My Journey to Healing

I moved to San Francisco at the tail end of the dot-com rush to pursue a career in advertising. Exciting opportunities led to prolonged hours sitting at a desk not fit for my height with infrequent breaks and no self awareness on proper sitting posture. Many years into it I was gaining serious traction in my career, but paying for it physically: sitting 10 hours each day in front of my computer.  

I started to get some lower back pain but kept on working and ignoring my health. Then the back of my legs started tingling. My coworkers would notice me periodically stomping the floor with my feet but I kept working and ignored that my body was trying to tell me something. I would get up from my desk and my lumbar spine would feel numb. I was not aware how bad ergonomics and not taking care of myself was negatively affecting my body over the time I had spent working.

One night I woke up with excruciating pain radiating from my neck into my shoulders and down into my arms. I ‘ve never experienced such intense level of pain before and it scared me to the point where I thought I would never get better again. 

Then I was aware of acute pain 24 hours a day. I couldn't sleep, sit, walk, or exercise without severe pain in my entire upper torso. I didn't know it then, but it would take several years to regain some sort of normalcy. 

The pain was so debilitating I had to take an extended leave of absence from work to heal. I was shocked and surprised when I was diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury.  I went to see workman's compensation doctors, started taking an insane amount of painkillers, got an MRI, had multiple steroid injections into my spine's damaged disks, did extensive physical therapy, as well as got regular chiropractic care. The medical bills started adding up, but I wasn't getting back to normal as quick as I hoped to.

After I returned to the office from my medical leave there was an expectation I was ready to jump back into the way things were before I left. As soon as I started to sit for prolonged periods of time at my desk again the pain started creeping back into my spine's weakest points: my neck and my lumbar. I had extensive ergonomic evaluations and ended up getting a new desk and chair designed to fit my height.

Having heard good things I then turned to Pilates. I found it helpful in strengthening my spine and correcting my posture. It helped me get through the work week but I was still dealing with a considerable amount of pain and had to rely on anti inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. 
After much soul searching I decided to resign from my job giving up a successful and lucrative career in advertising that was causing me an incredible amount of pain at the same time.

I then traveled to Europe and discovered the Redcord therapy system. I spent a month doing an intense treatment course to correct the imbalances in my spine and help me target the problem areas that were still lingering with pain. 

This was the perfect compliment to my Pilates workout routine to reeducate my body how to use all my muscles properly. Redcord is very targeted work that gets you in-tune with muscles that have gone dormant. Using Pilates and Redcord I found myself stronger in my spine and having better posture I can sit at a desk again. 

I am back to share the knowledge that I've gained through my struggles. So many of us have back and neck pain. I want to help folks like you to find a path to healing. Redcord works effectively in providing relief of chronic back and neck pain symptoms so many of us have.  I know and understand because I struggled through it.

I am the first Redcord Active trainer in Northern California and I am looking forward to sharing this medically proven suspension exercise system from Norway with you.

Strength Training Just Got More Intense: Reasons to Try Redcord

If you're a TRX fan and you also adore Pilates, the Redcord will be your new best friend.

Read the entire POPSUGAR review:
Redcord now premiering in San Francisco at rebalanced SF.

How does it differ from TRX?
Instead of two straps being attached to a single anchor, the cords are attached to a pulley system. You can either adjust and stabilize the length of each cord or leave them loose to slide through the pulley. This allows for an even greater range of motion than TRX. Aside from the two handles, you can also attach thicker straps or slings to the cords, allowing you to suspend both legs or your pelvis at once. Unlike the TRX, which was designed by a Navy SEAL for fitness, Redcord was originally designed as a form of physical therapy to help with injuries. Now it is being utilized by athletes and everyday people as well.

If you want to take strength training to a whole new level of intensity or you're dealing with an injury or chronic pain, please contact Justin.

Many advantages of Redcord multiple point suspension system

Redcord has many advantages over other systems. Here are some of the key benefits.

Multiple points of suspension allow you to work directly underneath suspension points. The relationship with gravity is ideal. Redcord has multiple suspension points about 60 centimeters apart. This enables you to reproduce the same axis of rotation as your body. This is clearly an advantage i.e while doing push-ups, while the parallel ropes makes the exercise more natural. The almost unlimited amounts of progressions make Redcord ideal for everybody. By changing your position according to the equipment, adjusting the height and adjusting the lever arm, you can adjust the intensity to suit your needs and avoid injury.


One point of suspension results means you work at an angle and limits what you can do. A Y-shaped sling arrangement means that the slings want to move in or out at an angle rather than parallel to the body.

