Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mel Collie | I Just Decided …

Mel Collie | I Just Decided ..

I have no bad feelings for being judged in the past for being too “into posture and anatomy” and why don’t I just stick to teaching Pilates.
Well, thats kind of been nagging at me for a while now.
I had second thoughts, maybe even third and 4th thoughts about doing yet another course. Another course on anatomy. I had to hit the book again. Re study muscles, antagonists and synergists.
At times I though I was going backwards instead of forwards. I questioned my decision, and thought those people were right, I should just teach exercises and stop trying to “fix” people in pain.
However, since I was 5 , or there about, I wanted to be a Nurse.
I remember I had a Ladybrird book about it. They were the BEST!
Then I went and put my left hand through a glass pane in the kitchen door whilst having a paddy about clearing up my comics before bedtime…the glass shredded open my little finger.
Mum ran me to the Dr’s up the road.
This was early 1970’s…Im not even sure we had a phone..
Mum was a good runner.
All I remember then was being in the hospital, they were sewing up my finger, I remember the blood and the pain and the smell of the hospital
I waved goodbye to wanting to be Florence Nightingale ( she was my heroine!)
Later on in my little life, I remember passing out in hospital after going to visit a friend after she had her appendicitis out.
I felt faint when I’ve visited family in hospital.
I had a phobia.
Hospitals and me were not going to get along
However, I’ve recognised this , accepted it, talked myself through it, and if I go to a hospital now, I accept that I have about a 30 minute allowance before my head feels like its about to cave in and my spine shatter in two.
Yep…nice reaction!
I’m better than I used to be!
Maybe thats one of the reasons why I’ve not wanted to have kids!
Anyway, maybe its also why Im finding other ways of fulfilling my desire to be a nurse, to help people out of pain and have a better quality of life.
To undo the tight joints and improve stability and mobility
Pilates does a lot of stuff, and has helped many people
I’ve also seen it not help(not many fitness people will tell you that..)
I’ve seen people trying so hard to do core exercises, they’ve over activated their necks, held their breathe and increase a dysfunctional muscle pattern they didn’t know they had.
This upsets me. I can sit back and do nothing, or, I can sit up and do something about that.
I’ve seen good teachers, I’ve seen awful ones, I’ve been taught by great teachers, I’ve also had awful ones.
Theres no real right or wrong, this is a tricky business, fitness and health, theres so many who will contradict you, whatever you say.
The fitness trend of wanting to be thin, fit and healthy, has its good points, and bad ones too.
Its making people feel guilty about eating a piece of cake, or fruit, guilty for having a coffee, guilty for not having enough water, feeling wrong and beating themselves up, falling off the wagon, then feeling guilty about that, they eat loads of sugar. Then feel guilty again.
Thats not healthy
Thats a mindset thing
It all starts with your mindset, but theres more money in diets than mindset, well, that, thankfully, is starting to change with a few of the better coaches I know in the industry.
But thats for a very long different post!
This ones about me wanting to be a nurse, and going about it a different way – becoming a Pilates instructor, doing lots of anatomy and brain health courses and ending up doing the very best course I have EVER done…NKT – Neurokinetic therapy.
The best support system.
The best training, face to face and videos
The best science behind it all
The best positive study groups – thanks to the very exuberant Simon Jones in Chester for all the advice, help, knowledge and jokes(!)Brilliant study group this morning!
The passion and truth behind it all shines through with Kathy Dooleys passion, she talk so fast!!.. but she’s got a lot to share with us, her passion is contagious, and her blog posts are inspirational! ( I stopped writing blog posts as detailed as hers a while ago, when I had negative feedback saying they were too technical and no one would get them..damn I’ve listened to the wrong people…my technical blogs are coming back, and you had better read them as I will ask you questions about them! )
My life has taken a different turn, again, I’m sure if I looked back it would be like a twisting and turning yellow brick road…
My steps towards becoming a therapist and having my therapy room set up have begun
Studying feels good
It doesn’t feel like work, I LOVE reading about fascia, patterns, muscles, synergists, antagonists, the brain, the limbic system…gimme more I say!
I sit up all hours of the day and night reading, practicing, watching the study videos, practicing more, reading more…
It truly is the missing link.
It matches well with the Pilates exercises I know
Its going to change how I teach…again..
Now I am venturing more into 1:1 sessions, so I can start each session with a quick pattern and muscle testing protocol to ensure core is switched on at the very least, and anything else we find can be dealt with in therapy sessions running alongside the private classes.
I’ve wanted to do this for a while I’ve wanted clients to get the very best from their investment of time and money with me.
Now I feel confident I have the right tools to do it
Thanks to the NKT guys, David Weinstock for creating it originally, and his book which totally confused me for 2 years, and all their handwork and passion.
So, now Im working on new stuff…
New website coming up!
New therapy sessions coming up!
New stuff coming up!
Happy 2016..and beyond !

Mel Collie | Painful SI Joint is awesome!

Mel Collie | Painful SI Joint is awesome!

