In honor of of March being Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are spotlighting our dear friend and coworker, Lee Anne Jester. Lee Anne suffered a traumatic brain injury during a car accident and has fought with great determination and courage to get to where she is today.
Lee Anne’s Story: In 1995, at the age of 23, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and concussion in a car accident in Kansas City. The wreck left me unable to walk, affected my speaking, and brought on a wave of emotional ups and downs. I had been teaching fitness classes at the time of the accident and had taken for granted the unlimited potential of my young athletic body. It was during my lengthy hospitalization that my philosophy for physical wellness evolved to a mind/body approach and an appreciation for the relatively novel approach to physical and mental wellness known as Pilates.
I suffered a second concussion in 2010 when I fell headfirst into a granite counter top while cleaning a high window sill. Eighteen stitches were sewn into my forehead and skull and I was bedridden for many days. Vision therapy was also recommended as I began to experience severe migraines while tending to clients.
Neither of these two harsh injuries deterred my spirit nor ambition.
I am convinced my methods of healing connective tissue work, meditation, conscious breathing and “letting the body lead the way” expedited my healing. The second head injury taught me to let my dominant muscle groups relax as I began moving more subtly.
Also during this time, I got married, had two children (today both are teenagers) and expanded my business and client count with dogged determination and a desire to learn all I could about rehabilitation for myself and my clients.
In one self-funded educational trip to Seattle years ago, a team of students and I attended a cadaver lab where a doctor who trains med students taught us about our amazing core musculature and how through our internal system the mind truly connects to the body. Other self-funded classes in New York, Florida and Utah enlightened me to a connective tissue course involving “fascial awareness.” There are countless other continuing education experiences that are too numerous to mention here.
Many of my clients are middle-aged and older, taking part in sessions after surgeries, injuries or muscle imbalances. Educating clients on their bodies, repetitive movements and abilities to change these behaviors are so vital to my success and my clients’ success.
I’ve been watching and working with bodies for more than 25 years. My experience with different bodies in various settings and my own health history has taught me how to access and help people move more efficiently in their lives. I also continue my Pilates and body healing education by studying with other innovative teachers across the United States.
To find out more about Lee Anne, head to her website at: http://www.leeannepilates.com/