Read messages from my amazing clients…
“For years I excepted that neck pain, headaches and shoulder tension were ‘just the way I was’ and nothing was going to change, the gym and Pilates didn’t help my weak postural system and physio, acupuncture, massage etc gave some relief but only temporarily. I knew my posture wasn’t great and the strain of trying to hold what I thought was correct posture just created more tension and pain.
I was so sick of it, there had to be an escape from this. Michelle and what she teaches is it! It is not a quick magical cure, there isn’t one, but a journey of understanding what correct body position is and working hard and consistently to get it there, strengthen your body whilst maintaining correct posture, not hurting yourself and release tension in your body. Through specific myofascial stretching for my muscle imbalances and Michelle’s excellent teaching I have improved my posture, have considerably less neck pain and the shoulder tension – gone, yippee, such a release! Escape is possible, do this for yourself and a pain-free strong active body.”
“Today’s world has so many places and people offering you physical wellness. The key is finding a trusted and experienced source. One that has the wisdom to knowledgeably and intuitively treat you as an individual. Michelle Owen is this key. Finding this wisdom and experience is the pathway for future-proofing your physical wellbeing.
We rarely address physical wellness seriously, until like me, you have an injury, experience ongoing pain or start to notice your system lose its agility and youthfulness. We are all physical individuals. You need to be able to trust someone to work with and on you. You also want to see change and others to see change in you. Physical wellness is just one part of being well but it is so important to find.
If like me, you have been seeking to fix what you believe is not physically working correctly, you have probably already experienced and invested time and money on a number of modalities. Nutrition and expensive supplements will also be in your mix. You may have done lots of work to attain mental wellness too – but as I found out mind health isn’t the complete answer to physical wellbeing.
It’s a fact that achieving physical wellness costs money and takes up precious time. I go to Michelle twice a week. If you are seeking flexibility, freedom from physical pain, a sharper mind, recovery from surgery, an undisturbed sleep, strength, longevity, a feeling of being balanced, solid and centred, the removal of an ongoing injury pattern and you want to project confidence and wellness – Michelle is the answer. If you connect to what I have said you will understand that committing to, and investing in Michelle, is an investment in your future wellness. Michelle is a trusted and hands- on personal guide to future-proofing your physical future. I look and feel better than I did 10 years ago – people tell me I do – a testament to Michelle’s role in my life across the past 5 years.”
“I am a full-time dressage rider and breeder. I spend several hours a day riding and I am a serious competitor. I need to be fit and strong to be competitive. I have had back pain for several years (very common for serious horse riders) and came to Michelle to get help with the pain. She was able to tell me why I was so sore. Her in-depth analysis of my posture and strength showed some very weak areas that I was not aware of. We are addressing these areas and already I have much less pain. The really exciting thing is that I am riding so much better than before. I am stronger in my position on the horse. My riding trainer says she can see a big improvement. Best of all I can feel the improvement in my posture. I look forward to continuing to work with Michelle and hope to ride competitively for many years to come! I highly recommend her and her methods.”
“I began training with Michelle after years of on and off back injuries, followed by almost 6 months of constant pain.
After visiting my Osteopath, I was diagnosed with a grade 1 Spondylolisthesis (a slip of the vertebrae causing a small fracture in the lower back)
As a former competitive sprinter, I was devastated to learn that I couldn’t run anymore and also had to give away weight training.
Within one week of training with Michelle, not only was I in no pain but I was back on track to begin lifting weights, something I thought was a long-gone hope.
After a couple of months, I was training fully stabilising my body and lifting back to the weights I had prior to my injury. I’m now more flexible than I’ve ever been, haven’t had pain in 6 months and am on my way back to running!
I cant recommend Michelle enough. I had tried almost everything – I just wish I’d found her sooner. “
“I had read an athlete’s biography in a Surf magazine about how he had made amazing changes using the CHEK program. I was looking to recover from not only my neck injury but also to address many other areas of my body that where sore that other Health professionals had failed to correct over many years. Coming so close to paralyzes my realization was that I wanted to improve the way I feel in all areas of my life. Michelle and the training (CHEK) she does is proving to be the ultimate change. After only a few weeks of learning and doing the skilled exercises, the pain in my shoulder, lower back, hips, hamstrings, and calf muscles had all disappeared. To say the least I was amazed at the results and I could now concentrate on the recovery of my neck injury and get really functional and strong for my work as a builder and my sport surfing. Michelle has a wealth of knowledge of what is needed to get your body back on track and eliminate the risk of further injury through your work, sport, or exercise. Michelle has also helped me with my diet and hydration which has boosted my energy levels and created a healthier mind. Michelle Owen and CHEK training have changed my life for the better.”
