Pilates Exercise & Rehabilitation
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is being able to help clients recover from injury or surgery. The Pilates practice began as rehabilitation for people with all kinds of ailments and severe injuries. The essence of the work is to try and bring our bodies back into their natural and proper alignment. When our bodies experience any kind of trauma, there is work to be done to return to homeostasis, where we can once again feel at home in our physical selves.
When it comes to rehabilitation, I rely on my training and my experience. For instance I have seen many clients through the process of joint replacement. They typically require a good deal of extra attention post-surgery, after they have gone through their Physical Therapy. But each client has a different starting point and compensatory pattern to work with. The decision to have a joint replaced usually comes after a long period of working around pain and limited range of motion, so much of the work is re-educating and building new, healthier patterns of movement after their surgery. I must say it is amazing how far we have come with joint replacements! Many of my clients have found relief and the rehabilitation process is full of satisfying victories, large and small.
I also rely on my curiosity for rehab. When I come across a client or condition where I feel I need more information, I never hesitate to dig in and do the research. I eagerly keep on top of my continuing education because there is constantly more to learn. The beauty of science is that it is always evolving. Luckily, I also have a large network of physical therapists, doctors, and movement therapists as friends. We often consult with one another, which enriches my knowledge and my inspiration!
But there is something else I rely on, something a bit more intangible. My instinct. Much of my work in rehab happens in the moment, based on what I see and hear. For instance, I can plan a session to treat pain from stenosis, a common spinal condition, but the client might walk in that day with a new complaint, let’s say a pain in their hip. That pain could absolutely be from the stenosis, whether or not they realize it, but if we work specifically on the hip, that may in turn spark other ideas for me in regards to treating their stenosis. When someone is in pain, it is also important to address the emotional toll because pain can be utterly depressing and exhausting. So, I will often focus on movements that keep them in a “safe” pain-free place, emphasizing areas of strength to help them build confidence and rediscover trust in their bodies.
Every Client and Case Is Different
I am so happy that my training, my continuing education and my relationships with other practitioners keeps me learning and growing as a Pilates instructor. But the experience I have gained working with clients who put their trust in me during their process of recovery and rehabilitation has taught me the most. Wanting to do my best for them keeps me curious, motivated and fully tuned in.