After helping her husband launch his company, Alyse Farkas found herself flat on her back for three weeks – the result of innumerable hours sitting in a chair typing furiously on a keyboard.
At 24 she thought she was too young to be in bed and immobile. X-rays confirmed scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, whose cause is unknown and whose cure is elusive. Physically active as a high school cheerleader and sports enthusiast, Farkas began a three-year journey to find relief from unbearable back pain. First, she tried medication which only worked for a short amount of time before she landed back in bed for weeks; and then chiropractic adjustments and deep tissue massages, which made her back feel even worse.
Finally, so exasperated with the pain, she went to an orthopedic surgeon expecting an operation. To her surprise, he recommended physical therapy. The therapist started Farkas with one or two basic Pilates exercises, which strengthened the core muscles around her spine to help with alignment and correct posture – difficult to do when back muscles are weak. Gradually, Farkas progressed to the advanced Pilates exercises, which took years to achieve. Thrilled with the relief from periodic back pain and from weeks in bed every few months, Farkas decided to dedicate herself to helping others. She threw herself into becoming an expert at Pilates and took a rigorous physical and written exam to become a certified Stott Pilates instructor.
Today she works with clients at studios in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. "I'm passionate about Pilates," said Farkas, who has not had debilitating back pain since she started with Pilates training nearly three years ago. In fact, she has corrected her scoliosis. Over 31 million Americans suffer from back pain. Farkas claims that many of these are business executives sitting at desks and carrying heavy briefcases that over time have weakened back muscles.
"Pilates could do for them, what it did for me," she continued. "No one should have to suffer unnecessarily."
GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and GYROTONER® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.
™/® Trademark or registered trademark of Merrithew Corporatio, used under license.