Have you been searching for a new way to exercise your body to help you get stronger, protect yourself from injury, and treat any existing health problems you might be experiencing?
Dealing with pain, injury, and lack of mobility can be exhausting, not only on a physical level but also on a mental one. When left untreated, these issues can begin to affect more and more of our lives, threatening to define us as we struggle to overcome them. Thankfully, I’m here to tell you about a new way to move past these issues and into the next chapter of a healthy life: Clinical Pilates.
What is Clinical Pilates?
Clinical Pilates (also known as reformer Pilates or physio Pilates) is a treatment-focused adaptation of traditional Pilates—an exercise modality initially created to help dancers rehab with the holistic wellness of their entire body. Clinical Pilates has 5 basic principles that refer to a series of biomechanical body awareness issues that provide the basis for the exercises. With every exercise, whether on the mat or the Reformer, we keep awareness of the following 5 principles.
- The position of the head and neck
- The position of the shoulder blades
- The position of the rib cage
- The position of the pelvis
- The breath and activation and engagement of the body’s core muscles
Pilates is all about creating a balance throughout the body, which is done through exercises that work on multiple areas of the body at a time. And when used in a clinical setting, the results of Pilates can be incredible to behold in patients.
Whether you’re dealing with a recent injury or a longtime source of physical pain, a lack of mobility or the physical toll of carrying and delivering a child, physical challenges can come in all forms. What they have in common, however, is their potential to be treated and conquered by this amazing form of rehabilitative therapy.
With that said, here are six reasons why you should start doing Clinical Pilates today, rather than sometime in the future!
1. Strengthen the pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor is a bouncy, elastic group of muscles and fascia that spans the surface of the so-called pelvic bowl, which is formed by the bones of your pelvis and tailbone. The pelvic floor is vital for several functions in the body, such as:
- Supporting lower internal organs (bladder, bowels, sex organs, etc.)
- Supporting the weight of a growing fetus during pregnancy
- Regulating waste processes
- Stabilizing the position of your hips, pelvis, and lower back
The important thing to note about the pelvic floor is that it’s comprised of soft tissue. And just like your muscles or tendons, the pelvic floor can become weakened, injured, and even damaged if it’s not properly taken care of.
Clinical Pilates is a fantastic way to rehabilitate and strengthen the pelvic floor. This treatment can help you strengthen the pelvic floor, restore lost flexibility in the area, and even help you recover after an injury.
Clinical Pilates is ideal for those expecting a baby, or who have just given birth, as well as for people suffering from ongoing pain in the hips, pelvis, and lower back. Finally, Clinical Pilates can also help treat the problem of urinary incontinence (the leakage of urine), a process that depends heavily on a healthy pelvic floor.
2. Get back on track after an injury
Have you recently suffered a physical injury? Whether you were in a car crash or experienced a sports injury, there are certain types of physical damage that may not go away on their own. And it’s in cases like this that Clinical Pilates becomes so useful as a form of treatment.
At ProActive Pilates, I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients for over 25 years as they surmount physical challenges caused by injury. Because this type of physiotherapy treatment is so flexible, it’s easy to make adaptations according to each patient’s abilities and needs.
The other great benefit of Pilates as injury rehabilitation is its focus on balance. Our bodies are made up of complex, deeply interconnected components, all of which contribute in one way or another to our overall health. Through a deep understanding of these complex systems, Clinical Pilates can help you strengthen and rehabilitate the entire body, not just the injured areas. This means that sessions will be less painful and demanding than in other types of treatments, as well as more holistic wellness throughout the body.
3. Correct posture
Whether you spend most of the day on your feet or at a desk, sitting still or on the go, posture is vital to our health. Not only does good posture affect the health of your back, shoulders, neck, pelvis, and more, but it’s also thought to have tangible effects on our confidence and therefore, our mental health.
Clinical Pilates can help you correct your posture through the lengthening and strength training of key muscle groups. With some time and focus put into this modality of treatment, great posture will no longer feel like a chore or something you need constant reminders of. Rather, it will aid you in the process of internalizing good posture, forming a good habit that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.
4. Say goodbye to chronic pain
Many, many people endure chronic pain each and every day. So whether you’re subject to regular flare-ups, or you’re suffering from a regular baseline level of pain, I’m here to tell you that Clinical Pilates can help—not just when it comes to managing your pain, but also in addressing it at its root source.
The effects of Clinical Pilates on chronic pain and low mobility are twofold. After some time and dedication, the strength and body awareness you build will help you achieve long-term freedom from ongoing pain. It can be extremely helpful in the short term as well.
The strength and flexibility training that is so fundamental to this type of treatment can be a big help in reducing the severity of your symptoms, helping you move on from chronic pain and into a new chapter of wellness.
5. Improve your overall level of fitness
Clinical Pilates isn’t just for people experiencing pain and injury. Many people also use it as a form of exercise, and for good reason. Clinical Pilates works across the entire body, promoting longer and stronger muscle groups that will be more capable of supporting you in any activity you might be doing.
Furthermore, this type of Pilates will help you build endurance, stamina, and overall fitness. This means easier workouts, muscle toning, body confidence and an overall sense of true, physical wellness.
The beauty of Clinical Pilates as a form of exercise is the dedication to balance. No muscle group is overexerted or left underused, so you can count on steady improvement across the entire body as you keep up with your Pilates sessions.
6. Mind-body connection
Last but certainly not least is this essential piece of the Pilates process: body awareness and mind-body connection. Clinical Pilates is all about control and mindfulness. It teaches you to become aware of your movements, your breathing, and your body’s stability, and these instincts become second nature after some time.
Not only does the body awareness from Clinical Pilates help people become aware of their physical condition, but also it can prevent future injury and even help you regulate your emotional response to tough situations.
If you’re interested, why not get started now?
As a trusted physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, there’s a question I receive a lot about the Clinical Pilates modality: “When should I begin?”
This is a fair question. No one wants to begin a treatment that won’t benefit them, which begs the question of when to begin.
The truth is, the sooner you start, the better. Whether you’re dealing with serious physical challenges or simply want to feel stronger and more aligned, this treatment can benefit anyone and everyone.
Are you ready to see the difference that Clinical Pilates can make in your life? Don’t hesitate to contact me today!