I LOVE MY JOB! I am that person on Monday morning that jumps out of bed, dances while getting ready and sings all the way to work. Why? Because I get to make a difference in at least one person’s life every day. No I am not a doctor, and I am not a scientist discovering the cure for a horrible disease. Even better, I get to help people move better, feel stronger and more capable, find hope when they thought all hope was lost, and have the power to change their own life. I am a Pilates Teacher.
The best part of my job is seeing a client’s face when they do something they never thought was possible, or when they stand up after completing a few simple movements to realize they are pain free for the first time in years. Some think it is magic, but it’s stronger than that. It’s the will and determination of a person that truly wants to get better. There’s nothing like it and it is amazing to witness.
Many times I have been called Barbara Walters of Movement. In my 10+ years teaching, I would say that most of my clients have cried on my table. Sometimes they are overcome with emotion as they describe the struggles and frustration with a long recovery process that seems inevitable to never end. Many times though these are tears of joy and hope. I was working with a gentleman recently who suffered for years from unrelenting back and hip pain, and a severely hunched posture and altered gait pattern. We tried just two exercises to address the hip discomfort and pelvic malalignment. After, he stood up and walked around the room, and his wife immediately ran to him and put both hands on the sides of his face and exclaimed “that’s amazing, that’s the best you have walked in a long time! Look, you’re taller! Keep walking…your leg isn’t swinging out to the side anymore. Amazing!”
It constantly amazes me how much power movement has to heal and support the body. It is so simple and the one thing in life we do not spend enough time doing. When movement ceases to be easy and starts to become painful, our first reaction is to stop moving and many become fearful of movement. To complicate matters, there are so many therapies and procedures for movement impairments that do not incorporate movement at all. Many are now being proven to be unsuccessful. Why not fight fire with fire? If it hurts to move, teach people how to move better. That’s what I get to do every day and I am sure that we are winning the battle over pain. I am so lucky to be able to help people overcome these barriers and to resume a normal life.
It’s not magic, it’s just movement.
Holly Wallis, Certified Movement & Rehabilitation Specialist, PMA®-CPT
Director of US Operations, Body Harmonics Pilates & Movement Institute
Studio Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 LaSalle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
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