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Pregnancy is a transformative journey, both physically and emotionally, and as Pilates teachers, we have the privilege of supporting expectant mothers through this extraordinary time. Incorporating Pilates into their routine offers numerous benefits, from improving strength and flexibility to promoting relaxation and alleviating common discomforts. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything Pilates teachers need to know about supporting clients through Pregnancy Pilates, from setting the foundation to addressing key client concerns and providing essential support along the way.

 

The Benefits of Prenatal Pilates

Staying active and fit during pregnancy is essential for the health and well-being of both mother and baby. Pilates offers a safe and effective way for expectant mothers to maintain their physical fitness while supporting their changing bodies. Regular Pilates practice can help improve posture, alleviate back pain, reduce stress, and promote better sleep. Additionally, Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the core muscles, which can be particularly beneficial during labor and delivery. By incorporating Pilates into their routine, expectant mothers can feel empowered, confident, and better prepared for the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Setting the Foundation

Before starting a Pregnancy Pilates program, it's important for expectant mothers to obtain medical clearance from their healthcare provider. This ensures that both mother and baby are healthy and ready to engage in physical activity. Once clearance is obtained, Pilates teachers can begin to tailor workouts to meet the specific needs and concerns of their clients. Emphasizing proper breathing techniques is essential during PregnancyPilates, as deep, diaphragmatic breathing helps to oxygenate the body and promote relaxation. Pilates teachers should also encourage clients to listen to theirbodies and make modifications as needed to ensure a safe and comfortable workout experience.

 

Tailoring Workouts to Each Trimester

Pregnancy progresses in trimesters, each with its own uniqueset of challenges and opportunities. Pilates teachers must adapt their workouts accordingly to accommodate the changing needs of expectant mothers.

 

During the first trimester, focus on building strength, flexibility, and core stability while paying close attention to proper alignment and posture. Emphasize body awareness and encourage clients to listen to their bodies as they navigate the early stages of pregnancy.

 

In the second trimester, shift the focus to maintaining strength and flexibility while avoiding exercises that strain the abdominal muscles. Emphasize pelvic stability and incorporate gentle stretching and relaxation techniques to help alleviate common discomforts.

 

As clients progress into the third trimester, focus on gentle, low-impact exercises that promote relaxation and prepare the body for childbirth. Emphasize pelvic mobility, breathing techniques, and restorative movements to help clients feel more comfortable and at ease during the later stages of pregnancy.

 

Essential Guidelines and Cautions

 

Prioritize Breathing: Guide your clients to prioritize proper breathing techniques during all movements, as breathing plays a vital role during pregnancy and throughout exercise.

Encourage comfortable clothing that allows for ease of movement and emphasize the importance of staying well-hydrated.

Discuss the importance of monitoring heart rate during exercise and staying within safe limits.

Emphasize the importance of listening to the body and avoiding any exercise that causes discomfort.

 

Cautions per Trimester:

 

First Trimester: Don’t start exercising if you haven’t before being pregnant (unless cleared by the leading doctor).

Second Trimester: Stop crunches or any abdominal wall work, avoid excessive joint stretching, and limit exercises on the back to 3-5minutes. Avoid prone movements and Z-sit positions.

Third Trimester: Avoid exercising in a hot and humid environment and reduce the duration of training sessions or classes. Stop exercising and seek medical help if any discomfort or pain occurs during exercise.

At any point of pregnancy, stop session and seek medical advice if any of the following happens: vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, regular painful contractions, leakage, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, chest pain, muscle weakness affecting balance, or calf pain or swelling.

 

Addressing Key Client Concerns

Expectant mothers may have concerns about the health of their baby, the process of labor and delivery, and the physical changes associated with pregnancy. Pilates teachers play a crucial role in addressing these concerns and providing essential support and guidance throughout the journey.

 

Key Client Concerns:

 

Health of the Baby: Pilates teachers should provide evidence-based information and reassurance regarding fetal development and overall baby health, helping to alleviate anxiety and promote confidence in their clients.

 

Labor and Delivery: Discussing strategies for pain management, relaxation techniques, and positions for labor can help clients feel more prepared and confident as they approach childbirth.

 

Physical Changes and Discomfort: Pilates teachers can offer modifications and adaptations to exercises to accommodate common discomforts such as back pain, pelvic pressure, and swelling. Encouraging clients to listen to their bodies and make modifications as needed can help them feel more comfortable and confident throughout their pregnancy journey.

 

Pregnancy Pilates offers expectant mothers a safe and effective way to maintain their physical fitness, alleviate discomfort, and prepare for childbirth. As Pilates teachers, we have the opportunity to support and empower expectant mothers through every stage of their pregnancy journey.By prioritizing safety, mindfulness, and adaptability, we can create a nurturing environment where clients feel supported, empowered, and confident as they embrace the journey of pregnancy with grace and resilience.

 

Continuing education is essential for Pilates teachers who seek to empower their teaching, especially when it comes to Pregnancy Pilates. Staying abreast of the latest research, guidelines, and best practices in prenatal exercise and women's health is crucial for providing safe and effective workouts for expectant mothers. At IVA' Pilates, we understand the importance of ongoing learning and professional development. That's why we offer specialized courses designed specifically for teachers who want to become go-to experts in prenatal and postnatal Pilates. Our comprehensive curriculum covers everything from understanding the physiological changes during pregnancy to adapting exercises for different trimesters and addressing common concerns and discomforts. By enrolling, Pilates teachers gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to support expectant mothers through every stage of their pregnancy journey.

 

Join our community at IVA' Pilates and elevate your teaching to new heights as a trusted and knowledgeable expert in Pregnancy Pilates.

Mastering Pregnancy Pilates: Essential Do's and Don'ts for Safe and Effective Practice

Learn vital guidelines for safe Pregnancy Pilates. Expert insights to empower Pilates teachers and support expectant mothers through every trimester.
Read post
7 minutes

Bridge the Connection: Building Rapport and Communication in Your Pilates Classes

 

In the world of Pilates instruction, technical proficiency and a deep understanding of biomechanics are crucial. But what truly elevates a good teacher to a great one? The answer lies in the power of rapport and communication.

 

Building strong relationships with your clients goes beyond chit-chat before class. It's about creating a safe and supportive environment where clients feel heard, understood, and motivated to reach their full potential.  This, in turn, fosters trust, adherence to instruction, and ultimately, a more rewarding experience for both the instructor and the client.

 

The Power of Rapport

 

Rapport refers to a sense of connection and mutual trust between you and your client. When rapport is strong, clients feel comfortable asking questions, expressing concerns, and pushing themselves further in their practice. This open communication allows you to tailor your instruction effectively, identify areas for improvement, and create a personalized learning experience.

