In our Clients own words...
"Suffering from back pain for most of my life, I'm always looking for alternative methods to minimize my discomfort. Laura and Steve have made a major contribution to achieving that goal. Their knowledge of anatomy, sense of compassion, level of enthusiasm and personalized approach make every session rewarding. Doesn't matter if it's a class or a private, they seriously yet cheerfully provide you with the opportunity to learn how to re-educate your body to make it work the way it's supposed to. Pilates and GYROTONIC have been the only workout programs whose hourly routine I look forward to and whose end comes too quickly. My doctors have watched my strength grow and my pain scale decline and fully credit my working with Steve and Laura on a regular basis for these accomplishments. I can't thank them enough for all they've done and continue to do to help me feel healthier, both physically and mentally. Thanks guys!"
-- Mary Lou S.
"Dear Laura and Steve,
We have discussed the fact that I was diagnosed with osteopenia (at the far end of the mid-zone between normal bone strength and osteoporosis) a little over three years ago. This condition was not really surprising as it is common, especially in small-boned, petite, and post-menopausal women. My physician at the time prescribed Actonel, a bone-strengthening prescription medication, increased calcium supplements, and regular physical exercise. He specifically prescribed walking as a physical exercise and commented that Pilates would not suffice referring to it as a "stretching" exercise. Obviously, he has never taken Pilates. For three years I took the medication religiously, the calcium not so religiously, and added an extra day of Pilates so that I was regularly participating in Pilates or GYROKINESIS classes three times a week.
A recent comparative bone density scan showed that I have regained bone density within a few percentage points from "normal" and can discontinue the bone medication while maintaining the calcium intake and physical exercise. Of course, if the bone density again deteriorates, I can resume the medication for a while but it at least gives the physical body a break from the potential side effects of the medication.
Although I began Pilates to maintain strength and flexibility before the osteopenia diagnosis, I consider this good news as yet another benefit of Pilates and wanted to relate to you what is essentially a continuing success story. Thanks for these good years and I look forward to many more."
"I have suffered with severe back pain for over 15 years. I have felt as if my life was taken away because of the pain. I have seen chiropractors, pain doctors, surgeons (I've had several surgeries), physical therapists, and massage therapists. All have given some temporary relief. Now I'm learning Pilates. I'm learning to use different muscles to move properly. This is taking the strain off the back muscles, tendons, vertebrae and discs that cause my pain. I have had physical therapy exercises prescribed before, but I never seemed to keep doing them on my own. Now I understand what is actually happening in my body with the Pilates exercises. And I can feel the results. I am doing my Pilates exercises every day. If I practice my Pilates movements daily, I keep my back pain in check. Working with Laura at The Pilates Center of Kona has given me my life back."
-- David E.
"I work in the hospitality industry. Several years ago I hurt my back at work. I saw the doctor, received medication for the pain, and was sent to physical therapy. Yet my back pain still persisted pretty severely. Now I am doing Pilates. In the first month of Pilates lessons with Laura and Steve my back pain decreased to where it was hardly noticeable. I cannot believe the difference this has made in the quality of my life. Thank you!"
-- Pamela D.
"As a professional athlete, I thought my body was strong and flexible. A friend suggested that I try Pilates because I had broken my ankle and could not train in my regular sport (professional surfing). I began working with Laura and Steve at The Pilates Center of Kona. Wow. What a difference this has made in my body...and my performance on my board. Thank you!"
-- Ayako M.
"I work in a high stress job. The breathing techniques that I learned from Laura in our Yoga Therapy lessons alone have really helped me. The breathing helps me to stay focused and reduce my stress. And the physical practice of Yoga has really helped me reduce the physical affects of stress on my body. I am sleeping better, feeling better, and I am more happy than I have been in years! Namaste and Mahalo for everything!"
-- Jessica L.
"The gift of yoga and body awareness that I have received from Laura is a joy to experience. Thank you for being a true teacher."
-- Lisa K.
"Laura: You are a beautiful person, strong & wise. You are a great teacher. Thanks for all you have shared with us. Most of all, you are an inspiration. It's incredible to see someone living in dharma and making their dreams coming true. May much more joy come to you in the years to come."
-- Bethany D.
