Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Pilates for Neurological Conditions

I spotted a couple of interesting things on twitter recently, which leads me to find that several people are advertising Pilates for Neurological Conditions, and often this is for MS and Parkinsons.

This link: http://peakphysiotherapy.com/blog/2013/07/29/pilates-an-effective-neuro-rehabilitation-tool/ states for Pilates generally: "One of the huge benefits of pilates is that it can be taken really slowly,placing the emphasis on precise movement control and quality of each exercise rather than trying to use speed and lots of repetition. This helps individuals not to feel over-worked, limits fatigue and helps greatly with emotional wellbeing as they feel able to exercise without feeling that something is unmanageable. Pilates exercises also teach body self-awareness." 

This describes my journey with Pilates quite well. I'm a bit slower than many of the other people in the room, but I can complete most of the exercises. There are a couple where my spasticity gets in the way, but we find a way to do the exercise in a different way to achieve a similar goal.

If you are a Pilates instructor there are specific training courses you can do. These are predominantly in the USA https://pilatesforms.com/workshops/, although there are others in the UK: http://www.mbodiesacademy.com/coursefinder/?search=pilates+neurological as well!

For those that want to give Pilates a try, I'd suggest looking up a local provider to you. You could ask your instructor if they are aware of this type of course.

Mobility problems should not be (too much of) a barrier. You can do Pilates without getting down onto the floor: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/chair-based-pilates-exercise-video/ And, you can do Pilates when in a wheelchair - it is reported in Study 2, here:  https://www.mstrust.org.uk/research/research-updates/update130822-pilates-exercise-helps-a-wide-range-people-with-ms. This study reports physical, functional, psychological and social benefits and increased confidence in activities of daily living. The participants enjoyed the class, and most wished to continue participation.

There are references to the benefits of doing Pilates with HSP:

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