Shane Jakober

"In my mid-30s I began to experience unrelenting episodes of low back pain due to lumbar muscle spasm. Even sitting in a car was excruciating. I tried chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, pain reliever drugs, heat/cold therapy, topical creams and a TENS unit. While many provided temporary relief, none provided any for longer than a day, and the various therapies were costly!

Often the cause of such pain is weak core musculature, so I started working out at a gym. It didn’t take long, however, for my back pain to worsen, plus I developed additional pain in my joints because I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that makes me overly flexible and prone to injury. Traditional strength training was out.

My doctor recommended Pilates. I’d previously tried a mat class in college, but didn’t like it because I found it difficult and uncomfortable. Nonetheless I knew that my doctor had my best interests at heart, so I decided to try it again, this time opting for private, professional instruction so that I would be unlikely to perform the exercises incorrectly and hurt myself. A friend recommended Laura.

Laura told me that she thought she could help me. Boy, was she right! After trying a variety of movements with thorough follow-up over several weeks, she found a series of exercises that have been invaluable. I have never gotten sweaty or tired doing the exercises she recommends, yet I have found myself progressively gaining strength and stability—without sore muscles or painful joints that can come from other types of exercise!

Within three months my lower back pain was gone. Within five months I noticed an additional benefit in that I had developed a six-pack and gone down two pants sizes without even trying! (So my self-esteem has received a boost, too.) There are so many possible exercises in Pilates that it is hard to imagine I will ever get bored.

I owe my improvement to Laura’s expert assessment and instruction. I find her to be a consummate professional, dedicated to helping her clients achieve their goals—all while being one of the nicest and most personable people that I know. She is very knowledgeable in functional human anatomy and common musculoskeletal ailments, which she uses to inform the style of Pilates she teaches. So I think she is great for those with medical conditions—at least that has been the case for me!"