 

Building rapport is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Here's how it benefits both instructors and clients:

For Teachers: Strong rapport allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your clients' needs and goals. This empowers you to create more targeted and effective programming, leading to better client outcomes and a sense of professional satisfaction.

For Clients: When rapport exists, clients feel comfortable pushing their boundaries and exploring their full potential. Theyare more likely to adhere to your instruction, leading to faster progress and amore enjoyable Pilates experience.

 

Communication Essentials: Building the Bridge

 

Effective communication is the cornerstone of building rapport with your Pilates clients. Here are some key communication skills you can cultivate:

 

Active Listening: The Art of Truly Hearing

 

Active listening goes beyond simply hearing what your client is saying. It's about paying close attention to their words, body language, and underlying emotions. Here's how to master the art of active listening:

 

Maintain Eye Contact: Make eye contact with your client throughout the conversation to demonstrate your focus and interest.

Use Encouraging Nonverbal Cues: Nod your head, smile, and lean in slightly to show that you're engaged.

Summarize and Reflect: Briefly summarize what you've heard to ensure correct understanding. This also allows the client to further process their own words.

 

Benefits of Active Listening:

 

Active listening unlocks a wealth of information beyond the immediate concerns a client might voice. By truly hearing them, you can:

 

Uncover Underlying Motivations: Explore what truly motivates your client to come to Pilates. Is it pain management, weight loss, or something deeper? Understanding their "why" allows you to tailor your instruction and create a more meaningful experience.

 

Identify Dreams and Aspirations:  Delving deeper beyond the immediate goals (e.g., weight loss, pain management) can reveal a client's true aspirations. Perhaps they dream of staying active for their grandkids, regaining confidence to wear a swimsuit, or maintaining independence as they age. Uncovering these hidden motivations allows you to connect with them on a deeper level and craft a Pilates plan that supports their overall well-being.

 

Prevent Injuries and Adapt Instruction: Active listening empowers you to identify potential limitations or injuries your client might not readily mention. By adapting instruction accordingly, you can prevent injury and ensure a safe and effective practice.

 

Clear and Concise Communication: Your Words Matter

The way you communicate instructions is vital. Use clear, concise language tailored to your client's understanding. Avoid technical jargon  and break down complex movements into simple, step-by-step instructions.

 

Positive Reinforcement: Fueling Motivation

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for motivating your clients and boosting their confidence. Recognize their efforts, celebrate their progress, and offer specific verbal praise for their achievements.

 

Open Communication: Creating a Safe Space

Encourage open communication where clients feel comfortable expressing concerns, limitations, or questions they might have. You can achieve this by:

 

Asking Open-Ended Questions: Instead of yes/no questions, ask open-ended questions that invite clients to elaborate on their experiences and goals.

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment: Foster a classroom setting where clients feel comfortable speaking up without fear of judgment.

Tools and Techniques for Building Rapport and Communication

 

Several valuable tools and techniques can enhance your communication and build stronger rapport with your clients:

 

Pre-Class Questionnaires:

Utilizing a pre-class questionnaire  is a valuable tool for gathering information about a client's goals, injuries, and experience level.  This allows you to tailor your instruction from the very first session.

 

Individualized Attention:

Take the time to get to know your clients on an individual basis. Learn their names, remember their goals and limitations, and inquire about their experiences outside of Pilates. This personalized approach fosters a sense of connection and demonstrates that you care about their well-being beyond just their physical form.

 

Effective Use of Verbal Cues:

Clear, concise, and encouraging verbal cues are crucial for guiding clients through Pilates exercises. Use simple language and avoid technical jargon. Consider incorporating imagery and kinesthetic cues to help clients visualize and understand proper movement patterns.

 

Imagery: Describe movements in a way that evokes a mental image. For example, instead of saying "lift your leg," you could say "imagine pressing your heel up towards the ceiling."

Kinesthetic Cues: Provide tactile guidance by gently placing your hands on a client's body to guide their movement. This is particularly helpful for kinesthetic learners who learn best through touch.

 

Body Language: Speak Volumes without Words

Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in building rapport. Utilize positive body language like:

 

Smiling: A genuine smile conveys warmth, approachability, and puts your clients at ease.

Nodding: Nodding your head shows that you're listening and engaged in the conversation.

Maintaining Eye Contact: As mentioned earlier, eye contact demonstrates attentiveness and interest.

Open Posture: Avoid crossing your arms or appearing closed off. Maintain an open posture that invites communication.

 

Building Bridges for Lasting Success

 

By prioritizing rapport and communication, you elevate your Pilates instruction to a whole new level. When you truly connect with your clients, understand their motivations and dreams, and communicate effectively, you create a supportive learning environment that fosters trust, motivation, and ultimately, a more rewarding Pilates experience for everyone involved.

 

Bonus Tip:  End your classes by taking a moment to acknowledge your clients' efforts and celebrate their achievements.  This positive reinforcement leaves a lasting impression and motivates them to return for more.

  

Building rapport and communication is an ongoing process. Share your favorite tips for connecting with clients in the comments below!  Do you have any questions about effective communication in the Pilates studio? We'd love to hear from you!

Bridge the Connection: Building Rapport and Communication in Your Pilates Classes

Learn how to build strong connections and effective communication in your Pilates classes. Enhance rapport, motivate clients, and create a supportive learning environment.
Read post
6 minutes

Beat the Energy Slump: Recharge Your Batteries for a Thriving Season

 

Spring is a time of renewal, but for many of us, it can also bring a dreaded visitor – the energy slump. Longer days and sunshine might seem like a recipe for boundless energy, but often we find ourselves feeling sluggish and deplete, and struggling to maintain our usual enthusiasm with the clients.

 

This fatigue is a common experience, and the culprit is often a mismatch between our energy needs and our daily habits.  The good news? By making some simple tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, you can replenish your energy stores and maintain a vibrant, energetic presence throughout the seasons.

 

This translates into a more fulfilling experience for you and your students, allowing you to continue sharing your passion for Pilates and empowering them to achieve their wellness goals.

 

This guide delves deeper, focusing on practical strategies specifically for Pilates instructors like you.

 

Fuel Your Body for Peak Performance: Macronutrients Matter

 

Our bodies rely on three main types of macronutrients for fuel: carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Each plays a crucial role in keeping you energized, but not all are created equal. Let's explore how to make smart choices to ensure sustained energy throughout your busy teaching days:

 

Carbohydrates

Ditch the refined carbs like white bread, sugary pastries, and processed foods. These lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, leaving you feeling drained mid-client or during long stretches of lesson planning. Instead, focus on complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, vegetables, and even some fruits (consumed in moderation). These provide sustained energy release through a steady flow of glucose, your body's preferred fuel source.