Pilates Helps Back Pain Sufferers More than Other Therapies

Study Finds Pilates Helps Back Pain Sufferers More than Other Therapies

Low-back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Odds are, you’re among the sufferers of this pervasive, chronic and painful health condition — and you’re always looking for better ways to find relief without taking pain medication all the time.

One method worth trying? Pilates.

Recent research supports what many Pilates experts and aficionados have been saying for decades: That doing Pilates is not only great for sculpting a strong, lean body — but also for preventing and treating low-back pain.

According to a small, randomized, controlled study published in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, participants who practiced Pilates over a four-week period experienced more relief from their symptoms than those who went through typical treatment programs.

In light of the growing popularity of Pilates in therapeutic settings, researchers from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, decided to test whether Pilates exercises were effective in improving the condition of patients.

The investigators randomly assigned 39 active adults ages 20–55 with chronic low-back pain to either a Pilates training group or a control group. The experimental group exercised on Pilates equipment, while the control group received the usual care provided to individuals seeking medical help for low-back pain. (“Usual care” included consulting with a physician and other healthcare professionals and specialists.)

Post-testing revealed that the Pilates participants had significantly lower levels of functional disability and pain intensity than the control subjects. And a year later, the Pilates participants had maintained their physical improvements.

Republished courtesy of <a href="">Inner IDEA</a>.

Work out smarter, not harder with Redcord and Pilates SF

Here's a great definition by Katherine Rice at Art of Motion Pilates explaining how Redcord in combination with Pilates allows you to learn how to recruit the proper muscles on the neurological level. The results are immediately felt. Redcord together with Pilates is great for people recovering from injuries, active weekend warriors, and pro athletes alike: no matter what age or fitness level.

"This is why you need to understand true stabilization! I see this over and over: bodies just bracing instead of stabilizing for the load or movement you are asking it to perform. This is why I LOVE REDCORD, you cannot cheat and use the global muscles, it teaches you so clearly because you can immediately feel it. This combined with Pilates puts so many pieces together as my clients are experiencing. Performing plank exercises take on a deeper meaning - they truly feel the recruitment from the deep trunk muscles like the transverse abdominus, shoulder girdle complex, and the myofascial chains. They no longer lock into their necks or sink into their lumbar spine, they feel the total connection and how you are supported front and back and they are surprised how much less effort it feels like - not because it is easier but they understand how stability supports the activity. The plank is the gold standard for exercise because it requires virtually everything to work - then when you add a challenge like the one arm push with the chair you understand even more how the multifidus plays a roll. The instability of the ropes takes this to even a higher level, then when you go back to a stable surface you will be amazed by how much easier the same exercise will feel. We do this all the time - what they thought before was hard they now welcome!"

Why does Redcord involve the trainer manually shaking the ropes while you exercise?

I get this question asked regularly as people in our studio observe me with my clients exercising in Redcord ropes and slings. Here I’d like to present a summary of the paper <strong>“The Effects of Vibration Stimuli Applied to the Shoulder Joint on the Activity of the Muscles Around the Shoulder Joint”</strong> published in <em>Journal of Physical Therapy Science 2013;25:1407–09</em>

The present study compared the muscle activity of the muscles around the shoulder joint to examine the effects of vibration during sling exercises. The vibrations were manually administered to the rope of the sling during the isometric-contraction stage. They were applied for five seconds at 3 Hz and 3.5 Hz, respectively, as the subjects performed push-up exercises on a sling and maintained isometric contraction in the final stage.

<strong>The muscles around the shoulder joint showed prominent changes in muscle activity in response to the vibration stimuli. As vibration frequency increased, the recruitment of the muscles around the shoulder joint increased.</strong> To perform exercises that selectively strengthen one group of muscles around the shoulder joint, namely, the serratus anterior, the exercises should be performed at a vibration frequency of 3 Hz.

Shaking the ropes increases muscular activation across a wide spectrum of movements. This is one of many unique advantages of Redcord. You can work out smarter, not harder and achieve better results in less time.

Why doing push-ups in Redcord is effective for low back pain

Two physical therapy studies here suggest push-ups in slings are superior to ground-based push-ups and also improve function of the lumbar muscles. Low back pain patients respond well to muscle activation.

Here is a summary of the paper “Muscular Activities During Sling and Ground-based Push-up Exercise” published in BMC Research Notes 2014, 7:192

The study was aimed to compare muscle activities during push-up exercises performed undereither sling or ground conditions. The sling-based push-ups were found to induce higher muscle activities than the ground-based push-ups. The effects were more prominent in dynamic exercise, as compared to static exercise. The authors concluded that sling-based push-up exercise can provide greater activation in upper limb and anterior trunk muscles than the ground-based push-up exercise.

