Pilates Based Exercise
I was playing the part of a dancer and Broadway actress and had heard that Pilates would help me to look like a toned dancer. I used to dance when I was younger so thought it would be easy for me. I was told that my posture would improve as well. I have a slight swayback and shoulders that roll forward. I started doing pilates once a week, pushing my body very hard for that one day, but not exercising any other day or supplementing with weightlifting or running.
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So, for about three years, I stretched all my muscles in my back once a week, causing small tears up and down my spine that became extremely painful. Every time I hurt, my instructor told me to stretch that area, which only damaged my muscles more. Eventually, everything hurt, whether I moved or not standing, sitting, walking, doing the dishes, paying the bills.
As I watched my 28-year-old body break down, I became more and more depressed. I was constantly being told that it was an emotional problem. I started seeing orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, hypnotherapists, chiropractors, neuromuscular therapists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, and even “energy specialists. ” I was lying on ice packs for hours every day, full of anger at spending thousands of dollars on ineffective treatments. I went on powerful anti-inflammatory medications to deaden the pain. The drugs gave me chronic stomach problems. It was all too much to handle. I felt I had tried everything.
When I met Jerzy and Aniela, I was skeptical that simply lifting weights could help me, but things slowly started to change. They warned me that it would not be easy, that the more I followed their directions, the faster I would progress. They were right. I started to have hours, then days, then weeks without pain. I focused on building muscles that gave support to the whole structure of my body.
Months passed as I followed the weight routine that Jerzy and Aniela designed for me. I stopped obsessing over cardio workouts and have learned to stick to The Happy Body food program.
A friend asked me recently how my pain was doing. I was surprised by the question. “What pain? ” I said. I had forgotten all about it.