At Featherstone, we believe consistent subtle positive changes can add up to a big and real impact on our client's daily lives.
We had a chat to one of our beautiful Featherstone community members, Susan, about how she has used the myriad of offerings we have at Featherstone to help her not only maintain her fitness but also work through some health challenges including breast cancer treatment and surgery and osteoarthritis.
Read on to hear Susan’s story.
At the recommendation of a friend, I began visiting Featherstone to attend classes in 2015. My friend was quite insistent, and said that I would LOVE the classes. Which I did. It was like attending an exercise class that also supported mindfulness and my "soul".
The classes were unlike any I had done before which is why I continued to attend regularly. They were interesting (I never got bored) with a holistic mixture of breath, therapeutic exercise rehab, yoga and Pilates techniques, taken by professional and caring physiotherapists who obviously knew what they were doing. It was also patent that all the class teachers also loved movement. At no time did I feel uncomfortable and I always left a class, thankful that I had attended. (Despite often going in with some form of body discomfort.) As the years went on, an increasingly supportive, friendly, welcoming, warm and positive community grew.
Along with the classes, Featherstone’s variety of other service offerings have also helped me over the years.
Regular Remedial Massage appointments has improved healing and reduced my stress levels. I will be booking a regular remedial massage as part of my "well being" programme (post-chemo and surgery).
I also have osteoarthritis in both knees and the GLA:D programme (unlike some previous surgery) took me from barely being able to walk without heavy and regular doses of medication, to pain-free knees. What's not to love? As soon as I am able, I will be attending weekly maintenance sessions. I also loved that over the weeks of attending, as I increased the weights I was lifting and my physical strength abilities grew, at no time did I fear that I would incur any damage. I was always checked and exercises were tweaked to gain maximum benefit without any possible damage. I felt stronger and fitter after each session!
A story I haven't previously told someone...in my second round of GLA:D, I was walking down some stairs, carrying a washing basket when my Aussie Shepherd (dog) got tangled under my feet.... I could easily have fallen. Instead I was able to skip a couple of stair treads to land safely on my feet. This is something that I couldn't have done pre-GLA:D.
The amazing Women’s Health Physio team have also been there to help in checking of the pelvic floor and preventative care along with General Physio for when I have on occasion hurt myself somewhere else. I've also used a Physiotherapy appointment to check my walking, muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness and to create healthy body goals.
Most importantly, moving forward and as a part of my post-surgery journey, Featherstone will be helping me with seeing a physiotherapist with knowledge of post op breast care, having a regular remedial massage (with input from a physiotherapist) to prevent stiffness/arm/shoulder pain, reduce the probability and possibility of lymphedema, and with classes working towards getting back to being fit, active and supple as quickly and safely as possible.
I see my personally tailored programme within Featherstone as supporting both my physical and emotional healing after this past nine months.
My favourite part of Featherstone is that at all times I have felt as though I have been "seen" as a worthwhile human (not some old lady) and that my ever-changing needs (which are unique to me) have been met.
As I have aged, I have continued to use Featherstone for not only fitness, but also throughout other illnesses. For example, I credit the fascia release class (Physio Ease & Breathe) with keeping me both sane and "well" through six months of chemotherapy.
I plan on being an active 80 plus year old and I see services such as Featherstone as being an integral part of healthy aging and that journey!
I have also watched others blossom under the care of Sarah and her team. Women and men in their fifties, sixties and seventies have gone from being stiff and uncomfortable to moving freely. And as they have done so, their physical self-confidence has grown. It's been lovely to watch.