Your niggles aren’t permanent – they’re damage that can be reversed
For Grant Raynor, playing football is something he loves, plus a key way to relieve stress. But because his body kept failing him on the pitch he thought it might be time to hang up his boots.
“I play football all winter. I would get to 70 minutes of the 90-minute game and lose all strength in my hamstring. It felt like I’d pulled it, but a day later, I’d feel good,” Grant explains.
This frustrating experience went on for eight weeks, disrupting Grant’s love of the beautiful game.
Fortunately, he was referred to Michelle Owen, a qualified Postural Specialist and CHEK (Corrective High Performance Exercise Kinesiologist) practitioner. Michelle showed him that the pain and weakness he was experiencing down one leg was due to his body being out of alignment. There was no cause for alarm, or for Grant hang up his boots.
“He even had one health professional suggest that he needed a hip operation! What Grant actually needed to do was to stretch the muscles on his left side that had become shortened and tightened over time, to help level out his pelvis – and then specific strengthening to hold it in place.”
Focusing on the fascia
Fascia is the tough sheet of connective fiber that envelops and weaves through every muscle, nerve and organ. It ties our whole body together and helps us to maintain correct posture. It prevents muscles from tearing, and tethers tendons to bone, giving the muscles the mechanical stability they need to contract forcefully.
For the body to function properly, the fascia must be healthy, but Grant needed some work. Some of the tissue was contracted, while certain muscles and slings (lines of muscles) were weak. It was this imbalance that was causing him pain, weakness and tension throughout his whole body.
Michelle started with a postural and orthopaedic assessment, checking Grant’s whole range of movement patterns. She measured his body to find the tensions and weaknesses, and determine why the loading was going down his left leg.
“It became clear I was wonky,” Grant says. “I was kind of twisted, from my torso down. It was like my legs faced in one direction, while the top half of my body faced the other way by a few degrees.”
Grant’s problems had come about over time; working in a sedentary job, his structure had slowly become unbalanced.
“Everything led back to my posture. All that time sitting at my desk I’m using my right hand, with my left elbow always leaning on something,” he says.
“That means I was always on a lean. My poor posture led to weakness in muscle, which in turn led to misalignment. Throw in pressure from 90 minutes of playing footie, and my poor muscles couldn’t cope and would pack it in for the day.”
Stretching out and building strength
Following the comprehensive assessment, Michelle identified the areas that needed coaching, correcting and stabilising. She also took into account Grant’s nutrition and life-style before putting together a customised programme.
Michelle addresses and corrects the most important thing first – the area which is causing her client’s pain. She then delivers a series of planned progressive exercises that are goal-focused and in tune with her client’s overall needs.
For Grant, the first port of call was to stretch out the fascia that, functioning out of alignment, had shortened and contracted over time.
To do this, Michelle used skilled Myofascial stretching techniques to stretch and normalise the fascia (connective tissue) and level out the pelvis. She also employed specific ELDOA (spinal decompression) to decompress the spine at particular levels to make enough space for the discs to sit correctly, so nerves could supply the lower body.
“Funnily enough it was mostly my glutes – I thought I had a hammy problem, but no, it turned out to be my butt muscles! We stretched more on the tensioned side, to even things up,” Grant says.
After stretching and normalising the fascia around the pelvis, Michelle started teaching Grant to stabilise his inner muscle system so he could support his spine. They then moved on to overall strength to re-educate movement patterns and ensure everything worked together.
This became a functional gym program to get Grant strong and hold his body in the newly learnt patterns.
Practise makes perfect
Michelle teaches her clients how to do the exercises correctly at home or at the gym.
Grant returns for check-ups so she can make adjustments to the way he’s doing the strengthening exercises, and also to progress them.
“When you do these exercises properly, it’s really hard. It’s also a bit disconcerting, as you think you’ve got some strength, but you quickly find out your postural system is very weak when you have to make sure your muscles are all working properly.”
Grant was able to sort out his body during the football off-season. He was thrilled with the results when it came time to pull his boots on.
“I was back to playing 90 minutes with full strength. There were other changes in my game, like my ability to change direction had improved, and I was more stable.
“I’m not an elite athlete, but for a 47 year old I was pretty happy.”
Looking back, Grant says he really thought he was going to have to give up playing, which aside from the enjoyment factor gave him plenty of physical and mental health benefits.
“Playing keeps me fit, and I get grumpy (as my wife will tell you) when I can’t blow off some steam running around on the field.”
