My first Pilates apparatus lesson at the age of 15 left me knowing that I would teach the method alongside my dance career someday. I felt the value even at such a young age paying for lessons with my babysitting money since my parents couldn’t fathom what I was doing, or even pronounce the word. I began teaching the work in college at the age of 19 and always dreamed of having my own studio. I never really fully “fit in” at any Pilates or dance studio, no one ever tried to “leave me out” I just never fit a mold. To summarize, I was basically either too rigid and disciplined, or I laughed too much. As a proper adult now, I realize this combination continues to be the secret to my feeling of success and the real dream was to create a space where I could exchange inspiration with my fellow teachers. A space with no intimidation that we could all call our studio “home” growing as forever students, true to our work, free from constraints, and uniquely ourselves. A double dream was that I would also direct a teacher training program. An unforeseen dream was that I would collaborate with my future husband and his clinic witnessing the invention of a true integrated medical, wellness and Pilates center with team of the smartest doctors and practitioners I’ve ever known. This is a team who value and respect each other’s expertise and believe that true health & wellness are revealed most effectively with integrated care.
During the above dream phase of my career, Rudy was playing hockey and studying biology, planning a career in the medical field. When his life was so positively effected by chiropractic care following a hockey injury, he set his mind on that field since he could not only help people with musculoskeletal injuries, but also use his knowledge to help his patients route to the best specialists as needed. During graduate school he mapped out the multidisciplinary practice he would later build to create the dream team he was used to playing on for the majority of his life. It would not be random modalities on their own island under one roof, rather it would be a truly integrated model with daily team meetings creating choices of appropriate care plans for patients.
Watching my students work toward various goals and recover from various injuries remains as intriguing as it is enlightening. I am always honored when the Pilates studio can play its role and admirable when another department can unlock a mystery that we were unable to. The key is that we bring together people that don’t think they are the end all/be all in someone’s journey.
In any branch of health care or wellness it is important to try different modalities and to be innovative, but it is equally important that we are educated in basic principles so that there is logic behind your choices.
My Pilates studio opened a few years after Rudy’s clinic, allowing us to inter-refer and see the early stages of what was to come, and the benefits of integration. We are currently working on creating a timeline of the evolution of our respective practices to tell the story of how we got where we are today offering the modalities that make up Physio Logic and BASI Pilates Academy – NYC. It really tells the story of our family business(es) led by heart and we look forward to sharing.
I have hundreds of examples of patients and clients who have been through many or all of our departments but I can proudly use myself as an example particularly utilizing manual therapies, functional nutrition, and regenerative medicine at our facility.
- Functional Nutrition: Almost 10 years ago, I had our clinical nutritionist Michelle take a look at some extensive blood work I did at my Obgyn. Nothing was standing out to my regular doctors as any reason to not be getting pregnant, but I was curious to see if I could be optimizing my health in any way related or unrelated to ever getting pregnant. Michelle was just starting the nutrition department at PL, it was also an intimate way to get to know her work so I could honestly refer my students to her. She noticed higher than her version of “normal” inflammatory markers for a healthy person, and gave me reasonable recomendations for anti-inflammatory diet awareness, and some supplements. She also addressed my mthfr gene mutation, which 60% of the population actually have to some degree. The mthfr gene is responsible for breaking down folate and b vitamins, marrying them to the amino acid, homocysteine, in our blood and converting them into glutathione, the best naturally occurring antioxidant in our bodies which help us to detoxify. If we have a decrease in this ability, the homocysteine can build up creating inflammation. She gave some more recommendations that were easy to incorporate into my lifestyle. As a result, I was able to cut 3 of the inflammatory markers in half with simple changes and had no idea I could feel so good. I lived with a feeling of “tightness” that was not ever justified enough to complain about, so I just lived that way. I used to warm up for a full hour before dancing, and this was my normal. I didn’t realize it was representative of “inflammation” in my body. Since this discovery, I have consistently felt great, kept high energy without a dip in the afternoon, and I don’t need to warm up before I jump into class with 20 year olds:) The main adjustments I made were cutting back on gluten and dairy, and adding methylated folate along with some other supplements that aid in glutathione production. All these years later, I take just 1-2 supplements and maintain low inflammatory markers. The point of my sharing is not because I overcame something so grand that is worth a story, but that inflammation is often what holds us back from healing properly or reaching our goals. This information has allowed me to feel confident in suggesting that some of my students investigate their lab reports with a professional. Guiding our bodies to a state of homeostasis allows our systems to function from a calmer baseline. It has been a game changer for me and often unlocks the mystery for so many of our patients and students.
- Manual Therapy: I used to think I could fix everything with Pilates. It was a colleague in a course many years ago that told me I needed a profession set of hands on me to help break up bound muscles and scar tissue. I had years of misusing my upper back and neck muscles to compensate for my shoulder joints dislocating. I created hypertonic, very tight, muscles surrounding my most of the joints in my body. The results of just a few visits with a therapist doing manual work was indescribable. I was able to access entirely different muscles, and moving my arms from my back was possible after years of feeling stuck in my upper traps. Since then, I have made massage and chiropractic care part of my “formula.” I still often wait till something is bothering me to make my appointments like everyone else, but it helps me every time. It not only frees up areas where I may have strained or developed scar tissue, but it also helps release joints that may be stuck mechanically due to my unique and imperfect movement patterns. Another example is a very old hamstring strain, which was seemingly “better enough,” but creating micro misalignments in my pelvis and a domino effect throughout my hip area. The ball and socket joint of my hip was not sitting together correctly creating damage to the surrounding cartilage and ligaments. Addressing the hamstring as a root cause was so helpful as I started to address pain in the joint, of which I will share in more detail next.
- Regenerative Medicine: If I sat around all day, or never embarked on dance training, I may not have developed the pain in my hips that prompted the suggestion of PRP procedures at our office with Dr Palvia, who leads the regenerative & sports medicine department at Physio Logic and is a proud Regenexx Center. Our choices are always based around our goals and return to sport mentality. I was able to hide it well, but I was in pain, unable to do the precision work I love to do, and was unable to dance freely. I had a very “normal” MRI on my hips for someone of my age and movement background, so some might say I did these procedures somewhat preventatively. To me I don’t accept the mentality of so many athletes to live with discomfort since I plan to do what I do forever. Many dancers just live with pain and dance through it. This can lead to far more invasive procedures later on or a slow decrease in range of motion and highly modified activity. I could not be happier with my choice to do PRP (platelet rich plasma) in both of my hips, 2 years apart. I have learned so much about what can aggravate them, and how to care for them if I get a glimmer of the old twinges. For me, the alignment issue stems from compression in my sacral area which don’t allow for proper hip extension. For years I was over stretching my hip flexors and surprisingly not doing enough Pilates and functional strengthening exercises for them. I was seeking range of motion and misinterpreting my “tightness” for “strength.” This regenerative procedure was the perfect solution for me at this early stage. It got me out of pain, but it is no easy fix. The rehabilitation phase is so important and I continue to revert to my care plan on a regular basis. Thank you to Dr Palvia! See some of my hip go to’s in the videos below.
I encourage everyone to discover or rediscover their inner athlete. Create the perfect formula of exercise and self care, and combine it with the expertise of a dr, practitioner, or coach where you need it so you can do what you love forever!
My Go To Exercises for Home
Leg Slides with Sacrum Release
External Rotation with Sacrum Release
Hip Extension Variation 2
Hip Extension Variation 3
Glute Medius/Hip Flexor
My Go To Studio Exercises
Tail Wags on Cadillac with Disc
Hip Flexor Strength on Cadillac with Leg Springs