Hands-on Lessons Feedback

Barbara Wilkens, M.M., Certified Balance Teacher,  who works with injured musicians and Repetitive Strain InjuryBarbara Wilkens, M.M., Certified Balance Teacher, who works with injured musicians and Repetitive Strain Injury

I love Pam's teaching. She is very much a hands on teacher which I really like - and she really makes a difference for every one she touches….She is a particularly gifted teacher.

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Dr. Jorge Moreno, Doctor of OsteopathyDr. Jorge Moreno, Doctor of Osteopathy

I am getting used to my "new body"…my voice sounds deeper and more peaceful and more beautiful. My diaphragm feels "open" and moving with ease. Thank you, Thank you, thank you!!!

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Raymond Peck, MSEE, Certified Balance TeacherRaymond Peck, MSEE, Certified Balance Teacher

Pamela has a depth of knowledge about the body, and sensitivity to the individual needs of students, that is hard-won and difficult to find. I highly recommend her.

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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, MD PhDDr. Geoffrey Rutledge, MD PhD

I've been astonished at [Pamela's] abilities to figure out an individual's underlying habits...which cause a wide variety of physical problems. She has a remarkable ability to work with people of all ages to affect long-lasting change in their functional status (e.g., improved balance, pelvic floor rehabilitation), reduced pain levels, and safety from injury in activity.

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E.P. Stanford U. High JumperE.P. Stanford U. High Jumper

The other main change I have noticed is that I can now feel when my lower back and torso slip out of 'neutral spine'  

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Y.A., M.A., CMT; Reiki Master and Teacher. Certified in Craniosacral Therapy, Shiatsu, Thai massage, Sports and Swedish massageY.A., M.A., CMT; Reiki Master and Teacher. Certified in Craniosacral Therapy, Shiatsu, Thai massage, Sports and Swedish massage

I first experienced Pamela’s work when I badly hurt my back and my usual treatments didn’t work. I could hardly sit, stand, or walk; it was so painful that I could only lie down on my back. I felt a relief from the pain during and after our first session, able to stand, walk, and sit again about 20 minutes into the session.

Being treated by Pamela not only helped me get rid of my pain but also taught me how to prevent future body aches. Pamela re-aligned my lower back by teaching me to be aware of the basic movements of my body, and how to well-align it in various common activities.

As a therapist who works with the body myself, I was amazed at what Pamela had taught me. My body still remembers how to use my spine and pelvis to prevent injuries.

It was a great gift to be treated by Pamela and to learn from her.

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Matthew, professional musicianMatthew, professional musician

From learning better posture from you, I have a lot more stamina. Could play much longer, virtually no pain when playing for long periods of time.

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Scott Delp, Ph.D. Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Orthopaedic Surgery; Stanford UniversityScott Delp, Ph.D. Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Orthopaedic Surgery; Stanford University

My sessions with Pamela improved my posture and body awareness during walking, running, and cycling, and helped resolve a nagging pain in my neck. Her technique is based on sound biomechanics principles and can complement work with physical therapists and athletic trainers. I would recommend her to any one interested in optimizing their performance.

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Jene Elzie, sports executive; former All-American gymnast, three-time team captain, and top overall athlete of her class at Stanford U.Jene Elzie, sports executive; former All-American gymnast, three-time team captain, and top overall athlete of her class at Stanford U.

I came to Pamela after two years of suffering through increasing levels of hip pain caused in large part by a two-decade career as an elite level gymnast. Like many gymnasts’ careers, mine was plagued by sports injuries….

Before working with Pamela, I had seemingly tried everything short of labral repair surgery – multiple sports doctors, painkillers, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture and various kinds of Eastern medicine. All of these were treatments for the pain but not the root cause. After the first session with Pamela I didn’t have a whole lot of pain – a real difference. Through Pamela, I have spent the last four months focusing on learning techniques to protecting the hip joint for the long term ….My massage therapist has been astonished by the improvement in my psoas and other patterns of tightness and dysfunction: 'A night and day difference…'

The decrease in the pain levels has been dramatic. I now feel that, through these non-invasive techniques, I have the tools I need to live without the constant pain and discomfort of this injury or fear of new injuries, and I can continue to live a sports-filled, active life for years to come. Thanks Pamela!

