"Mary Jane L."
At the age of 72, Mary Jane had aches and pains, low energy and was "feeling old." She had suffered for 20 years with neck, upper and lower back pain, and for 10 years with leg and foot pain. After being prodded for months by a friend who was convinced that Pilates could help, Mary Jane walked into Aspire a year and a half ago cautiously hopeful.
Before starting Pilates, Mary Jane took very fast, shallow breaths, held her shoulders up high as if they were her earrings, and her tail bone was painfully curled underneath her torso making her balance quite precarious. As with many seniors, falling was a very real fear for Mary Jane.
"Tonya took me under her wing when I began taking classes," remembers Mary Jane. As with all new clients at Aspire, we started slowly and carefully. Because of her intense pain level, Mary Jane was patient with the slow foundation that we began establishing in her body.
Starting with the Core (the deep muscles that help stabilize the spine), we began building the strength and flexibility needed to impact Mary Jane's body alignment. By focusing on the strength and flexibility for good hip and spinal mechanics, Mary Jane's lower back pain soon went away. We soon began re-programming her shoulders to move well, which reduced the pain in her neck and upper back. With the addition of the Chiropractic "magic" of Dr. Adam Benjamin, Mary Jane is now feeling better than ever. "Today, I feel as though my entire body is healthier than it has ever been," says Mary Jane.
One day Tonya walked into the studio and Mary Jane was slapping her feet into the hardwood floor. A shocked Tonya exclaimed, "What are you doing?! That has to hurt!" Mary Jane grinned from ear to ear and said "I'm so surprised and pleased. I haven't been able to walk on a hardwood floor without shoes for years. I'm stomping around to prove to myself that it doesn't hurt anymore." Tonya gasped, "What?! Stop that!" To which an amazed Mary Jane stomped a few more times and replied, "Nope, I was right. It doesn't hurt anymore. My foot pain is gone."
As we speak, Mary Jane is fulfilling a lifelong dream of a month of adventure in New York City. She's enjoying Broadway shows, visiting the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, eating delicious food, and taking in the Big City sights. Mary Jane now has the strength, flexibility, endurance and self-confidence to pound the pavement like a real New Yorker, without pounding down her body. And in the event that she has a bit too much fun one day, Mary Jane now has the self-care skills to instantly reduce her own pain, enabling her to experience new adventures the very next day.
Mary Jane is a huge inspiration to everyone who meets her at the studio. She has a new positive outlook on life that spreads to everyone around her. And the really wonderful thing is that her Golden Years are now gleaming almost as brightly as her enthusiastic smile.
Congratulations, Mary Jane! Too many more years of adventure!