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Review: Belper Life-Fitness & Performance Physio

We thought it was about time we shine a light on Belper Life-Fitness & Performance Physio aka Belper Pilates Studio at the Fit Pit to many, also now proud to be a part of Belper Health Hub.

The practice was started by owner, Ruth Anness, 11+ years ago and specialises in treating musculoskeletal and neural injuries and pain. Ruth is a very highly-skilled practitioner, with BSc (Hons) in both Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy, as well as having qualifications in Pilates instruction, gym instruction, Swiss ball, sports taping, fitness testing and bio-mechanical analysis.

As a ex-international pole-vaulter and current competitor for the Age Group GB Team in Sprint Duathlon, Ruth has been perfectly positioned to treat many international and elite athletes.

What we're saying is, she knows her stuff on paper!

But, here at Boom, we also have first-hand experience of how wonderful Ruth is in real life.

What Steph says:

My first interaction with Ruth came after spinal surgery in 2017. I joined her excellent clinical Pilates group to assist with my rehabilitation and continued for around a year. These small groups are a fantastic and pretty unique idea. First, you meet with Ruth for a consultation where she takes thorough medical notes and performs her own examination and analysis of your condition. She's incredibly knowledgeable but also gifted in her ability to explain what's going on in your body in an understandable way. It feels like no question is a silly question, although I'm sure I asked many!

After this, Ruth writes you a personalised physiotherapy plan which uses the wide range of high quality, specialist equipment (which may look like implements of torture but really aren't - mainly!). Then you join a (much sought after) group of 4-6 individuals and attend weekly sessions where everyone works through their own plans under the guidance and supervision of Ruth or one of her brilliant team. They're always on hand to offer advice, to tweak exercises and to check you are doing them correctly and safely.

For me, I loved that it really made me carve out the time to do the exercises to aid my recovery, and that it motivated me to do additional complementary activities at home. Despite, of course, the fact that you are likely to be working through some fairly painful moments, it's actually a very peaceful class and I used to leave feeling stronger and positive. Once you know what you're doing, you can also pay a monthly fee to access the studio as often as you like, outside of the hours where classes are taking place. I was never self-motivated enough to make the most of this but it would be brilliant for anyone who was!

These clinical Pilates groups were so beneficial for me that I returned for another year after my second spinal surgery in 2020!

Another time our paths crossed was when I was pregnant. The first time, Ruth was running large pre- and post-natal Pilates matwork and small equipment classes which I really enjoyed (especially the relaxation time at the end!). I also attended small group sessions, postnatally with my baby until lockdown hit. With my second child, I joined a much smaller reformer group which I enjoyed even more. I love the reformers! They're an intimidating-looking piece of equipment but they're so versatile and, dare I say it, fun once you get used to them. In both instances, Ruth led the classes expertly, making adjustments to exercises and expectations based upon how far along each attendees pregnancy was. She also speaks from experience, having continued to exercise throughout her own pregnancies.

And the final way I've worked with Ruth has been more recently where I attended a series of five 1:1 treatment sessions based around therapeutic massage and acupuncture for a re-emergence of my back issues.

However, I constantly recommend Ruth to others, one such person being Heather! So I'll let her tell you all about her experiences of this type of treatment.

What Heather says:

Ruth comes highly recommended by so many people I've spoken to, from post-partum mums to semi-professional athletes. She approaches treatment holistically and when I first booked in with her, she took time to understand my history, my current situation and how comfortable I was with things like acupuncture as well as massage. Within minutes, she had located the sources of my issues and worked on them consistently for a number of sessions - able to assess progress and recovery between appointments. My previous experiences of sports massage and physiotherapy had been positive but I remember them being painful and feeling very tender afterwards. With Ruth's treatment, the combination of massage and acupuncture allowed me to enjoy the relief immediately - despite pushing through some challenging releases. I always feel taller and more balanced after my time in the clinic. Ruth and I have built a great relationship through our chats and I think she's a brilliant business woman who is always looking to improve her services, quality of offer and patient satisfaction. Her rates are competitive and she has even previously entertained my baby whilst treating me!

What Heather's huband, Joe says:

Heather recommended I start seeing Ruth after my neck and shoulders started becoming an issue following a stressful few months. On meeting Ruth, I knew I could relax and speak openly about my mental health and what I'd been feeling in my muscles and my body. She explained everything she was doing and made sure I was happy for her to try some acupuncture, as she felt this would help my stress responses. The first session was really successful so I continued to see her regularly and felt so much benefit each and every time I was in the clinic. Ruth is really dedicated and has built a brilliant hub of highly qualified therapists and practitioners. I'd be happy to recommend her to anyone seeking support with their physical and mental wellbeing.

In Ruth's words (excerpts from her website):

Our clinic is the place to come for specialist treatment for any injury, ache, or pain - or just to take some time out to relax. We pride ourselves on our reputation of specialist treatment and long-term solutions to injury or pain. We combine up-to-date researched treatment techniques with a calming, patient-focused atmosphere.

We provide thorough, unrushed, and honest expert assessments and create specific and versatile treatment plans that work. Our aim is to keep you doing what you love to do - whether that's keeping an active lifestyle, running a marathon, attending fitness classes, or chasing the children around the park!

Check out the website for a full list of services and classes.


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