 

Go Beyond the Basics: Whole grains come in a variety of forms. Explore different options like brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, and whole-wheat bread or pasta. Don't forget about starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, and peas, which also provide complex carbohydrates and valuable fiber.

 

Fiber is Your Friend: Fiber plays a crucial role in slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing energy-sapping crashes. Aim for high-fiber fruits (berries, apples, pears) and vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens).

 

Protein

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues throughout the body, including your energy-producing muscles. Additionally, protein helps with satiety, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and preventing energy crashes triggered by hunger pangs. Aim to include a source of lean protein (chicken, fish, beans, tofu, tempeh) at each meal and snack.

 

Variety is Key: Explore a variety of protein sources beyond chicken and fish. Lean meats like turkey, legumes (beans, lentils), and plant-based protein options like tofu and tempeh are all excellent choices. Don't forget eggs – a complete protein source that's perfect for breakfast or a quick snack.

 

Healthy Fats

Don't fear the fat! Healthy fats play a vital role in energy production and hormone regulation. Include sources of monounsaturated fats in your diet, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats also contribute to brain health and can improve cognitive function, keeping you sharp throughout the day.

Incorporate healthy fats throughout your day. Drizzle avocado oil on salads or vegetables, add nuts and seeds to yogurt or oatmeal, or use olive oil for cooking.

Micronutrients Matter: The Unsung Heroes of Energy

 

Beyond macronutrients, vitamins and minerals are the unsung heroes of energy production. These micronutrients act as catalysts for various bodily functions that contribute to your energy levels. Here's a quick rundown of some key players for Pilates instructors:

 

B vitamins: These vitamins are essential for converting foodinto usable energy. Sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, whole grains,and leafy green vegetables.

 

Iron: Low iron levels can lead to anemia, a major contributor to fatigue. Focus on iron-rich foods like red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and dark leafy greens. Consider pairing iron-rich foods with vitamin C sources (citrus fruits, peppers) to enhance iron absorption.

 

Magnesium: This mineral supports muscle function and energy production. Magnesium-rich foods include nuts, seeds, avocados, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.

 

Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in overall health and energy levels. Sunlight exposure is the best source of vitamin D, and since many of us in the Northern hemisphere don't get enough exposure during spring, consider including foods like fatty fish, eggs and discuss supplementation with your physician.

 

Meal Spacing Matters:

Avoid constant snacking between clients. This disrupts digestion and can lead to blood sugar imbalances. Plan your meals and snacks strategically, allowing your digestive system adequate rest between sessions. Aim for balanced meals with a mix of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs every 3-4 hours. On the other hand, avoid letting too much time pass between meals, as this can lead to energy crashes and overeating later.

 

A Sample Meal Plan for Pilates Instructors:

 

Here's a possible meal plan to consider, keeping in mind that individual needs may vary. Adjust portion sizes and meal frequency based on your activity level and personal preferences:

 

Breakfast (around 7:00 AM): Opt for a protein-rich and fiber-filled option to keep you feeling satisfied until your mid-morning snack. Examples include Greek yogurt with berries and a teaspoon of organic nut butter, whole-wheat toast with avocado and eggs, or oatmeal with nuts and seeds.

 

Mid-Morning Snack (around 10:00 AM): Choose a light and energizing snack to bridge the gap before lunch. A small piece of fruit with nut butter, a handful of vegetables with hummus, or a protein smoothie are all good options.

 

Lunch (around 1:00 PM): Aim for a balanced meal with a source of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. A salad with grilled chicken or fish, a lentil soup with sourdough bread, or a brown rice bowl with tofu and vegetables are all excellent choices.

 

Afternoon Snack (around 3:00 PM): Another light snack can help maintain your energy levels in the late afternoon. Cottage cheese with sliced vegetables, a small handful of almonds and dried fruit, or a protein bar are good options.

 

Beyond the Plate

 

While nutrition plays a primary role, a holistic approach is key for maximizing your energy levels as a Pilates instructor. Here are some additional lifestyle habits to complement your dietary adjustments:

 

Sleep: The Silent Recharge

Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Consistent sleep patterns and a relaxing bedtime routine are crucial for optimal energy regulation. Here are some tips for better sleep hygiene, specifically tailored to a busy Pilates instructor's schedule:

 

Schedule Your Sleep: Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

 

Wind Down Wisely: Create a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body it's time to wind down. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, practicing light stretches, or listening to calming music. Avoid screen time (phones, laptops, tablets) for at least an hour before bed, as the blue light emitted can interfere with sleep.

 

Optimize Your Sleep Environment: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool for optimal sleep. Invest in blackout curtains or an eye mask if necessary. Use earplugs or white noise machines to block out distracting sounds. Keep the room temperature cool, ideally between 16-19 degrees Celcius.

 

Stress Management: Tame the Energy Drain

Chronic stress can deplete your energy reserves and leave you feeling burnt out. Explore stress-management techniques  specifically tailored to incorporate into your busy schedule:

 

Mindful Moments: Meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment and letting go of distracting thoughts. There are many different meditation techniques available; explore guided meditations online or apps to find one that works for you. Even short, 5-minute meditations practiced before or after teaching a class can significantly reduce stress levels.

Mindfulness exercises can be incorporated into everyday activities, such as mindful eating or taking a mindful walk in nature during your breaks between clients.

 

Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises are a simple and effective way to quickly reduce stress and promote relaxation. Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Consider incorporating short breathing exercises into your classes or guiding your students through them aspart of a cool-down routine.

 

Stay Hydrated: Power Your Movement

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and impair cognitive function. Here are some tips to ensure you stay hydrated throughout your teaching day:

 

Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle: Carry areusable water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. Aim to drinkwater consistently, rather than waiting until you feel thirsty.

Set Hydration Reminders: Set reminders on yourphone or computer to drink water at regular intervals, especially during busyteaching days when you might forget.

Flavor Boost: Infuse your water with fruits,herbs or spices for added flavor and a refreshing boost. Consider incorporatingother hydrating beverages like unsweetened herbal teas into your routine.

 

Embrace the Season: Nourish Your Body and Mind

 

Spring is a time of transition. As the season progresses, be mindful of how it might affect your energy levels. Here are some additional tips to keep you going strong:

 

Lighter Fare for Warmer Days: As summer approaches, consider incorporating lighter options into your meals. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Stay Cool and Hydrated: During hot summer months, prioritize staying cool and hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all timesand wear loose, breathable clothing.

Embrace Seasonal Produce: Take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available during spring and summer.  These seasonal options are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can further support your energy levels and overall health.

