In 1999, I stumbled upon Pilates in my attempts to cure my chronic and debilitating back pain. I had pushed my body to its limits as a surfer, without any true core strength or balance, and my back and shoulder finally gave out on me. Pain began to run my life, keeping me out of the surf, stopping me from running and from trying new things for fear of pain. Sitting was excruciating and I would sometimes spend the day in bed. It felt as though my life was over. I knew there had to be a way to get back to the life I wanted to live. I sought out yoga instructors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists in my attempts to heal what was broken, to no avail. I had worked in the field of physical therapy and taught therapeutic exercise but these approaches proved to be ineffective in addressing my pain. I heard Pilates was good for back pain so I gave it a try.
I knew from the start that Pilates would give me my body back. Having been practicing yoga and meditation since I was 15, the mindfulness, self-awareness and introspection Pilates requires felt like home. The additional focus on functional anatomy and biomechanics provided my body with a new template for efficient and more integrated movement. It has proved to be the missing piece. Pilates has changed the way I move, changed the way I think about the way I move and allowed me to feel the way I’ve always wanted to in my body; energetic, powerful and pain free.
THE BIRTH OF INTEGRATIVE PILATES
Through the years I have refined and evolved my approach as I have continued to learn, grow and study functional anatomy, neuroscience, Somatic Experiencing’s approach to trauma recovery and the development of stress resilience, The Franklin Method, sensory motor learning and integration, Continuum, pregnancy, labor and birth support and hands on work such as SE Touch and Visionary Cranial Sacral Therapy. These complimentary fields of study have woven into my work to make it unique, truly integrated, much more effective and powerful than ever before. I invite you to join me on the journey to greater and greater integration, wellbeing and wholeness.
I believe we should all be allowed to enjoy our bodies and our lives. – Cristal Mortensen