Pilates. What’s all the fuss about?

Chiropractor and Head Pilates Instructor Dora, (@puremotionbodyandfitness) takes us through the greater benefits of Pilates not only for improvement in performance but state of mind.

By definition, Pilates is a form of physical fitness system that is derived from a rehabilitation perspective. It is based on fewer, precise movements that require control over increased repetition.

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century and interestingly it was originally called Contrology which is ‘complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrololgy 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 rhythm and coordination associated withall your mental and subconscious activities’ – Joseph Pilates
As a Chiropractor, I see a wide range of injuries. Most of these injuries are caused because our mind has drifted away from our body. During the treatment and rehabilitation phase of an injury, we pay extreme attention to every detail of what is required of us to get back on track. Some of us
become knowledgeable about the human anatomy to the point of obsession and then we suddenly develop a ‘thinking body’. Developing a thinking body is a principle that lies in the heart of Pilates.
Pilates teaches us to become aware and mindful of our movement to help prevent injuries from happening in the first place. It also teaches us to identify and correct our faulty patterns of movement.
For example, some of us will carry our bag on the same shoulder, others will hold their phone to the same ear with the same hunched shoulder and tilted neck, and some women will predominantly carry their baby on the same hip. This means that we tend to favour one group of muscles more than the other when we are performing our day-to- day activities.

These one-sided actions can cause imbalances in the body, which can lead to restriction of movements in our joints and muscles. Over time these repeated imbalanced movements, regardless of whether they are beneficial or detrimental to function, will become set in the memory of our muscles which is also known as motor engrams (learned movement or postural patterns). Gaining awareness that this problem exists, is a step towards a solution. it is through Pilates that you will gain awareness of these faulty patterns and then you can perfect them so when you use them, they are efficient.
Pilates has definitely played a massive role in assisting my patients in regaining their health by strengthening and stabilising key muscles. Its value and benefits are endless. It is as beneficial to a 17 year old as it is to a 70 year old. It assists those with restricted mobility as well as elite athletes.
Wrapping up now I promise! …

Joseph Pilates also believed that by ‘reawakening thousands of dormant muscle cells, we also reawaken thousands of dormant brain cells, and thus activating new areas and stimulating further the functioning of the mind’. Therefore, Pilates is not merely a physical fitness, it is the artwork of the science of the human movement. So please join me on Saturday morning and give Pilates a go!