 

Take Care of Your Resources and Thrive as a Pilates Instructor

Spring can be a season of renewal and transformation, but it can also bring a temporary dip in energy levels for busy Pilates instructors. By incorporating the strategies outlined in this guide, you can take control of your energy and create a vibrant, fulfilling spring season. Remember, small changes can make a big difference. Experiment, find what works best for you, and prioritize self-care practices that nourish your body and mind.

 

Embrace the spring season with renewed energy and a passion for empowering your students through the transformative practice of Pilates. IVA' is here to support you on your journey to becoming the best Pilates instructor you can be.

 

Bonus Tip: Throughout the year, be mindful of seasonal changes and how they might affect your energy levels. As summer transitions into fall, consider incorporating warming foods like soups and stews into your diet. Focus on vegetables rich in beta-carotene, like sweet potatoes and carrots, to support your immune system as the colder months approach. Winter brings shorter days and less sunlight exposure. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of supplementing with vitamin D during these months.

 

By taking a holistic approach to self-care and adapting your habits to the changing seasons, you can ensure you have the energy and enthusiasm to inspire your students year-round.

 

Blog post by Margot Hiller, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Photo by Jamie Brown on Unsplash

Recharge Your Energy: Nutrition Tips for Pilates Instructors

Discover practical strategies to beat the energy slump and stay vibrant this spring and beyond. Learn how to fuel your body, and embrace the season.
Read post
8 min

Building Your Authentic Pilates Business: Standing Out in a Thriving Industry

 

Feeling the squeeze in a crowded Pilates market? Don't despair! The good news is, the entire fitness and wellness industry is booming. People are prioritizing their health more than ever, seeking ways to move better and feel their best. This surge in interest creates a fantastic opportunity for your Pilates business, but it also means standing out from the crowd is a must. This guide will help you do just that, by building an authentic brand that reflects your unique approach and attracts ideal clients who resonate with your style.

 

This comprehensive guide delves into the essence of building an authentic Pilates business. We'll explore strategies to uncover your unique voice, translate it into a compelling brand story, and express it across various platforms. But before we delve in, let's remember – you are your most valuable asset. Your passion, teaching philosophy, and the positive impact you have on clients' lives are the cornerstones of your brand.

 

Continuous Development: Sharpening Your Skillset

 

Building a thriving Pilates business necessitates continuous investment in yourself.  While passion serves as the fuel, unwavering dedication to development is the engine that propels your success.

 

Technical Expertise:  Stay up-to-date with the latest Pilates research and methodologies. Consider attending workshops or conferences to refine your teaching skills and broaden your knowledge base. Expanding your technical expertise allows you to offer clients the most up-to-date and effective Pilates practices.

 

Business Savvy:  Don't underestimate the power of business acumen.  Explore resources on marketing, branding, and studio management. Consider workshops or online courses dedicated to helping Pilates instructors navigate the business side of their passion.

 

Soft Skills Development:  Communication, empathy, and the ability to motivate are all crucial for building strong rapport with clients. Cultivate your soft skills by attending workshops or exploring online resources on communication and leadership.

 

Crafting Your Brand Story: From Passion to Impact

 

Now that you've embraced your role as your most valuable asset and committed to continuous development, let's delve into crafting your brand story. This narrative isn't just a list of qualifications – it's about the impact you make on your students' lives.

 

Mission Statement

 

DefiningYour Purpose: A well-crafted mission statement captures the essence of yourPilates business and your approach to teaching. It provides a clear and concise answer to the question: "What makes us different?" Your mission statement should resonate not only with you, but also with your ideal clientele. This powerful statement can be used across various platforms, including your website, social media bio, and even marketing brochures. Consider incorporating your passion for Pilates into the mission statement.For example, if your passion lies in empowering individuals through movement, your mission statement could be: "Empowering individuals to achieve optimal well-being through transformative Pilates practice."

 

Showcasing Client Success Stories.

 

Testimonials with the Power to Inspire: Real-life client transformations serve as powerful testimonials to the effectiveness of your Pilates business. Sharing stories of how your instruction has helped individuals overcome physical limitations, achieve fitness goals, and improve their overall well-being fosters trust and inspires potential clients. Feature these success stories on your website, in social media posts, or even consider including client testimonials in your email marketing campaigns.

 

Consistent Voice Across Platforms

 

Maintaining Brand Authenticity Building a strong brand is all about consistency. Your unique voice should resonate throughout all your communication channels: from the content on your website to social media posts and even your in-studio interactions. Develop a consistent writing tone that reflects your personality and resonates with your target audience. Use authentic, engaging images and visuals that align with your brand identity on all platforms.

 

Expressing Your Brand Identity: Transforming Words into Tangible Elements

 

Now that you have a compelling brand story, let's translate your essence into visual and tangible elements that potential clients can experience both online and within your studio walls.

 

Your Website:

 

A Digital Storefront Reflecting Your Brand Values: Your website serves as your digital storefront, the first impression prospective clients will have of your Pilates business. Invest in a high-quality, user-friendly website.  Utilize clear navigation, captivating  images that showcase the atmosphere of your studio and your teaching style, and compelling written content that conveys your brand values and philosophy.  Consider including a "Meet the Instructor" section where you can share your personal story, qualifications, and passion for Pilates. Don't forget to prominently display your class schedule, pricing information, and clear calls to action, such as "Book a Class" or "Schedule a Consultation."

 

Crafting a Social Media Strategy: Engaging Your Audience on the Right Platforms:  Identify the social media platforms where your target audience resides. Are you catering to busy professionals onLinkedIn or targeting young, fitness-conscious individuals on Instagram? Once you understand where your ideal clients spend their time online, focus your efforts on those specific platforms. Tailor your content to fit the format of each platform. Share informative blog posts and articles on Facebook, showcase captivating workout snippets or behind-the-scenes glimpses on Instagram.Regardless of the platform, remember to prioritize engagement. Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in relevant online conversations. Building a sense of community fosters loyalty and creates a space for potential clients to connect with you and your brand.

 

Studio Atmosphere:

 

Extending Your Brand Identity into the Physical Space: The physical space where you conduct your Pilates classes should be an extension of your brand personality. Is your brand minimalist and zen-like, focusing on a tranquil environment for mindful movement? Or are you a high-energy studio offering dynamic Pilates workouts? Regardless of the style, ensure your studio is welcoming, clean, and well-equipped. Consider incorporating design elements that reflect your brand identity, such as color schemes, artwork, or motivational quotes displayed prominently on the walls.

 

Innovation: Staying Ahead of the Curve

 

In a dynamic industry, staying stagnant is a recipe for falling behind. Don't be afraid to innovate. Consider incorporating new Pilates variations or integrating cutting-edge technologies into your classes.

