Jennifer Christophel’s Pilates techniques have been a godsend for me. As a person with EDS, Dysautonomia and Mitochondrial Disease, I struggle with both chronic pain and energy issues. Because I’ve already had 3 spinal surgeries, having a strong core is vital to keep me from further injury and more importantly, additional surgeries. When I first began working with Jennifer, I was only able to exercise for 15-20 minutes at a time. She worked slowly and methodically to build up my tolerance to the exercises while strengthening my core. It took close to a year, but I can now work at my pace for a full hour. Every day is different for the body of a person with EDS. An exercise that works well one week, may cause pain the next. Jennifer is constantly having to adapt exercises for what my body presents with at any given moment. She is amazing at diagnosing problems and will quickly have a variety of options to work on the issue. She is an amazing teacher for patients with a wide variety of problems.
I recently had MAT sessions with Jennifer. She is amazing, this technique really works. I am using this as an adjunct to PT and it is working really well. I am amazed at how weak my muscles were and within one treatment, Jennifer had those working again!
I am a true believer in MAT and would highly recommend to my patients and to my friends.
Simply put, Jen is amazing! I have gone from barely being able to sit or exercise without injuring myself to having a very strong core and strong and flexible body. Jen's ability to adopt different practices techniques - pilates, MAT, Trigger Point Therapy, NKT, PiYo - at different times depending on what the body needs is truly special, and many times the secret to unlocking stubborn body issues. She is very knowledgeable and great at working with other practitioners like physical therapists helping to create truly individualized treatment. I'm very grateful!
For 20 years I searched for a fitness provider that could help me to gain strength and stability within the confines of my weak and knotted shoulders and neck, daily migraines, and severe weakness and fatigue. I had tried many types of therapeutic exercise (Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga, Body Rolling, Gyrotonic, and more) but until I began pilates on the reformer with Jen, I couldn’t make it through a lesson or class without injuring myself. My neck and back muscles were so unstable and hyper-mobile that beginner exercises were simply too hard for me.
I would leave (sometimes midsession) due to unbearable physical pain and frustration with my instructor. I even took the precautions to call the studios beforehand and request the most gentle, careful, teachers with the most physical therapy training! Time after time, the teachers were unable modify their exercises so I could be successful. I had also been in physical therapy for years, but even the most simple exercises would go awry at home, and I’d avoid doing them for fear of more injury.
When Jen began working with me I was very sick, scared, and very insecure about my physical abilities. After our initial session, I was immediately impressed with her medical knowledge and her understanding of hypermobility and pain. She worked in conjunction with my physical therapist to find unique and effective ways to modify strengthening exercises. I started out with the reformer slowly, once a week, but to my surprise, I was soon able to make it through the full hour of class without having to sit out for a break. Jen was empathetic when I had bad days, but somehow she was able to encourage me to work through the pain. If I was in the throes of a migraine Jen would switch focus, designing simple movements coordinated with breath to keep me moving despite the pain. Jen has an incredible ability to improvise and tailor her sessions at the right pace for each body.
When I graduated from private lessons to duets and trios I was immediately skeptical. How could Jen possibly watch me at the same time as one or two other people with totally different bodies? Again she surprised me by her facility to multitask, to modify exercises for each of us and still keep the group energized and engaged. Two years later, I’m a pilates convert!