At the age of 28, I was told by a well known orthopedic surgeon that I needed to have hip surgery. After the X-ray and MRI results, the diagnosis was impingement and acetabular labrum tears. After being promised to climb again the following summer (9 months later), there was a catch. I would not run again without doing severe damage post surgery. Personally that made no sense. How does one climb but not run, and for the rest of my life?
I am so appreciative to have talked with Michael Driscoll before my scheduled first of two surgeries. Michael and I worked together for three sessions and my recovery was phenomenal. Using Michael’s instruction and applying the techniques, methods and practices into my life has allowed me to continue with a preventative maintenance practice.
Using Michael’s instruction weekly, sometimes monthly now, I feel great and back to what I love, climbing mountains. Two years later, one year pain free from my misdiagnosis, the so called impingement and acetabular labrum tears are no longer an issue. Through Michael’s knowledge and instructional explorations, I found my issue to be the sciatic nerve and lack of flexibility for the surrounding overstressed muscles.
Thank you Michael, I am so appreciative for you showing me an entirely new way of using and maintaining my body. You kept me out of the operating room and I can still climb and run as much as I want. My life could have changed so drastically had I followed through on an unnecessary operation. My life has indeed changed dramatically; I completed my first 14,000 peak post injury and could not have felt better afterwards.
I highly recommend Intelligent Movement Systems as an alternative to one seeking surgery. My experience with Michael has saved me from going under the knife and the ongoing future returns to the operating room that are all so common. There are no side effects other than feeling better!
While cleaning the gutters on my home, I fell off a ladder and shattered my L1 vertebrae 60% on one side. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and a few days later, on June 13th 2006 I had three vertebrae fused using half of one of my ribs and titanium rods and screws were used to stabilize the fusion. I spent several months confined to bed to allow the fusion to heal and finally my neurosurgeon told me it was time to begin physical therapy. I was just able to walk, although I was severly bent forward from the waist and could not stand up straight.
I came to Ashbaugh Center for Therapy by chance since it was in my insurance company’s preferred provider network. I began weeks of painful manipulation and exercises by one of the therapists. Not long after that they told me they were going to have me work with their Pilates therapist, Michael Driscoll at Intelligent Movement Systems. I must admit that I really had no confidence that Pilates was going to help me.
I could not have been more wrong. Oh, the first session didn’t change my condition much, since you were spending time evaluating what I could tolerate. But, after the second session I walked out of your office like I hadn’t walked in months and when I returned home, my wife couldn’t believe the difference and the huge improvement I made. It was really difficult to believe that all of a sudden I was standing up straight and walking again without pain.
Since then, despite my surgeon’s prediction that I would never be able to do anything that was too jarring for my back, I have been able to do anything I could before my accident. This includes running 8 miles every morning, skiing, golf and kite surfing. I recommend you whenever someone mentions to me they have a back problem and feel it is essential that someone get the kind of therapy that I received.
I cannot say enough, how thankful I am to the Ashbaugh Center for referring me to you and the therapy treatments you provided me. They returned me to a normal life, and best of all, I don’t even think about my back anymore.
As I started working with Michael I was embarrassed to feel clumsy since my body had compensated for a sore hip for years. Getting my head to stop second guessing and feeling the movement has been a big step, as well as progress in letting go of what I’m hanging on to in my body.
A year and a half later, I’m so pleased with my progress overall. Michael is analyzing, coaching and innovating during the entire session to individualize for the best results and never accepts pain as accomplishment.
This letter is to express my extreme gratitude and appreciation to you for helping me get my life back! A few years ago I was the victim of a devastating car accident that resulted in many injuries including severe Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. After several major surgeries and three years of Physical Therapy, I was referred to you in order to help rebuild my body through Pilates.
I have been training with you for over a year and can’t express enough how important you have been to my over all health and well-being. You have a strong sense of pride for what you do which shows through your professionalism. You have helped me reach many of my personal goals — many of which I never would have thought possible.
It is with great pleasure that I write this testimonial for you. It is one small thing that I give you in return for the very great thing that you have given me… and understanding of how my body works and a practical method for healing it.
