As a public relations professional, one of the most rewarding aspects of working with our clients is having the opportunity to uncover new stories and trends and be inspired by their work.
Our client Balanced Body, the leading source of mindful movement equipment and education, shared with us an amazing story about how the company is collaborating with physical therapists to help individuals affected by spinal cord injuries. We learned about Theo St. Francis, an athlete who has seen improvement in his spinal cord injury through the use of a new type of Pilates exercises.
In August 2013, Theo was attending his first semester at Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he broke his C6 vertebra during the MIT Pre-Orientation Program in Ocean Engineering. Theo was told by doctors that he would likely be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.
Alejandra Monsalve, an experienced spinal cord therapist, had recently developed a new method of Pilates called Neuro-Kinetic Pilates, which is derived from a combination of traditional Pilates techniques, Monsalve’s expertise in neurology and the fascial maps outlined by Thomas Myers in his treatise “Anatomy Trains.”
After undergoing several high-risk surgeries and weeks in rehab centers, Theo began applying Neuro-Kinetic Pilates techniques in his rehabilitation program, and he amazingly began to learn how to manage a body that longer listened to him. Since initiating this work in March, Theo has developed some voluntary movement in his abdominals and continues to discover deep connections in his body that would have eluded him without Pilates.
Having the chance to share this story with others helps remind us of the underlying core of PR – storytelling.
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