Integrating rehabilitative services with Pilates in the Rivertowns
Karen Gstalder-Dring, a NY state licensed Physical Therapist, believes in a holistic approach to rehabilitation, maintenance and prevention. Karen has worked in a variety of traditional in-patient and out-patient settings, including New York Presbyterian Medical Center at Columbia University and Turner Physical Therapy in New York City. She has run her own private practice since 2000 where she enjoys combining her kinesthetic background with her manual skills in a Pilates-based rehabilitative setting.
Karen received a BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in 1988 and danced professionally for six years. A dance related injury in 1986 led her to her mentor, the late Pilates Elder Kathleen Stanford Grant, with whom she continued to study with for close to 25 years. Karen has taught in numerous Pilates studios throughout New York City.
She graduated summa cum laude with a masters in physical therapy from Long Island University in 1998, where she co-authored a research article published in The Journal of Manual and Manipulative Medicine.
Karen is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance and the American Physical Therapy Association and has spent many years active in continuing education programs, most notably from the Institute of Physical Arts.
"Karen is a highly experienced therapist. Working with Karen is a partnership. She carefully listens and prescribes exercises and treatment based on your symptoms. She is highly analytical and brings a wealth of knowledge and practice to each session. Karen has increased my awareness and understanding of my own movement patterns allowing me to make more effective and long lasting changes."
-- Sue B.
KGD Studio provides an open, restorative environment where clients receive a personalized therapy program designed to meet their unique needs. Each client works with Karen one-on-one for an hour session. Progressing at their own individual rate, the client's goals are related to movement, be it at the performance, maintenance or rehabilitative level.
A session at KGD Studio may involve posture evaluation, gait analysis, balance/coordination training, neuromuscular re-education, and cardio-vascular endurance training.
Common interventions may include: myofacial release, strain counterstrain, mobilization: soft tissue, joint, and neural tissue, muscle energy technique, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice and heat therapy.
In most cases, Karen uses the Pilates principles and equipment combined with her manual techniques, to achieve the desired functional outcomes. Its this unique blend of her expertise in movement and biomechanics, that provide her clients with such positive outcomes, enhancing their lives.
"Karen cured my extremely tenacious plantar faciaitis. She is very knowledgeable and experienced, and was very flexible in her hours to accommodate my schedule."
-- Phil W.
"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier." - Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86.
German born Joseph Pilates, was in England at the outbreak of World War I and was placed under forced internment. There he taught fellow camp members the concepts and exercises developed over 20 years of self-study and apprenticeship in yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman physical regimens. It was at this time that he began devising the system of original exercises known today as "matwork", or exercises done on the floor. He called this regimen "Contrology", meaning 'the science of control'. Transferred to another camp, he became a nurse/caretaker to the soldiers, and it was here that he devised ‘machines’ to rehabilitate his ‘patients’, taking springs from the beds and rigging them to create equipment, using beer keg rings to augment resistance. The original mat exercises were reproduced on these ‘machines’.
Joseph met his wife, Clara, on the boat to America. Once in NY, they established a studio and further developed the equipment and technique to challenge and support their clients, many of whom were professional dancers, to learn to move more efficiently.
Throughout the decades, the original six principles: concentration, control, center, flow, precision and breathing and the equipment itself have retained the essence of Joseph and his wife Clara’s vision. Karen incorporates evidenced-based practice into her use of the Pilates technique to foster ease of movement with her clients.
The links below will provided you with additional information about Joseph Pilates, his life, his work and subsequent generation of teachers:
"Karen has been a tremendous asset in injury prevention. Before meeting Karen I suffered from a string of sports related injuries; she has been an incredible help - improving my flexibility, core strength and how my body moves."
-- Adam R.
Karen practices at One Bridge Street, Suite 82 in Irvington, NY. This studio space is on the Hudson river side of the Irvington Metro North train station. When approaching Irvington on route 9 (Broadway) turn West on to Main Street, go down to the bottom of the hill, then turn right and go over the tracks. One Bridge Street is the first set of converted factory buildings you'll see. Suite 82 is around the corner from the Greek restaurant, MP Taverna. The entrance is across from the train tracks, and is the first door on your right when heading south toward Scenic Hudson Park. There is ample parking near the river. Please be mindful not to use MTA parking.