Debs Paterson (Founder of Pilates by Physio)
I graduated with a BSc (hons) Physiotherapy in 2000 and have had a varied career spanning the NHS, private sector and National sports teams. A career highlight was working for 5 years with The FA providing Physiotherapy for England Amputee and Partially sighted football teams, getting the chance to travel abroad to international tournaments.
Amputee rehabilitation was a career curveball, but one that I adored. It opened a fascination with movement control, muscle balance and rehabilitation of complex cases. Working with older patients who had lost limbs from disease, to young motor cyclists, and those injured by bomb blasts. The knowledge I gained in this role gave me the perfect foundations to build my Pilates career from.
During my (not so smooth) first pregnancy, I knew my body needed Pilates but there were no pregnancy classes on the Wirral. Since becoming a certified Pilates instructor, I have dedicated a lot of learning to pregnancy related issues and work closely with Pelvic health Physios to deliver specialist care for during and (long) after pregnancy.
I LOVE my job; Pilates by Physio has grown more than I could have imagined. I am blessed to have such an amazing team working alongside me who are equally as passionate about the benefits of Pilates. We are eternally grateful to be able to teach Pilates to our fantastic loyal clients who we really adore.
Before I introduce the team, a few random facts about me….
- I have met the queen!
- I worked on a Sheep station in Australia, I can drive a digger and herd sheep.
- I taught Pilates on a Super Yacht travelling around Italy.
I graduated in 1995 and following rotational posts started working within the speciality of oncology and palliative care. I feel honoured and privileged to have met so many amazing people and their families. This continues to be my passion in my NHS work.
After turning 40, I wanted to re-evaluate my life- wanting balance that focused on mine, and my families’ health and well-being.
Destiny was waiting in the shape of Pilates by Physio… it was a meeting that changed my life! I trained to be a certified instructor with APPI and have been teaching Pilates now for 3 years.
I feel that Pilates allows me, and my clients, to make the connection between mind and body through breathing and flowing movements. I love that! No matter how hard the day has been, Pilates always makes you feel better! I have an integrated approach to teaching; using feedback from the clients to inform the themes for the course. We set goals together for how they want to feel by the end of the block or what they want to have achieved, whether that is being able to do higher level exercise or to do an exercise with more ease.
I feel that Pilates by Physio are an amazing group of like-minded individuals, passionate about people and exercise; supportive, knowledgeable and always there for each other and the clients.
On a personal note, I am a simple soul who loves to spend time with my family, a bit of a tree hugger and partial to a pint of Guinness!
I gained my physiotherapy qualification (BSc hons) at Oxford Brookes University in 2009 having taken the long route into Physio with first studying Anatomy and Physiology. I have specialised in Musculoskeletal disorders in Liverpool Royal Hospital where I have worked since graduating.
I discovered Pilates – 15 years ago, I chose this as my go to exercise – attending every class on a Saturday morning even after being out the night before (my side planks never quite worked out on those mornings – I wonder why?)
I passionately believe Pilates ‘works’- it doesn’t matter why it works, it just does. It promotes good movement patterns; encourages correct breathing techniques and complements multiple different sports and normal everyday activities. It is a sport for everyone no matter their shape, size and ability. I did my training with APPI and am now a certified instructor. Having 3 wonderful children myself, I completed extra training in Ante and postnatal Pilates and love teaching these classes. I am in awe of all ladies who go through this amazing transformation and do so with a smile on their face.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching it and I hope my passion is reflected in my classes.
A few final facts about me… I have an EXTREMELY sweet tooth! I love Western Australia especially Nigaloo reef. I have once eaten jelly fish tentacles.
I have been actively involved in many sports, competing at national level in netball and regionally for swimming. This naturally led to choosing a degree in Sports Therapy, where I specialised in injury treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation, graduating with a first-class honours degree.
Through my time as a dancer and gymnast I had heard such great reports about Pilates. As a result, I wanted to pursue this as an adjunct to my Sports therapy, I have completed the APPI Matwork course. I am also embarking on training in GP referrals and Obesity and Weight Management Diploma level 4.
Over the last few years, I have worked as a Sports Therapist at several clinics across Merseyside treating musculoskeletal injuries and providing rehabilitation and pain management. Currently I work in the NHS as part of the Integrated Respiratory Service. Caring for patients with lung diseases and running rehabilitation classes. More recently supporting the rehabilitation of some Covid 19 survivors.
