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Meet Caroline Johnson of Belly Rebuild in Dedham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Johnson.

Caroline, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been always been a fit and active person, devoted to working out and running. After my 3rd pregnancy, my body, in particular my belly, didn’t bounce back the way I was used to it feeling and looking. One day, I was doing Pilates and happened to have my hand on my stomach, and realized that I could sink my fingers into my belly, which I knew wasn’t normal. I had heard of the condition called diastasis recti, which is a separation of one’s abdominal muscles that frequently happens after pregnancy, and thought that this may be what I had. After doing some research and measuring myself, I discovered that I had a large 8-finger diastasis after the pregnancy, which went undiagnosed by medical staff. Additionally, I had developed an umbilical hernia from doing planks, push-ups, and crunches in an effort to get my stomach flat again. I didn’t want to have surgery, so I started to look into programs to rehabilitate diastasis recti and found the Tupler Technique®. Unfortunately, there weren’t any professionals in the area to work with, so I decided to try doing it remotely on my own. I dedicated myself to following the program and I got amazing results…my stomach was flat again, my pelvic floor was stronger, and my core was stronger than ever! After closing my diastasis and seeing first-hand the dramatic results that can be achieved from following the program, I was inspired to apply to the Tupler program to become a Tupler Technique® professional in order to provide other women with the help and resources to close their diastases and rebuild their cores. After going through an intensive training program with Julie Tupler, I opened Belly Rebuild in the fall of 2016, and have steadily been growing since then.

​The only Tupler Technique® provider in New England, Caroline is most excited about being able to give her clients access to all of the Tupler Technique®’s ground-breaking treatments and needed resources to effectively heal diastasis recti.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I was well prepared to start my business because I had gone through the intensive Tupler training program, I had worked with case study clients, and of course I had done the program first-hand. However, there were definitely things that I had to tweak as my practice grew in order to provide a better experience for my clients. The biggest challenge that I face is helping my clients stay on track and committed to the program. One of the great things about the program is that people will see visible results within the first 3 weeks…the not so great thing is that, as with any injury, a diastasis is not something that will be fixed overnight. I’d say the average amount of time that my clients do the program is nine to twelve weeks, and for some people it’s hard to stay committed to a program for that amount of time. I found that meeting with clients in person every 3 weeks, which is how I initially ran the program, wasn’t enough support for some people, so I created what I call “the Belly Rebuild Difference”. Now I check in with clients via text, email, or phone calls on a weekly basis to see how the exercises are going, ask if they have any questions, etc. I started a private Facebook group exclusively for my clients as another forum to help support one another and share tips and ideas. Additionally, clients ALWAYS have access to me at any time if they need extra support, have questions, or just need a pep talk! Texts, FaceTime sessions, phone calls, or a complimentary office visit are all methods I use to keep clients on track and it has made a big difference in program compliance!

Belly Rebuild – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business specializes in rehabbing diastasis recti, a separation of one’s abdominal muscles that frequently occurs after pregnancy. This separation can cause the dreaded “mommy pooch” or a pregnant-looking stomach, pelvic floor dysfunction, back pain, and umbilical hernias. All too frequently, women are told that they either have to live with a diastasis or have surgery to correct it. In fact, only about 5% of diastases require surgical intervention to repair. I utilize the Tupler Technique®, the only research-based exercise program that is PROVEN to effectively treat a diastasis recti non-surgically. I’m currently the only Tupler Technique® provider in New England.

I really pride myself on having a client-centered approach, and providing a level of support that clients will not find with any other program. I check in with clients via text, email, or phone calls on a weekly basis to see how the exercises are going and check if they have any questions. Additionally, clients ALWAYS have access to me at any time via texts, FaceTime sessions, phone calls, or a complimentary office visits if they need extra support, have questions, or just need a pep talk! Additionally, I can relate to the challenges that my clients may be facing…I did the program myself to close my large diastasis when I had 3 young children, so I get the craziness of day-to-day life and the challenge of fitting yet another thing into an already jam-packed day! I work with clients to create individualized schedules to help them be able to successfully integrate the exercises into their day. And when a client finishes the program, I provide ongoing support if needed – clients can always contact me with any questions free of charge.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, in my business, there are different ways to measure success. There are the quantifiable measures of success that can be measured throughout the diastasis journey, such as seeing a client drop inches around her waist and belly, and feeling the abdominal separation gradually close week by week. And it’s always exciting when a client’s diastasis is closed to two fingers or less (which is considered a normal degree of separation) and she “graduates” from the program. However, there are all the small successes along the way that can’t be measured in inches or centimeters or fingers, and for me those are equally satisfying. Success is when a (non-pregnant!) client comes in for her 3rd appointment and tells me that no one in the last few weeks has asked her when her due date is. Or maybe it’s when a client tells me that her pelvic floor has gotten strong enough to where she no longer needs to wear a pad when she exercises for fear of leaking. So I’d say for me, the ultimate success is getting a woman to feel confident in her body again.

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