Pilates Design Studio: Dedicated to Improving Clients’ Physical, Mental Health

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WATCHUNG, NJ – An encounter with one person can change your life. For Karen S. of Millington that person is Danielle Conner, the owner of the Watchung-based Pilates Design Studio. “For me, life changed in December 2019 when I met Danielle. At the time, I was searching for a facility in […]

WATCHUNG, NJ – An encounter with one person can change your life. For Karen S. of Millington that person is Danielle Conner, the owner of the Watchung-based Pilates Design Studio.

“For me, life changed in December 2019 when I met Danielle. At the time, I was searching for a facility in the area to take Pilates classes to improve my overall strength,” said Karen. 

As a physical therapist with over two decades of experience, Karen understood the importance of performing exercises correctly and also has an appreciation for the benefits Pilates has to offer. “I needed an instructor to work with me to rehabilitate from overall weakness due to medical issues I experienced for two years prior to our encounter,” she said.

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Those issues included neurological symptoms, vestibular symptoms, weakness, fatigue and movement dysfunction. However, within a few minutes of interacting with Conner, Karen said she began to feel comfortable sharing the frustration for her inability to treat herself.

“At this point, all my diagnostic tests were normal, but my symptoms were still present,” said Karen, who’s initial complaint was pain and dysfunction of her right sacroiliac joint – where the spine and pelvis fuse. While Conner was able to alleviate the problem during their first session, she also noticed some instability with Karen’s eye movements and expressed concern that vestibular issues were presenting. 

“Karen explained that the real reason why she came in was because of a vestibular issue no one could figure out because all of her test results were coming back normal,” Conner said. “She’d read that I was a certified Z-Health Trainer experienced in neuroplasticity and was hoping that this would be the answer to her neurological symptoms. This absolutely was a game changer for her.”

Karen began attending private sessions twice a week, with Conner utilizing the Z-Health method, a curriculum of applied neuroscience assessments and drills that focuses on the body’s visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems. 

According to Conner, these systems work together to provide input to the brain, the brain then interprets this information and then creates an output through movement and behavior. If there is an issue with any of these systems, the brain cannot interpret the input clearly resulting in poor signaling patterns that can cause chronic pain, balance and coordination issues and overall body and behavior dysfunction. 

“The Z-Health curriculum provides a unique way of training these three systems to create the change needed for stronger brain function and signaling, resulting in alleviation of chronic pain, improved balance and vision, positive changes in learning and behavior and more efficient movement patterns that increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of injury,” said Conner.

Karen felt her body respond, in a positive way, by the end of her first session and reports having less pain and decreased muscle tightness along with improved movement. “With Danielle’s extensive training in Z-Health, she was able to detect abnormal eye movement and movement compensations shortly after our introduction,” Karen said.

She continued to attend sessions twice a week and within a month was ‘pain free, more alert, had improved sleep and improved posture.’

“Karen’s body has completely transformed. Her overall body function has improved giving her an increase in muscle tone and strength,” said Conner, adding, “Her body has literally changed shape! She feels strong and confident in her body now, and it shows.”

“Danielle blends a brain-based training system with Pilates exercises to offer her clients with a multitude of issues, tools to achieve success. I am continually impressed at her ability to pick up on my body’s cues, identify and address issues to alleviate symptoms within an hour session,” said For Karen, adding that working with Conner has helped her improve both her personal and professional life.

“Personally, I am physically and mentally stronger than I have been in years and, professionally, she introduced me to treatment tools to gain better results with my own patients,” Karen said. “A year later, my body is literally transformed. I will be forever grateful for our chance encounter.”

About the Pilates Design Studio

Pilates is a system of exercises that uses special apparatus designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness. In addition to offering one-hour, one-on-one instruction and group classes customized to fit each client’s individual needs, the Pilates Design Studio is also the only New Jersey studio to offer Body Balance suspension training and Neuroscience based drills, though the Z-Health Education System, to help stop chronic pain and create efficient movement patterns.

The Pilates Design Studio, located in the Shawnee Building – Suite B-1 (at the corner of Shawnee Drive and Mountain Boulevard), features five rooms with machines divided up more to allow for better client privacy and to enable the four certified instructors the ability to teach at the same time without crowding each other. Additionally, space offers a room dedicated specifically to the Pilate Design Studio’s neuroplasticity work. 

All guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and the New Jersey State Department of Health are being strictly enforced.

A complimentary private class is offered to all new clients. For more information, email Danielle Conner at www.pilatesdesignstudio.com or visit  and https://www.tapinto.net/towns/north-plainfield-slash-green-brook-slash-watchung/articles/pilates-design-studio-of-watchung-specializing.


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