- What does Clinical Pilates teach me?
Pilates helps you understand and connect to your muscles & learn how to adapt your posture to aleviate your aches and pains. It helps strengthen and improve the endurance of key muscle groups which support your back and other key areas.
Most of the exercises concentrate on teaching you how to stabilize your torso through deep postural muscle control (such as your abdominal muscles and shoulder girdle) while moving slowly with your limbs.
We do a lot of balance exercises, built up as you progress, which help stimulate your proprioception (spacial awareness) and muscle recruitment.
- What are 'Functional Exercises' and why are they important?
If you have had physiotherapy, you may well have been given 'functional' exercises. These are designed to help you in your daily tasks, focusing on teaching you to execute a task (such as vacuuming or lifting) in such a way as to minimize risk of injury and promote effective muscle recruitment i.e. using your leg muscles rather than straining your lower back.
Functional exercises go very well with postural alignment as they both work to help you use the right muscles for the right tasks.
Pilates moves are not always 'Functional' but aid and improve functional movement by stretching and strengthening key postural muscle groups. They use all the planes of movement to ensure overall functional strength and flexibility.
By isolating specific primary trunk stabilizers such as your Transverse Abdominus, Pelvic Floor and Shoulder Girdle, Pilates teaches you to connect and feel those muscles working. This in turn helps you switch them on at the right time. This can be key to help you support functional movement and recruit the RIGHT muscles for proper postural alignment.
Fall Prevention classes are based far more on every day activity and have many moves which simulate daily activities such as walking, lifting, washing, climbing stairs. They focus on strength, dynamic endurance and balance.
- Why is Massage Important for Injury Recovery and how Does It Help with Postural Issues?
Massage has many health benefits for you both as a healing accelerator and as a soft tissue maintenance tool to keep your muscles working well.
Massage deals with Soft Tissue. This means Muscles, Fascia, Tendons and Ligaments. Massage improves blood and fluid circulation within the tissues and helps rid your tissues of knots (adhesions), scar tissue and toxins which inhibit muscle function.
Whether you have regular treatments to limit muscle tension and improve elasticity or you choose to have a course of treatments to alleviate painful symptoms such as neck / shoulder pain, tight sore legs / hips / back, massage will help your body realign and heal itself.
A tight area (tight neck muscle pulls on shoulders, tight hamstrings pull on pelvis) which is not resolved by stretching alone may have a build up of 'knots' or chronic tension which only remedial massage can break up. Once freed, the muscle can then reach its full length and perform its job better. This in turn has a knock on effect on surrounding soft tissues.
Remedial Massage is the perfect way to ensure optimal recovery after injury as it limits and breaks up any residual scar tissue within muscles and ensures the area is well nourished (through good circulation) to speed healing. This helps the muscles to regain their former strength and flexibility which if playing a sport, is what every person needs. Without proper massage and rehabilitation exercises, re-injury frequently occurs.
- When is Massage NOT appropriate?
If you have the following conditions, massage is not advisable and may be refused without specific, written medical permission from your GP or Consultant:
TYPE 1 DIABETES
CERTAIN TYPES OF CANCER (WRITTEN GP or CONSULTANT PERMISSION IS ALWAYS NEEDED BEFORE ANY TREATMENT)
UNSTABLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS
OPEN WOUNDS OR SKIN COMPLAINTS WITH BROKEN SKIN INCLUDING SUNBURN
Useful Websites :
www.necksaviour.com (a fantastic neck stretcher for those with ongoing neck tension- I use these in my classes)
www.flintrehab.com (Stroke rehab exercises and advice)