Client Stories

Clients, past and present, talk about their experiences with The Douglas Method...

Kathy talks about how The Douglas Method helped her rehabilitate from spinal surgery.


In this video Gail talks about how the Douglas Method helps her with MS.


More Praise from Satisfied Clients...

"I have enjoyed many years of classes under Susan’s fun and intuitive instruction. She always seems to know just the right bit of you to concentrate on, throughout each programme. Frequently she will say’ relax those shoulders’ and you do, realizing that you didn’t even know you were tensing your shoulders.

One particular episode she really helped with involved my right shoulder which was chronically tense due to bad posture at work It was painful and movement was very limited. Even lifting the kettle was difficult. I tried some physio but that didn’t really help. I felt consigned to live with a restricted and painful shoulder for ever.

Susan suggested deep massage, and on one quiet evening after class she began to massage my shoulder and gently move it around more than it had moved for months. It was the most incredibly painful experience and made me feel a bit giddy, but at the same time I could tell it was working as I could feel all the tension breaking up.

She did it very slowly and carefully, checking frequently that although painful I could tolerate what she was doing.

Afterwards my neck, arm and back were quite red and bruised.. But as soon as she stopped it was not painful: indeed there was a great feeling of renewal and my shoulder was restored to a full range of movement immediately. I have never looked back.

I became more aware of what had caused the problem in the first place, and once the tensions had been lessened I was able to maintain a better posture and the problem has not recurred

I was amazed that the result was so good and I would unhesitatingly recommend Susan in a similar situation.

She's great fun and lovely too."

Dr Gilchrist

H Dillon

"I was stiff, sore, and feeling like I was about a hundred when I first came across Susan's classes. I had various back issues, some more annoying than others, like a permanent ache under my right shoulder blade and on-off pain in my shoulders. It was annoying and I was worried that I might need to give up the dancing that I love. Chiropractic had made no real difference to it.

I'd done both Pilates and Yoga previously and knew straight away that Susan's approach was really different - much more about getting into the nuts and bolts of the how our bodies worked and what it meant if you couldn't do a particular move, rather than just trundling through the same routine every week. I learned so much about how my muscles work (and some that don't!)

It was also clear that Susan was really passionate about what she does and I really like that in someone I'm going to be relying on for help and advice.

I came out of classes feeling rejunvenated, more flexible, and (oddly) taller. But I still had some of the back-ache - so I decided to take some one-to-one sessions with Susan. These were fantastic - Susan managed to fix my back-ache and gave me a very simple exercise to do that keeps it away. She also made a huge difference to my shoulders.

(Plus she fixed my daughter's sore knee - that had flummoxed two GPs - in about 10 minutes.)

I keep on seeing Susan, because the things that caused my shoulder and back issues, like dancing and knitting and working on a PC are not going away. Basically the Douglas Method keeps me feeling fit, flexible and able to do my dance stuff - and I'm so thankful that I found it.

I'm always recommending the Douglas Method - and I recommend it to anyone reading this too!"

Helen Dillon


"I had hurt my back lifting my newborn out of the bath. When I say hurt, I could not physically move. My wife had to put me to bed.

Now, the back pain is gone and a historic knee issue I had was cleared up also. I had been attending physio for both. Susan was able to diagnose the problem over the phone!

After speaking to Susan I knew I was coming to the right place. The sessions let me master the excercises that I still do today.

I was the only man in the class but all the ladies were good fun. It's a very relaxed environment and everyone enjoys themselves.

I have already recommended the Douglas Method, because Susan gets results!"

Kyle Robertson

Stuart Younie
Stuart Younie

"Following a history of intermittent back problems since my mid thirties, I was struggling to manage the problem with physiotherapy and getting increasingly frustrated with the impact it was having on my training and ability to participate in the the sports I enjoyed. After reading up on the benefits of pilates I decided to give it a go, and found Susan's "Douglas Pilates" classes. I have been taking regular classes with Susan for the last two and a half years, during which time she was developing her own method.

I have no doubt that it has played a major factor in improving my back problems to the extent that I recently completed my first off road trail half marathon.