OMG – as they say – a painful SI Joint is might not think so if you have Sacro iliac pain, because it ain’t nice!

BUT…..flip your thinking now, and what you’ve been told..because you certainly are not your diagnosis..

Its hurting because its doing an AWESOME job!

Its trying so hard to give your pelvis some stability, its hurting from overworking

Try this – Lie on your back and bend your knees.

Feet on the floor

Flatten your back – feel ok, no pain? great!

Arch your lower back, what side pains you the most?

Thats the side your scare iliac has compression going on…maybe..

get assessed …but..¬†why bother..?

Because, like my awesome case study today I assessed, you may just find that your SI Joint is actually working bloody hard for a glute and psoas(hip flexor) that isn’t working at all.

You just might find that your home exercises – that take 5 mins a day-will get those bad ass glutes going, that psoas working and that SI joint pain disappear.

However – you also might find other stuff – a simple posture assessment telling of other stories and compensations, maybe a shoulder thats overworking, maybe a core that is inhibited, no matter how hard you try with core exercises, it just wont respond, maybe you will find a few movement patterns your brain remembers, but you don’t.

Maybe your story needs unravelling to save time, gain strength, power, mobility, stability.

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in Training



Mel Collie | Athletic Movement

Mel Collie | Athletic Movement

First & foremost, athletic movement is about human movement.

How you move.

I’m often saying to clients in my sessions – its not about achieving the end range of the move, its what you use to get there..Im not impressed that you can do 10 reps in side kick kneeling, for example, if your shoulder is hiked up, your hips aren’t level, your bottom knee is wonky and your toes are curled up.

You are compensating to achieve those reps. You are cheating.

Its not about doing loads of sit ups, leg lifts, rotations, side bends, planks, push ups.

Its what you use to get you there

Its what form you have, from beginning to end.

Its what you use to flex and extend.

Its how you move, not how you look that defines an athlete.

Sound movement practice cannot be achieved with limited flexibility, poor stability and mobility.

Limited ankle mobility means a more mobile knee – which creates instability in a hinge joint that wants stability, if its too mobile because the ankles are lacking mobility, the knee will tell you about it.

Instability in the shoulder and /or wrist can lead to pain in the elbow. Too much texting, overworked flexed muscles in the fingers, tight pec minor, weaker rotator cuffs, tighter elevator scapula, weakened rhomboids. Do you know which is which and whats going on in your system?

Your body is sensitive to input.

Tight & weak muscles change the input, the sensory system has to adapt, creating changes in your kinetic chain, all the way up the system.

This creates pain, fatigue, bad form, dysfunction, stress.

Get assessed, then move on and play the game.


Mel Collie

Movement & Pattern Detective



Mel Collie | Helping with Cake

Mel Collie | Helping with Cake

I met a new person the other day, well, they weren’t totally new, they have been on the planet for a few years, but its only the fourth time I’ve seen them around.

Turns out this person had an accident on their bike, and landed up in hospital, with concussion, neck pain and a bad head.

…had their head glued back by the Dr’s & Nurses

Had a compressed neck, which was causing a neck pain

We invited our friend back to the home treatment room, where I practiced my new NKT skills on them

In about 15 mins I had taught them how to release their tight neck muscles, which were working overtime to stabilise the head, which weighs quite a bit when its only relying on half the muscles, this poor neck extensors were proper tired!

Released those and got the neck flexors working again with some gentle detective pattern work

Re wired the brain using NKT protocol which is really neat stuff

Works fast

It also holds when you do your homework so the brain releases the old pattern it knew

Its like giving a map back to your brain, showing it the path it should be taking, but it got a bit lost by the overpowering tight muscles.

The more you do your homework, the quicker the brain gets that pattern and lets go of its old pattern that wasnt working.

Give someone a map, compass and a torch and they are pretty much set, if you show them how to use it, then thats really cool.

We also gave our friend some cake we had made too, Lemon Drizzle (my fave!) and Carrot Cake too.

Cake buddies!



Pattern Detective!

Mel Collie | Chatting

Mel Collie | Chatting

Every fortnight on a Thursday my client comes to my studio for Pilates

She’s hypermobile

That means her joints are super bendy!

We spend most of that hour chatting

She talks, I listen!

I love that though!

Its not all about sit ups, flat abs and wondering if you will look good to your friends.

Its about connection.

Rock up, chat about stuff, unwind, un-burden, de-stress and the body moves way better.

Try saying you feel happy with your shoulder slumped forward and your head down to the ground with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Now try saying you feel depressed, sad, pissed off with the world with your head high and a smile on your face having spent an hour chatting to a friend.

Putting the kettle on is Britains fave past time

Do it more often, and if you don’t like Tea/Coffee, then go for a run with your mates, go to Pilates with your friends, book a session for the both of you to enjoy, go for a spa day together, go for a walk in the park, or on the beach together.

Natter. Chat. Laugh. Be silly.

Play on the swings and the slide (make sure you don’t get told off!)

Do it all without checking your mobile!

It release so many good hormones, and the cascading effect that has really shows in your body

…better than a six pack any old day