Zing Wellness, Harpenden
Taking a Holistic Approach To Your Wellbeing
Zing Wellness is run by husband and wife team, Angela and James Rake, in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
We aim to put the zing back into your life utilising Pilates, restorative movement, ScarWork, massage and hypnobirthing.
We work with you to enhance your posture and alignment, strengthen your body, address soft tissue tension, improve breathing habits, address muscle weakness and anything else that might be holding you back from achieving your goals.
We take a holistic approach looking at your whole lifestyle and very much work to embed your practice into your everyday life.
Once we help you reach your goals we believe in preventative self-care so you can stop tension and bad habits creeping back.
When we are not teaching pilates or treating clients we are kept active by three young and energetic children and an even more energetic dog. We enjoy family days out, pyjama days, food and lots of chocolate. We used to enjoy sleep too but now we take it when it comes.
How Angela Discovered Pilates
I discovered Pilates when I was suffering from chronic pain and awaiting a hip replacement due to congenital hip disorder. I had been practising yoga and going to the gym but was still in horrendous pain. Some bright soul told me to find a Pilates class as it would help strengthen my core and the muscles around my hips and I have to say that was the best advice I have EVER had. So, thanks to trusty google I discovered a physiotherapy clinic near my work and started seeing a physiotherapist, having regular massage and attending 3-4 Pilates classes a week. It was utterly life changing!
The classes helped me build up my muscular strength, dramatically improve my posture and most importantly, better cope with the stresses of chronic pain. I hadn’t realised how much Pilates would teach me body awareness so that I could take what I learned in the studio and embed it into everyday life.
Most importantly I really enjoyed the classes and however stressed I was when I entered the class I always came out feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. This had a massive impact on my mental wellbeing as anyone with chronic pain will tell you it can lead to you feeling pretty isolated.
Thanks to a number of years of dedicated Pilates practice, holistic self-care and some huge lifestyle changes I went into the operating theatre to have both my hips replaced as strong as possible and since my last hip replacement I am TOTALLY PAIN FREE.
When I had the wonderful opportunity to start a family and had my first child I realised how much care is lacking during pregnancy and postnatal period. My NCT course prepared me for childbirth but did not prepare me for motherhood. My baby was admitted to special care, had tongue tie, suffered with reflux and although I didn’t know at the time was also deaf so that explained why he liked to be attached to me at all times. The stresses of this and the sleep deprivation took its toll on me both physically and mentally. I had quite a medicalised birth and a cough and cold soon highlighted that I was suffering with urinary incontinence and unbeknownst to me at the time I also had a prolapse . I was told by my GP this was all to be expected after having a baby and that I should live with it. Beyond the GP, I didn’t know where to turn for help and I was too busy in the throws of motherhood to really investigate much further so I suffered with the symptoms until I started my Pilates training.
My Pilates training opened my mind in an indescribable way and ever since I completed my training I have been thirsty to learn everything I can to help myself and the women I serve. I have completed a number of specialist pregnancy and postnatal Pilates and exercise training courses which have helped me rehabilitate my pelvic floor, have two incredibly positive birth experiences, regain my core sensibly and after my third baby I was told by a gynaecologist I have pretty much rehabilitated my prolapse. Most importantly though, my clients achieve results over and over again, be it by rehabilitating their diastasis recti, strengthening their pelvic floor, having a positive birth experience, becoming pain and niggle free and getting strong.
See what my clients say about me…
Angela’s Inspiration To Train To Be A Pilates Teacher
My own personal experiences inspired me to train to be a Pilates teacher. I initially wanted to deepen my knowledge about my own body but soon realised I was deeply passionate about helping others experience the benefits of Pilates and restorative movement. Pilates is so simple but often overlooked as a form of preventative care and rehabilitation.
Angela’s Pilates Training
I trained with Allison Swan, founding member of the Pilates Foundation and Independent Pilates Teaching Association, gaining a Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Pilates. This was no mean feat as it involved nearly 600 hours of lectures, home study, practical training and teaching practice whilst working full time in London and being a first-time mum. I know, what an achievement, right?
This comprehensive training has provided me with a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology, health and fitness, Pilates exercises including Joseph Pilates’ original repertoire and more modern-day pre-Pilates. It has also provided me with extensive knowledge of working with those rehabilitating, older adults and pre and postnatal women.
