Chelsea Swan is an inspiring young Chiropractor and Pilates instructor. The Healthy Luxe team love reading her online blog and all the tips and tricks she offers on her Instagram page. Also, her smile is just infectious! We had the pleasure of chatting to Chelsea and learning more about what motivates her and how we can integrate some of her healthy habits into our busy lives. Let’s dive in!
Chelsea, tell us about what you do for work?
I am a Chiropractor and Pilates Instructor, which means that no matter which role I’m in, I help people to restore movement + function to their day-to-day life. My clinical interest is women’s health and pregnancy care from preconception to postpartum (so basically, forever). In fact, I’m in the middle of my Masters of Women’s Health Medicine at the moment!
What is the thing you are most passionate about?
I’m a huge advocate for women’s health – it’s a field where I honestly believe there can never be enough voices. Yes, our bodies are unique, but there are so many shared experiences that, for far too long, have been taboo to speak about. Women have been suffering behind closed doors, curled in the fetal position, being told their symptoms are normal or ‘just a part of being a woman and having a period’.
We have this amazing insight into our health each and every month – I believe every woman should have access to body literacy education. Once you understand how to interpret the symptoms of your menstrual cycle (and the rest of your body too), no one can take that knowledge away from you.
Tell us what a day in the life of Dr Chelsea looks like!
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest. Monday through Saturday is a combo of early pilates starts and late chiro finishes, so I don’t have a set routine (other than making sure I eat breakfast BEFORE I work or workout). The one thing that is constant is a long lunch break so I have time to head home and hang out with my dog, Winnie (she’s a total cutie).
What tips do you have for busy people who find it tough to fit exercising into their schedule?
Well, I follow two schools of thought here, and they’re suited to two completely different personalities. You’re either a make-time or a find-time person.
A make-time person will plan ahead and set aside time to exercise. Treat it like you would any other appointment, and honour that time that is carved out of your busy schedule. A make-time person will often find that if it’s not premeditated, it just doesn’t happen. So you plan around it, write it in a diary, get there on time (early) and show up for yourself.
A find-time person will just squeeze it in somewhere. It’s not always at the same time, or the same class, or even for the same amount of time. For a find-time person, trying to stick to a regular routine can end up leading to feelings of disappointment, shame and guilt when something inevitably disrupts the schedule (and then you probably just stop trying to fit it in). Instead, you just start. Five to ten minutes spent moving your body is better than nothing. And most of the time, once you start, you’ll realise you’re happy to keep going for whatever amount of time you have available.
The moral of the story? Work out which type of person you are (be honest) and then just workout 😉
What are your top Pilates tips?
No matter where you are, or who else is there, forget about everyone else in the room (except maybe your instructor)! Pilates is built on the connection of mind and body – your body, not anyone else’s. At the end of the day, it’s supposed to feel good, and if you spend the whole time worrying about what everyone else does, you leave feeling a little empty. Learning how to move your body takes time + practice, and the more you tune into yourself, the more you will get out of each and every class.
Who is your target customer?
Chiropractic is for every body. Pilates is for every body. I love helping people who are eager to learn about their body, improve their health and ultimately achieve their goals. Sometimes the focus is just on moving from a pain state to a pain-free state. Other times it’s about feeling that extra 10% better so you can handle whatever the world throws at you with ease.
What’s the vision for your business?
I dream of creating my own clinic and movement space that marries the best of chiropractic and pilates together. The kind of place that you walk into, let out the breath you didn’t even know you were holding, and know that you’ll be seen, heard and understood. Until then, I’m using this time working for other people to learn and grow as a practitioner and instructor (hello online masters, online reformer training, and seminar weekend getaways).
If you could teach your clients one thing, what would it be?
My hope is that every person leaves their class or appointment with a little bit more knowledge of themselves and confidence to be the authority on their own body. You know what feels normal (or what feels strange, confusing, uncomfortable, or not-quite-right). You know when movement feels good (or not-so-good). Too many people lay their problems on the table and wait for someone else to come and fix them. The best healthcare team will give you the tools and knowledge to fix them yourself.
Tell us a bit about your blog, and what topics you talk about!
There’s a bit of lag time with my blog updates at the moment, I have full-time work and part-time study to thank for that. You can find me sharing the little gems of information over on Instagram @chelseaswanchiropilates and then the bigger topics (like period health, hormonal conditions, supplements, contraception) popping up a little later on the blog.
What is it about your training that makes you unique?
Whether it’s in the clinic or in the studio, everything I do is to get you moving and keep you moving in a way that feels good for you. I know you’re busy and you’ve got things that just need to get done, so instead of telling you to stop training, or working, or give you unreasonable restrictions for home, I’ll work with you to make sure you can keep doing those things to the best of your ability.
When it comes to your chiro care, I’m not just thinking about your spine. I’m thinking about your hormones, your stress levels, your pelvic floor, your exercise, work and family commitments, and so much more. It’s all connected, sometimes we just have to dig a little deeper to find out how.
What do you enjoy most about your work/ How long have you been doing it?
I get to help people every day! I’ve grown up working in health clinics and making the transition from behind the desk to seeing my own clients over the last 4 years has been so rewarding. I meet so many interesting people and really get to the see the full spectrum of humanity.
Plus, I get to move every day. That’s a huge bonus.
You can learn more about the lovely Chelsea Swan over on her website.