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Is Pilates rehab?

Is Pilates rehab? Not really. It’s a workout. Usually when people are talking about physical rehab, you’re referring to a serious injury or physical condition for which you’re receiving therapy, such as from a physiotherapist. Pilates as Joe designed it isn’t therapy and it isn’t rehab. Pilates is exercise. Joe designed his method to be a rigorous workout that got your heart rate up and made you work hard. He definitely tailored his method to the body in front of him, but it was always meant to be exercise. That being said, the Pilates method IS excellent for restoring a person to good health in general sense of “rehabilitation”: - It focusses on the whole body as a system - It tries to correct imbalances and restore healthy posture - It teaches control and quality of movement - It’s low impact - It’s easily and meaningfully modified - It’s progressive Pilates often complements therapies and treatments really well. Pilates isn’t meant to take the place of your physio, chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or other wellness and health professionals, but it can nicely work hand in hand with them as a safe way to build body understanding, strength, and control and to keep you in good health. For the above-mentioned reasons and more, a lot of physical therapists will use parts of the Pilates method (exercises or equipment) to complement their therapy practices. Many good Pilates teachers will also be trained to offer modifications and should demonstrate a good understanding of the human body and possible dysfunctions. But unless they have extra qualifications, your Pilates teacher shouldn’t be telling you they’re going to “rehab” you, and they sure shouldn’t be diagnosing you… They’re going to be helping you meaningfully exercise in a way that is mindful of your body’s conditions and is also going to help you get where you want to go. This is also a big reason why it’s good to check into your Pilates teacher’s qualifications, because not all certifying programs are created equal, and just because someone is teaching on a reformer, that doesn’t mean they know how to work with a body with special needs. If you’re dealing with an injury or a special condition, it’s also a good idea to get cleared by your doctor and/or your physio before starting an exercise program of any kind, including Pilates. Root and Reach offers a variety of classes to meet your body where it’s at, and we love working with all kinds of bodies. If you’re wondering if Pilates is a good fit for you, send us a message! And if you’re not ready for Pilates but you’re looking to start on your wellness journey, we can also provide some recommendations for other excellent wellness professionals within our communities.

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