Scoliosis is a three-dimensional condition of the spine. It typically involves a sideways curve of the spine accompanied by rotation in the shoulder girdle and/or rib cage and and/or pelvis. Scoliosis is a complex disorder and should be treated gently and with great care. The 3D nature of the condition requires a 3D treatment approach. 

My scoliosis management program aligns with the Schroth Method adaptations for Pilates. Exercises focus on spinal elongation, gentle derotation and stabilization. While specific goals will vary depending on age and severity, my overall approach targets slowing progression of the scoliosis, reducing pain, and improving posture and quality of life. ​



I am an only child who grew up with artist parents. We traveled and moved often -- five elementary schools in three states by age 8. Even through all the transitions, I was excited to move into new houses, start new schools, and meet new kids.


My self-esteem took a hit in 7th grade when I was diagnosed with scoliosis and prescribed a hard plastic back brace to wear 23 hours a day. Tank tops turned to oversized sweatshirts to hide the bulky shell, and for the first time I was concerned about my future health. I’d see elderly women with severely rounded upper backs and worry about my future.


The brace years came and went, then came college, traveling, and entering the workforce. I found fulfillment working in nonprofits. I wanted to help people, to make others feel good in their own skin. Meanwhile, my back pain was worsening and anxiety about my spinal health was increasing. Then I found Pilates and started to feel strong, balanced, and more in control of the pain. It took time for me to connect the dots, but six years out of school I decided that going back to scoliosis and caring for the spine would be my way to contribute positively to the lives of others.

Today, I manage my scoliosis with a regular Pilates practice and I help others (kids and adults) do the same. I love working with people of all ages who are recovering from injury, degeneration, and pain, as well as those who want to improve their strength and fitness. Most importantly, I want my clients to feel confident in their bodies, regardless of size, ability, or condition.

Pilates Adaptations for People with Scoliosis 
Supporting the Teachings of Schroth Method - May 19-21. 2017

The Scoliosis Research Society has recognized the Schroth Method as a viable conservative physical therapy treatment option for patients with scoliosis. These scoliosis-specific corrective exercises are restricted in their scope of practice to physical therapists, however, this course applies some of the principles behind the Schroth Method and other (Scoliosis Specific Exercises) SSE to decisions about how to modify Pilates exercises for the scoliosis client. The course is designed to bridge a wide knowledge gap which can only positively impact the scoliosis client who wants to maintain fitness while minimizing the destructive forces on his/her spine.

Pilates for Injuries and Special Populations 
STOTT Pilates Continuing Education - April 14-17. 2016

​ISP is a highly interactive presentation with plenty of hands-on practical application for learning how to work with injured clients using Pilates exercises. Participants gain confidence in working with special populations, e.g.,  pregnancy, autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis—and people with specific injuries, e.g., disk herniations, patello-femoral syndrome, shoulder impingement, etc.



I am currently traveling and not in the Portland area. Please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions, and I am happy to refer you to another Pilates instructor, but I am not taking clients at this time. 

- Tessah


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