Pilates strengthened my body in a very different way than the weight lifting I had been accustomed to. I had always been strong (I could lift and press a lot of weight), but I’d never been able to get rid of the belly, no matter how thin I was. It was very interesting to learn with Michael; let the body move through the exercise, not try to bully my way. There’s almost a letting go, which was extremely hard for me, but it brings both relaxation and energy at the same time. Today, my posture is much improved, I stand more erect, and my tummy looks smaller.
Michael has introduced me to both Gyrotonics and Feldenkrais, as well, developing a personal program that suits me well. The variety makes it interesting and I anticipate just how I’ll feel differently after each session. Gyrotonics gives me movement: my shoulders, hips and arms are more coordinated and movement is more fluid. I even feel as though there’s more oxygen reaching my lungs. And Feldenkrais is my specail treat. I have never been more relaxed than after a Feldenkrais session, tension just melts away from my body. I feel as though I’m no longer holding my body together by force of will, it’s now arranged, just as it should be. The knots in the back of my neck, which no one has ever been able to do anything about, have released and in turn the dowager’s hump isn’t really there.
All this comes from a girl who really doesn’t like to exercise, but all three really make me feel like I’m doing something good for my body. Previously, exercise made me feel exhausted, now leaving a session, I feel lighter, taller, stronger and energized. All this, and my DEXA is the same as it was two years ago. I don’t know whether this has helped my osteopenia, but it’s wonderful news that there has been no deterioration, and I have not had to take medication!
I wanted to find a practitioner who could teach both Gyrotonics and Pilates because I had previous experience working with this dual approach and it was very successful for me. However, Michael not only had expertise in those two fields – he also was a dancer and is a Feldenkrais Practitioner. He has many “arrows in his quiver” when it comes to evaluating individual clients and their needs. This means every session is very individual and focused on the unique patterns and needs of the client.
Michael has been instrumental in helping me recover from a total knee replacement and its aftershocks. He has been very supportive in guiding me toward othe exercises that support my ongoing progress. He can see the smallest things about movement and my body’s patterns, then helps me work on making changes in those areas as appropriate.
I am delighted to recommend Michael to friends and acquainteances, most particularly those who can benefit from treatment that is much more than an exercise routine, though his sessions can be very energetic and a good workout. The Best of All Worlds!
I had known Michael Driscoll socially for a few years, and we have a mutual friend who had gone through some really horrendous back issues, ultimately turning to Pilates, Gyrotonic and Feldenkrais with Michael. I was intriqued, largely because I was getting the distinct impression that my chiropractic appointments were treating the symtoms (albeit with a misdiagnosis regarding my mismatched legs!), and that even though I supplemented my treatments with massage and swimming, I never felt that I was getting at the root cause of my problem. I took the Pilates and started out seeing Michael privately twice a week. It was a long process, but one in which I never doubted I was making progress. I learned a lot about healthy movement, about how I move (my patterns), and about alternative ways of doing things. I also learned what to do if I start having problems – simple stretchs and movements. My muscular tone improved, especially in my mid section. For the first time in years I used my abs! I may have thought I was using them before, but I really lost touch with them. My balance improved – my skiing received a boost, I hardly ever stumble while hiking or stub my toe on a rock in the trail. Also, for the first time ever in thirty plus years of yoga, I can maintain the standing balance asanas! The secret is core strength!
I now see Michael once a week in semi-private sessions and supplement with some mat Pilates exercises, yoga and all the other activities that I enjoy. At 56 years of age, I have the knowledge and the confidence that I am going to continue to age gracefully and healthfully. Six years ago I wasn’t so sure. Pilates has changed my life! Michael is unique in his focused attention to detail, his knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Even the Physical Therapist in the office talks about Michael’s thirst to understand all the mechanics of healthy movement. I tried to supplement my semi-private with another (less costly) group at my health club and was sorely disappointed. Michael Rocks!
While being introduced to the Pilates method during my initial sessions with Michael, I also learned that he is certified in several methods of movement education. I have been working with Michael since October 2008, once a week and my constant back problem is non existent and my gardening that I love is once again enjoyable. What Michael has helped me learn is better self awareness of how my body works and moves. As he tells me, ‘everything is attached’. I may start each session tired and grumpy, but I always leave with a spring in my step feeling well and happy.