Through the Lens of Master Instructor Julie Selwood: From Scoliosis Diagnosis to Teaching Scolio-Pilates
Julie’s Diagnosis and Pursuit of Movement as a Cure for her own scoliosis.
It is safe to say that Scolio-Pilates Master Instructor, Julie Selwood, has earned a deep understanding of scoliosis. This is her personal scoliosis story. From diagnosis to being told she’d be in a wheelchair by age 30, becoming a professional dancer, and now a Certified National Pilates instructor and teacher, and Scolio-Pilates Master Instructor. She inspires us all to find our determination to pursue knowledge and passion.
Already a devoted young dancer, Julie’s journey began like a lot of scolis at her yearly physical when she was 11 years old. Her diagnosis was accompanied by instructions to pursue a career in dance because, without it, she could be in a wheelchair by age 30. She was told to keep moving — it was the best cure for scoliosis. This sparked our devoted young dancer to life as a professional ballet dancer, then Pilates instructor, and now a 20+ years Certified Pilates trainer/ Teacher Trainer and Scolio-Pilates Master Instructor.
Discovering Scolio-Pilates and its Benefits
Julie, a National Pilates Instructor, discovered Scolio-Pilates in Paris in 2015. Karena Thek, founder of Scolio-Pilates, came to Paris to teach a seminar in the studio where Julie was working. It piqued Julie’s interest as a Pilates instructor and a scoli. After a day of learning, Julie spent the evening practicing the new breath work and felt the difference in the morning when she found a new breath capacity she had never had. She was immediately ready to deepen her knowledge for people with scoliosis and for everyone. Scolio-Pilates teaches about imbalance, and Julie knew she could apply the work to all who suffer due to some imbalance.
“Once you understand how to read a body and spine precisely, you can apply this information to every body, every spine, with or without scoliosis. Wherever there is an imbalance in the body,” she said. “As a professional, it’s wonderful because it opens up your knowledge toolbox.”
The Emotional Weight of Scoliosis and Building a Supportive Community
The word “scoliosis” holds significant emotional weight, as it sometimes encompasses feelings of being different, insecure, and longing for balance and confidence. For Julie, it is essential to emphasize the importance of nurturing and encouraging scolis to understand their own spines and to create exercises that work to their advantage. Additionally, it’s important to foster a sense of ease, not struggle, and remind them that they are not alone. The Scolio-Pilates community created by Karena has been a transformative and rewarding experience for Julie. She feels empowered to make a difference and shares her passion for spreading this knowledge to prevent others from suffering. She believes there is enough information available today to alleviate the burden of scoliosis and is dedicated to passing on this valuable information and positively impacting lives.
The Unique Approach of Scolio-Pilates in Treating Scoliosis and Sharing Knowledge as a Master Instructor
Julie states, “There are many methods for scoliosis treatment, but Scolio-Pilates ensures that clients understand how to move their bodies into their new alignment and then continue to move once properly aligned. That is something that’s, I think, very different to other forms of corrective treatment because treatments are generally completely static.”
As a master instructor, Julie loves sharing her knowledge. She teaches Scolio-Pilates Modules 1 and 2 online and in person from her home studio in Germany. She loves helping professionals build upon their foundation of movement knowledge because “there’s nothing richer in life than continuing education,” she said. “Scolio-Pilates is an opportunity for people to grow their professional skills to apply a deeper understanding of structural changes or changes within the body that may not have been apparent in their initial learning process.”
Julie’s main advice for new Scolio-Pilates instructors is: “When in doubt, leave it out.” She encourages novice instructors to ask questions and never apply information they are uncertain about. She also encourages instructors to communicate with their clients to know how they feel; seeing clients with scoliosis should be a positive experience!
Scolio-Pilates, a supportive community, and a proactive approach
Lastly, Julie is thankful for the community Karena has created, “such a positive, connected group,” she said. In particular, the fact that Karena continues to research and share that information with the group actively. “Without proactivity for any pathology, change won’t happen. Change is available once the knowledge has been spread. I think that that’s something that we can all be super grateful for,” Julie said,” because there are so many people that are suffering, and we really can help them to make a difference in their lives.”
Julie’s personal journey, expertise, and determined commitment to providing relief and promoting well-being for individuals with scoliosis inspire both practitioners and those seeking a better understanding of this transformative field. Julie, an NCPC certified Pilates Instructor, and a Scolio-Pilates Instructor, teaches and sees clients in her studio in Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg in Germany, and online.
You can find Julie on Instagram or email her directly.
Julie is fluent in English, German, and basic French.