Aug 4, 2013 / 5:00 am
Are you injured? Do you have chronic pain in a particular area? Does the pain come and go depending on what activities you do? Does the discomfort keep you from doing what you want to do? If you answered yes to any one or more of these questions, are you ready to fix it? Are you ready to get yourself back to the place you were before you started living with your physical limitation? Well, a combination of good physiotherapy (diagnosis) and Pilates movement therapy (exercise) can help.
When you get physiotherapy, the therapist will do an assessment of the area creating pain for you. Unless the pain is due to some specific accident, the pain is usually caused by wrong movement patterns. Once the physio diagnoses the wrong movement pattern and the weaknesses that have caused it, then exercises are used to re-create the right movement pattern for that area of function.
Physiotherapy & Pilates
When your physiotherapist works with your Pilates instructor, the results are fantastic. The physio tells your Pilates teacher which muscles are weak and not turning on, and which ones are overused and in desperate need of relaxation and stretching, and finally, which movements aggravate the pain. Then the Pilates instructor coaches you with the exercises given to you by the physio so that you execute the exercises with proper alignment, as well as, chooses other Pilates movements based on the info from your physio.
Pilates exercises are excellent for rehabilitation because Pilates exercises combine a balance of strength and flexibility. Because wrong movement patterns create weak muscles and overworked (usually tight) muscles, exercises that strengthen the weak muscles and relax the overworked muscles will bring about rehabilitation. An exercise that does the opposite, will exasperate the pain and prolong rehabilitation.
All Pilates movements emphasize proper alignment, breathing, proper muscle sequencing, and a balance between strength and flexibility. There are about 500 Pilates exercises to choose from so there will always be an abundance of movements that are right for your body.
The final result is your recovery of health
When our bodies are in pain, our bodies experience more stress than they need and our brains are less free to fully experience joy and confidence. Our bodies and minds experience undue stress when we are out of balance. Proper physiotherapy diagnosis followed by rehabilitative Pilates exercises restore body-mind balance which is expressed as joy, confidence, mobility and freedom.
Jun 23, 2013 / 5:00 am
Getting moving after an injury is a problem many people face; whatever interests and activities they pursue. You are not alone! Whether you are a weekend warrior, intent on returning to peak fitness so you can run, ski, kayak, hike, waterski or cycle; or someone who finds it hard to play a full round of golf, kick a football with the kids, or manage an hour gardening without pain, the frustrations and discomfort can be equally challenging.
If a common problem such as knee pain, extra tight hamstrings, lower back pain, a kink in your neck, or a shooting pain from your shoulder into your elbow or wrist means that you can no longer enjoy the sports and activities you love, then it is wise to seek help before the issue worsens to the point that you may find you are completely immobile, or need surgery.
At Complete Core Pilates in Kettle Valley, Kyla Ramirez, Arlene Wilkins and I work with clients who face these struggles every day. To create a program which addresses your individual health issues, we start with an in depth health questionnaire. Once we understand where the problem comes from, (and it may not be as straightforward as it first appears), we form a strategy to decrease your discomfort, and increase your mobility.
Active bodies respond well to Pilates, but because each individual is different, a more targeted approach is taken to rehabilitate specific muscle functions. This is where we bring Neurokinetic Therapy into play.
Neurokinetic Therapy recognizes that the brain (primarily the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex), is responsible for the body’s motor control. Research shows that when muscles become injured or weak, the brain will find compensatory muscles to create movement. If this compensatory pattern is allowed to continue, then dysfunction and pain follows. The good news is that the brain can be retrained.
To re-program the brain, and train it to function correctly again, we first identify the muscle which is compensating for the weak, injured muscle. In layman’s terms we turn the compensatory muscle off. This means that the problem muscle can be turned back on, and strengthened with prescribed repetitive exercises. Over time the muscle returns to full strength; the pain and discomfort decrease, and you can return to the activities you love!
In some cases, we work closely with other health professionals, particularly physiotherapists, including Greg Redman at Wave Physiotherapy, Marcia Bullock and Joel Kryczka at Pinnacle Physiotherapy to ensure we get the speedy and lasting change for the client.
You don’t need to live with pain or discomfort – whatever your age. There are programs which can help, whether the discomfort is due to injury – or years of incorrect postural habits. Neurokinetic Therapy and Pilates can get you back to health and fitness!
For more information contact www.completecorepilates.com
Apr 7, 2013 / 5:00 am
Movement is fundamental to human life. In fact, movement is life. Contemporary physics tells us that the universe and everything in it is in constant motion. A living body is a moving body. The poet and philosopher Alan Watts eloquently states a similar view, "A living body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool." Or it should be anyway.
A TED talk from neuroscientist, Daniel Wolpert, a self-professed movement chauvinist, typifies this idea with his theory that says “the only reason we have a brain is to create movement.” He uses the computer chip then robotics to forward his argument. He uses the game of chess as an example. Both can play chess equally well, but both cannot move the pieces equally well. This then moves his investigation to robotics – a computer placed within a manipulative form - manipulation robotics. We have seen robotics move; they are not very smooth, or fast, or move at all when an external disruption impacts them. Nothing can compare to the human brain and its ability to move our bodies.
