Pilates has been proving itself as a rehab tool par excellence over the last 20 years. As both a trained corrective exercise specialist and a Pilates educator I am in a unique position to train my clients to the highest levels. The starting point for all successful rehabilitation either from recent injury or a more longstanding issue is detailed assessment. I then design customised programs that are an exact fingerprint for the individuals’ issues. My studio is fully fitted out with a range of Pilates equipment which is specifically designed to facilitate the injured or structurally compromised client.
Once a person gets injured the usual instinct is to give up training and rest. While this is advisable in the early stages, long term this can reduce healing rate and lead to severe loss of fitness, weight gain and more stress all round. The Pilates exercises help a client work around the issue as the apparatus facilitates movement even in an injured state.
Core control and Stability
Probably the greatest deficit the novice trainee has is a lack of core control and stability. I have even assessed Olympic level athletes that have shown deficits here! Your body requires a minimum threshold of movement intelligence to exercise safely and effectively. If you do not get the correct foundation in the basics of core control and stability your body will strategise movement from the wrong place. You will end up overworking some areas and under working others. Long term this leads to injury, impaired performance and lack of results. Pilates is one of the most effective methods of developing core control, flexibility and stability.
A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. The body moves with kinetic chains or a series of muscles which work together to create a specific movement e.g. a squat. If certain muscle groups are weak in relation to others the weak muscle group is the weak link that brings your progress to a grinding halt, or worse you get injured. Again the starting point is a structural balance assessment. While designing programs and instructing my clients these weak points are given vigorous attention to bring them back into balance. The outcome of the training unit then becomes predictable, you are programmed for success.
Pilates is at the forefront of the movement towards mind/body exercise. Other disciplines of this genre include Thai chi and yoga. There is an expression in yoga “where the mind goes, energy flows”. This has been proven empirically with brain mapping. When you learn how to move with greater awareness and acute mental focus not only do you get greater quality of contraction in the appropriate muscles you also get a bio-energetic effect. Simply put there is an increase in the flow of energy to the place you are focusing on. Martial arts disciplines have been aware of this phenomenon for millennia. This bio-energy effect can bring a whole new dimension to the quality and outcome of your movement.
What is bio energy? It is the life-force that permeates all living things.
“This energetic matrix is the basic pattern upon which the physical matter of the tissues is shaped and anchored. The tissue exists as such only because of this vital field behind them” Barbara Anne Brennan - Hands of Light
In Chinese medicine it is known as Chi or Qi (hence the disciplines Thai chi and Qi-gung).
You can learn how to work with and create shifts in your bodies’ energy field through movement. I have pioneered this concept for use in Pilates and have given international convention and seminar presentations in Germany and Italy.
Again the staring point for working here is assessment. I look at the condition of the body physically, I look at signs and symptoms the client is presenting with e.g. back pain, I look at mental and emotional stressors and I can also perform a chakra scan. Using these tools I select Pilates and other exercises to work directly on the energy field.