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The power of Pilates

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Archer's Pilates

Archer Lossing of Archer’s Pilates will celebrate 10 years in business in October. She describes her business as a “restorative boutique Pilates studio.” J.L. Sousa/Register

Archer Lossing is her own best spokesperson.

The owner of Archer’s Pilates said she’s experienced the healing benefits of Pilates after suffering from the beginnings of a debilitating illness suspected to be multiple sclerosis.

Today, she is clear of the disease and experiences only minor symptoms.

Lossing’s own history has shown her the benefits of the strengthening techniques known as Pilates. She has found, in turn, that they have also helped many of her clients who suffer from a variety of types of chronic pain.

This year, she is celebrating her 10th anniversary of operating the practice as its sole proprietor.

Pilates is a series of exercises designed to promote stability from within the core, which is a set of muscles closest to the bone that are more than just the abdominals, Lossing said.

Typically, people tend to use the muscles in the front of their body. But Pilates restores a healthy muscle balance throughout.

“You’re using the muscles and the bones in the way they were designed to move,” Lossing said.

It’s as much an intellectual exercise as it is a physical one, she said.

“It’s not like going to the gym and plugging into the TV,” Lossing said.

Serving a range of clientele, Lossing says she has found that Pilates is effective at helping people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, joint replacement and other chronic pain issues.

Her goal is to help people regain their strength, maintain it, and then attain their goals, she said.

Archer’s Pilates offers eight classes a week including open studio time, as well as private sessions. Open studio time allows the members to independently rotate using her equipment.

Lossing’s classes are generally only four to six people, which allows her to help her clients individually.

“In my studio, you get one-on-one attention in the classes,” she said. “Your issues will be addressed directly.”

Before she taught Pilates, Lossing was a massage therapist.

Lossing grew up using holistic approaches such as yoga and going to chiropractic treatment with her mother, who became a role model to her, she said.

In 1983, at the age of 22, she was driving through Calistoga when she spotted a sign advertising massage. At the time, she had never heard of it, but the sign planted a seed, she said.

Two years later, she attended the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque.

She has practiced massage for almost 30 years.

Lossing began with Pilates in 2000, after an episode that doctors said appeared to be multiple sclerosis (MS). An MRI detected the disease.

Lossing said she believes Pilates interrupted the progression of her MS. Two MRIs in the past 10 years showed no sign of it.

While she still practices massage, she realized that the benefits tend to only last a short period of time. Pilates, however, helps people maintain the change, Lossing said.

“It is more enduring and empowering,” she said. “Really what I want to do is empower people to retain the results of the work we do together.”

To celebrate 10 years of being in practice, Lossing plans to hold an open house in October.

She hasn’t seen her practice change much in that time, since Pilates — developed in the early 20th century by athlete Joseph Pilates — is based on principles that tend to remain steady. However, Lossing has added new equipment to her practice.

She has also seen her own confidence grow as an instructor, and said she gets better results than she did when she started.

In her next 10 years, Lossing said she would like to grow by training another instructor in the techniques she uses. For the most part, however, she believes she has found her niche.

“I know the audience that I work well with,” Lossing said.

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