Benefits of Restorative Exercise™
"I think the word restore truly embodies all of benefits that you receive from restorative exercise. Restore is an active word. When someone restores something such as an antique, they expend a lot of effort to get their treasure back to its original condition. Restorative exercise operates on the same principle. It takes time and effort to get your body healthy again but, just like restoring the antique well worth all of the work.
I think restorative exercise helped restore hope in my life. It enabled me to see that as long as I put in the effort to nurture my body, I could live pain free-- or almost pain free. This has made life much more enjoyable.
Restorative exercise therapy freed me from continually being dependant upon steriod shots, ice packs, heating pads, etc. to control my arthritis pain." -SM
"Restorative exercise makes me feel stronger and more confident. I recently did a home repair that in the past I would not have attempted due to lack of strength and flexibility. I managed the repair in a tight awkward space without any problems." -NM
"RE classes make me feel calm and relaxed but re-energized at the same time. They offer me self awareness about how I choose to move my body. The key word is "choose". Restorative exercise educates me on a better way to move in this world." -AW
"Restorative exercises were incredibly energizing. I am not a morning person and it was a huge challenge for me to make it to a 6:30 am class (huge!). Honestly, after every single class, I left amazingly invigorated. I would always go grab a coffee after class on my home and the woman at the coffee shop would always comment on how happy I seemed (huge smile on my face after class). Somehow the movements and exercises that we did, although many times, at the time, seemed like they were not doing much - ended up really doing a lot." -AL
"Just wanted to let you know that my recent Dexa scan showed my frac score having gone down from 12% three years ago to 8.5% this month. I attribute that, at least in part, to your Osher restorative exercise class and your additional instruction in Sugar House, as well as Katy Bowman's DVDs and blog. Thanks so much for introducing me to these concepts and techniques."-R
"The restorative exercises were like pressing the reset button on my body. Running had to stop, and stretching multiple times a day along with walking became a priority. I missed running at first but every time I tried my body would fail me and it felt like starting all over again. The exercises Susan taught me and why we do them just make sense to me, they are how our bodies should work. I never realized how much I tuck my pelvis while holding my kids, or that I put most of my weight on the front part of my feet, or that these could have such a negative impact. All the changes to my posture felt so strange at first, but now after 6 months or so, I notice when I am standing out of alignment or sitting too much, my body does not like it. When I am really good with the restorative exercises I can add a fun run to the end of my walk and that’s what it is, just fun not because I have to burn the calories.
Learning to breathe was the best part for me. My whole body was tight, especially my psoas, and my pelvic floor, and my abdomen from sucking in. Slowing my breathing down and putting breath with movement as I stretch and strengthen my abdomen has helped me be more in tune with my body.
Her shoulder and neck releasing classes are also amazing. The movements release tension, but my triceps have never been so sore form doing such small movements, it is awesome!" -EM
"I feel that because of the Restorative Exercise™class, I'm more aware of my body, and how exercise can help make me healthier and happier." -BP
"Finding Susan McLaughlin was a godsend! After one cesarean birth, and another with the help of forceps my pelvic floor and abdominal muscles were in major need of help. I never felt that 100 kegels a day was going to fix the problem. After a few google searches I came across a blog post of an interview with Susan. At the end it said she was in Salt Lake, I was so excited that someone with the information I was seeking lived so close, I emailed her that night!
After my first consultation I knew I would be joining her restorative exercise classes and doing whatever she told me. Although I met with her just about my pelvic floor she noticed right away I had abdominal separation and taught me that these two pieces go together.
Susan is an amazing instructor and physical therapist. The best part about meeting with Susan is having someone there to position the body in space and give physical cues about how and what body part to move.
She is continually seeking education (just check her blog), she is passionate about the human body and it’s well being, and she cares about sharing the correct information with others. Susan is so kind and patient, and she truly cares about the health and well being of every client that asks for her help. It’s fun to see how delighted she becomes as she watches her clients literally heal themselves.
Thank you, Susan for being willing to step away from the main stream ideology on pelvic health and put your voice ‘out there’ so that those searching, like myself can get our life back. " -EM
Benefits of Physical Therapy
"Susan, the treatment protocols are working wonderfully. Last night I slept all the way through without waking up to use the bathroom. The last few days I have felt pretty close to “normal”.
Thank you for being so foundational with your approach and looking at the whole body system." -JL
"I came to see you for some PT work surrounding diastasis recti after multiple c-sections. What I got instead is something I've been meaning to write you about for months. My life and my being is completely different because of you, and I want to thank you for that! It's like a night and day difference that I am so profoundly grate ful for!