 

The Power of Community: Learning and Growing Together

 

No successful Pilates instructor navigates the journey alone.  Surrounding yourself with a supportive community of like-minded individuals is essential for growth.  This community provides a space to learn from each other's experiences, exchange ideas, and celebrate successes.

IVA' is a platform designed to empower ambitious Pilates instructors like yourself.  Here, you'll find a supportive community of individuals dedicated to building thriving Pilates businesses.  Access educational resources, connect with experienced instructors, and share your journey in a positive and encouraging environment.

 

Embrace Your Authenticity and Build Your Dream Pilates Business

 

Building an authentic Pilates business is a journey of self-discovery and continuous improvement. By investing in your technical expertise, business acumen, and soft skills, you refine your most valuable asset – yourself. Couple  your growth with a commitment to innovation and a supportive community like IVA', and you'll pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in the thriving world of Pilates.

Remember, you don't have to navigate this path alone. IVA is a supportive community designed to empower ambitious Pilates instructors like yourself. Here, you'll find a wealth of educational resources, connect with experienced instructors, and share your experiences in a positive and encouraging environment.

 

Embrace your passion for Pilates, invest in your growth, and join IVA's supportive community.  Together, you'll build your dream Pilates business and leave a lasting impact on the lives of your clients.

Building Your Authentic Pilates Business: Standing Out in a Thriving Industry

Discover how to stand out in the crowded Pilates market and build your authentic brand. Learn valuable tips for success as a Pilates instructor, from continuous development to crafting your brand story. Join IVA' for support and resources.
Read post
12 min

The Top 5 Reasons Why Fascia Matters To Pilates?

You may be noticing the word “fascia” (connective tissue) is a hot topic right now in all body related fields, such as in Pilates too. But before we get to why fascia matters to your Pilates practice, here is a brief primer about why it’s getting so much attention these days.

Fascia your other body

First, many think of fascia as a glorified body stocking - a seamless piece of tissue that wraps you just underneath the skin. While this is true of the superficial fascia, it’s important to understand it is a richly multi-dimensional tissue that also forms your internal soft tissue architecture and connects your body from head to toes.
From the superficial (“body stocking”) fascia, it dives deep and forms the pods (called fascicles) that actually create your musculature like a honeycomb from the inside out. Imagine what it looks like when you bite into a wedge of orange and then look at those individually wrapped pods of juice. We’re like that too! Fascia also connects muscle to bone (tendons are considered a part of the fascial system), and bone to bone (ligaments are also considered apart of the fascial system), slings your organ structures, cushions your vertebrae (yep, your discs are considered apart of this system, too), and wraps your bones.
So imagine for a moment you could remove every part of you that is not fascia. You would have a perfect 3D model of exactly what you look like. Not just in recognizable ways like your posture or facial features, but also the position of your liver, and the zig-zig your clavicle takes from that break you had as a kid, and how your colon wraps. To say it’s everywhere is far from over-stating things.
In fact, it turns out fascia’s everywhere-ness is one of the reasons it was overlooked for so long. Until recently it was viewed as the packing peanuts of soft tissue. Therefore, in dissections for study and for research, most of it was cleanly scraped away and thrown in a bucket so the cadavers could be tidily made to resemble the anatomical texts from which people were studying. Poor, misunderstood, and underrated fascia...
Fortunately research is catching up to what turns out to be a remarkably communicative sensory and proprioceptive tissue. What fascia researchers are discovering is pretty amazing not just for movement specialists, but for anyone who simply wants to put their body to good, healthy use. So without further ado, here is some of the newly emerging information about fascia and how you can use it to maximize not just your performance in movement, but also just your plain old ability to feel good and move freely in your body.

1. Fascia is a tensional fluid system

While it’s difficult for us to understand how a support structure could be a fluid structure - because we’re not exactly making hi-rise buildings out of Jell-O - it’s true. Juicy fascia is happy fascia. The best analogy I can give is of a sponge. When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient.You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Once we understand that we’re like that on the inside, keeping our fascia hydrated takes on more importance. Our mobility, integrity, and resilience are determined in large part by how well hydrated our fascia is. In fact, what we call “stretching a muscle” is actually the fibers of the connective tissue (collagen) gliding along one another on the mucous-y proteins called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs for short). GAGs, depending on their chemistry, can glue layers together when water is absent, or allow them to skate and slide on one another when hydrated. This is one of the reasons most injuries are fascial. If we get “dried out” we are more brittle and are at much greater risk for erosion, a tear, or a rupture.

2. Variation matters

Movement also gets the hydration out to the tissue as well, but that movement needs to be varied. This meansvariation not just of the movements themselves, but also variation of tempo. Not only does moving constantly inthe same ways and in the same planes put you at further risk for joint erosion (a là osteoarthritis), but you are alsodehydrating the fascia in a particular pattern, thus setting you up for that brittle tissue that injuries love somuch.

The Pilates technique will provide you with over thousands of movement variations all working in differentplanes with different rhythms to achieve ideal body or facial flow.

3. It’s all connected

So drink more water, right? Well, yes and no. Staying hydrated via drinking continues to be important, but ifyou have dehydrated fascia it’s more like you have the little kinks in your “hoses” (microvacuoles), and so all that water you drink can’t actually reach the dehydrated tissue and gets urinated away, never having reached the crispy tissue. To be able to get the fluid to all of your important nooks and crannies you need to first get better irrigated by moving the fascial tissue. You can manually move your fascia for better irrigation like trough specific massage technics or more simple irrigate your whole fascial system through a intelligent exercising that will reconnect your whole body. So thinking of that what better way to connect your body and move intelligently than through Pilates so your movements will teach your soft connective tissue to untangle those gluey bits.

Because of the way we all learn and study anatomy we know that somehow all our body is attached and connected thanks to ligaments, tendons and muscle but to what extend and to what depth?

In anatomy-speak we describe all muscles as having an origin and an insertion. So far we limited our attachments to single our multiple joint actions. That made it sound like the body is taped or stapled to be “attached” at its origin and insertion points - like it’s this separate thing that gets stuck onto other separate things. A very isolated way of looking at connecting the body and that does not explain how a pain in the neck can have its origin in your foot, right? A more clear and true view to human anatomy would be that the facial matrix connects your head to your toes. This is important because it gives us a handier understanding of how you just can’t have something happen to one “part” of your body and not have it affect every other “part” of your body. This brings the dreaded domino effect into a clearer perspective

Many of you have experienced the domino effect without having had a name for it. First, your neck gets injured in a minor whiplash when you were a teenager.But being young and resistant, you ignore it and it gets better. But a few years later working in an office, suddenly you have this nagging shoulder pain with all the extra typing and sitting you’re doing. As the years go by you start to think of yourself as the “tight-shouldered” person, and sometimes you have a pinching pain when you lift your arm. More years go by and you are now not only a “tight-shouldered person,” but you also suffer from occasional low back spasms and have developed plantar fasciitis, which you assume must be because you’re a runner and everyone says running is bad for you so you stop running but the pain still stays. I could go on, and this is just one quick sketch of one type of domino effect out of the infinite possibilities, but you get the idea and I am sure you can think of some client's stories that may have been similar.

