Forum / Let's Discuss! / New client help!

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On: August 08, 2015 04:51 AM
Jen and Casey, I have a lady referred to me through the Y. First things, first. She's 62, has never heard of Pilates, overweight, and sits at a desk all day. No real physical injuries, but she complains of her neck bothering her. She was first put with a "personal trainer" who had her "lifting weights". She felt worse, and told the girl it hurt her back. The director of the Y asked me if I would consider trying to get her to try Pilates! Yes, I replied, and now the work begins. After seeing and talking to her, she is very interested in learning. I spent the first hour trying to explain the benefits of Pilates, but she would have to be patient, since she has done very little exercises in her lifetime. She has a very large torso, and large bust line. Has a hard time lying facedown on the floor. I have worked on her breathing, first and foremost, relaxing her "bones" and helping her find her pelvic floor using the clock. Her upper back, shoulder girdle is very weak, rounded forward. Since she is very uncomfortable lying facedown on the floor, should I have her "lean" into the wall and use the wall as the floor?. She's very open to any ideas I have. I have used the overball, and that seems to open up her "sternum" area, but we need to strengthen her upper back from the floor. I have no equipment to work on, just some props.. I have used some ideas from Tom McCook, but need your input. Thank you both!
On: August 08, 2015 07:50 AM
Hi Ginger! I am so excited for you, and your client! These one-on-one sessions are going to be an incredible learning experience for you both, and I just can't wait to hear about your journey together. Ok, now lets brainstorm on the different ways you can get her into her mid back without laying on the floor... The wall is a FANTASTIC idea for her to experiment with movement for her mid back. It gives her space to move within to accommodate a number of prone placement hurdles. Go back into The Pilates Show archives and check out some of Jen's Ninja Principle work with the hands on the wall! You will get some great ideas and cueing there. Also, four point kneeling work would be phenomenal for her to do. The quadruped position isn't just great for shoulder and mid back work, but it is also wonderful for teaching spinal mobility via cat/cow, and refining the concept of neutral pelvis and spine! All without having to lay the torso on the floor! Remember with beginning clients that release work is so helpful in unwinding habitual movement patterns. Since it sounds like she has some issues with kyphosis it would be really nice to teach her some pec release with the larger tennis ball on the wall! Let me know how these ideas work, and I can't wait to hear from you. Keep up the excellent work Ginger! Much Love, Casey Marie Herdt
On: August 08, 2015 09:08 AM
Thank you, Casey! Forgot to share that I have already given her a spikey ball to work on her feet. I noticed that she didn't have a lot of mobility in her feet, ankle area. So I pulled out the spikey ball, and she loved it so much, I gave her one! So she is quick to pick up cues and ideas. I will revisit Jen's wall, and also I thought of sitting her on edge of a chair, and using a resistance cord with handles to do some "rowing" and rotations. That way she can sit up tall and feel length from sits bones.. She seems to like sitting in chair as opposed to the floor. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule! ❤️
On: August 12, 2015 05:16 AM
I absolutely LOVE these ideas you are working on with her! Fabulous chair work! Also when she is in the seated position you can cue her multifidus very easily, which really ignites the core activation of all the other players in the torso. It is the most efficient way to do this! Another cue to get a neutral seated position from the pelvis is from the lovely Mary Bond (check out her workshop on perception and spacial orientation!). She says to tell our clients to sit on the top of their legs, rather than their sitting bones. This allows the pelvis to anteriorly rotate to that just right position on the femur heads. And it's easy to remember! Keep the excellent work up Ginger! And keep the questions coming... Jen and I just love hearing from you! Much Love, Casey Marie Herdt
On: August 12, 2015 08:52 AM
Thank you, Casey! Will definitely check out the site with Mary Bond! I was supposed to meet with her tonight, and have been researching using a chair! She had to go out of town, so now we are scheduled for next Monday! I will let you know! Love the cue to sit "on top of your legs"! Will use that in my class! ❤️
On: August 16, 2015 07:34 AM
Yes please let me know how it goes! Love, Casey Marie
On: August 19, 2015 04:19 AM
Casey, I met with Brenda on Monday night. I forgot to give you another visual, she is so large up top, there is very little "space" from her chin to her sternum , even have a hard time feeling collar bones. She carries all her stress in upper body! We worked articulation standing, then on all 4's. Then I went to her sitting in a chair. It was the first time she had actually felt her sitz bones "move" and a connection in the pelvic floor. In her younger years, she rode horses, so I used that visual to get her to find her inner core. With the connection of visualization of crown of head to ceiling, she immediately looked like she had grown 2 inches. Worked slowing on that connection, and From there I worked on slowing doing rotation in upper body. I have a good friend I have met who is a deep tissue therapist. I'm sending Brenda to her for release in her neck/shoulders. She cannot lift body WITHOUT using neck,and she tenses up right away. We are in Virginia for a week, then she is gone, when we get back we r going to start meeting 3 days a week, because she wants to change herself, and she is very patient, knows it will take a lot of dedication and awareness. She loves when I send her articles. Thank you for taking the time to advise me! It means a lot! ❤️
On: August 19, 2015 05:21 AM
Oh Ginger this makes me want to cry! You are doing absolutely beautiful work, and it is showing! The work that we do can resonate on such a deep level with people... Clearly she is enjoying that process of getting to know herself again. Cueing the horseback riding is such a good idea! I work with riders a lot and this correlation absolutely works. Maybe teach her some release work with the tennis ball on that wall for her shoulders and pecs. Then breath work without the shoulders... Possibly with a theraband around the ribcage? Also any lateral flexion and side bending would be amazing! Please, please keep me posted on your progress Ginger! Much Love, Casey Marie
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