News & Updates
No Class Ausstralia Day 26 Jan 2017
26-01-2017 



27-03-2016 
I am now teaching at "Fresh Holistic Health" 330 Mons Road, Forest Glen on Friday mornings from 6:30 - 7:30 am. 
The 9:30 - 10:45 am class at Buddina has been cancelled for the time being.


Archive
 

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of exercise pioneered by Joseph Pilates, who, in his lifetime, referred to his exercises as "Contrology" to denote the concentration and control required to complete them properly.    Joseph Pilates was born 1883 in Monchengladbach Germany.  At age 29 Joseph moved to England to box, perform in a circus, and train English police in unarmed combat.    In World War One he was interned and acted as a Nurse and Physiotherapist for infirmed internees.    He used bedsprings to rig up exercise equipment so that bedridden internees could benefit from exercise.    After WW1 Joseph returned to Germany and trained the Hamburg military police in unarmed combat until he was asked to train the new German army.    He declined and moved to New York City where he trained boxers.    He was then discovered by dancers, who valued his insight into injury rehabilitation and prevention.    His system of exercises was influenced by several sources including Kong Fu (a Chinese martial art), Zen ( a Japanese Buddhist discipline), gymnastics, boxing, circus performing, and body building as part of the early 20th century European 'kulture physique' social movement.     

Recent developments in Pilates: Deep segmental stabilizing muscle retraining.

Recently Australian physiotherapists have interwoven Pilates with a new paradigm in physiotherapy, "deep segmental stabilizing muscle retraining", which refers to each segment of the skeleton being held stable by small muscles.    The idea is that the position of these small "stabilizing" muscles close to joints gives them the ability to hold bones in their proper alignment.    In contrast large "mobilizing" muscles further away from your joints move your bones around, but are poor stabilizers.    

For efficient movement with mininmal risk to joints, the body recruits the small stabilizing muscles first so that larger mobilizing muscles can then move your body from a stable frame.   Unfortunately pain, swelling, and not bearing weight for prolonged periods selectively inhibit stabilizing muscles, but not (most) mobilizing muscles.   Furthermore, stabilizing muscles do not come back to full function when the pain, swelling, or lack of bearing weight goes away.   Worse still their continued inhibition increases the risk of further pain episodes.  

It was research in the physiotherapy department at University of Queensland starting in the 1990s that pioneered this research using real time ultrasound to view muscle contraction in real time.   They used this technology to diagnose poor stabilizing muscle function and to retrain it.   They found out what it took to recruit these small muscles, including what type of verbal cues worked.

Their research found that high load exercises, such as the abdominal exercises used in traditional Pilates, were very poor at getting small stabiling muscles to work and that much more subtle low load exercises were required for their retraining.

The method only progresses to higher load once the deep segmental stabilizing muscles have been successfully recruited. "Clinical Pilates", an Australian Pilates school based in Melbourne was the first, that I know of, to use real time ultrasound for the purpose of stabilizing muscle retraining and to merge this new paradigm into Pilates.    Deep segmental stabilizing muscle retraining is part of every YogaChiGungPilates class.