The thing these people are experiencing is actually the long, slow drain of an unaddressed compensatory pattern on a body, but in our culture we call it, “just getting old.” The best way to avoid the domino effect is to keep your fascia healthy so that nothing gets jumble dup in the knit of your body and you are therefore at much lower risk for developing a compensatory pattern which, by its very nature, is always going to be global.

So once more what better way than to use the Pilates technique that will teach your students who to be aware of their bad moving patterns to re-establish, re-store and re-connect new ways of moving efficiently for a well balanced and uniformly shaped body. Hadn't Joe already spoke about that in his book "Return to Life"... remember?

4. Its springiness wants to help you out

What do you get when you add juiciness to connectedness? Springiness! When your tissue retains (orgains) its natural spring, the rebound effect of the fascia allows you to use less muscle power, and therefore fatigue less rapidly. Want to jump higher, run faster, and throw farther? You’ll need to pay attention to nourishing the elastic quality of your fascia. That is where the Pilates method is an ideal way to move fascia as Joseph Pilates has based all his method on releasing your inner springs through precise movements. Hence to learn how to find that recoil actions in your body, he developed his Pilates equipment all based on moving with spring tension.

For example, when you run with healthy fascia the force you transmit into the ground gets returned to you through the whole tensional network of the fascia. It’s like you have a little built-in trampoline action going on.So once you’ve done the work to rehydrate your tissue, you’ll want to embrace natural bouncy supple movements hence why Joseph Pilates had such a bouncy technique himself if you watch his videos.

5. It is the largest and richest sensory organ of the body

Now this little tidbit of recent fascial research was as hocker. It turns out fascia is one of our richest sensory organs with between six to ten times higher quantity of sensory nerve receptors than the muscles. So it has been proven that fascia moves faster than muscle and may even be the biggest and fastest sensory organ we have.

This makes your fascia a system of proprioception - i.e. of knowing where your body is in space, but also of graceful full body orchestration of movement. While it’s impossible to not be using at least some of the sensory qualities of fascia (unless you have a disease process that is interfering with it), a way to play with waking up the full potential of your own proprioception is to return, as I already covered, to constantly varied movements.

Referring all this information to the Pilates technique and the latest research of the importance of fascia In our body, we can say that fascia is simply everywhere and responds to everything around and inside of you. It is rather far complex system, that though, can simply be restored and kept healthy through conscious and unconscious movement patterns. Fascia will be moved by what you Think, what you Sense (hence feel) and what you Do with your connective body every second of your day. Your understanding of connecting your mind to your body to your spirit when you move "will lead you to the healthy uniformly shaped body", quoted Joseph Pilates.

So weather you know the anatomy of fascia or not, weather Joe knew this science of fascia in the late 30' (which I really doubt), doesn't matter. What truly matters is that Joseph Pilates most certainly knew what felt right in his whole body when he was moving with full awareness to his full potential to continuously restore all the resources the body had with its inner and outer ability through movement... Just like the fascial system moves you you everyday consciously or subconsciously, weather you understand fascia or not.

I hope that this article has opened up your senses to your 3D fiscal matrix and I am sure you have plenty to chew on for now! So go forth, love your fascia, move in all planes connecting your mind-body-spirit to your work and train happily with the Pilates method "for the greater enjoyment of life", just like Joe quoted in his book "Return to Life"in 1945.

by Brooke Thomas & Iva Mazzoleni

Author of original article "the top 5 ways fascia matters to athletes”Brooke Thomas on www.breakingmuscle.com

Re-edited and adapted by Iva Mazzoleni.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Fascia Matters To Pilates?

Fascia, your body's hidden hero, is key to movement and injury prevention. Discover how Pilates optimizes fascia health for better performance and pain-free movement.
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18 min

Return to the Source

In this month's blog post, I want to explore the heart and soul of the Pilates method –– the vision of Joseph Pilates himself. Many instructors, myself included, learn the exercises but might not delve into the deeper philosophy behind them. Today, I'll share my journey of discovering Pilates' true source and how understanding Joseph Pilates' ideas can elevate your practice from simply doing exercises to embodying a holistic approach to well-being.

I have been practicing Pilates for more than 15 years and I have been lucky enough to teach it with passion for more than 10 years. In comparison to my Master Teachers who are gifted with over 35-55 years of experience, it is clear that I am only a teenager in terms of Pilates expertise. However, I hope that my experience in learning the method can guide you or refer you in your personal research in mastering the Pilates method.

I was incredibly lucky during my training to be able to benefit from a variety of experiences with various Elder &Master Teachers. They all made me do similar things at the end of the day, but at the same time, they all had sucha different take on things. There was, however, one thing that reunited them in their approach, and this was the fact that they all referred to Joseph Pilates and his work “Return to life" as an indispensable source.

During my first years of practicing Pilates as a student in a Physiotherapy practice in Sydney, I knew nothing about the origin of the method and even less about the philosophy of its creator, Joseph Pilates. I had never known about the origin of the method and its history. I didn’t even know that Joseph & Clara Pilates were the creators, leaving behind them an entire tree of teaching descendants, which is today called the "Elder Master Teachers" (like EveGentry, Carola Trier, Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Kathy Grant, Lolita San Miguel, Bruce King, etc). What prevailed in my training was biomechanics, physical anatomy and lots of cues on the technical part of the movements... nothing at all about the vision, the philosophy nor the magic of the method.

It was only several years later, when I became a teacher, that I became aware of the creator, Joseph Pilates, and his life story, during one of my Pilates training sessions. But mentioning this, we had only spent 10min on the subject of Joseph Pilates, three pages of history in the manual, and that was it! Suffice it to say that my knowledge of the method source was still very poor.

Being by nature very curious and rather a perfectionist, I needed to find out more. I was shocked to have practiced, during all this time and without knowing it, a training method which had however quite a history and a very clear message. It was then that my research to find the source of Pilates began. I bought all the books that I could find in the book stores on the method (Google was not yet my friend), but without much result. And then, until one of my Master Teachers, Kathy Corey, made me aware of the fact that Joseph Pilates had written two books on his method and his vision of his training system called "Your Health" and "Return to Life". I then immediately began reading the book in English. And I very quickly understood from his own writings that Joseph was a visionary and a genius who was seeking to improve a world which was going to sink further and further in the disease and physical, psychic and emotional suffering.

