A two year post-surgical battle, brick and mortar testing and walk-throughs at the School of Happiness Studio, to a comprehensive online resource for back health with more than 100 back exercise videos
At its inception, Mend My Back began as a live session at the School of Happiness Wellness Studio in Ste-Adèle, Quebec, now the School of Happiness Online. A modest size group of twenty people who had an interest in understanding their backs better, but most of all they wanted to build a toolbox of tips to prevent and alleviate back pain. Most of us haven’t been taught to care for our backs and keep our bodies tuned up. Some of us will take action when we are hurt and others simply live with the pain day in and day out. There are solutions, some short term and some long term. Some easy and other solutions require more commitment. There is no direct road map for everyone.
How important is it for you to live with a mobile, strong, pain free back? With the tools provided in the three Mend my Back Programs, each person will find a formula that works to care for their backs. Ideally the best practice is prevention! Consider this example: when we care for our teeth, our dental visits generally flow more smoothly. Same goes for our back care. Correct choice of exercise for your current condition and proper progression and are two important keys to success.
Our first live session took place a year after Ian’s back surgery. That’s when the co-founders of Mend My Back, Laura and Ian, realized most of the public’s knowledge about back pain revolved around reaction versus prevention. We suddenly begin to care when our back is injured or in pain, thereby limiting our capability to be active.
When Ian woke up unable to walk on a Monday August 23rd of 2013 it took us by surprise. He was very fit and active. He had random episodes of slight back pain once a year that would last a day at the most. Who knew he would end up on the operating table! He is now back on track thanks to a team of competent professionals and the MMB program!
Looking back, I had likely overemphasized and strengthened parts of my body and neglected others which created muscular imbalances leading to a weak link in my back.
Post-surgery, Laura worked in collaboration with Ian’s physiotherapist and osteopath to develop a slow, progressive and well-balanced movement protocol to help him get back on his feet the first year. Laura is a certified movement specialist, personal trainer and yoga teacher with 28 years of experience creating accessible and effective exercise programs for her clients. Her qualifications as a certified coach and speaker enable her to be an articulate educator guiding people to experience greater life balance and personal well-being.
It’s important to balance your exercise programs to include movements in all planes of motion for optimal well-being. This means once our backs are stable we can begin to include flexion and extension movements, lateral motion and gradually add rotational exercises – all the movements the human body was designed to do!
So, following our first live session and the amount of interest it generated, we developed a live pilot program; a short version of the Mend My Back Program. We demonstrated common key exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the back. In conjunction with this short exercise program, we developed a series of nine video clips to highlight the best lifestyle foundations for back care: tips like how to stand taller. Sounds obvious but many of us do not stand tall or straight. Our sitting society has created poor posture, often with the head and neck pulled forward, the pelvic position off center, tilted too much toward the front, back or side of the body putting more pressure on the low back segments. We also integrated information on how to safely get in and out of a car while respecting the body’s optimal movement mechanics.
Seems so simple right? Yet I see most of us still do it wrong! It's a habit and habits and are as we know difficult to change. A movement specialist's and fitness trainer's real task is to inspire their customer to get on board with the idea of changing their daily habits. It's a long process, one gradual step at a time is the key to success!
Both of the these programs grew in size to become the Essentials program and the Lifestyle Foundations Program. Clients who tested the Lifestyle Foundations program thought it was very helpful to monitor their day to day movements and habits. At the time we provided it as a service to the School of Happiness members through a set of programmed email messages, now we want to unveil it to the public with the intention of helping more people condition their back and regain the freedom to move well again.
While our clients worked their way through the program, Laura developed a more comprehensive program to serve the needs of people with various levels of conditioning. The Mend My Back Conditioning program was born with 4 progressive modules and over 100 video clips. The Conditioning Program provides a progressive step-by-step approach to improve the overall fitness of your back.
If you are ready to include a gentle, safe and effective way to care for your back, we can help guide the way.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us.