Joanne Sutton: Move Free From Pain

This time 20 years ago I was overjoyed to be starting the Graduate Certificate in the Pilates Method at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Having achieved life-changing results myself with Pilates after glandular fever morphed into chronic fatigue syndrome, I made it my mission to help as many people as possible overcome their chronic pain through Pilates too. Fast forward to 2024 and I’ve now assisted hundreds of people to become pain-free through the power of Pilates and my book MOVE FREE FROM PAIN – How to Overcome Chronic Pain and Take Back Control of Your Life Through the Power of Pilates launched on Amazon last month hitting No 1 in 3 categories for several days.


Why Did I Choose to Write a Book?

Having been a member of Lesley Logan’s business mastermind, AGENCY for almost 4 years now, Lesley continually encourages us to set large goals for ourselves and then supports and guides us along the way as we work towards achieving those goals. I’d always had a secret desire to write a book and when another AGENCY member was halfway through her book-writing journey, the opportunity presented itself and I was inspired to write a book too. Lesley and her husband Brad Crowell gave me the skills and confidence I needed to believe I could write a book and their ongoing support was invaluable.

In March 2020, when the world shut down due to Covid, I closed my fully equipped Pilates studio of almost 15 years and began to teach virtually. It was a complete unknown for everyone but two of my clients bravely stepped forward to try 1 on 1 virtual sessions via Skype. It was a success! With the realisation Covid was here to stay more of my clients came forward to begin virtual sessions and new clients I had never met in real life. As I had taught studio sessions in a group of 3, pre-Covid with each person following their own program, 1 on 1 sessions proved to be highly beneficial and the results were incredible. My clients progressed much further than they had in the studio and the osteopath who referred several of the new clients was delighted with her patient’s results. I’ve continued with virtual sessions and now teach around 30 – 35 sessions per week.  As my clients are not limited by geographical location it made sense to write a book to let people know that Pilates with a teacher who specialises in rehabilitation could be the solution for their pain and should be their first choice for pain relief rather than a last resort.


Who Is My Book For?

A combination of my own observations over the past 20 years backed by research-based evidence, my book is designed so people in chronic pain can follow a clear pathway out of pain with videos of basic exercises they can access and implement immediately. Many people in pain feel despondent and unsure of what the future holds for them and I aim to help them calm their nervous system,  strengthen their body from the core, reduce inflammation and promote healing so they can finally live a life free from chronic pain. While my book is aimed at clients, the Pilates teachers who have given me feedback have said they have found it useful as we all have different techniques and perspectives, and learning about another Pilates teacher’s approach to helping clients overcome chronic pain can be highly beneficial.

Knowing there are so many people around the world suffering from chronic and preventable painful conditions as they age makes my heart sink and if my book can have a positive impact and improve the quality of people’s lives, then I’ve achieved my goal. Launching my book is a win for me but also a win for all experienced, dedicated Pilates teachers who assist their clients to become pain-free as it helps to raise awareness that with the right teacher,  movement really does heal


How Did I Find the Writing Process?

If you are passionate about making an impact in the world and have a message you want to share then writing a book could be for you but be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster of extreme highs and lows.  I worked with a US-based company that specialises in helping first-time authors self-publish their books as it is a complex process and I benefitted enormously from their guidance and support. I wouldn’t have attempted to go it alone and believe a supportive team to guide you on the book-writing journey is essential. The whole process took slightly over 8 months from the time I started writing until launch day which was amazing as I always thought it could take several years to write a book.  The actual writing was surprisingly straightforward once I had my chapter structure in place, but as a mover, I found sitting and typing for long periods exhausting.  Even though I tried to break it up, I ended up with upper back pain after the first draft and then again after the first edit which took a few weeks to resolve each time with Pilates and osteopathy. Working with an editor takes practice too as you have to learn when to take their advice and when to stand your ground about particular sections you believe are vital for your readers. I learned that listening to your instincts and jumping in and taking action is the best approach when embarking on a large project like writing a book.  Before I could get scared and change my mind, I was already doing it!  Don’t hold back if you know you want to write a book, think about all the people who need to hear your message to transform their lives.

Joanne Sutton, PAA Practitioner Level 4 Member



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