I am an avid adventurer….sailing the Caribbean, snorkelling in Bermuda, fishing in Bali, snowboarding in Andorra, undertaking a Jeep safari in Dubai, playing netball in Barbados.
I passionately believe life is short, and we need to exercise to look after our bodies and minds. Pilates is a game changer for so many and can be undertaken by anyone adapting to suit. My main aim for clients is to feel happier and more educated about their overall health and wellbeing!
I started teaching exercise classes back in 1984, after becoming somewhat obsessed with exercise when I was gifted a gym membership for Christmas.
In 1997 fate led me to a job as a Physiotherapy assistant in the NHS. It was here I became particularly interested in the treatment of back pain and Physiotherapy as a career. I initially trained as a Pilates instructor, so I could use it as part of my role as an assistant and later became certified with APPI.
After many years of extra studying, I Graduated from the University of Salford with BSc (hons) Physiotherapy in 2011. This was the hardest thing I have ever done and there were times I almost gave up, although now I think it is the best thing I ever did.
It is now 20 years since I completed my first Pilates course and I can honestly say I still love teaching it. It is so satisfying watching clients gradually progress through the different levels, watching their confidence grow, and their overall enjoyment that brings them back week after week.
Some facts about me!
I have 2 children and 8 grandchildren and another on the way!
My biggest passion and inspiration is my husband Geoff, who despite having a heart attack aged 36 and more recently diagnosed with heart failure, supports me daily and never gives in to anything!
I graduated in 2009 and commenced work immediately as a Physiotherapist in the NHS. I worked hard to progress into a senior clinician post. I currently work within the community – providing rehabilitation to a varied and wide range of people. I love the extra challenges the community brings and do my best to provide bespoke and meaningful treatment. I pay particular attention to hobbies, the patient’s lifestyle and clinical needs to give the best treatment possible.
I have always enjoyed sports and been active since as far as I can remember; joining the British gymnastics sport and going onto become a coach taught me a lot about being aware of posture and “body position”.
During my first pregnancy I found the joy of Pilates by Physio! I was able to look after my body during the incredible changes that occur during pregnancy and honestly believe the perfect birth had a lot to do with what I learnt during class. I believe I became “hooked” to Pilates as a form of exercise and it quickly became my staple to my physical and mental health. During 2018 I embarked onto an APPI Pilates teaching course. The opportunity to be able to empower others with this form of exercise and way of life is a blessing.
Some interesting facts about me are … I played the violin up to grade 5 and have performed in an orchestra at the age of 8, I have swam with turtles and have ran a half marathon.
After qualifying from Coventry University in 1999 I made the move to Liverpool where I met my husband Paul and made lifelong friends. My career has been focused on the treatment of musculoskeletal problems and for the past 5 years I have specialised in Limb Reconstruction Trauma. This is truly the most rewarding job as I support patients through the most traumatic events in their life and aim to return them to work, sport and “normal life”.
I have a love of sport and fitness and this is where Pilates fits in for me. I love the buzz of running and competing in triathlons, Pilates has allowed me to enhance my strength and reduce my risk of injury. It also allows me just to slow down a little and enjoy the moment. As a teacher, I particularly enjoy keeping everyone, no matter what age or fitness level, involved in exercise as the benefits are huge!
As Physiotherapists we always continue to develop ourselves and keep up to date with the latest research. This means we can really tailor exercises to suit you and help you towards your goals. I love delving that bit further and helping clients within 1:1 sessions.
When I am not being a physio and Pilates teacher… I’m a mum of 2 boys who always have a challenge on the horizon. You might often see me out on my bike, running on the beach or sitting happily with a cuppa with my family.
Leigh Mottram (Admin and PA)
I work as Debs’ personal assistant and manage the admin side of the business. After a successful career in banking, I took early retirement at the ripe old age of 25! After a twelve-year stint of raising my two boys I decided I wanted to put my ‘Monica style’ organisation skills back to good use!
Already friends with Debs through our children, she experienced my organisational talents from our boys’ football trips. As a keen runner, gym goer and general fitness nut I was delighted when Debs offered me a job. I love working within an industry that I am so passionate about, and despite being ‘back office’ I have learnt so much from Debs and the team. Having previously attended Pilates at my local gym then being invited along to Pilates by Physio classes, I soon discovered that Physio-led Pilates is in a league of its own. I adore working for Debs and the team. It is clear to me that they clients before everything else, this is so much more than a business, we really are all like one big happy family, staff and clients alike!
My fun facts…I once danced with Shakin’ Stevens, I have raised over £20k for charity and ran my own estate agents for 2 years!!