One might not expect to find their life’s direction and mission in a bookstore. But that’s exactly what happened to Dr. Karyn Staples, PT, PhD.
Staples started her career as a physical therapist. Incorporating Pilates as a personal movement practice, she quickly saw the rehabilitation benefits for those in pain, especially those making every effort to exercise.
“Because I was a gymnast as a kid, the movement made sense to me,” Staples says. “I needed something that would be a more challenging workout than just lifting weights. Pilates requires thought and focus and it requires my body to work hard.”
In her last year of physical therapy school, while on a break from her part-time job in retail, Staples found a book on Pilates in a mall bookstore. She started trying out the movement for herself. She was introduced to the mat work first, and learned that there was equipment for use with Pilates as well.
Staples, founder of ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio, went from finding a book in abookstore to presenting at national conferences utilizing Pilates in a rehabilitation model.
“My PhD dissertation utilized Pilates as a treatment intervention,” Staples says. “When I opened, I was the only one in the Southern Crescent practicing both Pilates and physical therapy.”
Joseph Pilates called his movement system Contrology, which originally included 32 mat-based movements that he published in his book “Return to Life.” Over the years of developing Contrology, he noticed people’s bodies didn’t move in the way he thought they should. This eventually led to the creation of equipment to allow for individuals to work on the symmetry in their body and improve overall movement — the start of a rehabilitation model.
Pilates set the foundation to link the rehab world with the wellness world, as his movement system allows for a beginner mover through an advanced mover to achieve results.
There are two ways to come to ProHealth, Staples says. If someone wants to be covered by insurance, then there needs to be a specific reason — pain or balance issues. That person needs medical attention from a physical therapist. If someone feels like their body isn’t working to its fullest potential, but there’s nothing hurting badly, they can come in as a wellness client.
Gary, a corporate executive, came to ProHealth for physical therapy due to neck and shoulder pain. After completing his physical therapy — utilizing Pilates to improve trunk strength, shoulder mobility and neck mobility — he knew this was a movement practice he needed to incorporate into his life. He signed up for Pilates private lessons twice weekly, which he continues to do to this day, six years later.
“Prior to retirement he had a very stressful and busy ending to his career,” Staples says. “He commented that the only thing he was able to do for himself was his Pilates. He said that it was what kept him from falling apart during this very stressful season of his life.”
Since retirement, Gary has run a marathon and gone skydiving. He’s enjoying more time on the golf course. He’s not had any relapses of pain. Through Pilates, any minor flare up has been easily resolved.
All the Pilates teachers at ProHealth have gone through a yearlong comprehensive, nationally recognized training program. They get continuing education, as well as onsite staff development taught by Staples.
ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio is located at 1777 Georgian Park in Peachtree City. To schedule Physical Therapy or a Private Pilates lesson, call ProHealth at 770-487-1931.