(Carol Jepson, July 19)
I attended Body Control Pilates for a few years then took a long break from it due to the instructor moving. I tried other Pilates classes but I was never comfortable with the level of guidance in the classes. Then I discovered Louise and once again the superiority of Body Control Pilates classes shone through. I don’t have any particular back issues and having worked out in a gym on a regular basis I thought I was in general quite a fit person, however, you soon discover everything is not quite as you think. Body alignment may feel correct to me but under Louise’s watchful eye I find myself being moved into the correct position during each session. The simplest of exercises are often the most challenging, it is all about how you perform a movement using the correct muscles and joints. Pilates is great for those with any physical issues, backs, hips etc but everyone should consider Pilates with Louise and Megan. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge each session trying to move correctly. Megan has had excellent training under Louise’s supervision and Louise’s experience means every session is constructive, safe and most of all fun. I highly recommend you give it a try.

(Alexandra Brown, March 2019)
I have been doing Pilates with Louise since late August 2018. I was in a bad place at this time and knew I needed to do something about my pain and posture. I have thyroid issues and was diagnosed with chronic pain shortly after my first episode, partly due to the enlarged goitre in my throat making it feel difficult to breathe, and tensing/changing my posture around this. Although I was exercising 5 days per week, this did not seem to be helping my pain or posture. Then, in the space of 8 months, I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency (now resolved), viral meningitis/sepsis and borderline adrenal crisis, post-viral fatigue, a genetic cholesterol disorder and then De Quervain’s thyroiditis (for the second time in under two years). I knew that something had to change, and a supervisor of mine recommended Louise, who had also really helped her chronic pain.
7 months on, and I feel like a different person. My posture has visibly improved, and so has my shoulder and neck pain. I can actually lift every day items, children, weights etc. without pain, which makes such a difference to my happiness. I can sit at my desk for longer periods without pain, and I am much more aware of my posture. Louise is so knowledgeable and explains the exercises so well. The class is such a welcoming environment- Megan, who has also started teaching our class, is wonderful as well and it is great to have their expertise.
To supplement classes with Louise, I have received physio from the Walton Centre and Laryngeal physio as part of speech and language therapy, many of the exercises I have been given are part of my classes with Louise, and this ensures that I keep doing them! I also complete three light weight sessions per week and two runs, and stretch little and often throughout the day. I also have a mandibular advancement device and sometimes receive botox to help with bruxism and jaw tension.
I had a postural analysis completed in October 2018 as part of a sleep apnoea assessment, only 5 weeks after starting with Louise. Fast forward to February 2019 and the repeat of this assessment showed significant improvements ( the Oct’18 analysis showed an effective Head weight of 23.2kg, instead of a norm of 4.1kg….this has now improved to 13.9kg)
I cannot thank Louise and Megan enough!!

(Elaine – Dec’ 14)Pilates has really helped my back problem!
In early 2012, I was experiencing lower back pain on a regular basis, and it had started to affect my          everyday life.  As a fit and healthy person, exercising most days at the gym, with boxing classes, circuit training, weights, yoga and other activities, I found myself missing classes because of back pain, which was having a negative effect on my fitness and my lifestyle.  I could no longer go walking in the mountains, which was also a regular activity.  So, all in all, things weren’t looking too good.
After being referred to an orthopaedic surgeon at Warrington Hospital, I had an MRI scan, was given Cortisone injections to relieve the pain, and the consultant recommended me to see Louise Mercer for Body Control Pilates instruction.  He said that Pilates was the best exercise to help support the spine, and strengthen the core muscles around it, and that she was the person to see.
I had a one-to-one consultation with her the same week and started lessons straight away. I started to feel all was not right with my back problem a couple of months before Christmas 2013, as I was experiencing increasing pain which most of the time was radiating all the way down my left leg, and I had started to stoop forwards quite badly.   An X-Ray in February 2014 showed that my spine had actually failed – a condition called ‘Spondylolysthesis’ which confirmed that my spine had slipped at L4/L5 level, and looked as if it was in two pieces.
Naturally I was shocked and upset at the diagnosis and was told that I needed surgery to correct the condition.  My consultant advised that I carry on with Pilates, as much as possible, as that was probably helping to keep me going, and to take anti-inflammatory medication when needed, which I did, exercising most days, and going to Louise’s class weekly.
I reached a stage where I could walk, albeit a little slower than normal, and had developed a limp, but the minute I stood still, my left leg would start to shake and my back pain would get worse immediately, so I needed the surgery quickly. I had my operation in September 2014  and all went well.
The reason I’m writing this, is because I want thank Louise, and to let people know how important Pilates has been to me, and my recovery from this condition.My surgeon told me that he could actually see that the muscles were strong, and that I had done the Pilates exercises properly and regularly to keep my spine supported and strong, even when it had failed, and needed ‘fixing’!  It seems that the Pilates had helped to keep me going until I could have the surgery.
I can’t explain my gratitude, for the help and expertise of both my surgeon and Louise, they have pulled me through a very difficult time, and now I’m totally committed to my Pilates as a result.  It’s enjoyable, and really does help.  It’s now 4 months since my surgery, and I’m well on the way back to fitness, and back in my original Pilates class with Louise.   My initial physiotherapy exercises after surgery were all Pilates based.  I do them religiously every day, have increased the amount that I do, and also walk two miles twice a day to keep everything moving.  I have no pain now, just a little stiffness occasionally, and I put that down to regular exercise, with expert help from Louise and my consultant. I would recommend Louise and Body Control Pilates to anyone, at any age or fitness level.  I have told everyone I know about how good it is for the body, it’s not just for people with a problem, anyone can benefit.  My husband and most of my friends now practice Pilates, and they’re seeing results!
Thank you Louise, your classes are great fun, and really help to keep my back healthy and strong.

(Jackie Brown, July ’14)
I have been seeing Louise for a number of years and I was borderline disabled. The change in my life and capabilities has been nothing less than remarkable. I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Louise has given me back my life!  Louise is excellent.