“I lost one arm as a child but have become a keen golfer in recent years but with all the issues of being much stronger on my good side.
Prior to seeing Michelle I was always putting my neck out or suffering neck and knee injuries when playing golf; I was almost ready to give up. As a result of Michelle’s work my posture has been significantly improved and my core stability considerably strengthened.
As a result I no longer face golfing injuries, recently winning the Australian below Elbow Amputee Golf Net Championship. Michelle’s work is subtle and takes time to make an impact but I would never have believed she would have made this amount of difference.”
“Michelle initiated a focus on “myofascial stretching” which I had not previously encountered. I had experienced a long history of kyphosis and an early diagnosis of probable ankylosing spondylitis which had left me with a legacy of joint stiffness and soft tissue immobility. This pattern had ameliorated at a very gradual rate over a period of nearly 40 years. I had always tried to be quite fit and healthy and played field hockey until I was 41 years of age. I had consistently gone through the motions of the plethora of current fad “stretching” procedures, but it always felt more like maintenance rather than progress. I was a constant seeker and consumer of every type of bodywork known to humankind, constantly trying to identify ways to ease my muscle discomfort and increase my level of pain-free movement. This new “myofascial stretching” regime quite quickly took me to a new level. The journey has not been without significant resistance, pain and discomfort, but working through these obstacles has been hugely worthwhile. These days I am much more upright, more mobile and largely without the constant discomfort that I didn’t really know I was enduring. Now if I do get a twinge I can tap into my self-management resources to address the area of tightness in my own way and in my own time. Externally applied bodywork is now simply sought as a bonus and/or a treat.”
“She is a consummate professional. She has spent 30 years honing her skills in “functional training methods” which emphasize correct postural balances, strength, nutrition, and fitness. What she teaches works. She has helped me transform my body shape and enhance my fitness. Under her eagle eye I have never been allowed to suffer a training injury – no small feat but one that Michelle regards as a given. She’s a smart lady whose approach can change your life, once you’ve decided to fix it – permanently.”
“I was suffering from pain in my hip which was waking me up in the middle of the night and preventing me practicing my sport, rowing. I had tried several therapies to fix the problem but to no avail. I had resigned myself to feeling that way for the rest of my life. However, Michelle assured me she could fix the problem by realigning my hips. One year later, I now sleep soundly, am back rowing competitively, and my body feels great. I now recommend Michelle to anyone who has aches and pains in their body because postural misalignment is likely the root of the problem.”
“Over a fifteen year period I had two knee operations, numerous physio and personal training sessions and had learnt to accept constant knee pain as ‘a part of life’. The surgeons both said this was to be expected so I just accepted it. However, the possibility of a third operation had me worried and made me question why the same injury was coming back to haunt me. Even the cost of at least $10,000 for the operation alone didn’t make the decision to book that initial appointment any easier. However, finally after six months of ‘thinking about it’ and more from desperation than hope I turned up to see Michelle. After a year and a half I am 15kgs lighter and life without knee pain literally has given me a sense of freedom. I can now run, hike, dance stand and simply standing for a long time no longer hurts or swells my knee : )
Michelle’s professionalism and passion for health has a multidimensional approach incorporating functional strength, diet and emotional well being. Michelle’s extensive knowledge is the added bonus but never overwhelming. I have experienced the freedom from pain when I do the correct work as well as relapses when I have become complacent. I have experienced the difference for myself and know where I would rather be. Michelle trains to educate and encourage independent responsibility and that’s where I am at today.”
“After three years of agony and drugs I had surgery to repair a herniated disc. This was the result of many years of inaction and poor body awareness.
The surgeon recommended I undertake gym work to strengthen my back to prevent the same situation happening again. I found Michelle and Posturefit after hearing horror stories of numerous operations and prolonged medication that many went through. Michelle’s professionalism and knowledge over the last two years has allowed me to become more aware of my body and its needs. With her encouragement and advice she has weaned me off the processed foods that were a staple of my diet. As a company director I might think myself clever and capable, but when I look back at my lifestyle and compare it to now, I realise how totally ignorant to my own body I was. Michelle has shown me how to achieve core stability, correct posture and alignment. I am standing more upright; breathing better and can lift weights that I thought were beyond me. My mobility has freed up, and from simple neck exercises to deadlifts the range of exercises makes every training session interesting. Her attention to detail when starting a new exercise is so important as I now observe others who think they are doing it correctly but are only creating more problems for themselves in the future. At 51, I am no gym bunny but I know at 71, I won’t be sitting in a chair all day moaning about the pain. I’ll be mobile and far more agile than many of my counterparts. I now undertake, massage, gentle manipulative therapy, and acupuncture. Things I would never have considered before meeting Michelle.”