For him the Mind, the Body and the Spirit were strongly linked together and it was the responsibility of each one of us, to take care of the primary "Being" which was given to us at birth. Seeking to maintain a constant balance between these three bodies, in an ever faster and more harmful world, must remain a key element of our life hygiene in order to be able to live to the best of our means and to find pleasure in Life. Neglecting the body we were given is the the most foolish thing we can do and we respect the needs of our physicality! How should we do that: by simply trusting and listening to wisdom of our body and having the mind guide the body with the proper directions for the greater enjoyment of life. Having himself endured numerous physical and psychic tests in his life, Joseph Pilates has always known how to deal with this through movement. Being very earthy, and gifted witha steel will and an extraordinary flair for the body, he knew, by his experience, to fully develop his potential. It is over his life course and because of his visionary insight that his method could give birth to one of the most effective and widespread teaching techniques in the world.

To return to what I believe to be the most fundamental source of the method, it goes without saying that it is about Joseph and Clara Pilates themselves; but more specifically, it is the vision and the philosophy which makes the Pilates technique truly MAGICAL as well as an ingenious training method for the mind, body and spirit. A complete, “holistic" approach, which should take into account all that you are, all what you live for and all that you aspire to in life, so that your potential is fully revealed and maintained daily through movement.

To help you to discover a small part of his vision, I invite you to read an extract of his book "Return to Life" written in 1945 by Joseph Pilates. I hope that these few original paragraphs, written by Joseph Pilates in 1945, will stimulate your curiosity and your motivation to understand more deeply the primary motivations of the Pilates method. Then, you will no longer be satisfied simply teaching basic exercises, but you will aspire to teach a method of holistic movements which will take into account ALL that you are and live for, at any time in your evolution.

I wish you a wonderful discovery in enhancing your knowledge of the original vision of the Pilates method according to his work, the source, “Return to life"

Civilisation impairs physical fitness

Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability. This very rapidly progressing world with its ever-increasing faster tempo of living demands that we be physically fit and alert in order that we may succeed in the unceasing race with keen competition which rewards the “go- getter” but by-passes the “no-getter.”

Physical fitness can neither be acquired by wishful thinking nor by outright purchase. However, it can be gained through performing the daily exercises conceived for this purpose by the founder of Contrology whose unique methods accomplish this desirable result by successfully counteracting the harmful inherent conditions associated with modern civilisation.

In the Stone Age and onward man lived mostly outdoors with practically little shelter from the elements. He has not yet lived long enough indoors with protection against the elements to be able to successfully withstand the daily strains and stresses imposed upon him by our present mode of “fast” living. This explains why both you and I and all the rest of us are compelled in our own interest to give constant thought to the improvement of our bodies and to spend more time in acquiring and maintaining that all-important goal of physical fitness.

All in all, we do not give our bodies the care that our wellbeing deserves

True, we do stroll in the fresh air whenever our whimsical spirit moves us, or whenever necessity compels us to do so, with the result that on these occasions we do, in spite of ourselves, exercise our legs to this limited extent, accomplished, however, at the sacrifice of the rest of our body which after all is much more important to us from the viewpoint of our general health. Is it any wonder then that this haphazard and wholly inadequate body-building technique of the average person fails so miserably in the acquirement of physical fitness!

Admittedly, it is rather difficult to gain ideal physical fitness under the handicap of daily breathing the soot-saturated air of our crowded and noisy cities. On the other hand, we can more quickly realize this ambition if we are privileged to breathe the pure fresh air of the country and forests without the accompaniment of the traffic roar of the city which constantly tends to keep our nerves strung taut. Even those of us who work in the city and are fortunate enough to live in the country must counteract the unnatural physical fatigue and mental strain experienced in our daily activities. Telephones, automobiles, and economic pressure all combine to create physical letdown and mental stress so great that today practically no home is entirely free from sufferers of some form of nervous tension.

Because of the intense concentration demanded by our work and despite the real enjoyment our work may bring some of us we, nevertheless, gladly welcome any additional relief in the form of diversified and pleasant recreational activities, preferably outdoors, in our constant attempts to offset the effects of increasing cares and burdens so common today. To ease mental strain and relieve physical fatigue we must acquire a reserve stockpile of nervous energy in order that we may really be able to enjoy ourselves at night.

We must of necessity devote more time and more thought to the important matter of acquiring physical fitness.

Hobbies and all forms of play tend materially to renew our vitality with accompanying moral uplift. Play is not necessarily only confined to indulging in conventional games. Rather the term “play” as we use it here, embraces every possible form of pleasurable living. For example, simply spending a quiet and pleasant evening at home with our family chatting with congenial friends is, according to our interpretation, a form of play that is delightful, pleasant social entertainment as distinguished from our daily work. This finds us cheerful, contented, and relaxed.

However, many of us at the end of our daily work lack sufficient energy at night for recreation. How many of us simply spend the night routinely reading the evening newspaper? How many of us are entirely too exhausted to read, even occasionally, an interesting book, visit our friends, or see one of the latest motion pictures?

When some of us occasionally spend a weekend away from our usual city haunts and environments, instead of receiving the immediate benefits of that desirable change in the way of complete revitalization (without fatigue)as the result of our experience outdoors in the bright sunshine, we are more often than not likely to find ourselves only recovering from the shock of our disappointment about the middle of the following week.

Why? Because our previous mode of living and the consequent neglect of our bodies has not prepared us for reaping the beneficial results of this diversion. We lacked the necessary reserve energy to draw upon for this purpose and the fault lies only with us and not with nature as most of us like to think. All that any normal body should require is a change from whatever it has previously been subjected to.

Accordingly, since we are living in this Modern Age we must of necessity devote more time and more thought to the important matter of acquiring physical fitness. This does not necessarily imply that we must devote ourselves only to the mere development of any particular pet set of muscles, but rather more rationally to the uniform development of our bodies as a whole - keeping all our organs as nearly as possible in their naturally normal condition so that we may not only be in a better position to earn our daily bread but also so that we may have sufficient vitality in reserve at night for the enjoyment of compensating pleasure and relaxation.

Perhaps with some feeling of doubt you ask, “How can I realize such a utopian condition? At night I am much too tired to go to a gymnasium.” Or, “Isn’t it too costly to enroll for a conditioning course in some good gymnasium or club?”

RETURN TO LIFE fully explains how you can successfully achieve your worthy ambition to attain physical fitness right in your own home and at only nominal cost.

Return to Life and Return to the Source

Dive deeper than Pilates exercises! Explore Joseph Pilates' original philosophy for a holistic mind-body approach to well-being. Unlock Pilates' true potential.
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18 min

Birth via abdominal incision (the cesarean)

Induced or planned, the surgical act of a cesarean (a birth via abdominal incision) is becoming more and more practical. But how do you prepare for it, how do you recover and what are the advantages and disadvantages?Lack of information about this operation is still common. This is why I hope that this article will inform you more about the sequence and the possibilities of recovery from a cesarean.

