Charlotte Marsh started Pilates following a back injury whilst pregnant with my first child. It went undiagnosed for weeks, so worsened until finally correctly identified. The rehabilitation meant not being able to pick anything up for weeks on end, including my little one.
So, I've lived the acute back pain experience! One diligent chiropractor and physio rehabilitation later & then Pilates was recommended. I loved the gentle, low impact, restorative feel to Pilates and quickly became a huge fan. It was a springboard too, leading me to many new forms of exercise.
As I continued to explore the Pilates method in my own body, I also found myself stuck in chronic pain. The revolving door of physio appointments, orthopaedic specialists, steroid injections, X-rays, MRIs etc. Another pregnancy went smoothly and as I started to recover from the physical changes post-natally,
I felt drawn to becoming stronger. I started weight lifting and became very lean. I also developed a hernia, pain worsened and back spasms became more frequent. Medical appointments were no longer serving me.
So, I decided to study Pilates for myself. As I did so, I reflected on some of my earliest Pilates lessons and some of my early education left me confused about contradictory breathing instructions.
When I started teaching, I set everyone off as a beginner and we would look at their Breathing patterns. I soon discovered:
clients with hunched over postures who only breathed up in their chests
postnatal clients who suffered with diastasis recti and continued with habits that would prevent them from healing
female clients who 12 years post birth could not enjoy a family day out without suffering severe incontinence
clients who had a prolapse and didn't understand what that meant in terms of exercise
clients with so much tension in their body, that relaxation seemed impossible for them
clients who suffered with depression who said after one hour of mindful movement, "my head literally feels lighter"
This led to a theme in my Pilates classes; Strengthen, Stretch and Smile. We started closing each Pilates lesson with a short relaxation session, I studied mindfulness and would add a guided meditation, some blissful visualisations, a gratitude practice or kindness towards ourselves and others during this section.
I studied pre & postnatal Pilates and started to specialise in womens' health issues pertinent to pregnancy, pelvic floor, 4th trimester, this led to a huge appreciation of how the BREATH effects our whole body system.
From this point, I completed a wide range of Breathing related courses from a variety of backgrounds, encompassing a vast number of different styles of BREATHING from Martial Arts, Tai-Chi Yoga, Franklin Method, Foundation Training, BeActivated, Hypopressives, Conscious Breathwork, and many many more.
It opened my eyes to how influential breath can be to sleep, anxiety, trauma & stress recovery, pain management and so on.
I investigated alternative therapies for my own healing such as NeuroKinetic Therapy, BeActivated and Square1 all of which assessed your diaphragm and considered your nervous system first, before a specific "problem muscle".
I officially became a BREATHING GEEK>. The deeper I studied this subject, the more obvious breathing misconceptions in Pilates became, the more I knew I had to share this information with other movement teachers, other breathworkers & with anyone passionate about their physical and mental health.