My training covered most common pathologies and I have had many successes working with clients with conditions such as unexplained back pain, arthritis, spinal disc injury, scoliosis, hypermobility, neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Most importantly, I am so fascinated by my work that I am always striving to learn more be it through listening to my clients, training, reading, or collaborating with other health professionals.
My passion for working with the pregnant and postnatal population led me to do lots more specialist pre and postnatal training including:
- Rachel Rafiefar Thoughtful Body Pregnancy and Postnatal Postgraduate Assessment in June 2015.
- Realising that this was an area I was truly passionate about and wanted to specialise and immerse myself in, I went on complete Heather King Smith’s Restoring the Core (Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions and Diastasis Rectus) course with Mbodies in March 2017.
- In July 2017, I completed an intensive period of training on Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness courses. I completed her Support Your Floor, Diastasis Recti Recovery, Pilates for Menopause and Pre and Postnatal training courses.
- Still thirsty for more knowledge in November 2017 I completed my Advanced CPD in Modern Post Natal Assessment, Core Restore & Functional Exercise Programming with Burrell Education, leading Women’s Wellness, Fitness & Therapy Educator.
- I also apply a lot of what I learned in Jessica Coveley’s Practical Fascial Release Methods for Movement Professionals course in my practice which I attended in April 2017.
- In April 2018 I completed Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness Rocking and Rolling to Release.
Angela’s Hypnobirthing Training
Seeing the benefits of relaxation and breath work in my pregnancy Pilates classes and experiencing the benefits of hypnobirthing during my three experiences of childbirth, I decided to train to be an Independent Hypnobirthing Practitioner with Dani Diosi of MamaSerene.
In January, 2019 I qualified and started running monthly group hypnobirthing classes as well as 1-2-1 hypnobirthing courses. I also launched my Move & Bloom pregnancy classes which combine pregnancy Pilates and hypnobirthing.
James’s Inspiration To Train To Be A Massage Therapist
For many years I suffered with back ache and poor posture which was the result of working in the wine trade, whisky trade, logistics and financial services working long hours and enduring dreadful commutes. I decided to try a massage to see if that could help relieve some of the tension and what instant relief it gave me. The benefits one massage gave me was amazing. With a bit of a nudge from my wife, it prompted me to try a weekend taster massage course with the London School of Sports Massage where I learnt how to do a basic massage.
James’s Massage Therapy Training
This inspired me to pursue a career change in part because it was fascinating learning about the body and muscles and how everything worked, but also because I had several massages over the weekend and quite enjoyed them!
Keen to get moving I signed up to an intensive course with Premier Global who are one of the prominent and highly regarded schools of Personal Training and Massage.
The course covered all aspects of how the body works including the digestive system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system and, of course, the structure, function and anatomy of the major muscle groups. This was phenomenally interesting and exciting as with each new technique I learnt it was possible to see the benefits to my fellow students. I was really looking forward to treating clients from this point.
Once I had qualified with a level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage in 2016 I was eager to start treating clients. I started off slowly but have since gone on to treat hundreds of clients from pregnant ladies who have returned as postnatal clients, rehabilitating clients who have become clients with a regular massage maintenance treatment and sporty clients who regular come to prepare for an event or recover afterwards.
To be able to better support our ever growing pregnant and postnatal client base I decided to further my training with Burrell Education completing the Pregnancy Massage 2-Day CPD, including postnatal massage and remedial therapy.
James’s ScarWork Training
During 2019 I completed Burrell Educations C-section, Hysterectomy and Abdominal Scar Immersion training in Feb and in May I completed Restore Therapy’s ScarWork Therapist certification with Emma Holly.
James’s Oncology Massage Training
In August 2019 I qualified in Oncology Massage with Susan Findlay at NLSSM.
In November 2019 I qualified in Hot and Cold Stone Massage with Gateway Workshops.
Why James Loves His Job
I enjoy providing clients relief from their pain and helping many sporting clients to reach their potential. I have had many successes with clients with conditions such as tension headaches, frozen shoulder, hypermobility, back issues, shoulders or neck niggles and general aches and pains for the many people spending excessive hours travelling and working long hours at desks. The relief massage provides for stress and anxiety is really demonstrable meaning many clients make their treatments an integral part of their self-care. I am truly proud to have been able to help my clients improve their lives with massage. It is a wonderful thing and gives me huge amounts of job satisfaction.
See what my clients say about me…