Where Pilates and physiotherapy intersect. A Q&A with Michelle Lee

Michelle is a fairly recent addition to the Fix family; she joined us in July and is a highly skilled physiotherapist and a Pilates instructor. Today we're chatting to her about where her two specialities overlap, how she ended up in London and what Pilates instructors get up to in their spare time.

Oh hey Michelle! First off, can you tell us where you're from? What brings you to London?

I hail from Toronto, Canada! However, I was living in Amsterdam prior to our move to London in June.

My husband and I both wanted a change in scenery, and London was a city where we could both continue to work our careers. We have always loved London when visiting it in the past, so when two great job opportunities came about we jumped on it.

Awesome. Lucky for us! So tell us a little about your training; how did you get interested in Physiotherapy and Pilates? Which came first?

I am a former gymnast and dancer, and from the wee age of 8 years old I had various sports injuries. I was sent to a physiotherapist/osteopath who worked miracles, and ever since then I decided I wanted to become a physiotherapist. I completed a Bachelor of Science Honours degree with a subject of specialisation in Life Sciences in 2007 from Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. Following this, in 2009 I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Science in Physiotherapy and have worked in private musculoskeletal practice since. 

I discovered Pilates when I was living in Toronto, simply passing by a studio. To be honest, I was most fascinated by all the crazy equipment I saw! I am always been interested in trying new workouts so I gave it a go. After trying out only a couple classes, I was hooked. My body felt stronger, longer and more mobile than ever! I really appreciated the attention to detail that is required with the practice of Pilates and with the focus on inner core stability, I noticed that the niggling low back pain that had been bothering me or years went away, as did my runner's knee. As a physiotherapist, I had been utilising many of the same concepts within my practice, but I was limited in my repertoire. When I moved to Amsterdam, I enrolled in a year long program where I completed my Comprehensive Mat and Equipment Teacher certification. 

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Do you find that Pilates influences your physiotherapy work?

100%! As a physiotherapist, I combine manual therapy, modalities such as dry needling, and exercise rehabilitation into my practice. I have found that utilising the concepts of Pilates has greatly benefited my patients' outcomes as it targets the inner core musculature and local stabilisers of the body. 

So what's your favourite part of your work?

I love watching my clients' progress overtime. There's nothing better than a day when every single client takes a step forward towards reaching their goals.

What do you like to do when you're not at Fix?

I love staying active. I practice Pilates, go for runs around the beautiful green spaces in London, and enjoy checking out different fitness studios to see what they have to offer. 

The irony is, if you don't find me working out, I'm probably stuffing my face with the amazing food and wine that London restaurants have to offer! Eating delicious food can be a hobby, right? 

And last but not least, tell us something surprising about you...

I don't always practice what I preach to my clients...


You can find Michelle at our London Fields and East Village clinics. Book in with her online here or give us a call: London Fields 0208 986 5551 / East Village 0208 555 7165