The change began when you taught me about mindful breathing and activating my parasypmathetic nervous system. From that I learned about the vagus nerve and continued learning and researching. I got serious about meditation. And then I watched myself change and grow!
I am back to having a loving, kind outlook for myself and life. I'm a better mom and wife, friend and member of the community. I feel grounded yet light, connected yet free.
Thank you so very much for the building blocks I never knew I was missing." -JR
"I had the pleasure of experiencing Susan’s work via one hour video session. I stayed in my own living space at my home, and I used a specific room set up for my own quiet hours. I spent time quieting my own mind to better receive her instructions. Susan is very in tune even by video. I appreciated her patience and kind suggestions, and she was very aware of my own state even though we were not in the same city! VERY cool. Susan’s work with her hands could be literally felt even though this was via live video.... and I know it was not just my imagination, for sure. She guided my awareness and focus to areas of my body that I had not been paying attention, and through her own finely attuned skills , she verbally assisted , giving gentle guidance and feedback, helping to ease those areas of needing attention. It TOTALLY WORKS.
Receiving that verbal guidance and feedback throughout this hour was AMAZING. Having had many injuries and surgeries, there have been dozens and dozens of people in the medical field and in several arms of body work that have had hands on me for various reasons. I have been able to sense the authenticity of each person. There have been only small few that have had clear intention, a purity of heart, AND a healthy amount of talent WITH mastery skills. Susan is one of those few rare people: she has great experience, generous skills and training, as well as a pure heart and mind that truly has the intention to help and heal. I found the experience to feel very uplifting and I felt very cared for..... which is essentially who Susan IS as an expert practitioner.
All in all, it was a very positive experience! I certainly felt better and better over the hour we worked, as well as better and better through the day. It was a wonderful “we” experience as a team, a positive home run!
I would definitely recommend it, especially right now, keeping us safe at home.:)
I look forward to my own further sessions with Susan as well." -SN
Feedback from a video session:
"Your session with me was so beautifully grounding and regulating, it's perhaps the most regulated I’ve felt since the stay-at-home order was put in place.
You are gifted with sublime sensitivity, even across the ethers; this and your attuned presence makes you a very special support and guide, especially in these unsettling times. Thank you for sharing your gifts with me, I feel fortunate to be connected with you!" -LS
"After a car accident, I sought out a PT for a neck injury. I went to a standard PT and was given the standard home therapy program. I did not enjoy my PT experience as the interaction felt stale and uncomfortable, and didn't lead to the results that I needed. The traditional PT model involved me working with assistants and PT students for half the time and using machines and heat/ice. I was unimpressed with their thoughtfulness of my individual care. I also was not seeing the progress/results that I wanted. I was not motivated to attend sessions and did not enjoy being there.
I was looking for a PT who was warm, enjoyable to work with, noticed what individual needs I have, and would work with me on re-training old habits. I found Susan at Align for Health online and called her office. I was surprised when she picked up the phone. I have never had a PT answer the phone when I called. She was able to answer questions that I had and listened to my individual needs and concerns. I have been fully satisfied with the therapy work I am receiving with Susan at Align. After my second session with her, I booked a weekly session for the next 5 weeks. After 2 visits with Susan at Align and completing my holistic home therapy program, I have noticed progress.
Susan establishes a warm environment, uses a holistic approach to solve my therapy needs and listens to my individual needs. She has showed me how other injuries are all related and how I must re-train my daily living in order to heal correctly and to maintain progress. I recommend Susan to those who have been suffering from ongoing pain or have had a recent injury that requires therapy." -MH
"I have been feeling amazing! I forgot how good this feels! Thank you so much, the few small things you taught me to do consistently have made a huge difference in my day to day life!" -MS
"I just want you to know that I have been able to get back to using the rowing machine with no discomfort [in my shoulder]. Thank you ever so much!!!! I do my exercises every day and am sure that is what has made the difference. "
"It wasn't quite a miracle yesterday, but something (my nervous system?) feels greatly better and relaxed after I left your office. "Freedom," as you said. Just a significant ease of movement.
There's still sacral and low back pain, but things otherwise feel qualitatively different, and I am so happy to be seeing you for this work; thank you for your great skill and talent, and insight on how to apply it." -DE
"I want you to know that 4 hours after our session, the lower back of my skull was filled with the most wonderful feeling of coolness and oxygenation. Mind you, this was just after the ikea and Costco shopping, so it was ever more amazing. The feeling persisted throughout the evening, dissipating somewhat. The next morning the sensation returned as I did a bolstered psoas release, in which I perch the back skull ridge on a yoga block which in turn elongates the back of the neck. And again this morning, just as I sit cross legged, I can feel a bit of that same sensation. It’s quite lovely and I thank you.