Here is a summary of the paper “Effects of "Push-ups Plus" Sling Exercise on Muscle Activation and Cross-sectional Area of the Multifidus Muscle in Patients with Low Back Pain” published in Journal of Physical Therapy Science 2013;25:1575–8

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of lumbar stability exercises on chronic low back pain by using sling exercise and push-ups. Thirty adult subjects with chronic back pain participated, with 10 adults being assigned to each of 3 exercise groups: (1) general physical therapy, (2) lumbar stability using sling exercises, and (3) sling exercise plus push-ups. Each group trained for 30 minutes 3 times a week for 6 weeks.

The findings suggest that sling exercise plus push-ups are effective in activating and improving the function of the lumbar muscles.

Effectiveness of planks in suspension

As I mentioned here on numerous occasions, there are different ways to do the same exercise. Yet simple changes in the positioning of one’s body, changing time under tension, or other things, can all drastically alter the intensity of the exercise and an individuals response to the exercise. This can be particularly useful if someone doesn’t have much time to exercise, or if they don’t have access to a gym. They can do body weight exercises and purchase cheap weights, alter how they do an exercise, and make it more intense.

For instance, a study on a the plank exercise was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research this year, which indicated that suspension training appears to be an effective means of increasing muscle activation. To put this in plain English, putting your arms or your arms AND legs in suspension straps to do planks leads to greater abdominal muscle activation. This can be done at home, too. Theoretically, one can simply place their arms/feet on an elevated surface and accomplish the same thing. For instance, maybe by placing one’s feet upon a foam roller or ottoman.

There are other things to take note of, though, that we will go over in the future. Different exercises, especially when done differently, can alter the response of the CNS in different people. This can easily be tracked with things such as one’s range of motion in different joints, their strength, their vision, and more. Again, we’ll go over this soon, but it’s something to take note of.


The Redcord Difference

Redcord takes suspension exercise to the next level. Researched, developed and utilized by Physical Therapists for more than two decades, Redcord now comprises the most comprehensive collection of suspension exercise equipment and training programs available in the industry. In fact, there are more than 100 hours of live continuing-education coursework to help medical and fitness professionals achieve superior measurable outcomes.


Redcord is a scientific breakthrough in neuromuscular-based fitness training and pain treatment. There are currently over 60 published scientific articles written specifically about Redcord, as well as more than 25 years of practical evidence supporting its concepts and role in physical therapy, fitness and sports performance.

Redcord training – who does it benefit?

I’ve already mentioned that I used to work in advertising, and although I did get huge satisfaction from that role, there’s nothing quite like feeling as if you’re making a difference to people’s lives. When my clients tell me that they’ve noticed their bodies changing after participating in Redcord training sessions, I feel an enormous sense of satisfaction. Whether they have come to Rebalanced SF to improve their overall fitness or to work on back pain issues, it’s rewarding to hear them excited about improvements after just a few sessions!

Most people have heard of Pilates, but not as many people are familiar with Redcord. If you don’t know much about Record training then you may be wondering whether it will be beneficial to your health and fitness. Hopefully I can help give you an idea by detailing the type of people I train regularly -

- Silicon valley professionals, who spend long hours in front of their computer screens, regularly come to me to work on their postural muscles. Often they visit for a Redcord training session before and after they have used the shuttles to travel between San Francisco and the South Bay.

- Advertising agency folks who work in the city often manage demanding schedules (I should know…I used to be one!). They come to my sessions keen to undo the stress that the workload has impacted upon their bodies. We strengthen and lengthen to make sure they can keep healthy and strong in their fast paced competitive advertising world.

- Active adults over 50 that need to juggle running a business with prolonged work-related travel and other specialized professional skills, such as playing an instrument. Holding an instrument, such as a violin or saxophone, can take its toll upon the back and therefore these individuals may require exercises to strengthen the spine.

- New mothers in San Francisco, looking to get back into shape after having a baby.

As you can see, no matter who they are, they find the time in their busy day to come in and work out with me in both small groups and individual custom-tailored sessions. Each day they may feel different and require different stretches and strengthening exercises using both Redcord SF and traditional Pilates SF exercises. I am thrilled to be able to use various modalities to address their daily needs.

If you would like to discuss your individual needs with me then why not get in touch? I can help you understand whether Redcord training will be beneficial to your health, fitness and well-being.