As an ex-fitness instructor I really appreciate Susan's teaching style which is focused on making sure you understand and master the basics before progressing to the more challenging exercises.

I would highly recommend The Douglas Method to anyone who wants to keep fit and healthy and you would struggle to find a more approachable and knowledgeable teacher than Susan Douglas."

Stuart Younie, Sport and Recreation Manager


Joining Susan’s class in September 2008, little did I know that as well as improving my flexibility and posture I would avoid surgery.

Recently retired from the workplace (mainly sedentary), and now caring for my six month old grandson three days a week, I realised how much I was enjoying being physically active again; but I also recognised that I would need more flexibility and strength for my body to function well and to keep up with the demands of a growing toddler. Pilates was the answer!

With Susan’s style of teaching, she has an in-depth understanding of how the body works from the inside out, progress for me was swift as I repeated the stretching and strengthening moves, little and often, at home. Soon I was enjoying the positive impact on body – and mind.

Unfortunately the following March, as a result of a chronic cough, I developed a prolapsed bladder and was referred to a consultant who recommended physio in the first instance but with the possiblity of future surgery to repair my pelvic floor. I was keen to avoid surgery (and the lengthy convalescence) and told the consultant I practiced pilates, attending a class where the teacher was happy to support and advise individuals. He acknowledged the benefits of pilates exercises for the pelvic floor area and agreed this as the best way forward for me, with a review in a year.

With Susan’s discreet guidance and supervision at my weekly class, of what to do and not to do, with regard to my condition, I continued with pilates paying particular attention to exercises strengthening the pelvic floor. I returned to my consultant in March 2010 and surgery was no longer necessary – however, the exercises continue.
Nearly three years on from my first class, I continue to enjoy and benefit from Susan’s wide knowledge of Pilates which she shares and delivers with true professionalism – and humour."

Sandra MacMillan


"I had a trapped nerve in my back causing numbness in arm and severe pain.

I was aware of Susan’s reputation through my wife and a family friend who had also been treated by Susan, both highly recommended her.

Her approach was straightforward and simple but very knowledgeable, put me at ease and gave me confidence in what she was doing.

Susan was able to quickly pinpoint the root cause of my injury and give me exercises to target the correct areas. This meant the effects are long lasting and permanent as opposed to a quick fix dealing with symptoms only. This has released the trapped nerve, reducing pain and numbness over time. I'm now back to full health.

Her knowledge and experience were invaluable and I would recommend her to anyone requiring similar treatment."

Steve M

"Susan provides me with professional sports therapy advice after I was recommended to see her by a Doctor friend. I had running injuries which were exacerbated by flexibility issues. I was very keen to seek professional advice.
Susan's approach was focused yet pragmatic. It was well suited to what I needed and seeing her in my own home made it very handy for me when I was busy at work during the week.
I have more flexibility in my lower body, which certainly has helped my running and enabled me to complete a very challenging 'ultra' endurance race in the Alps recently.
Susan is friendly, easy to talk to and professional in her approach. She is genuinely interested in the well being of her clients and remains interested in their post-treatment status."
Richard Bell

Praise for Susan's methods in her earlier incarnation of "Douglas Pilates"...

"I was advised by my physiotherapist to take up Pilates to improve my posture and general levels of fitness and strength. As an educational consultant and trainer myself I wanted to be sure that my Pilates instructor would do more than just ‘go through the motions’; someone who would be professional, blending their knowledge and expertise with enthusiasm. I struck gold with Susan.

I’ve gained so much – posture much more upright, greater upper-body strength, improved muscle tone and improved overall fitness. Yet all achieved in a setting full of humour and wit.

Susan sets the tone for the sessions creating an informal relaxed atmosphere. Yet clients become more knowledgeable about their bodies, gain an understanding of the theory behind the exercises and their outcomes. She skilfully enables clients to share the responsibility for making each session work so well.

Susan builds up a rapport with her clients, listening to and understanding their individual needs and responses. She relates activities to clients’ personal experiences, encouraging and enabling them to practice home and so reinforce the benefits gained in the classes."

Linda Montgomery 2011