I also am experiencing more neck mobility without doing anything particular, it’s just there. Thank you again." -GA
"I was having shoulder problems that were hampering my daily life. After my first session I was amazed how much improved it was. Susan was able to improve my hip discomfort as well. Fifty years ago, I had a skiing accident. I have had discomfort and limited range of motion in my knee since. Susan has also improved that and my plantar fasciitis. I have been doing home exercises daily and could not be happier with the results!!!! All areas have improved and my shoulder pain is gone!! " -PW
"Thank you very much. I faithfully did my exercises on both Saturday and Sunday, and even went running Sunday morning, and my knees and legs feel better this morning than I think they have in at least two years. I think the single most radical alteration is the insight that I need to try and keep the outer portion of foot parallel to the other outer portion of my foot. I never knew that." -JW
"I wanted to take a minute to just say thank you. The time you spent with me on my shoulder and back have seriously been life altering. When I started coming to you I wasn’t able to do much with my job anymore. Working out was a joke. Sleeping hurt. It was awful. I am still doing the exercises you taught me pretty close to every day. It is unreal what a difference they have made.
About a month and a half ago I was able to go to an all day workshop and certify in a new fitness format called HOT FUSION. It combines dance with weight training. I had to start very small with the weight portion using only 2 or 3 lbs. But I am happy to say, I did it! I survived a 9 hour day of intense training and did not once get the crazy nerve tingles! Since then I have been teaching this format, increasing the weight slowly, and even attending more difficult trainings at my gym. I can get through a weekend of doing hair without wanting to cry. I can pick up my kids again. There are still areas where my shoulder is still weak of course. For instance doing a push up or a plank, I get tired really quickly and then my shoulder will ache. But the more I work at it the stronger it is becoming and I am absolutely confident that one day I won’t struggle with it at all.
I would not be doing all of this if it weren’t for your help. I probably would have been talked into doing a surgery by now and attempting to recover from that. There really are not words to express the gratitude I have for you. I know it’s your job, but you are passionate about helping people and you are amazing at what you do. Thank you!!!" -AJ
"Before I met you, I had resigned myself to a life of chronic pain and poor health. Despite my best efforts of exercising regularly, doing pilates daily, and eating healthy, my health continued to decline. How grateful I am, that when I initially saw you for bladder problems, you didn’t just focus on one thing, but looked to treat me as a whole person. What great detective work! As a result of thoroughly reading my health history and observing my body language (I was continually rubbing my painful neck), you noticed that I had other ailments as well. In a relatively short time, you helped to “cure” my chronic neck and back pain, digestive problems, and of course bladder issues. I am sleeping better now than I have in years. Pain is now the exception rather than the rule. When I do have pain, or other issues with my health, you have empowered me by your excellent and patient teaching to know how to assess what is wrong, and how to fix it. Thank you for teaching me how to properly care for myself.
Throughout our visits, you not only gave me the gift of better health, but the gift of hope for a better life as well. I can honestly say that as a direct result of your care, my family and I have a better quality of life. Many thanks!" -SM
"I just want to thank you again for how much you've helped me. I just spent over an hour standing in the kitchen doing various things and I didn't have to sit down once because of the pain in my hip. There was no pain. I feel so fortunate to have someone with your skills working with me." - MG
"I just wanted to tell you how thankful I am for all of your help, and for what you have taught me. Do you remember all of the symptoms I had when I first came to you, seven weeks after my son's birth? Well here are the stats:
1- Pressure-like pain in my pelvic floor when standing for more than a minute (or less): Virtually gone as soon as I corrected the way I stand (neutral pelvis, no rib thrust, no sucking in).
2- Vaginal bleeding after small exertion: also gone almost immediately, though this might have happened anyway thanks to time.
3- Pain in my lower abdomen when I twisted or bounced: gone within a few days of doing my assigned stretches, including psoas release.
4- Serious incontinence: gradually decreased to the present, has shown the most progress when I have been most faithful with my calf stretches (coincidence, I'm sure ;). Almost all better now!
5- Bloody stool and painful BMs: much improved with the use of the squatty potty! never painful anymore (though still bloody on occasion, I assume due to a fissure --- not sure if I should just keep waiting this out. it doesn't hurt more than a bit).
6- Lower back problem, around the sacrum, where something would lock whenever I lay on a hard surface (and I sometimes wouldn't be able to get up): miraculously cured! I thought this would never go away, since I had the problem for years.
Another fact: before getting pregnant I weighed 142-145 pounds, depending on the scale. :) I now weigh 131. I'd love to attribute this in part to alignment." -MN
"I have been religious with the exercises you gave me and the results have been amazing. No more cramps in the hamstrings!"