“I came to Michelle as a last resort for treatment of an Achilles injury that did not heal properly.
I had tried it all: physio, injections (both steroids and blood injections) and according to the surgeon I saw only a month before I saw Michelle, surgery was the only possible option, but there was no guarantee I would ever play football again or could wear jandals without pain. In my first visit Michelle showed me immediately what others had missed… with every step I took, I put my Achilles under a strain it should never be under. I was walking and therefore running completely out of balance! No wonder it wouldn’t heal. After working through the C.H.E.K therapy exercises for about a year, I am now back on the soccer field and am running without pain in my Achilles. NO surgery needed! Just common sense really, once you hear Michelle’s very clear explanations. Michelle taught me so much, and it has not only benefited my Achilles, it’s my whole body, posture and balance that feel so much better. I’d recommend anybody to try Michelle’s methodology before believing you have to give up on sports or going for surgery!”
I was frustrated with constant recurring muscular and joint problems
I’m arthritic and thought my exercise regime would always be restrained to low impact activities
This year after training with Michelle I have started running again for the first time in fifteen years, and achieved great results on the road and off country.
My recurring problems have resided, I’m happily active again, and approximately an inch taller. Great posture and good sling patterns speak wonders for a healthy body.
I highly recommend Michelle and her approach to training
Fighting back against chronic pain
Chronic back pain was ruining Peter Chapman’s enjoyment of life. But within weeks of working with postural specialist Michelle Owen, he was back doing the things he loved, pain-free. In fact, Peter felt ten years younger!
The 58-year-old had lived with severe pain for nearly two years, but it was a visit to the doctor that spurred him into action.
“The doctor told me that to fix the degeneration in my spine, I would need an operation and they would insert pins between the vertebrae. I thought, ‘no way, that’s not going to fix the problem’, so I started looking for an alternative!”
No relief from pain, no way to live
Peter’s pain was constant – whether sitting, standing, or lying there was little relief. Not wanting to accept this as a way of life for years to come, with the outlook of a worsening problem Peter followed a chiropractor referral and went to see Michelle. He hasn’t looked back since.
“Michelle was great – she listened to me, did an assessment, and put me onto a program, quick smart,” Peter explains. “Within a few weeks my back pain had disappeared and I could do normal, everyday things again. It was liberating.”
As a trained CHEK Practitioner (Corrective High-performance Exercise Kinesiologist) and an ELDOA (spinal decompression) and Myofascial stretching expert, Michelle identifies and correct any imbalances that are causing her client’s pain and discomfort.
To help with Peter’s pain, Michelle focused on the fascia – the tough sheets of connective fibres that envelop and weave through every muscle, nerve and organ in the body and tie it together.
Using both Myofascial and ELDOA stretching techniques, Michelle and Peter began by stretching and lengthening his muscles and spine to open up the body’s fascia, normalise the tissue and make sure there was enough space for the spine’s discs to sit in the right place.
Taking control of your body
But Peter knew that while his pain had disappeared, the underlying symptoms were still lurking. The next phase of his treatment focused on mobility, function and strength in correct positions.
“I didn’t want to constantly be cautious about doing things; having to stop and think will doing this make the pain come back?”
Working in a largely sedentary job, improving Peter’s core strength was imperative to his overall wellbeing. Visiting Michelle twice a week, he’s now focussed on building up his core strength through skilled weight training.
“If you really want to gain control back over your body you’ve got to give it the tools it needs. By working on your muscle tone and building up core strength, you can hold your body together. Give it the weaponry it needs to fight any potential problems before they happen.”
Michelle started building up Peter’s strength to make sure his muscles worked together and could support his body correctly. Her forthright approach and motivating support, helped Peter immensely – or as Peter puts it, ‘she gets in tune with what you want and need to achieve from the programme, right from the outset’.
An investment in yourself
While Peter acknowledges working with Michelle is a time and financial commitment, to him it’s a no brainer for being able to live the normal lifestyle he wants without pain. He sees it as an investment in himself.
“I have never lifted weights as heavy as I’m lifting now, and I feel great – there’s no strain with the correct potions.”
“In fact, I only cottoned on after a number of sessions, that unlike going to the gym, working out with Michelle doesn’t hurt. I’ve never been in pain during any training session.”
For Peter, the treatment Michelle offers has surpassed his expectations and he referered a number of people to her.
“There’s no point in living in pain or with impediments. You’ve got to seek help and Michelle has the skills to get you living pain free again.”