Pilates: what's it all about?

Pilates: what's it all about?

Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses particularly on the control and coordination of the deep muscles of the pelvic floor, back  and abdominals as well as efficient breathing, good posture and focus. We use a particular form of Pilates that has research based evidence and that is based on the directional preference of your body's movement patterns. The Pilates we use at seasons of life has a basis in individual prescription of exercises to suit the person, not a 'one size fits all' approach.

These principles help to provide us with efficient nervous system function (neural drive), good inner strength and a stable base from which to move efficiently and in a functional manner. 

There are many different types of Pilates. Gym based Pilates uses one size fits all which doesn’t give optimal functioning although in people with no specific issues it may be better than nothing. Often gym Pilates is high level and may weaken pelvic floor and vulnerable abdominal tissues. Pilates instructors may use a strength based focus with some individualisation of programs to suit different types of people. Many Physiotherapists tend to use a modified version of Pilates to suit the clients we see in front of us. This is often called Clinical Pilates and is performed 1:1 in your normal treatment session, performed in small groups and/or given to you as home exercises and is directed to specific issues.

Clinical Pilates is individualised prescribed exercises specific to your injury or need. Research tells us that specific exercise is much more effective than one size fits all exercise that you get in most group pilates sessions. At seasons of life we use a mix of direction specific pilates, flexibility exercises and muscle retraining and strengthening. There is a maximum of 5 ladies in these sessions. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO COME IN FOR A CONSULTATION PRIOR TO ATTENDING.

In pregnancy Pilates, we teach you Pilates in a group therapy setting. Although this is a group session, being in a class with either all pregnant women means we are focusing on the specific needs of you all as a population with similar issues and needs. We can also take into account your special needs as an individual, be it pelvic floor dysfunction, back problems or even shoulder or foot pain because of high levels of our physiotherapy skills in assessment and screening and observation. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND A HALF HOUR CONSULT PRIOR TO YOUR FIRST PILATES SESSION. 

Being taught by trained physios this means you receive evidenced based treatments aligned with medical and current Pilates research and principles that are developed along scientific methods as well as combining the classical ideas of traditional Pilates. We ensure you understand the basic principles and that Pilates is fun, enriching, empowering and for life! 

  • Pelvic Floor Training and Pilates.....
  • Contrary to popular belief, Pilates in itself does not directly strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and this has been confirmed by recent published research. No one can address issues of continence or pelvic floor problems without correct assessment and management by a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. We see many women who unfortunately have been doing Pilates and whose pelvic floor problems have been made worse through misunderstanding of the role of Pilates in management of pelvic floor conditions. Pelvic floor conditions arise from a variety of muscular conditions including weakness but also some people have trigger points and over activity as well as weakness.  
  •  We also carefully screen women for PF dysfunction prior to Pilates classes. In our PF relaxation class, you must have had a one on one appt with our Physios to ensure correct PF contraction. 
  • We encourage you to book an appointment with us for a full assessment of your pelvic floor if you have any concerns. We can use ultrasound as well to look at the pelvic floor however for most women, the best way is to have a vaginal examination. This does not involve any use of speculum and is only done with full consent and your guidance.

We look forward to seeing your body function better, your pain resolve, and your issues addressed fully with Pilates assessment and management programs.