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PT and Pilates: The Perfect Partnership

PT and Pilates: The Perfect Partnership

Balanced Body Pilates Rehab

I never imagined that the most profound moment of physical therapy school would happen while lying on the floor in my first Pilates class.

My education was preparing me to treat and rehabilitate patients. But, this was the first time I had been taught how knowledge and cueing could translate to healing the person in front of me. I had to learn more. Lying on the floor that day drew me to a dream career where I combine a scientific physical therapy background with Pilates and movement training. PT and Pilates are the perfect partnership.

Receiving a degree in physical therapy is an extensive process. These programs should make us the foremost movement specialists in the medical field. But the vast knowledge we gain doesn’t always prepare us to teach a patient how to move their body efficiently.

This is where Pilates comes in. Pilates emphasizes proper alignment, keen observation, diverse cueing, and a varied exercise repertoire. The Pilates practitioner is well versed in finding that perfect cue to create optimal movement. All of this together allows a movement practitioner to support a patient’s individual needs while helping them return to healthy function.

Tessa Hale Pilates Physical Theraphy CoreAlign

If you are lucky enough, you can pair these skills together in your career. As a practitioner, combining PT and movement has created a fulfilling career for me. At Pinnacle Performance in Salt Lake City, Utah, Amy Broekemeier has fostered a practice emphasizing the science and specificity of physical therapy complemented by intelligent movement re-education.

Our Doctors of Physical Therapy have sought out additional education such as manual therapy, myofascial release, and functional dry needling, to name a few. We then complement our Pilates background with other modalities such as CoreAlign, Oov, Gyrotonic, TRX, and more. We use the term Intelligent Movement when referring to our unique neuromuscular re-education and training that supports whole body function. This model provides a rewarding and stimulating environment while also saving my body from the rigors of manual therapy.

And how lucky is the patient who finds a practitioner who combines these skills? They benefit from a full assessment, one-on-one therapeutic treatment, skilled movement instruction, and support beyond their initial needs. Whether actively participating in PT or moving on to maintenance, patients can attend classes that help reinforce healthy movement principles.

Suppose you are reading this and you are living my same dream, either as a practitioner or a patient. In that case, I am so happy that you found this magnificent approach to wellness. And if you read this and long to experience this approach for yourself, contact Balanced Body to find a Pilates practitioner near you or a fantastic Master Instructor who is also a physical therapist.

Tessa Hale Pilates Physical Therapist CoreAlign


Tessa Furano Hale, PT, DPT, CAMI

Tessa received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Utah in 2008. As a student, she was drawn to Pinnacle Performance in Salt Lake City, Utah, for its holistic approach to physical therapy. She began working full-time as a therapist at Pinnacle after graduating and completing certification as a Pilates practitioner through Polestar Education. She has pursued continuing education in manual therapy through the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT). Tessa is also a CoreAlign Master Instructor educating new instructors on the CoreAlign method. New opportunities teaching anatomy to the Salt Lake Power Yoga teacher training program allow her to share her passions with the larger movement community. Tessa has combined her expertise in anatomy, Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and training in Functional Dry Needling and Myofascial Release with Pilates, CoreAlign, and other apparatus' to create a holistic approach to rehabilitation wellness and athletic fitness. She feels very fortunate to work in an environment that encourages both staff and clients to reach their optimal potential and promotes self-care at all stages of life. She enjoys time in the beautiful mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and two girls.

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