What is Pilates?

Pilates is a method of exercise that focuses on movement within all the joints of the body and the deep supporting muscles of the joints.

From each of the 24 movable vertebrae – you have 33 in total but only 24 that move – all the way down to your toes. Nothing is left out. Every muscle is stretched and strengthened.

It improves balance, strength, stamina, coordination, posture, breathing and relaxation.

Pilates was introduced by German born Joseph Pilates (1880- 1967) who devised it for his own use initially and went on to train Scotland Yard officers, dancers, boxers, gymnasts, to name a few.

A century on and the method has become a proven practice and found to benefit clients with significant joint problems when supporting the therapeutic process.

As a result, it’s widely recommend by Physios, Doctors, Chiropractors and Osteopaths.

What are the benefits?

The exercises allow for increased movement overtime where there is lack of flexibility and decreased movement where there is too much flexibility. All of which are essential for every day activities.

The deep supporting muscles of the joints are targeted, helping to realign the joints and support with movement. This helps to strengthen and protect them. Keeping them well lubricated with the essential fluids required for healthy joints.

This should help with reducing pain and discomfort overtime with skeletal related problems.

By strengthening the muscles, bone density is improved, essential for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis clients.

Pilates teaches you how to get to know your body and connect with it. You’ll be able to stabilise to protect the spine, whilst strengthening hips, knees and shoulders.

Balance and co-ordination is improved. As well as being essential for many sports, this is essential for every day activities to protect against falls. Especially for clients with Osteoporosis.

Posture will improve helping to relieve postural related discomfort.

Sporting performances are enhanced due to better alignment, increased efficiencies, increased awareness of how to apply the body and strength in the places you need it.

If you are pre natal, you will be able to safely exercises, preparing your body for the birthing process and post natal, it’ll help to rebuild strength and alignment that the birthing process compromises.

The movements you learn in Pilates start to become your natural everyday way of using your body – It’s a great feeling getting to know your self and how to use your body. We need this body for many years to come!

Is it fun ?

Absolutely! That is a requirement in all Millstream Pilates classes!

The classes are limited to 12 people to ensure we work safely and you all gain the most out of the sessions.

There is a nice social scene across all the classes as a result.

Am I too young or old ?

You are never too young to start and never too old to begin! Clients currently range between 25-89! Older and younger are always welcome!

The exercises can be adapted depending on your fitness level and condition. If you’re coming back from injury, in pain or have poor mobility, chair based exercises can give you just as good a work out for your particular needs.

If you’re fit and active and looking to be challenged, there is always another exercise layer that can be applied!

Can it help with my back problem ?

Yes. Pilates targets the deep postural muscles of the spine as well as the abdominal muscles that support the spine. Helping to keep it lengthened and protected.

Years of misuse weaken and shorten the spine, applying pressure on the disks, depleting the fluids. Eventually pain sets in and we become even more reluctant to move the spine. This can be a vicious circle. Pilates teaches you how to move and exercise safely.

Some of the exercises target spinal mobilisation – not something you do in everyday activity, if ever at all. This helps to regain mobility in order to strengthen around the weakened and painful areas. It also helps to draw in fluids to the disks; helping to keep them buoyant. Maintaining the length in the spine will help to keep the pressure off the surrounding nerves which cause the pain you’re experiencing.

Physio’s, Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Doctors, now recommend Pilates for spinal problems. In some instances they’ve taken additional training to incorporate it into their own practise.

Claire is a fully qualified Back4Good® practitioner – Back4Good® Practitioners are exercise specialists who are trained to help people with non-specific low back pain. Practitioners are already experienced Body Control Pilates teachers, having been certified by Europe’s foremost Pilates organisation. They have additionally undertaken extensive training exclusively related to low back pain to become a Back4Good® Practitioner.

A surgeon will generally want to know you’ve embarked on Pilates before considering more radical methods.

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