Triple Olympian, European and Commonwealth games multi medallist.
Katharine Read OLY,
Triple Olympian, European and Commonwealth games multi medallist, corrective Pilates, stretching and Aqua massage therapist.
I have been involved in activity, dance, competitive sport and fitness all my life. I have 20 years in the health and fitness industry combined with 20 years of competing for Great Britain team at the elite levels of swimming at Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth games. My extensive knowledge spans through the many varied levels of fitness both from an Olympic athletes perspective through to the recreational sportsperson to the unconditioned client or injured and chronically affected client.
My journey towards specialising has been varied and a great learning curve. After retiring from my international swimming career and qualifying as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor in 1999: one of the first instructors to be qualified with Pilates virtuoso Michael King. I started my journey of learning everything about the Pilates technique, immersing myself in Pilates books, manuals, workshops, training courses and teaching classes.
Pilates was in its infancy in the United Kingdom and it was an exciting time to be inundated with requests for lessons, classes, talks and workshops, working with a big range of age-groups, a diverse range of fitness levels, observing clients movements and tailoring exercises for international swimmers. I instructed future Olympians such as Rebecca Addlington, Olympic gold medallist, on the youth talent world class and Beacon lottery funded swimming teams with Pilates, core strengthening and stretching workouts in an elite sporting environment. I developed my Pilates group classes, one to one lessons and presented tailored workshops to British swim coaches association, health practitioners, schools and sporting groups. I also swim coached the Southampton triathlete club for 10 years.
The development of Aqua massage Pilates transpired when I met Rick stone, the owner of www.aquamassagetherapycushion.co.uk. I trained with Rick to become qualified in his massage technique and stretching programme in 2016. I realised there was something unique about the aqua therapy cushions and aimed to develop a technique to increase the efficacy of the original Aqua massage. I married together the aqua massage technique, Pilates matwork and machine exercises. Clients commented how they felt increases in ranges of motion within restricted areas, improved strength of the core muscles and enhanced awareness of posture in a warm relaxing environment. Combined with feedback and careful monitoring, over a period of months the Aqua massage Pilates technique has shown a significant improvement in clients strength, flexibility and wellbeing.
I’m continuing the development of Aqua massage Pilates; I am currently training with Dr. Perry Nickelston of www.stopchasingpain.com studying functional medicine and pain management. This incorporates treatment for long term chronic pain and autoimmune disease, incorporating lymphatic drainage where it is needed. Having personal experience of the ongoing debilitating effect of chronic fatigue, burnout, immune dysfunction and sensitivity, I understand the necessity for careful consideration and planning of a treatment or Pilates workout depending on your symptoms and health status.