The Pilates method is a system of movement and therapeutic exercise developed over a span of 60 years by German born athlete and physical therapy pioneer, Joseph Pilates.
Utilizing the specialized equipment he designed, the method works by toning muscles as well as balancing muscular force at the joint level. It stimulates circulation through facilitating muscular flexibility, joint range of motion and proper musculoskeletal alignment. In addition, it promotes new neuromuscular patterns, heightened body awareness, and more precise coordination. All these things combine to help prevent future re-injury and reduce – even in some cases alleviate – chronic pain altogether.
The Pilates method strengthens, lengthens, and balances spinal musculature, thereby aligning and decompressing injured vertebrae and helping to relieve nerve and disc pressure. As mentioned above, this decompression facilitates and stimulates healthy circulation to the damaged spinal tissue. This pelvic and spinal stabilization work also helps prepare the body for rehabilitation of other weak or damaged areas more effectively.
In addition to disc and other spine related problems, Pepilates has had great results utilizing the Pilates method on clients suffering with complications from knee, shoulder cuff and hip injuries, whiplash, MS, car accidents, Tendonitis and strokes, among other issues. Those clients who are preparing for or recovering from pregnancies or surgeries have also found the Pilates method effective in shortening the total length of time necessary to complete recovery.
Above all, the Pilates methods focus is to create longer, leaner muscles and a more toned and balanced body but a fast paced class will lift your heart rate and stimulate what is known as an “internal shower” when fresh blood is pumped around the muscle fibres and organs of body causing an intense, rejuvenating heat from within.
Pilates has been used since its development to train boxers, dancers and soldiers and is currently used by the US marines, Navy Seals, a number of sports teams, Olympic athletes and the Royal Ballet to increase their fitness.