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Positive Change With Pilates

move change heal Jul 24, 2021
 
"I cannot say if things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better"
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
 
When I first started Pilates almost 20 years ago now, I remember my Pilates teacher commenting about the changes she saw in her clients after several months of Pilates training.  She said it was quite remarkable to see the degree of positive change her clients experienced.  When someone is being held back in life due to a health condition all areas of their lives are impacted.  After a few months of Pilates, she said her clients had not only changed physically but were more confident, talkative and even dressed differently.  As I had only been practicing Pilates for a few weeks at the time, I was slightly dubious if this would ever happen to me.  A few months later as I started to regain my health and fitness post glandular fever and was feeling fantastic for the first...
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You're Pain-Free with Pilates! What's Next?

pain-free with pilates Jul 10, 2021

When you are dealing with chronic pain that is limiting your ability to enjoy life, your main priority is to find a way to stop the pain.  For more than 16 years now, I've been using my unique Pilates program to successfully empower hundreds of people to become pain-free and take back control of their lives.  But what happens when you do become pain-free with Pilates?  What are the next steps to staying pain-free and preventing pain flare-ups in the future?  In this post, I'm going to show you what life looks like for the majority of my clients once they have recovered from pain or injury and are living a life without limits and pursuing their passions.

Becoming Pain-free with Pilates

With a combination of 1 on 1 Skype Pilates sessions,  reinforced by additional practice between sessions using my online Pilates studio, most of my clients start to see a decrease in their pain level around the 10 hour mark.  For people who are determined to overcome their...
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Movement Is Life

active ageing Jun 27, 2021
 
Way back when I was at university studying to be a Pilates teacher, our lecturer declared "Movement is Life."  She then delivered a very powerful lecture, which had such an impact on me, I still remember it almost 17 years later and it has influenced my whole Pilates vision.  She asked us to imagine what it would be like to be heading towards the end of our lives and have several years left of being mentally healthy but having lost the ability to move.  What would that mean?  Basically, you would have lost your independence and you would be 100% dependent on others around you for your very survival.  You would also be putting yourself at risk of a range of other diseases due to being completely inactive.  Not to mention the potential mental health issues the loss of mobility would expose you to as well.  This all sounds very depressing but this is where Pilates comes in.  Many of the issues that could cause you to lose your ability to...
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5 Ways to Self-Manage Your Pain Without Medication

If you are looking to empower yourself with practical ways to manage your pain that doesn't involve medication then these 5 options below are for you.  Dealing with long-term chronic pain can affect you both physically and mentally and rob you of your quality of life.  Feelings of helplessness and vulnerability are normal if you can't see any solution in sight and pain-relief medication becomes your only option.  Everyone has individual needs and it's all about finding what works best for you personally to enable you to take back control of your life.  By familiarising yourself with a variety of reliable options to manage your pain instead of taking medication, you are empowering yourself to be able to stay pain-free and get back to enjoying your life.

Move, Change, Heal and Become Pain-Free with Pilates

Many people mistakenly believe that "rest" is the best option if you are in pain but unless you are in the acute phase of an injury or have...
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Fabulous Feet With Pilates

pilates & feet May 29, 2021
 

Due to the number of questions I've received since my last blog post about foot issues and Pilates, I will delve more deeply into feet in this post and look at why it's so important to maintain strong, flexible feet, especially as we age.  I'll explain why good foot health is essential not only for our feet but for everything above them in our bodies.  I'll also share some simple but effective foot exercises you can start doing straight away and incorporate easily into your daily life.

Why are strong healthy feet so important?

Joseph Pilates instinctively knew that our feet were a neglected part of our bodies that we needed to incorporate into our exercise sessions.  Our feet require as much care and attention as the rest of our bodies so he created specific pieces of small equipment to improve their strength and alignment and most of his exercises include a foot connection.  Feet are complex structures and can be rigid for weight-bearing activities but can also...

