Sunday, 07 August 2022

From massaging Olympic athletes to teaching Pilates

From massaging Olympic athletes to teaching Pilates

A PILATES instructor from Goring is launching her first course next week after deciding to pursue it full time just before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Vanessa Mansergh, 45, had previously worked as a sports masseuse and ran a business in Henley for 10 years.

She said: “I worked with rowers at Leander Club and players at Reading FC and Henley RC.

“I really enjoyed it but I got a back injury because I was bending over all the time and not looking after my body well. Although I was doing Pilates at the time I wasn’t doing enough. I got a prolapsed disc and was icing my back between clients and that was when I realised that I couldn’t carry on like this.

“I was in agony sitting, I was in agony standing and it went on for quite a long time. I had an injection eventually and I decided I couldn’t carry on with massage.”

But rather than shy away from physical activity Ms Mansergh decided to train as a Pilates teacher in 2014 and two years ago, just before the first national covid lockdown she decided to make it her full-time career.

Ms Mansergh said: “I began to realise that my forte was going to be people with problems, because I had to be so precise with my body and what I could and couldn’t do.

“Pilates didn’t cure me but it stopped me having recurring back problems. That’s why I am passionate about teaching it.”

During the pandemic she trained in cancer rehab, supporting people diagnosed with cancer because they weren’t able to get the support they normally get. Over Zoom we were matched up with patients and we would give them exercise, nutritional support and emotional support, it was a six-month trial. It totally changed the way I teach.”

On Monday, August 1 a shoulder rehab Pilates course will commence in Stoke Row village hall at 10am.

On Tuesday, August 2 at 8.30am in Storton Lodge, Goring she will begin a four-week introduction to Pilates which will go back to basics.

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