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Professor, MD; Stanford University School of Medicine  (name kept confidential per request)Professor, MD; Stanford University School of Medicine (name kept confidential per request)

I wanted to write a brief note to thank you for your work with our son. It's impressive to me what you have been able to accomplish with his understanding, awareness, posture and movement over the course of a handful of sessions. You seem to have synthesized a great deal of anatomic and physiologic background into some very targeted and effective interventions. Your suggestions and corrections are easy to understand and implement. I also like the way you communicate your respect and enthusiasm to our son – your positive approach has kept him motivated.

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Dee H.; Age 79Dee H.; Age 79

Yesterday I was with friends and we talked about you and your work. They said I was not stooping over, but standing much straighter. Thanks you, Pamela. You are a wonder.

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Dana Jabreel, PsyD; Reflection Designer & Advisor; Museum of HealingDana Jabreel, PsyD; Reflection Designer & Advisor; Museum of Healing

Pamela showed me how to be aware of my body and break habits that would affect me negatively. She considered all aspects of my personal activities and encouraged healthy and effortless posture in my daily life. I am more mindful of my movement and feel the difference her guidance has done for my body. For example, long-term knee pain went away in the first week of lessons and it hasn’t returned. I not only feel more confident in my posture, but I am able to maintain my correct posture comfortably. Before my lessons with Pamela, I was constantly seeking comfort, but it eluded me.

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Thea Sawyer; Aplomb Instructor Certified by the Aplomb Institute of Paris, FranceThea Sawyer; Aplomb Instructor Certified by the Aplomb Institute of Paris, France

Pamela is a sensitive teacher, with a quick grasp of a student's structural weaknesses.  With this ability Pam is able to personalize her teaching instead of applying a 'one size fits all' formula. It empowers students to heal themselves with clear guidelines that are specific to their needs.

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K.K. Stanford U. Runner; “One of the top runners in the nation”K.K. Stanford U. Runner; “One of the top runners in the nation”

I wanted to thank you for all the great posture and running advice that you have given me so far. I think they have really helped me to stay healthy and run fast this spring…. I actually ran 16 seconds faster.

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Andrew Gottlieb, Ph.D.; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Lasting ChangeAndrew Gottlieb, Ph.D.; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Lasting Change

Pamela teaches postural approaches with a clear, no nonsense approach. She models the behaviors, then trains the person, and shows a lot of knowledge of body dynamics and physiology. I was impressed with her abilities to teach me, as I've studied similar approaches…, and didn't find them as helpful. I'd highly recommend Pamela, especially if you are having back pain. Since I worked with her, I've found myself using her guidelines to sit and move with less strain on my body.

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Bill Gross; Vice President of Sales at Nationwide Real Estate ExecutivesBill Gross; Vice President of Sales at Nationwide Real Estate Executives

Pamela is an amazing resource bringing incredible knowledge of the human body and her personal experience healing the human body using proper body mechanics “...I came to her unable to stand or walk or even lie in bed without pain in my hips and legs, and after 5 sessions, I stand and walk pain free, and am working towards normal walking and beyond.” Pamela also consults with my doctor about my case to help make his treatment most effective for me.

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Ellen  70+ year old retired lawyerEllen 70+ year old retired lawyer

I have had chronic heel pain called plantar fasciitis. I had two (absolutely horrible) bouts of this condition, each time lasting over one year. I went to an orthopedist and a podiatrist. I had cortisone shots for it, used a cane, and finally the doctor had to cast my leg for six weeks to get it to go away. Since working with you I haven't had an episode of it [plantar fasciitis].

The pain in my backside was very severe and it woke me up regularly. My pain started at least four years ago when I fell hard on the floor on my rear end....I've consulted a gynecologist, two orthopedists, and a proctologist. No one helped me, but they did rule out cancer. Thanks to you teaching me how to sit, lie down, and what to sit and sleep on, the pain rarely comes.