I wonder if you can really imagine the full & very powerful impact you have had on me, in spirit, mind and body. Like you've said before, seeds have been planted and my garden is looking very rich and fertile. I'm healthy now! The gifts you have offered me in, in my experience, are nothing short of profound and I feel extremely blessed. I love being around you and you are so beautiful inside & out. I offer you my deepest gratitude and appreciation and my love as your friend always."
-- Denise D.
You have the most amazing massage hands. Thank you for your gentle, yet powerful touch. The pain in my shoulder is gone! Thank you again!"
-- Sandra I.
I really thought that the pain in my shoulder was going to last my whole lifetime. In two sessions you not only educated me as to what was happening in my shoulder, you relieved the shoulder pain itself. I can now work and not be in pain or on pain medication. Thank you. I will never forget this."
-- Phyllis S.
Our Client's SUCCESS Stories
A lovely young woman came into the studio to begin Pilates lessons, with a goal to join our Pilates Group Classes. She reports that she spends a large part of the day hunched over a computer with the upper back rounded forward, her head protruding forward with her shoulders rounded. She is concerned that her “poor posture” may become a habitual posture that follows her around through life. She also complains of numbness and tingling in her arms and hands and pain and discomfort across the upper back and neck.
How We Helped: Steve and Laura carefully designed a Pilates program to help bring greater awareness to her posture, strengthening muscles that may have become lengthened and weak and lengthening those that had become tight. As this client’s posture improved, the numbness and tingling in her arms went away, her tension headaches resolved, and she even regained a few inches of height!
“Low Back Pain”
A physician came into the studio to learn about Pilates Private Lessons. She had heard that it was helpful with posture and low back pain, yet she was cautious and skeptical. She had injured her low back, and working in the emergency room had become a painful and draining endeavor. She complained about low back pain, low energy, and poor posture.
How We Helped: Beginning with our first session, we focused on the basic Pilates principles of Breathing, Engaging the Core, and Finding Neutral. We practiced integrating these “simple” concepts into her life and work routines. She phoned two days later exclaiming, “Sign me up for Life!” She continued to explain that she had just experienced a pain-free 12 hour shift and that she actually had energy when she got off work to enjoy living in Hawaii! She explained that each time she began to feel stress, she would focus on the breathing we practiced, when she began to feel discomfort in her body, she focused on engaging her core and returning to a neutral posture. She saw 35 patients that day and had energy to spare! She has been an avid Pilates student and supporter ever since.
“Bone Loss ~ Osteoporosis”
A lovely petite woman came into the studio interested in joining our Pilates Group Classes. She reported that her doctor did a bone density test and that she had significant bone loss. Her doctor put her on medication and encouraged her to do weight bearing exercise. Not a fan of the gym, she decided to check out Pilates with us. She also reported spending a large part of the day seated a computer and reported some low back pain and her posture was out of alignment.
How We Helped: After visiting us three times per week for a year (twice for Pilates equipment classes and once for GYROKINESIS class) her doctor performed a follow up test. Her bone density was now so good that her doctor was able to take her off of the medication. She attributes the majority of this major shift to her Pilates and Gyro practice with us. She also now reports that she uses the skills she has learned in her movement classes to help her around the house, in the garden, and enjoying life in general. Way to go!
“Severe Neck Injury”
A client came into the studio to learn about our Pilates for Rehab program. She was returning to "gentle" exercise after having a severe neck injury (several breaks to the vertebrae in her neck). She had received her physicians permission to work with us (our owners are licensed therapists). She had tremendous neck and back pain, very limited mobility, could not drive a car (since she could not turn her neck), and was on high doses of pain medication. She was desperately wanting a new fresh approach to health and healing.
How We Helped: After only a few private lessons (as well as a few Onsen Manual therapy sessions with Steve), she found that she could begin turning her neck without pain. Soon, her posture improved and the pain in her upper and lower back lessened. We worked on her reactions to perceived pain in her body. Working with her breath, she learned how to calm her body and mind thus allowing her body to not go into its normal acute pain response. She became increasingly aware of how her posture and habits contributed to her pain. After a few months, her doctors were able to reduce her pain medications to nearly zero (something they had said would be "impossible in her condition.") Her doctors commented that, "We don't know exactly what the folks over at the Pilates Center of Kona are doing, but whatever it is, it works! Keep it up." They actually wrote this in one of their reports to her insurance company!
This client has now nearly full mobility of her neck, is driving again, and has even gotten a job (all things that were in the "never" column of her life list).
