I first tried Pilates because my aging body was making it more and more difficult to dance. I tried serveral different teachers but didn't embrace it wholeheartedly until I met Rachel and she suggested
that "Ron Fletcher Work" would be good for me. I had no idea what that was but I tried it and discovered my Fountain of Youth, as I will be able to do the Fletcher Work, and progress in it, for the
remainder of my life. Not only do I feel better than I did fifteen years ago, but I'm now actually getting the upper hand on middle-age "dumpiness."
In Rachel I also discovered an extraordinary teacher with an amazing depth and breadth of experience and knowledge. Her dedication to excellence is evident in every aspect of her studio,
Inspiration to Movement, and she inspires me at every private session and group class. I feel very fortunate to have found Rachel, the Ron Fletcher Work and Inspiration to Movement. And having to
shop for slimmer jeans is no great burden!
There is certain pleasure in throwing one's body into an activity - getting the body to respond to rhythm, to race down a ski slope, to edge out an opponent at the finish line, to stretch for the return
shot in tennis. So I was taken with hurdles and pole vault in school, lettering each year, even the first year in college. In college I took up downhill skiing and tennis and loved both activites through
graduate school, well into my adult life, where I added long distance running 10K races. I eventually ran up against the reality of time - osteoarthritis. I first had to forego running, then tennis, then the
slopes with the bumps. Supplements began to heal my knees, so somewhere in there I took up aerobics - I could still throw my body into that. Eventually hellish leg cramps brought an end to aerobics.
I seemed destined to the treadmill and mild weight lifting - barely enough to keep the waist line in check.
Then my wife got interested in Pilates, through a friend, and suggested one day that I check out the open house. One of Rachel's clients was doing astounding things with her well-tuned middle-aged
body, claiming only a few years investment in the activity. It seemed worth a try. I've been doing Fletcher Work with Rachel now for nearly three years, and I've got to admit - I'm a stronger guy now at
age 59 than I was at 49 and perhaps 39, and considerably more flexible. Daytime chain sawing, weed wacking, leaf raking, home repair (things needed regularly on my property) used to need a
couple of Advil in the evening - not any longer. Leveraging the core in these activities really makes the difference! I'm also very much more aware of how my body works - it's not all abs, biceps and
thighs which most guys believe is all they need. It's all the other muscles as well, breathing correctly, and the positioning of the body relative to the situation. Along the way my trick shoulder, which
could only move in a half circle, got healed - I can now move it around a full circle! This work may be imporatant to dancers, but this is really for anybody who wants to keep their body moving or
wants to know more about how to use it properly. I keep thinking - if only I knew this stuff at age 20!
In 1999 my podiatrist said to throw away my high heels due to pain from arthritis and foot deformities. So I tossed out my favorite leather boots and resorted to wearing orthodics in comfortable
oxfords and suede sneaks.
My wardrobe was a challenge whenever we had to dress up. It was so discouraging. I had one pair of patent leather mary janes and my husband always had to leave me off at the door.
Then in 2004 my brother introduced me to ITM. Rachel knew the perfect exercises and put me to work. I never really tested my feet out though, until our son got married in June 2006. My goal was to
walk down the aisle and stand in the receiving line with a dressy little heel. I packed comfortable clogs for the reception. The biggest surprise came when I never needed to change out of the heels
into the clogs! Not only was I comfortable and able to dance the night away - BUT I was able to walk the next day and had no pain!
I credit ITM for my newfound movement and new wardrobe of shoes for all of our special occassions! Thank you ITM!
I was fortunate to come upon Inspiration to Movement one day while jogging through Phoenixville. I had never practiced Pilates before and was always intrigued. At the time I did not realize my luck in
finding Rachel Nace. I was 37 years old and started measuring 1/2 an inch shorter at my Doctor appointments. Very soon after working at the Fletcher Work with Rachel in private sessions and group
classes, I regained the lost 1/2 inch, plus another 1/4 inch in height! While regaining my height is the most measurable result of the work, I also no longer suffer back pain and can move with ease and
more grace. Also my posture has improved tremendously. I consider the challenging Fletcher Work medicine for my whole body, mind and soul!
I first met Rachel in let's say 1997. She was teaching at a Pilates studio on the Main Line. I sensed that there was a seriousness and attention to detail in her approach to the work more so than with
most if not all of the other teachers. My senses were spot on.