Tendonitis-I had this also for years! Before working with you, my chronic tendonitis basically hurt almost all the time. I did consult an orthopedist for this tendonitis (before my hip stress fracture)....He did not tell me how to get rid of it. He gave me a cortisone shot. With your lessons, it took (probably) just a few weeks to go away, so I just don't have this annoying, painful and embarrassing (because it often caused a slight limp) chronic tendonitis at all anymore.

I can balance on one leg at a time for a minute or two. I couldn't do this before I worked with you.…I had much, much more trouble balancing before working with you. Many thanks. Balance is so important to prevent falling as you get older.  ”  


5.5 years later (in her late 70s):


“Whenever I walk well down and up stairs, I think of you.   I thank you many times each week. My balance is good- also thanks to you. I am pain free.  And my stress incontinence is much improved. You improved my life very much….

I go to Jazzercise 3-5 times a week and love it.

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Caroline Mceneaney; Full-Time Yoga TeacherCaroline Mceneaney; Full-Time Yoga Teacher

With Pamela’s help, I feel like I’ve learned so many lessons that will stay with me forever. I had always thought that my hunched shoulders were genetic, but Pamela made me see that the way I sit and hold myself, right down to my foot placement, was contributing to this rounded shape. Even after the first lesson, I already felt more lifted, more integrated and more at ease.

When Pamela showed me, with photos, how I had been holding myself, I was able to see so clearly why my whole body felt tense all the time. Pamela showing me how to sit and move in a way that respects the spine and its shape. She explained how natural breathing is soft and low and how that aids in lowering my rib cage, which juts out from years of incorrect posture.

She has a talent for communicating concepts and will not stop until the client has fully understood. On top of all of that, she has a fantastic personality and imparts such a sense of optimism and confidence in her clients that is empowering and effective.

And if that wasn’t enough, she has texted me just to remind me of a few lessons for the office, home, and my yoga mat. She really cares deeply about the people she works with, and we can feel that.

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Dr. Kathryn Gill, MDDr. Kathryn Gill, MD

I am writing to introduce you to Pamela Rief, a health educator who specializes in a unique form of musculoskeletal re-education. Pamela is a bright, articulate professional who uses her extensive scientific background to help individuals become aware of how their particular neuro-musculoskeletal habits “re-shape” form and function. She helps clients replace poor habits with more physiologic habits, optimize mobility, and reduce tension and pain.

Pamela has keen observational skills that she applies to improve the skeletal and muscle function of her clients—including my patients and myself.

I find her to be an excellent teacher with incredible compassion and a sincere interest in each of her client’s progress and overall well-being. Pamela often has some surprising answers that can significantly help your patients who have chronic issues.

Pamela’s methodology involves the visual and palpatory evaluation as a client moves through activities of daily living. This detective work allows Pamela to appreciate the individual effects of deleterious neuro-musculoskeletal habits on the each particular patient. She then tailors a movement re-education program designed to return each patient to a more natural movement. Unlike traditional physical therapy, her work focuses on whole body musculoskeletal function and takes advantage of primitive neural pathways, which, when re-discovered, allow a patient to have improved posture, gait and, in many cases, decreased pain. Sometimes this occurs immediately; other times it occurs after a period of repeated practice in the office or at home.

The positioning Pamela teaches also engages and increases baseline tone in otherwise poorly used musculature—without repetitive weight lifting or lunges or other toning devices. This leads me to suspect that she is improving the alignment the neuro-musculoskeletal system, which then optimizes neural feedback and skeletal and muscle function. When Pamela’s lessons begin to discard the incorrect postural habits we have developed over time and reveal the pattern originally set up by nature, we begin to find it easier to move with greater comfort and better posture. With the correct alignment, neurological feedback and cortical understanding blended together in the lesson, we also have the significant opportunity to function in a more physiologic and painless way. Of course Pamela’s lessons and their outcomes are tailored to the specific needs of each client.

