aren has amazing gifts and abilities to help one tune into their own body.   She makes “posture”  fun and at the same time offers up generous amounts of compassion, knowledge and support.  I have learned so much about letting my breath and bones support my structure using TRE and Alignment work.  I highly recommend her!

Meet Mike

His work is physically demanding. He’s constantly unloading trucks and hauling around furniture. He also builds office work spaces, so he’s working in all kinds of positions and obviously doing a lot of lifting. We had planned for him to come over to record a testimonial, and the poor guy had been under the crawl space in his house–in a fetal position, his body cramped in a tight space- for seven hours fixing a plumbing problem. I took him through the AlignUp paces – just the work for alignment, and you can see he’s tired – but here’s how he felt when we finished.

OK, so my right hip is totally transformed. Thanks *loads* for today. Wow.

Ray P

Karen is amazing and has helped me so much!! She is a very patient and caring person! Thank you Karen!



aren Engler is about the best relaxation person I’ve ever worked with. She uses so many different modalities that she’s created her own form which really takes me to a another level. I so look forward to spending more time working with her on her method so that I can deepen my meditation, my alignment, my breathing. Because all of these things are barriers to my serenity. And that is my highest good.

Gwen Goldsmith


hen I began practicing TRE with Karen, I was going through a difficult time. I was experiencing chronic lower back pain, high levels of stress, recurring anxiety, headaches, and insomnia. I was overworked, exhausted, suffering pain from a 12-year-old back injury, and had recently been involved in an auto accident.

TRE has been a tremendous help. After practicing TRE with Karen for about a month, my stress level has gone down, my sleep has been much more restful, and my back pain is much better. When I start to feel stress or anxiety coming on, some quick TRE really helps to ease the symptoms. TRE has been effective, easy, and enjoyable to practice. After shaking, I feel so relaxed and at peace. The tremors are also very effective at releasing the tightness, aches, and pressure that characterize my back pain… like a thorough yet gentle massage that I can give to myself.

Working with Karen Engler is a joy. She is an extraordinarily knowledgeable, intuitive, and dedicated instructor and (physical) therapist. Thank you Karen!!!

Rochelle Lewis

3-Month-Mark Q & A With Nancy Cross

Q: What problems were you experiencing that you hoped AlignUp would improve?
A: I had sciatica. Real bad. I couldn’t just walk between the two buildings at work. I had to stop halfway and stretch it. I had given up walking pretty much. Couldn’t get around Walmart in one trip. Couldn’t go to the Car Show, couldn’t go to the State fair. Couldn’t walk. People would just park me somewhere and then they’d go and come back. That was okay you know but, it’s more fun now because I can walk. I had given up walking pretty much. I was even considering getting a walker. So I was hoping for help with that. All of my back hurt. My neck would get so bad sometimes I couldn’t go to work for a couple days. So I was hoping for relief from pain.

Q: Did your AlignUp practice help?
A: Heck yes, it helped. (giggle) In every way. My sciatica is much better, I feel a tingle in my toe once in a while but that’s about it. I’m walking! I’m walking around Walmart. I’m walking down to the mailbox. I’m walking again. That’s pretty wonderful. I noticed improvement after maybe the first or second session. First thing Karen taught me was how to stand up. I hadn’t been able to stand up off the floor in 20 years. You have to go find a chair or a young man to help you up or something like that. I could stand up. I could do that immediately on the first day. My back doesn’t hurt. I’m sleeping fine. My neck doesn’t hurt. My shoulder doesn’t hurt. My hips don’t hurt. My knees don’t hurt.

Q: Were there any surprises?
A: Well, yeah, I didn’t expect it to work that quickly, I didn’t expect it to work that well. I’m better every time I come. I’m improving all the time. I’m very happy. I’m taller, I’m stronger, I’m more centered. I’m younger. I was an old 60 when I started and now I’m a young 40 maybe. But I’m still 60. I feel really good.

Karen Engler really knows about the human body, balance and structure. Working with Karen, I felt I was able to gain valuable intimate knowledge about how my body works. This has helped me improve as a Tai Chi practitioner (perhaps saved me years!), and it helped me improve as an athlete (recreational runner and cyclist). She is a compassionate teacher who always seems to know the tools that may help. Her valuable recommendation for specific insoles alone has made such a difference in my training. I believe my movement is more efficient and less injury-prone as a result of working with her. I have felt able to trust my body more and simply have more fun. Thanks, Karen!

After years of yoga, I took Karen’s “Alignment Through Tai Chi” class at the Balance Center.  It helped me through an emotionally and physically hard time. The class began with deep, but pleasurable alignment work. And when we did just the smallest amount of Tai Chi I felt like it was just the energy, the chi, holding me up. It was such a deep relief. Oh, I had experienced a car accident 20 years before the class. I believe it’s the combination of the alignment work with Tai Chi that finally got past the deeper ways my body had bound up after the accident. I felt settled in my bones and like I could finally breathe again!

