initial three months, I was skeptical and questioned whether I was gaining any benefit from Pilates. The movements were so subtle that I could not notice any physical changes other than that the pain was slowly diminishing.

To my surprise, after 3 months, I found myself completely pain free, walking more erect, and able to walk a straight line without imbalance. My core strength developed slowly yet consistently and gradually I was able to return to work.  One year post-injury I was at work full time.  I am convinced that my recovery is in large part due to the early intervention and expert care of the Physiotherapy/Pilates and Rehabilitation professionals at Pacific Interior Pilates.  The private Pilates classes helped to set a new foundation for my work posture as an RMT.  I eventually was placed in small group classes and I now continue to make Pilates a lifetime practice.

Back trauma can be debilitating.  I am very proud of my personal determination and commitment to entrusting Pilates to re-balance my musculoskeletal system and extend my longevity in a career that I love. 

Pilates saved me from back surgery….
For years I suffered debilitating back pain and in 2005 was placed on a waiting list for surgery to have my lumbar spine deconstructed, fused with bone grafts, and encased in a surgical steel cage to correct severe spinal stenosis, a ruptured disc and degenerative facet joint disease (osteoarthritis).  My life revolved around strong painkillers and wondering if I would ever live normally again: dance with my husband, lift my grandchildren, cook for a dinner party or even sit in a theatre for the duration of a concert or movie without agony.

While waiting for surgery, my doctor recommended that I try Pilates to build my core strength so I could recover from back surgery more readily. In early 2006 a newspaper ad for a Gentle Pilates course at Pacific Interior Pilates caught my eye; I signed up, and from that point on have never looked back. I am stronger than ever, no longer need painkillers or surgery, and have progressed from a terrified beginner to an Intermediate level Pilates devotee who will be forever grateful to Deborah Ward for her caring guidance and expert instruction.

Barbara H.
October 2010


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