Please read this in conjunction with our terms and conditions
WHO IS THE OSTOMY STUDIO FOR?
Classes are open to anyone (18 and over) who has, or has ever had, an ostomy for any condition or for any reason.
If you want to learn how to move safely and strengthen your body and core muscles in the right way, rebuilding your foundations and strengthening from within, The Ostomy Studio is for you.
There are a wide range of programmes suitable for a wide range of abilities, ages and goals. Some are floor-based mat classes and there are a range of ability based videos, so please check you’ve chosen the right level for you.
HOW SOON AFTER SURGERY CAN I JOIN A CLASS OR DO A VIDEO?
ASCN Clinical Nursing Guidelines state that you can start core abdominal rehab exercises around 3-4 days post-surgery and the exercises in the me+recovery programme (that I also developed) show you how to do this.
You may also wish to check with your surgeon or nurse first and show them this site and video links so they can see what you’re planning to do.
The classes and videos are aimed at different abilities and it’s important to select the right level for you. Please read the class descriptions carefully.
My 'Post Surgery' class (ON DEMAND ONLY) can be started around 2-3 weeks after surgery unless otherwise advised.
Everyone is different, but the ideal time to start Foundations classes or videos is around 4-6 weeks post-surgery.
Please contact me before booking the classes if you have any questions.
Some people can start earlier. Equally if your surgery was many months or even years ago, it's never too late to start to exercise. Please come and join me! Please watch the ‘Preparation and Principles’ video and sign up for the me+recovery programme from ConvaTec https://meplus.convatec.co.uk/ which I also developed. The me+recovery programme is aimed at the immediate post-surgery phase and is available free of charge.
I’VE BEEN TOLD NOT TO DO ABDOMINAL EXERCISES. ARE THESE CLASSES SAFE FOR ME?
This is a common misconception and many people are advised to avoid abdominal exercises by their medical team. However, we need to clarify what we mean by ‘abdominal exercises’.
Remember your abdominal muscles are not ‘separate’ from your body. Your body is integrated, everything is connected. Every time you move, twist, lift and sit down/stand up, carry, push or pull, you use your abdominal muscles. It’s impossible to move without using your abdominal muscles and core in some way.
Most people instinctively feel they need to strengthen their abdomen again after surgery. It’s a very intuitive and natural desire to strengthen something that feels weak and damaged. The ASCN (Association of Stoma Care Nurses UK) clinical guidelines (https://ascnuk.com/ state that ‘all patients should be advised to do core abdominal exercises starting 3-4 days post-surgery’. This is to reduce the risk of parastomal hernia and to restore function to the abdominal, pelvic floor and core muscles. Moving and strengthening whilst 'healing' is a vital part of recovery and will help you to regain core/abdominal function and control soon after surgery.
However, there are many ways to do abdominal exercises and some are more appropriate than others. And it’s incredibly important to exercise in the right way.
A progressive and gentle therapeutic programme to restore function and strength to your abdominal wall, pelvic floor and core should be central to your recovery. And that’s exactly what I teach at The Ostomy Studio. Immediately after surgery you should avoid advanced/strenuous exercises (things like sit ups and planking for example) although you may be able to build back up to them in time.
Please show this website to your surgeon and nurse and discuss your plans with them if you’re unsure.
I HAD MY SURGERY 10 YEARS AGO. IS IT TOO LATE TO START NOW?
It’s never too late. But you do need to start at the beginning with the Foundation classes, learn how to engage your deep core muscles correctly and learn the basic foundation moves. It might feel a little frustrating initially, but trust me, it’s important to build up in a progressive way and perfect your technique.
You’ll soon love feeling stronger and you’ll enjoy the benefits of more confidence and better health and be able to progress to more advanced classes.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE A PARASTOMAL HERNIA (OR THINK I MAY HAVE ONE). CAN I DO THE CLASSES?
Yes. Even if you have a parastomal hernia is hugely important to exercise for your general health. It’s important to keep moving, maintain muscle mass and stay healthy. There’s even some early research to show that doing clinical Pilates may prevent your hernia from becoming bigger. If you have pain or feel a bulging or pressure around your stoma when exercising, then always make sure you mention it to me in a live class, or if you’re doing an ON DEMAND video or exercising alone, reduce the intensity or challenge of the exercise.
If you’re not sure, please drop me a message and we can arrange an assessment on video call first if necessary. If you have any concerns or have symptoms (blockages or pain), speak to your stoma nurse or surgeon first and show them this website and what you’re planning to do.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH LEVEL IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Each class and video has a description of the level, what’s involved and how challenging it is. So read these descriptions carefully and choose the class that sounds the best fit.
It’s always better to choose a class which sounds a bit ‘easier’ than your ability. It’s better to err on the side of caution, not to over-challenge yourself and exercise in an appropriate way, rather than push yourself too hard. Especially if you’re new to my teaching style and classes.
Remember that Pilates is all about control and precision. It’s far better to do an easier class really well with good technique.
If you’re still not sure, then please drop me a message.
I HAVE MOBILITY ISSUES AND FIND IT HARD TO GET DOWN ONTO THE FLOOR. ARE ALL YOUR CLASSES ON THE MAT ON THE FLOOR?
Not at all. I’ve developed some chair-based and standing classes, suitable for people who can’t or don’t wish to get down on the floor and onto a mat. These will focus on balance and simple chair based exercises and will be available in the ON DEMAND video section.
Each class has a clear description of what it is and what’s involved.
WHAT EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY DO I NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS OR WATCH A VIDEO?