Therefore, if we want our brains to be healthy, we have to create movement. The whole brain, the fore-brain, the mid-brain and the hind-brain, are all involved in motor control. It is not a surprise that children move so much. Because their brains are growing, their bodies have to move. Scientists now know that to achieve the precision of the mature brain, stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences during the early developing years is necessary (Greenough & Black, 1992; Shatz, 1992). Movement and sensory stimulation strengthens bonding synapses, which are the connections that are made between neurons. Connections that are not made by activity, or are weak, are “pruned away,” much like the pruning of dead or weak branches of a tree. If the neurons are used, they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain (Chugani, 1998). The less movement kids have, the less their brains have the chance to develop. We could move this argument to the other end of the age scale to say that the less an elderly person moves, the faster the brain deteriorates.
So let us not take movement for granted. Our brain health depends on movement. Instead, let us celebrate our ability to move. Move in as many different directions as you can. Take a dance class, move around a swimming pool, take a pottery class, play with your dog, try yoga, wrestle with your kids, just get up and move.
For comments, please visit www.sculptpilates.ca
Feb 20, 2013 / 5:00 am
Do you need accountability with your exercise program?
I know I do. I think most of us do if we really want to accomplish challenging goals. For many, adhering to their exercise program is challenging. Despite the onslaught of research supporting the fact that physical activity improves health, people still let their fitness programs slide to the wayside. Rod Dishman, head of the exercise psychology lab at the University of Georgia, shows that 50% of new exercisers drop out within six months of starting a fitness program. Research shows that only 20% of the population exercises moderately, and only 10% performs vigorous activity. Unfortunately, these statistics haven’t changed since the fitness boom started. And these statistics are not good for the future of North America.
Over the last 10 years, research has been done to investigate motivation and commitment principles in regards to exercise programs. Knowing that exercise increases self-efficacy, mood, physical self-concept, self-regulatory skills, glucose levels and waist circumference, how do we adhere to our exercise program?
There are many factors that help us stay with our exercise program, but one that Dr. J.J. Annesi shows in his research, and one that has worked for me for years, is the psychosocial supportive model – The Coach.
Annesi trademarked the Coach Approach protocol for successful exercise adherence. Among other things, he is the director of wellness for the YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia. His findings suggest that an increase in exercise volume is associated with proposed psychosocial pathways (The Coach Approach, Annesi, 2012). Psychosocial pathways or support refers to the process of people needing people to overcome their barriers for health (mental, physical, emotional or spiritual). This means that people need people to help them accomplish their goals for a happier, more successful, increased energy, more capable, more joyful and peaceful life.
Fantastically, there is a program available to all of us who need help sticking to our exercise program – and its FREE.
1. The provincial government offers a program called Active Choices, www.selfmanagementbc.ca, that helps people get active, and hopefully stay active. This is a paid-for-by-the-goverment program to help you live fit. As far as my vote counts, I will vote for some of my taxes to be spent on health prevention programs. This is one of those programs.
The Active Choices (A.C.) program recruits people who want to make activity a part of their regular life. Call or email Angela at 604-522-1492 or [email protected] It is a 6-month commitment whereby the program provides you with a coach that will provide you with telephone mentoring and support for your physical activity goals. There is an initial 60-90min, in-person meeting with an A.C. coach. It is at this time that you will review your physical activity history, your short term physical activity goals, set the agreed upon time for phone calls, and make a 6 month commitment to each other.
The A.C. program asks for a 6-month commitment from the participant in hopes that within 6 months, the participant has created an exercise habit and will carry on with their exercise program on their own.
2. This program provides another benefit. It provides free coach training for those who want to volunteer to help coach people who want to get active in the A.C. program. You will learn skills in the area of facilitation, (helping the participant to take ownership of their behaviour and goals), review the stages of change, basic exercise information (e.g FITT model), coaching, listening to understand, the art of questioning to gather information, summarizing for confirmation, tips for handling difficult emotions, tips for handling challenging situations, and a review of community resources. These are skills that every person needs to be a successful friend, a successful parent, a successful employee/er, and a successful coach.
The A.C. program matches a coach up with a participant. And for 6 months, you volunteer 15min/week/2weeks of your time, energy and passion to the health of our community. How irresistible is that?!
A.C. training happens in Kelowna Saturday, February 23, 10-4 at Evangel Church on Gordon.
Please call or email Angela today at 604-522-1492 or [email protected] today.
Read more Moving in the Right Direction articles
- Health & fitness tips for the holidays Dec 29
- Exercise for the brain Dec 2
- Improve immune & detox systems Nov 18
- Posture Nov 4
- Detoxify Oct 21
- Pilates vs. yoga Sep 23
- Naked yoga Sep 9
- Joseph Pilates Principles: Part 3 Aug 12
- Joseph Pilates' Contrology: Part 2 Jul 29
- Joseph Pilates memoirs: Part 1 Jul 15
- Mind, body, soul and spirit Jun 3
- Vigour and vitality Nov 20
(Click for RSS instructions.)