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At Reality Pilates Reformer, Movement is Medicine

By S. Mathur

Reality Pilates Reformer Studio is a small, speciality health club that is committed to helping individuals discover their potential. It's also a friendly place, where laughter is part of every class, says owner Diana Ellis.

"Our studio is truly a community," Ellis said. "People are more important than a procedure. We meet people where they are on a path to wellness."

Ellis opened the studio in Royersford, Pennsylvania nine years ago.

"My inspiration was to share and to personally continue to enjoy movement as medicine," she said. "During my training, issues for plus size and over 40 received little attention and I believed that the reformer was 'a dream come true' for those of us who wanted to move with joy and improve the quality of our lives."

The Pilates Reformer Method is highly adaptable to individual needs.

"The reformer was designed as rehabilitation for professional dancers," Ellis said. "It accommodates a tremendous range of movement with resistance training. It allows people to rebuild bodies from the inside-out and focus on Injury prevention, strength, and flexibility."

The method strengthens, stretches and balances the body without stresses or strains. It is especially good for strengthening joint and deep core muscles.

The Reformer looks like a sled and is used sitting or lying down. It is especially suited for people who are plus sized or over 40, leafing to increased flexibility and improved functional daily living. The Reformer can be individualized for many different needs, from those training for a marathon to someone recovering from injuries.

Besides the Reformer, the studio offers classes in yoga, cardio, for the knees and back, for the vision-and impaired, and corepole. Ellis feels that the coreoole, which is resistance training that uses the upper body to strengthen the core, is an enjoyable way to get fit, and clients agree with her. Classes can accommodate different levels of fitness and effort, and you can find 18 year olds in the same class with 80-year-olds.

The Mentastics class can help people with pain management and improve aching knees, lower back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, and swollen ankles. It can help to restore free flowing movements using a theraband, a phisyo ball, steps, a chair, and a pole. Dr. Milton Trager, who developed Mentastics, believed that these movements had an impact on the unconscious mind. Chair exercises are suitable for those with arthritis, balance or walking problems.

Studio members love the welcoming atmosphere and notice positive changes almost immediately. They appreciate the mixture of ages in each class as well as the expertise of the instructors.

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