Book Review: Move Free From Pain by Joanne Sutton

The author, Joanne Sutton, has made movement her life. Starting in childhood, she was active in gymnastics, tennis, netball, ice skating, swimming, trampolining, and dance. After running a successful dance school for 5 years, Joanne became ill with glandular fever and then eventually went on to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. After finding Pilates through a friend, Joanne was captivated by the health benefits and became an advocate for Pilates due to her life-changing experience; from chronic fatigue syndrome and being bedridden for weeks to trying Pilates and feeling stronger and fitter than ever before. Joanne’s mission with this book, and her online Pilates classes (including on-demand videos as well as one-on-one virtual sessions) is to reach as many people as possible and help them experience the positive effects of Pilates on the mind and body, and heal their pain so that they can begin to live their lives to the fullest again.

This book is written in a very conversational and caring style which is easy to read, and encourages the reader to experience the benefits of Pilates. The author guides you through each chapter, offering to be by your side the whole way through, and explains that if you are going through pain, how Pilates is ideal for managing that pain.

Each chapter refers to examples of real clients and their experiences, and how Pilates has helped them to overcome pain and live their lives more actively.  At the end of each chapter is an Action Step to encourage those reading the book to move their body and learn how to overcome pain through the control of the mind over the body. For example, at the end of the first chapter there is reference to a guided relaxation session that teaches clients how to use their breath and visualisation to bring the body back to a state of calm. All of these resources can be found online, with links provided in the book. The reader will need to sign up for the free 10-day trial to access these resources, so there is nothing to lose, only positive benefits to be gained.

The author makes reference to recent research, including the positive effects of exercise on the ageing population.  This book clearly outlines the benefits of Pilates and how it can help people to live pain-free lives. It also addresses how to manage flare-ups and have an understanding that whilst pain can be a part of life, knowing how to manage it can help people to transform their lives.

Once you are hooked, you cannot escape the enthusiasm and passion for Pilates that so many experience. This book captures that and makes you want to share it with as many people as you can so that they can understand the benefits and life-changing experience of Pilates, and finally take action. As someone who has experienced chronic pain myself, and felt the incredible difference in mind and body over and over again, I highly recommend this book. Curl up in your favourite chair with a nice warm drink and you’ll find that in a number of hours, you’ve already gone from cover to cover!

It is a great addition to your teacher’s toolkit for encouraging those hesitant prospective clients to take those first steps through your door. It’s also great for sharing with those stubborn family members and friends that you have been trying to convince to come along to Pilates. They might finally see the light.

As Joanne states in this book “Movement is life. Movement heals.”


Amelia Alcorace, PAA Member.

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