And I was able to sleep so well.

– Beverly Chin (age 72)

started with Karen in May of 2013 after reaching what I consider my “breaking point” of back and hip pain. Years of enduring a long commute and bad medical advice had left me with horrible posture, migraines, leg, knee, upper and lower back pain, specifically in my sacrum, and hip pain. I often didn’t sleep at night due to pain. I had tried yoga, chiropractors, massage, etc… nothing helped. I was going to the gym all the time before I started working with Karen but it only helped my heart rate. My symptoms would get worse the day after I went to the gym!

The first visit with Karen literally began a transformation in my frame and my state of mind. My body had become so accustomed to its disformity! I left my second visit and enjoyed my first PAIN FREE night of sleep! Soon after I was able to go off of my migraine medications and no longer needed Cortisol shots! I believe this worked because I had been taught by medical professionals and physical trainers to stand wrong. I was doing everything BUT working on my core. I had to start at the beginning to develop muscles I didn’t even know I had! Simple techniques that I could do at home reinforced class taught techniques.

Once I began to stabilize my core, in a completely different way than I’d ever heard about or been taught, my symptoms were alleviated and my body shape changed.

– Jeanetta Campbell
Big: My plantar fasciitis is gone. My posture has improved. I can’t sit slumped over or cross legged, everything is even and straight. The weather has caused some pains, but overall, I’m walking more confidently, not afraid to fall because of the plantar. Thank you for your help. I’m really impressed with your knowledge about the human body.

– Jeannie Linsavage
I was experiencing chronic pain in my back, neck and particularly my hip area. I felt my body was not as well aligned as it could be, so when I saw the ad, I decided to call immediately.  I had been going to physical therapy two to three times a week, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, cranial sacral treatments, Yoga and Tai Chi. And that was just this year. I’d feel better after I left these other treatments, but the pain always came back.

Since I first began coming to AlignUp, my posture has improved, I feel more open and expansive in my rib cage and shoulders, I experience less pain or most of the time, no pain. I have a greater awareness of my body and my alignment and whenever I begin to do one of my old habits that cause pain, I catch myself pretty quickly. So my awareness about my body has increased. If you’ve had back pain or an injury, this AlignUp could decrease your pain level and feel better by learning new ways of holding your body and your posture.

– Roberta Wilson

Iwas helping Karen pick up carpet for her new space and she noticed that I couldn’t stand still for very long. I had really bad lower back pain. She said she could help me with that. I told her that I’d been to chiropractors, doctors, physical therapists and to massage therapy and that the pain always came back. She asked me to try it out anyway. I thought she was kind of crazy but I figured I had nothing to lose.

And you know what? She was right! I couldn’t believe it. For the first time in a long time my pain was finally gone. We worked for about 30 minutes. It was completely different than the other experts had shown me. I felt like I could finally relax and didn’t have to move around trying to figure out what to do about that pain. I just felt good. Karen told me that it would take some consistent practice, but we could make sure I would always be pain free. This is important because my work is constant physical labor, and I can’t afford to deal with this kind of thing. Can’t wait to start!

Mike Nix (35)

Update from Mike July 10, 2013:

Only been able to get in to work with Karen about 4 times, but I’ve been practicing the exercises she gave me. Yesterday and the day before, had to unload 2 big semis with over 100 pieces in them and didn’t have any back pain at all! I’m beating younger guys than me now.

I have been working with Karen for about 3 years now.  I was complaining about back issues that I started having a few months before. These issues were impeding my ability to play guitar, I am a professional guitarist and music teacher, and it is very important to be able to sit and play for long uninterrupted intervals.

I had been visited and revisited by these upper back pains for about ten years at this point and I was tired of going to doctors that had no idea what the problem could be.

A friend gave me a card to the Balance Center in Palo Alto California. Only a few days later, I was overjoyed to hear that Karen would be in Chicago.

I was only able to meet with Karen once in person. We had a ninety-minute session and she had me look at what was happening with my back very differently. She gave me 1-2 very simple exercises to do. They were like nothing I had ever done before, but she showed me how to apply the exercises I was practicing to activities I do every day, including the guitar.

Karen was a delight to work with one on one, very hands on, and patient. I took what I learned home with me and practiced diligently., My back pain went away and I was able to practice again. I am blown away by the fact that with such little one on one contact Karen was able communicate what I needed to do so clearly, and over Skype no less. I would recommend anyone  work with her, she is amazing.

– Eric Thompson (age 32)