A life-long dancer, Christina Maher saw firsthand how strenuous dancing can be on the body. The Thomasville native began dancing in local studios at the age of three. She continued her dancing career at The University of Georgia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in dance, and she later earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance Education from The University of North Carolina.
After a short post-college stint in public relations, Maher found herself being pulled back to her true passion—dance. But this time as an instructor.
Maher went on to serve as a ballet instructor and program director for Savannah Arts Academy, a visual and performing arts high school in Savannah, Georgia. It was during her tenure at Savannah Arts that Maher became interested in injury prevention, movement behavior, and therapeutic yoga and Pilates.
“As a dancer in the studio, you are taught to focus on perfecting the art of dance,” Maher said. “But as a teacher, you have this responsibility to keep your students safe. I knew I had to do everything I could to help prevent injuries. But I also wanted to incorporate methods that would prepare my students for their dance career after high school. I wanted to be sure their bodies would allow them to dance as long as they wanted to.”
A genuine desire to help her dancers even more sparked a second career path for Maher—as a physical therapist.
“Dancers use their body, but they really don’t learn about it,” said Maher. “It seemed like there was this gap between the art of dance and the science of movement, and I’d always felt like it was a disservice to dancers. I wanted to bridge the gap, so that’s why I went back to PT school.”
Maher went on to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University. After graduation, she began her new career as a physical therapist working in outpatient PT clinics. In 2018, Maher, her husband, and their two children decided to return home to Thomasville to be closer to family. In September of 2020, Maher fulfilled her dream of opening her own practice–The Method.
Located in Thomasville, The Method is a physical therapy and wellness clinic. But their treatment approach may be slightly different than what you’d expect.
“We’re a small practice, and we pride ourselves in offering a one-on-one skilled care approach to address dysfunction and pain and promote physical wellbeing,” said Maher. “But how we’re really different is we incorporate mindful movement strategies and Pilates-based treatment into all our therapy and rehabilitation services. Much like dance, our approach to therapy allows you to enjoy a fully customizable experience, which, in turn, leads to a faster recovery.”
In addition to physical therapy, The Method offers group barre classes and private Pilates sessions using the Pilates mat, reformer and tower equipment. The classes are led by Maher, who is also a certified yoga instructor and certified Pilates instructor.
“We’ve all heard the saying find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never work a day in your life. There’s never been a truer statement for me. Opening The Method feels so right. I’m able to treat patients the way I’ve always wanted to treat them,” said Maher.
THE METHOD THOMASVILLE
The Method offers customized physical therapy treatment for all musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. The practice specializes in neuro rehab, dance medicine, geriatric care, Pilates-based rehab, women’s health, Parkinson’s disease, balance disorders and fall recovery, joint replacement, and low back/neck pain.
Location: 311 North Dawson Street in Thomasville.
How to make an appointment: Call (229) 236-5005.
Group Barre Classes
The Method Barre class is a 55-minute total body, low impact classic barre workout to improve strength, flexibility, body awareness and cardiovascular endurance. The class is set to engaging music in an inviting environment to motivate clients of all fitness levels.
Location: The Center for the Arts, 600 East Washington Street in Thomasville.
How to register: Visit vagaro.com/themethodthomasville.
Pilates is the practice of specific controlled movement and breath with a focus on core and spinal support, which builds strength, improves flexibility and enhances postural awareness. The Pilates Method allows each client to experience a new level of muscle control and awareness and is endlessly adaptable to whatever challenge the body may present, whether it be a chronic illness, injury-related pain, or being in subpar shape.
Location: 311 North Dawson Street in Thomasville
How to make an appointment: Call (229) 236-5005.
Written by: Megan A. Powell | Photography by: Brandon Pham
One thought on “The Method: A Mindful Approach to Movement”
Christina is my Pilates instructor. Prior to the many surgeries and physical complications, I had Pilates sessions several times a week for more than 11 years with a wonderfully qualified Pilates instructor. My life has turned around since God hooked me up with Christina. Muscles do have memory! Christina is awesome ! She modifies my Pilates instruction to my physical capabilities. I can’t tell you enough how much my physical as well as mental statuses have improved!1️⃣