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4 Health Conditions Pilates Can Help You Prevent

 

While studying to be a Pilates teacher back in 2004 one of my course requirements was to observe experienced Pilates instructors working with their clients.  This was a wonderful learning experience and at one particular studio,  I was in awe of the number of clients who were successfully managing a major health condition thanks to Pilates.  The majority were long-term clients of around 10 - 15 years.  This makes sense because if Pilates was allowing them to live a full, enjoyable life pursuing their passions such as playing with their grandkids, travelling and playing tennis or golf, why would they stop?  I've since had the same experience with my own clients who also discovered that Pilates was their secret weapon against so many preventable conditions and have made Pilates a way of life.  Here are the 4 most common conditions that I help prevent or manage in my studio:

Osteoporosis

Maintaining bone health is not usually a priority for most...

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Stick with Pilates, Reap the Rewards

pilates & consistency May 02, 2021
 
One of the advantages of having had my Pilates studio for almost 16 years now, is that I get to see the all remarkable benefits that people experience when they practice Pilates for the long term.  Pilates is definitely something that requires consistency and as the majority of my clients have been attending classes with me for many years, mostly around the 8 to 14 year mark, they are ideal examples of what making Pilates a way of life looks like.  I had a very interesting experience last year when I received a call from a former client who had attended my studio almost 10 years ago and was wanting to restart Pilates again.  Nicole, as I'll call her, had only attended classes for around 3 months with the goal of overcoming lower back pain and once she was pain-free began cancelling and gradually decreasing her sessions until she left altogether.  We talked on the phone and not surprisingly her lower back pain had returned plus a range of other painful...
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Protect Your Mental Health With Pilates

Photo by Wavebreakmedia
 
Although there is so much more awareness and openness around mental health issues nowadays, there is still a long way to go with this once misunderstood, taboo topic.  It is now widely accepted that a mental health issue is just as valid as a physical one and requires appropriate treatment.  Many of my clients start Pilates with the goal of not only improving their physical fitness but also assisting with the management of their anxiety or depression or preventing dementia as they age.  The stresses of modern life,  particularly with the added strain of a pandemic, can really challenge our mental health and it's important that we monitor our stress levels and seek solutions if needed.  Joseph Pilates said, "It is the mind itself that shapes the body."  He designed his unique method of movement to incorporate a mind-body connection and Pilates is as much a mental workout as it physical.  In his book "Caged Lion," ...
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Take Control of Your Health & Fitness With Pilates

pilates & control Apr 04, 2021

 

We all need to feel that we have a degree of control over our lives, including our health.  Without this feeling of control, we can have the sense that life is something that is happening to us and we are just accepting whatever comes our way. This is a very disempowering way to live especially if you are dealing with health issues or are currently in pain.  If you feel you are powerless to change your situation, your mental health is also at risk.  Lack of control leads to depression and anxiety and feelings of despair.  Pilates is all about control.  Joseph Pilates originally called his method of exercise "Contrology" and "Control" is one of the original six Pilates principles:

"Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.  Through Contrology, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire that natural...

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Shrinking in Height as You Age? Pilates to the Rescue!

 
No one likes the idea of shrinking in height as they age but the good news is Pilates can really help you to reach and maintain your full postural potential at all stages of life, especially into your later years. 
We all know the stereotype of the "little old lady" or "little old man" whose body has given in to gravity.  They have shrunken in height with their upper body curled forward, a hump on their upper back and if you add a walking stick and some coke bottle glasses, you have the classic cartoon or fairytale "old person."  Shrinking in height can begin during our 40s, even a little earlier for some people and it's thought we lose approximately  2 cm - 4 cm sometimes more, from our peak height by the end of our lives.  So let's look at why this happens and how you can use Pilates to maintain as much of your peak height as possible, so you can stay, strong, flexible, healthy and lengthened as you age.

Why do we shrink as we age?

There are...
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