In my own experience, I was most impressed by how aberrant my posture had become after suffering a sacral fracture at S-2 across my innominate. The compensatory postures necessary to handle the initial pain and healing process resulted in a variety of sequelae. Pamela’s lessons resulted in renewed lower extremity and trunk function. Muscles that had been in spasm since the accident (e.g., quadriceps) returned to normal tone. Muscles that hadn’t worked properly became activated and continue to engage naturally a couple years later.

I highly recommend Pamela as someone who might supplement the care you provide to your patients.

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Dodi Henning, CMT; Massage Therapist of over 30 years, Beverly Wellness InstituteDodi Henning, CMT; Massage Therapist of over 30 years, Beverly Wellness Institute

Pamela has an intuitive feel for what a body needs.  She is the real deal.  She really cares and has the will to help others overcome their hurdles.I work in a medical office. A physician in my office (he didn't know I was working with Pamela) noticed that my knee was tracking properly for the first time after 14 years of knee pain and swelling. That is how he learned of Pamela's work and began sending many patients to her too. Aside from my knee getting realigned, new muscles started working from my feet to my pelvic floor.

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T.B., Freshman at UC DavisT.B., Freshman at UC Davis

Before I saw Pamela, I had noticeable back and hip pain almost every day, which would stop me from going out and doing certain exercises and activities. Since seeing her, however, I hardly notice any kind of pain any more.

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C.B., CMT; Google Headquarters Massage TherapistC.B., CMT; Google Headquarters Massage Therapist

Pam's genius is her vision of where you can be posturally, her ability to assess with radar-like accuracy the deviation and apply her guidance in carefully measured steps that are easy to follow for correction. After 8 sessions I can say my glutes are really firing, my feet are stronger and engaged more fully in the gait, I sit correctly with more frequency and feel better overall. I made improvements that no yoga class, chiro visit or exercise physiologist was able to accomplish. Pamela is vivacious, keenly observant, and her method cuts to the chase to get results where other approaches fall short.

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Video-Based Lessons Feedback

David Frank; EconomistDavid Frank; Economist

In 1991 I was injured fighting in Saudi Arabia for the U.S. in the Navy. I have shrapnel near my spine. For the last several years, I had been coming to grips that I will eventually lose the ability to stand or walk. Two years ago I jumped out of bed, in the morning, and fell flat on my face. I could not feel my legs. The doctors said the nerve damage had progressed faster than anticipated.

I was scared. What do I do? My children? I knew Pam had helped people with motor issues and we set up work over Skype. She watched me stand up, which was a chore, and gave me exercises to improve my posture and mechanics on how to stand. I still do them every day.

I can now stand and walk way better….Pam is a consummate, passionate professional. I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

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Dave Damon, Calisthenics Athlete and TrainerDave Damon, Calisthenics Athlete and Trainer

It’s funny how the little things can make such an impact on our lives. With the help of SETUPSTRONG™, I’ve realized my neck posture was very poor. The things I’ve noticed since working on it are increased confidence, increased energy, and increased scapula strength! What a game changer!

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Katherine E. Halliwell, Board Certified Music TherapistKatherine E. Halliwell, Board Certified Music Therapist

Pamela has been able to answer questions about my body (why this tendency, why that awkwardness, why the continual re-injury ...) that I have been asking rehab experts for years. I have only had 3 short Skype sessions with her, but already I am noticing differences in the ways I sit, stand, walk, and use my shoulders, and the pain from my injuries has already begun to subside!....Looking forward to more transformation!

My husband has had 2 short Skype sessions so far, and his lower back pain has almost completely disappeared! Thanks, Pamela!

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Speaking Engagments Feedback

Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen AdvantagePatrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage

I met Pamela Rief when I heard her speak to a full house of health practitioners at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles. She disproved widespread myths that stand in the way of spine health. I was very impressed with Pamela's knowledge and clarity. I found her expertise highly complementary to mine for normalising breathing and reclaiming health. We have continued to exchange articles and ideas over the years. Pamela seems to have an encyclopedic understanding the effects of deviations in joint alignment. She has developed a great number of practical techniques to affect joint alignment and health profoundly.