My pain and vertigo are under control, and I have found the right ways to exercise so that I can feel good and reach my goals

Maria Bailey, Bronson Wellness Center Member

Maria Bailey (left) with Bronson Wellness Center personal trainer Dawn Thomas (right)

Back in 2008, Maria was suffering from vertigo as well as chronic pain in her lower back, neck and shoulders. She had become wheelchair bound, making it nearly impossible for her to enjoy the activities she once loved – like teaching water aerobics and running with her daughter. To help reduce the pain and vertigo, Dr. David Liscow, Maria’s primary care doctor, referred her to a physical therapist at Bronson Wellness Center (formerly, Shoreline Wellness Center).

“At first, everything was so hard. I was in constant pain and would randomly pass out from the vertigo,” Maria says. “I started working with a physical therapist, Sarah. She was able to help get my vertigo under control. Then I started working with a second therapist, Jim. He focused on my chronic pain and we made a lot of progress with managing it,” Maria explains. “One of the things that I really appreciated about Jim and Sarah was their ability to find the triggers to my issues, and then educate me so I knew how to move in ways that wouldn’t cause pain or dizzy spells. There is no question in my mind that I would not be where I am today without my physical therapy team.”

Once she graduated from physical therapy, Maria started working with Dawn Thomas, a personal trainer at Bronson Wellness Center. “Dawn has helped change my life,” Maria explains. “She has helped me reduce my pain, go from being in a wheelchair to now using a walker, and even helped me lose some weight. She is great at helping me create goals – both long and short term – and push my limits while making sure I don’t take it too far,” Maria says. “Currently, she has me working toward being able to walk without my walker. I still use it when I am alone, but we’re making progress!” Together, Dawn and Maria have created exercise plans that Maria can do alone at the gym and from the comfort of her home. They work out together every few months – evaluating Maria’s progress, reviewing her goals, and coming up with new, effective exercise plans.

“Bronson Wellness Center is such a great asset for our community,” Maria says. “Not only have I benefited from having access to amazing physical therapists and personal trainers, but the club offers so many other resources to help me live a healthy life,” she explains. “I love the cardio and strength training equipment. FitLinxx helps me keep track of my goals and reminds me of the settings I use on the strength training equipment. The pool is great and I have been able to start swimming again without getting dizzy. Plus, I really enjoy the cooking and nutrition education classes with Chris and Emma. The classes are really informative and I have been able to find new recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise try. I am always shocked when Chris has us try food that I didn’t think I liked, and I discover that it is actually pretty tasty!”

According to Maria, “It’s truly amazing how far I’ve come. My pain and vertigo are under control, and I have found the right ways to exercise so that I can feel good and reach my goals.”