To take part in the online LIVE class you will need a phone, tablet, computer or some other device which has a camera. I need to see you and you need to see me. It will also need a speaker so that you can hear me and talk to me.
Practise setting things up so that you can position your camera where I can see you in standing and also on your mat/the floor.
You’ll need a strong wi-fi signal so that the class runs smoothly.
You may be able to ‘connect’ your device to your TV using a HDMI cable so that you can see the class on a bigger screen.
You don’t need shoes or trainers. Most people prefer to do the class in bare feet or socks.
There are a few pieces of equipment that you may like to get. You can do the classes without any of these items (or use alternative suggestions), although a mat is usually essential.
Exercise mat – or just do the class on a carpet or rug
A soft Pilates ball – or a small cushion or folded towel
A Pilates head cushion – or folded towel or cushion
There may be further items to purchase as you get into more advanced classes. See the equipment list.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN A CLASS? DO I HAVE TO TALK OR INTERACT TO OTHERS?
I keep classes relatively small (max of 12 people) so that I can see everyone and check you’re doing the exercises correctly.
I have a large screen connected to my computer so that you are all clearly visible.
I do ask that you put your camera on during class as it's essential that I can see you to ensure you're exercising safely.
It is essential that you respect the confidentiality of other class participants. I do not share recordings of LIVE classes due to confidentiality issues.
You don’t have to talk to anyone else in the class if you don’t want to. You can remain on mute throughout. I would however encourage chatting to others in the class during and afterwards as it can be a good place to meet others in the same situation as you.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M DOING THE ON DEMAND VIDEOS CORRECTLY?
ON DEMAND videos are done without supervision or without any pre-screening. You will be exercising on your own. Please make sure you select the right level class for your ability. It’s always better to choose an easier level and make sure you do the exercises safely and correctly.
Please note the disclaimer at the start of each video and always work within your own limits, carefully listening to your body.
Please watch the ‘Principles and Preparation’ video prior to doing ANY of the classes. This is mandatory viewing for everyone before taking a class or viewing a video at The Ostomy Studio.
If you are unsure of which level is right for you, please contact me.
If you have any concerns about your ability to exercise or take part in classes, please consult your doctor, stoma nurse, surgeon or health care professional. By purchasing ON DEMAND videos you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.
CAN I DO A 'NORMAL' PILATES CLASS?
Yes. The whole point of this website is to provide you with the skills, knowledge and self awareness to modify and adapt your practice and movement patterns, so that you're exercising in a way where you feel strong and safe.
My goal with videos and classes at The Ostomy Studio is to help restore your core function, abdominal muscle strength and confidence. And to teach you how to exercise in a way which respects your stoma, yet enable to you do the movements that you enjoy.
Videos and classes here are about rehabilitation and education, so that ultimately you can go to any class or exercise group/session, safe in the knowledge that you know how to modify and adapt various exercises to suit your body.
That said, if you love the classes and my style of teaching, then you're welcome to keep coming forever :)
BOOKING & CANCELLATION FAQ
HOW DO I BOOK A LIVE CLASS FOR THE FIRST TIME?
Step 2. If I have any questions or things I need to follow up with you, I’ll be in touch to arrange a screening video call prior to your first class. If not, then you’re good to book in and get started.
Step 3. Select the class you want from the ‘Class Timetable’ and book and pay online via the Bookwhen system.
Step 4. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to Zoom and a password. Keep this safe and ready for the class. You’ll also receive a reminder 24 hours prior to the class time.
Step 5. Before your FIRST class, please watch the ‘Principles and Preparation’ video which is mandatory viewing for everyone new to my classes and videos.
Step 6. 5 minutes before the class start time please set yourself up with your mat, camera, any equipment and be ready to join the class on time
Step 7. During the class please PIN my video and put yourself on ‘mute’ for the duration of the class as this helps with audio quality during the class for everyone else. If you need to speak to me, just unmute yourself and wave !!
It’s super simple and the booking system is easy to use, so don’t worry. It all becomes easy once you’ve done it a couple of times.
HOW DO I DO ON DEMAND VIDEOS?
ON DEMAND videos are held in the ‘ON DEMAND VIDEO CHANNEL’ section of the website. This is where you’ll log in to watch and follow the videos in your own time. You’ll need to create a ‘log in’ with a password to access the videos.
Step 1. Read the 'Terms and Conditions' before subscribing.
Step 2. Choose the videos you wish to do. It's better to start with Foundations and work your way up. Videos are usually grouped into 3 classes of approx. 30 minutes.
The classes progress so please do them in order. It’s important to select the correct videos for your current ability, so read the class descriptions carefully.
Step 3. Before doing your FIRST class, please watch the ‘Principles and Preparation’ video which is mandatory viewing for everyone new to my classes and videos.
Step 4. Carefully read the ‘disclaimer’ at the beginning of each video prior to doing the class.
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY FOR LIVE CLASSES?
Live classes must be cancelled with 24 hours notice and you can choose to transfer your booking to another date or request a refund.
If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, you will not be refunded, BUT you can transfer to another date.
I do acknowledge that sometimes people are unwell and life is unpredictable, so if you are in a difficult situation and there is a reason for your cancellation please contact me to discuss. All cancellations, transfers and refunds are at the discretion of The Ostomy Studio.
CAN I GET A REFUND FOR ON DEMAND CLASS SUBSCRIPTION?
CAN I DOWNLOAD THE VIDEOS TO KEEP FOREVER?
You create a login to the ON DEMAND CHANNEL where you can view the videos any time you wish. I do not allow downloads. Please respect that the videos are filmed professionally and I have invested heavily in production of high quality films. Thank you.