Pilates and Reiki After Abdominal Surgery

Curso de Instructor de Pilates I have been doing Pilates and Reiki since 1986 and teaching Pilates since 1989 (Reiki teaching came later). In the decade from 1986-1996 I was diagnosed with migraine headaches, severe endometriosis, and pelvic pain, undergoing five separate laparoscopic surgeries and many hormonal and pain therapies before finally undergoing a total abdominal hysterectomy at the age of 30. The two things that carried me through that difficult decade - which also included earning a graduate degree in Philosophy, getting married, becoming a parent, and opening my first Pilates studio - were Pilates and Reiki.

As an undergraduate at Purchase College, I originally started doing Pilates to see what the studio was spending money on. You see, I was the Finance Director of student government, which in the '80s was funding the Pilates studio. But once I started Pilates, I was hooked! The exercises were the only ones I had ever encountered that targeted my abdominals and pelvic floor in such a clear and effective way. My hypermobile joints felt better and stronger. Most important for me, the pain I had each month from the endometriosis, which manifested in severe abdominal cramps, nausea, and lower back pain, would go away for a little while after my Pilates class.

My first experiences with Therapeutic Touch and then Reiki came from the Physical Therapist I hired at my first Pilates studio in PA. Susan not only gave me treatments, but also taught me how to do treatments on myself and others, even teaching my husband how to work on me to help me prepare for and recover from the major surgery, since I could only rest well after a treatment. I was the first patient ever at Temple University hospital to have Reiki practitioners in pre-op and recovery with me (I insisted and my surgeon approved), and lost so little blood and healed so quickly that everyone was shocked.

I was back in the Pilates studio four weeks post-op, and while it wasn't easy getting back (in fact, I was so impatient and frustrated that I was a tough client), I can tell you today that my abs and pelvic floor work perfectly from regular Pilates. Plus, thanks to my daily Reiki practice I have no more daily chronic pain, I sleep well, and the migraines are gone.

So if you hear yourself, or anyone you know saying, “I had abdominal surgery [or cesarean]. They cut me, so I can't really use my abs anymore,” know that there is hope. With Pilates, your abs will work again! Mine do.


  • 5 Myths about Pilates that p@@s me off..(melcollie.com)

  • Cyclist with Broken Hip Loves Pilates(pilatesandreikiinparadise.com)