What is Therapeutic Exercise?
The type of therapeutic exercise I teach is derived from the Gyrotonic Expansion System of Juliu Horvath. I worked for Juliu for seven years in New York City, teaching Gyrotonics, managing his studios, writing his exercise manual and otherwise assisting him in designing, manufacturing and selling Gyrotonics devices and training others to teach the method.
Like Gyrotonics, the work I do with my exercise clients is breath-centered, and draws most of its inspiration and philosophy from yoga, which I have practiced for 34 years. The term “therapeutic exercise” implies: that the work will make you better, not injure you; that there is some awareness of breath, anatomy or some other physical or mental guidance system; and also implies thought or mindfulness as part of the process.
Unlike yoga, tai qi, qi gong or other practices, therapeutic exercise using devices gives you something active to do and something stable to refer yourself to. During a therapeutic exercise session, I will guide you through the various exercises that are customized to your individual needs. The devices end up playing the role of gravity, applied in specific ways, while you and I work together to use breath, strength, flexibility, leverage and coordination to understand the demands of gravity and respond to those demands as effectively as possible.
Depending on your desires and capabilities, you can use our sessions to achieve your maximal athletic achievement, or simply enjoy ease of motion, less pain, better injury prevention and quicker rebound from injury. After a session, you will feel taller, longer, more open and more energetic. You may feel a little sore in some muscles, but the goal of a session of therapeutic exercise is to feel better, and usually my clients feel a lot better after an exercise session.
What to expect?
The first thing you will do when you come for therapeutic exercise is to tell me why you are here and what you hope to accomplish with exercise. I will ask you questions about your past and current exercise practices, find out if you have any injuries or other health issues I need to be aware of, and come up with a general outline for your workout. You will also change into your workout gear, of course, if you didn’t wear it to my office. Generally, a t-shirt and sweat pants, leotard and tights or simply loose and comfortable clothes are appropriate. You will spend some time on your back with your legs in the air, so skirts and loose or short shorts may be awkward.
We will work primarily on machines made of wood, metal and other materials, and they are comfortable and enjoyable to work with. The first session will be largely for me to get an accurate reckoning of where you are as far as flexibility, strength and coordination are concerned. This will help me see where you have strengths that you can lean on and where you have weaknesses or blind spots that need support or discovery.
Each session will last about an hour. If you’re looking for maintenance exercise, you’ll work to develop a general workout that will become more complex and deep as you grow into it. Repeating movements taken from yoga, tai qi and other disciplines with specific accompanying timing and texture of breath can, over time, make chronic problems disappear. Improving strength, flexibility and coordination makes it less likely that you will suffer acute injury.
I accept cash, checks, flex-spending cards and debit and credit cards for payment.