" Working with Steve and Laura isn’t just exercise…
it’s powerful medicine! "
More than Testimonials, these are actual client Success Stories...
(we've chosen to keep them anonymous to protect our clients privacy)
The Studio with Aloha
“An Inability to Focus”
A senior client came into the studio to learn about our Pilates Private Lessons with a focus on specific health concerns. She had always wanted to learn a mind-body form of exercise because of it's touted benefit of "calming and focusing the mind." She had been "diagnosed" with ADHD and anxiety. Her psychiatrist referred her to us (Laura specifically) for stress relief (due to Laura's background as both a movement/meditation instructor and as a trained psychotherapist).
How We Helped: Working privately, we began with simple movements and concepts. This allowed her to focus her mind on one thing at a time. Soon, she could focus on two concepts simultaneously, and then three. Her psychiatrist noticed a profound difference in her ability to focus and was even able to decrease her medication. As an added benefit, she also dropped a few dress sizes and now has abs stronger than some of our male students!
“The Big Fish”
A spunky woman in her 40s came into the studio interested in how Pilates could help her age more gracefully. She reported that her work was hard physically, and she was beginning to feel its affects on her body. (She has a house cleaning business.) She spoke of back pain, a sluggish mid-section, and headaches. She was also an avid fisherwoman. After only a few weeks of Pilates she felt so good she decided to enter the Wahine Billfish Tournament here in Kailua-Kona. And, she won! She pulled in the largest billfish (marlin) the contest had seen to date. And she spoke of how well she used her core and did not hurt her back. However, her shoulder received an injury that kept her from returning to her business. Her doctors recommendation was surgery.
How We Helped: Wanting to exhaust all possible alternatives prior to making that decision she began working with Steve and Onsen Manual Therapy sessions immediately. After receiving two sessions (within the first week) she was able to return to her business with modified movements. Each week she came in for therapy (twice a week and then once a week). And each week she got better. At the end of 3 months, she was pain and symptom free. AND she has a huge fish story to tell everyone about. Way to go!
“PRO Big Wave Rider”
A young professional surfer came into the studio interested in how he could build and gain core strength while undergoing rehab for a broken ankle. This very athletic young man was concerned that he would lose his competitive edge on the big waves (Pipeline, etc.) if he got out of shape. He also reported that the year prior, another pro surfer had been out for a year with a major hamstring injury. This surfer returned to the pro circuit winning his first big wave competition and attributed his strength to the core conditioning he had done while his hamstring healed. This young man wanted to do the same.
How We Helped: Working privately, we custom tailored exercises in both Pilates and GYROTONIC to challenge his core strength and flexibility, yet kept his feet and ankles out of the movements. Many of the movements we designed specifically for him to emulate the movements he makes while carving his surfboard through giant waves. We worked on everything from paddling his board to carving the lip. All without the use of his feet and ankles. At first the movements were challenging for him, even for someone of his athletic level, yet with each session he got stronger and stronger, more stable, and more flexible. He gained incredible core strength (and refined some of his movements along the way by slowing them down and working the finer points). And when he finally returned to his first big wave competition....he won!
“The most relaxed I've ever been”
A Yoga client of Laura's brought her mom and dad into the studio for a few private Yoga Therapy sessions. Her mom reported having "never been able to sit still" and was actually a clown for her job prior to her retirement. Her husband was present to share the experience and learn about Yoga. The mom reported that waiting in lines, in waiting rooms, or anything that required her to "be quiet" was horrifying for her and she would develop big anxiety attacks. Her goal was to learn how to calm her body and her mind (something we can all benefit from).
How We Helped: Working privately for only three sessions, Laura custom designed breath work and movement exercises from the vast Yoga lineage. The poses, while simple, had the challenge of linking breath and movement. Some poses even involved standing or sitting still while focusing on a specific breath work technique. A few days after the second session the mom came in early for her next session. She wanted to talk about her experience. It turns out her daughter purchased a 90 min facial for her mom as a gift. This terrified the mom at the thought of laying motionless for 90 minutes. And she didn't want to hurt her daughter's feelings about the gift. As she laid down on the table for her facial, she began to feel her heart race and panic began to set in. She said she then heard Laura's words about the breath from her Yoga sessions. She began to practice her breath work exercises. 90 minutes later, she got up from her facial and noticed that this was the most relaxed she'd ever been!