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Pilates: Helping You to Heal

Pilates' Role in Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy

Pilates practitioners use their own bodies as weights in training, to build strength, and flexibility this is targeted without a focus on high-powered cardiovascular exercise. Today, Pilates is used in the rehabilitation process by many physical therapists. Pilates is an old approach to movement re-education that is becoming popular in the field of fitness and rehabilitation. The Pilates environment can be used as an assistive environment that optimizes the acquisition of movement with a reduction of destructive forces and can be used to progress individuals through more challenging movements that represent their day-to-day activities. Research and theories in motor learning, biomechanics, and musculoskeletal physiology help support the phenomena experienced by many Pilates-based practitioners; however, the Pilates-based approach needs to be subjected to the rigors of research to better evaluate its efficacy in the field of rehabilitation.

In recent years, many Pilates students have seen important parallels with the Alexander Technique, and the discoveries of F. Matthias Alexander. It has been used to train dancers in flexibility and physical strength. The first official Pilates Studio was opened in New York in 1926. In recent years it has become a popular fitness modality, with many stars attributing their successful weight loss and increased muscle tone to Pilates.

Preserving Pilates Principles

As the technique has grown in popularity through the 1990s, many fitness trainers have begun teaching Pilates without any form of certification or formal training in the technique. Obtaining certification can be confusing, as there are numerous organizations who offer certification in exchange for a fee or at the end of a course they offer. Some practitioners believe the explosion in popularity has thus led to a dilution of the technique as taught by Joseph Pilates and fear it can causes poor results or injury.

Previous: Everyone is Talking About Pilates!...What Exactly is That Again?

Adapted from: Pilates


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