Barbe Kempf has been an avid tennis player for most of her life and not unlike many others, she has experienced her fair share of injury. In 2004, at age 52, Barbe had a knee replacement that got infected and had to be removed and redone. She was told her other knee would have to be replaced, but after over a year in rehabilitation with her first knee replacement, she dreaded the thought. Her only alternative to surgery was cortisone shots. After walking around with a limp and getting shots for a year, she was introduced to Muscle Activation Techniques™ – often abbreviated as MAT® at Yoga Integrated Science™.
Barbe saw Lauren Eirk for MAT® treatment. “After my first session, I could feel a difference,” said Barbe. “Lauren spent almost three hours with me with the consultation and treatment. I got off the table and I could feel that as I was flat-footed and that all of my weight was evenly distributed on my feet as opposed to compensating for pain. I really felt it!”
After a couple of weeks with MAT®, Barbe was feeling back to normal and was no longer walking with a limp. She was back on the court and surprised her opponents with her improved ability. Barbe said, “The year I came back to tennis after knee surgery, I was playing doubles. People knew I had a bad knee and would lob over my partner because they knew I couldn’t run. They took advantage of my weakness. They were surprised when I could run! So they couldn’t take advantage of me anymore.”
Over the years, Barbe has battled other issues and injury to her foot and shoulder with the most recent being a broken shoulder from a fall in 2014. Barbe has leveraged both MAT® and yoga therapy classes at Yoga Integrated Science™ to rehabilitate her injury.
Now at age 64, Barbe continues to go to MAT® as needed and practices yoga regularly to build strength and improve her tennis game. She comments on the benefits: “Yoga has given me a lot of strength and with that, I have more control over my tennis shots. When playing doubles at my age, there is some running, but the shots and being able to do a steady shot and placing the ball where you want to place it is the most important thing. Having strength in my arms and legs helps. MAT® keeps me out of pain. It used to be a regular ritual to ice my knees and take Advil in order to play. Now I don’t need that all. I think a lot of surgeries could be prevented if people went to MAT® and yoga therapy classes. I have no cartilage in my left knee and I’m still active.”
Barbe can also now do push ups as well. She explains, “I could never do a push up before yoga. I couldn’t do a girl push-up because my knees hurt. I couldn’t do a male push-up because I wasn’t strong enough. And now, for the first time, I can do push-ups! Yoga is so strengthening, it’s unbelievable.”
When asked about her favorite classes at Yoga Integrated Science™, Barbe commented, “The variety of classes is incredible and each class is unique. I feel confident going to any of them. I like that they incorporate what’s new, like barre, into yoga. They incorporate everything you need and I get a good full body workout every time I go and that’s important to me. The instructors are top notch and the studio is nicely maintained and welcoming. It’s just a lovely place that you want to go to.”