MEET this months Instructor
Certified APPI Matwork Instructor & Principal and Owner of Hawker Place Physiotherapy & Pilates
What is your background?
I have had a very varied background. I finished my General Nursing Certificate in 1976 and worked in Accident & Emergency at the Royal Brisbane Hospital for four years and in theatre for one year. I became more and more fascinated by the human body which lead me to further my studies by undertaking a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies and Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland over 7 years. In 1990 we moved to Canberra. My husband was a sports physician and worked for many years at the AIS. In 1991 I opened my practice – Hawker Place Physiotherapy. After 23 wonderful years I decided to move into larger premises and on 6 January this year I opened my new beautifully equipped practice Hawker Place Physiotherapy & Pilates.
What brought you to Pilates?
As a triathlete I experienced injuries myself and as a physiotherapist I became very aware of how muscle imbalances developed quickly following even a minor injury. It became very obvious to me that many incidences of back pain (for example) could be traced back to a period of immobility or altered gait pattern from an old ankle of knee injury.
In the late 90’s, it was through my admiration for another triathlete who practised Pilates that I became interested in it myself. I completed the Clinical Pilates Courses for Physiotherapists offered by Dance Medicine Australia from 2000 to 2003. I purchased a reformer and it was well used in the practice for 10 years. The practice area was small however, and I was never able to conduct small classes as part of a group rehab program, which is something I would have really enjoyed.
In January this year I opened my new rooms with a fully equipped Pilates studio. One of my physiotherapists, also interested in Pilates, hosted the APPI Foundation course for 10 local Physiotherapists, including myself, at my practice. I found myself totally immersed in the APPI method from the start. The course content is meticulously structured linking current research to each principal of Pilates with certain aspects modified to comply with evidence based best practice. The traditional Pilates exercises have been beautifully broken down to levels that can be taught and progressed based on the abilities of the client.
How do you use it in your clinical practice?
I can honestly say a day in my practice would not go by where I do not use the APPI repertoire of exercises to draw on as part of my therapy in the management of my clients. I really feel that the program should be offered as an elective for Physiotherapy students. My three new graduates have done the APPI Foundation course and two of them will continue on to complete the matwork and equipment certification program.
Whats is your favourite APPI course that you have done so far and why?
I would find it difficult to single out one course in particular. I have enjoyed them all. The instructors have all been very professional and knowledgeable. If I had to say one in particular I would say Equipment Level 1. Kathryn Anderson had an amazing way of explaining functional anatomy and I felt like she shed light on things that I thought I had previously understood completely.
Whats next for you?
It has been a very tough year for me in many ways. After 23 years in practice it was a real challenge moving to new rooms. I had actually been thinking of selling the practice and cutting back a little. After having a shortage of physiotherapists and working very long hours I now have four full time and four part time physiotherapists working with me. Apart from our very capable regular team we are very fortunate to have Dr Irmina Nahon who is a specialist in pelvic pain and continence working one day a week, Dr Angie Fearon who is ‘The Hip Physio’ and specialises in hip pathology and lower limb tendinopathy, Dr (almost) Cherie Wells who is about to complete her doctorate on ‘Pilates and Low Back Pain’. My plan is to continue to grow the Clinical Pilates side of the business and develop a practice of excellence. Thanks to the clinic move and my engagement with APPI I feel totally reinvigorated and committed to my profession. It’s a good feeling!
Hawker Place Physiotherapy
A: Unit 1 Playoust Building 108 Hawker Place, Hawker, ACT 2614
T: (02) 6255 2033
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