Pilates for Pain Relief
Pilates instructor Kim Mondo points out the connection between pain and imbalances in our body systems, and explains how Pilates can restore balance and reduce pain
“The Way of Nature is to keep moving, and allow no piling up” – Lao Tzu
You can pile up pain and stress, or you could pile up the absence of attention to physical alignment. The skeleton provides the framework for movement. The muscular system provides the force necessary for motion to occur. The nerve system provides the motivation. It’s important to remember the depth of the multiple layers here, when discussing human movement function, and dys- function. When all systems are flowing efficiently, there is no pain or discomfort.
Physical pain, or the information that there is an imbalance, is transmitted to the brain via the neural network. This nervous system is, more often than not, functioning at a rather sufficient level. It works, alongside the brain, to tell the muscles either when to function, or when to chill-out. It takes quite a bit of external stimulus to de-stabalize homeostasis, or, the perfect balance that is life, or living, in body’s layers.
Physical pain comes from stagnation, or over-use. Extra tension, or muscle contraction, will act to pull bones out of their ideal anatomical alignment; simultaneously, inactive muscles will allow the bones to settle, or ooze out of place.
Inactive muscles do not support the body framework. Either of these conditions, whether caused by trauma, or by misuse and strain via lack of awareness, will either impinge or stimulate the nervous system, notifying your brain that something is amiss.
Immediate traumas such as accidents/injuries, will shock the neural-muscular friendship, and long-term build-up of improper skeletal alignment, via either being still too long, or moving “incorrectly” or mis-aligned over an extended period of time, will continuously send noxious, unpleasant news to the brain.
Subsequently, in an effort to maintain life/body balance as efficiently as possible, the nervous system will respond, either calling upon or turning off certain areas of the muscular system to alleviate the noxious signals.
Enter the practice of Pilates: Pilates is neuro-muscular re-patterning. Neuro-muscular tension or passivity is a lackadaisical condition. Barring instant trauma, it comes on slowly. As life is movement, constantly changing, it is only logical to apply efforts that assist balance through turbulent, and smooth, times.
Pilates exercises assist in teaching the brain/nervous system, the muscles, and by default, the bones to work together to beautifully align the layers of the body with the three dimensional manifestations that are our bodies.
To put it bluntly, Pilates keeps you balanced. Who wouldn’t want homeostasis?!