As a performing musician, I 'd exposed myself to a myriad of disciplines: yoga, weight lifting, running, swimming, qui gong, aikido, alexander, feldenkrais, jazz dance, rolfing, hellerwork, cranio sacral,
massage, chiropractic. Part of the reason was personal growth and part was injury. I've been missing an ACL since 1986 and I've also had foot and back issues.
I must say that Pilates, and indeed the Fletcher work, has stood the test of time as a reliable discipline that gets results. I am more "in my body" than ever at age 50 and this is largely due to Rachel's
teaching, intuition, and ability to pour this material into my head as well as my body.
Just as in my work in music, you definitely get out what you put in and there's certainly a lifetime's worth of strength, health and flexibility right here for my continuing physical, intellectual and spiritual
Thanks Rachel and all the teachers...
J Davidson, www.jdavidson.org
I was diagnosed with Plantar Faciitis several years ago. After pursuing many avenues of traditional western medicine, the next step being surgery, I met Rachel.
Her deep Medical Massage worked wonders. After several sessions I saw a marked improvement. In a few months, I obtained a tremendous amount of relief
and was "cured" of major symptoms. Intermittent treatments help to maintain my foot's health and enable me to engage in my many other daily activities
and sports. I would encourage people with Plantar Faciitis to explore this alternative as a first course of action.
Pilates has truly transformed our bodies over the past 5 years. Although we have been enthusiasts for many types of exercise (gym, swimming, yoga, ...)
Pilates made us much stronger and leaner, while also more agile. Rachel is a fantastic teacher and partner with a long term vision of our health and fitness. She goes above and beyond Pilates as
"exercise", instead teaching us about our own unique body issues. She pushes us out of a fitness comfort zone, and always gives 110% to us in every class.
Kathleen and Gary, Phoenixville
My wife Anne met you at a Pilates class in another studio before you opened your own. She now takes four Pilates classes a week goes to Pilates seminars with you and. I see noticeable changes in her energy and strength levels.
Since she was a dancer those changes were significant. At her suggestion I began taking your rigorous classical ballet class in addition to the classes I take at another studio where I teach part time. I have found them challenging and
Then I came to see you for your expertise as a certified massage therapist for help with my shoulder which had several muscles and tendons severely torn in a fall. You read the MRI report and were saddened and appalled! I had
elected not to have surgery because the orthopedic surgeon that I saw (a highly regarded practitioner of 40 years experience) was a beast and a discredit to all good doctors. My chiropractor, Dr. Weigand, whose opinion I regard in
the highest, said that with time and his help I would not need surgery. I mentioned your credentials and the possibility of massage therapy and he highly recommended twice a week sessions as a vital aspect of the healing process.
They did indeed prove to be very helpful.
However, at your urging the therapy methodology and regimen rapidly changed. Your expert opinion, which I have come to trust implicitly due to what I came to understand of your depth of knowledge, was that Pilates work would
be far more valuable in the rehabilitation process in order to rebuild the strength and proper proprioceptive pathways to recover full function. That is vital to me both in my business as a landscape designer and contractor and as a
ballet dancer and teacher.
The injury caused me to miss performing an entire four show run of a pas de deux that I had choreographed in May. Yet amazingly here it is October and I am now in rehearsal for the same pas to be performed in December. The
work has been hard, demanding and painful, but with your dedicated and watchful guidance, pushing, and stress on doing every exercise not only faithfully but accurately and precisely I am able to perform again that soon. Full
recovery thanks to you and to Dr. Weigand is coming rapidly.
More interesting is the manner in which the Pilates therapy has proceeded. Shoulder work seems to be only about 30% of the work. Your stress is that the whole body must participate so the other 70% focuses on the spine, the
center, the balance, and the whole body. I thought that I knew my body and strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that there is much to learn and I am vastly enjoying the correction of decades old disc injuries and imbalances,
as well as the overall strengthening and flexibility and general deeper insight and understanding into my body that I am gaining with your help.
My training includes a Doctorate specializing in Epistemology and a Masters in the philosophy of non-verbal communication so I am very analytical. With all that I think that your explanations and answers to my questions are
extremely knowledgeable, insightful, precise, detailed, thorough, and above all – patient. I look forward to every session both physically and mentally as an invaluable and challenging and enjoyable learning process.
I am pleased to participate in the taped class in hopes that you will be rapidly enabled to present to the Pilates Association because I would think it a tremendous loss if they were deprived of your insights and experience.
Most respectfully and gratefully,
Dixon Teter, Ph.D.