In The Thrive Clinic we work with a number of different clients, patients and friends. It is their experience and journey through The Thrive Clinic that makes what we do worthwhile and drive us to be better and do more. We interviewed one of our patients to find out more about their journey so far.
Q: What first made you come to The Thrive Clinic?
A: I was first introduced to Katie Stewart back in 2004. Katie had started the Beach Lifestyle Club in Cottesloe and I was a willing participant in one of her intensive 10 day Kickstart programmes. This programme changed my life. I went from being quite unfit to running 3kms in 10 days. I realised I was capable of so much more and thus began my journey with Katie. I joined her gym, lost 10kgs and went from strength to strength. Since then, Katie has seen me through my recovery from Breast Cancer and a double mastectomy and more recently a radical Hysterectomy where I had my ovaries, uterus and cervix removed. Post surgery Katie worked with me one on one to improve my pelvic and core strength and once I was strong enough I joined the Thrive Clinic as part of my recovery and rehabilitation. I had been thrown into sudden menopause and was suffering with anxiety, severe hot flushes and had gained a lot of weight. I was feeling fragile, weak and was losing my self confidence.
Q: What have been the benefits of the program for you?
A: The intensive cardio element of Thrive was intimidating at first. When you really push yourself, the 30 second bursts on the bike make you breathless and your heart. At first this was an uneasy feeling for me as these were the same feelings I had when I experience a hot flush or anxiety. However, after only a few sessions I began to reap the benefits and was able to adjust my approach to these sessions. Within a few weeks I noticed a dramatic decrease in the severity and frequency of my hot flushes. I also noticed a decrease in my anxiety. I felt my body gaining strength and stamina and I was sleeping better.
Q: What achievements have you made since starting the Thrive Clinic?
A: After 5 months of rehabilitation with Katie and attending regular Thrive Clinic sessions I was able to return to running and rejoined Katie’s RunFree programme. I am now training with Katie to run the New York Marathon this November. In a year and half Katie and her team have taken me from feeling despondent, fragile and weak to running my first half marathon at the Perth City to Surf this year and on to the New York Marathon this November. I have lost the weight I gained post surgery my anxiety and mood swings have been greatly reduced and I have gone from having sometime 7 to 10 hot flushes a day to 1 or 2. I have also gained better awareness of my body and can now target the correct muscle groups in my Thrive sessions to maintain and strengthen my pelvic and core area.
Q: What are your future health and wellbeing goals?
A: At the moment I’m working with the Thrive team to maintain my strength for running the marathon to give me the best possible chance of finishing the race strongly with no injury. After the marathon I will be working with the team to correct some postural issues I have as a result of my previous double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
Q: What do you enjoy about the Thrive Clinic Process and Protocol? (Connect, Observe, Prime, Play)
A: I love the Connect and Observe. This has taught me to really engage with my body and to perform the exercises correctly to get the most benefit. I love the Butterfly which begins each session. A moment to pause, be still and engage with my body. It really sets me up for the rest of the session.
Q: What keeps you motivated to adhere to your weekly sessions?
A: I love the relaxed feeling at the Thrive Clinic. The team are incredibly supportive and friendly. I feel like I am being welcomed with warm arms each time I walk through the door. The location and the rooms are informal and homely rather than being clinical. It is also great having a programme that is specifically targeted to your own personal needs and that is regularly adjusted as your body grows in strength and stamina. I also feel incredibly safe in this environment. I know that Katie and her team are extremely professional and knowledgeable as trained Exercise Physiologists and that they work in conjunction with your referring doctor or specialist constantly giving them feedback or seeking their advice.
Q: Any other comments?
A: I can’t recommend Thrive Clinic and the Exercise Therapist highly enough. It really has changed my life and been invaluable in my recovery and rehabilitation from very traumatic procedures. I’m turning 50 this December and feeling confident and strong. I’m no longer worried about my future or getting a little bit older. I feel I can now embrace my life with positivity and that anything is possible.
Natarsha Rawlins (Tarsh)