Giving birth

When giving birth to a baby, it is sometimes necessary to do a cesarean, whether it is scheduled, decided upon in an emergency, or by the mother’s choice in cases of possible complications. This was my case for my two births via abdominal incision.

When giving birth to a baby, it is sometimes necessary to do a cesarean, whether it is scheduled, decided upon in an emergency, or by the mother’s choice in cases of possible complications. This was my case for my two births via abdominal incision.

Having personally given birth to two little girls by cesarean, I wished to share with you my very positive experience and how I was able to recover very well from this significant surgical procedure which has allowed me to give life to two marvelous beings.

It is very rare that there are positive testimonials from a birth by cesarean and there are numerous women who feel very bad about not having been able to give birth “normally” vaginally and they have a significant feeling of failure which makes them feel powerless after the operation. In addition, the days following the procedure can be difficult and painful and most women have not been physically, mentally and emotionally prepared.However, there are many tips that can help you through this procedure and to recover as quickly as possible physically, mentally and emotionally, so that the experience of a cesarean is not experienced as a failure or something negative.

I hope that with this article and my personal positive experience, I can help and reassure all pregnant women whofind themselves forced to have a cesarean, and that they will have an experience which is as full and as positive aspossible, having as much information as possible in order to prepare sufficiently. Also, never forget that it doesn’tmatter how you are going to, or have given birth, be proud of having carried your child to term and having offeredhim life with the means that you have or that you have been given...

Happy reading.

An increase in the number of cesareans

In 25 years, the rate of cesareans has doubled. The rate was 10,9 % in 1981 a 20,1 % in 2007, meaning one birthout of 5. Around 1/3 cesareans are decided upon during birth when there is distress of the mother or baby, and 2/3cesareans are scheduled. The reasons for this increase are numerous, such as obstetricians currently prescribingmore preventative measures aiming to decrease the risk of fetal distress during labour, the growing number of “riskybirths” due to the increase in average age in mothers and twin births, the medico-legal pressure exerted onobstetricians and the simple fact that women today have the choice to decide how they would ideally like to givebirth.

How does a cesarean take place?

The cesarean takes place in the operating room. An intravenous drip, an anesthetic epidural or spinal anesthesia, and a urinary catheter is placed in order to avoid damage to the bladder during the procedure

The epidural has replaced general anesthetic for most procedures, except in emergency cases or when the epidural is contraindicated. The positive consequences of this anesthetic are also psychological because the new mother is awake and can therefore welcome her baby and if the cesarean is scheduled, she can prepare herself mentally and there is less of a risk of having the impression of “missing the birth". On the other hand, the advantages are also physical because the epidural avoids the uncomfortable awakening from a general anesthetic (nausea, state of confusion and agitation, shivering). Additionally, the young mother is generally less tired and her body begins to heal much quicker .

Next , the skin of the abdomen is disinfected and a sterile operating field is placed. If the partner wishes to be present in the procedure, he will then enter and sit at the head of the patient after dressing in surgical scrubs. He can then chat with his partner without having to see anything of the procedure.

Often, a pressure is felt in the abdomen area at the moment of fetal extraction. As soon as the baby is outside, he is taken to his parents before being taken by the mid-wife (and then eventually handed to the father) for the first checks and handed to the pediatrician who is present in the operating room. The fetal extraction lasts less than 5minutes and the cesarean lasts on average 20-30 minutes.

Nausea, shortness of breath and a light malaise can be felt during the procedure but the anesthetist present in the operating room can, upon your request, make use of other products to reduce these effects.

Obviously, during a cesarean you will not be able to accompany your child as much physically at the birth as you would in a vaginal birth. However, absolutely nothing prevents you from accompanying your child mentally and emotionally throughout the procedure until your child is born with the help of your surgeon. Being as present as possible with the means that you have during the birth will come back to your child and you will bond regardless of which way you give birth. Your emotional and mental presence will have great significance for you and your child when you hear his first cries when he is born. Never forget that you will experience his birth through your state of mind.

Stressing the importance of breath during your surgery is not to be neglected. It is not because your body is numb and you lay on surgery table that breathing has to be forgotten. Inhaling and fully exhaling to empty your lungs and cleanse your body with every breath is so important during your labor, even more so if it is a c-section, as you will oxygenate your body with its most valuable fuel. The body flow stays improved and your tissues benefits massively from it to stay relaxed and not tense or congested because you are holding your breath or shallowing your breath because of the apprehension of the surgery which then tightens the skin and the fascia. Any tightness of fascia willdecelerate the healing process of a scar and cause adherences in the scar and belly area... So remind your clients of the most valuable Pilates tool, breathing. Joseph stressed a great deal on breathing with his clients and so should you for your pregnant ladies and remind them of : "JUZT BREEZE !!!" As Joe used to say with is German accent, "YOU MUST INZ ZE AIR AND OUTZ ZE AIR"...

Your bandages will next be placed and you will be monitored for 2 hours in the recovery or birthing room before being taken back to your room. Breastfeeding is then possible, as well as eating some light food.

The hours following a cesarean

Back in her room, the new mother will still have several tubes in her body : the catheter from the epidural (to ensure a light epidural for 24 to 48 hours), a drip (to nourish and hydrate the new mother and also to inject painkillers or antibiotics), a urinary catheter and a drain.

For the first 4 days following the cesarean, women will have significant bleeding, in general more abundant than after a vaginal birth. It is normal to saturate 5 or 6 special “after birth" pads in the first 24 hours. It is quite normal to have loss for 4 to 6 weeks.

Settle in as best you can in the hoursfollowing the cesarean

How do you settle in the bed ? It is tempting to settle in a half-sitting position, supported by several pillows with the knees raised to avoid stretching the stitches.

However, this position is very bad for the back and blocks blood circulation in the lower stomach. It is better to remain stretched out flatter with a single knee bent, and the foot flat on the mattress .

When you change legs, stretch the bent leg allowing to foot glide on the sheet while exhaling, and then bring the other leg in the bent position while folding in the groin, as if you are pulling on a string attached under the knee. It is important to involve the stomach and the lower back as little as possible when you are moving in the bed. To sit up in the bed, move the two legs towards the chest, and then roll in a single movement towards the side. With the knees grouped as high as possible, push on your arms to put yourself in a sitting position.

Tip : attach a rope or simply the belt of your pyjamas to the bottom of the bed. This will enable you to hoist yourself up progressively (like a mountaineer) in a stretched out position to a sitting position.

24 hours after the procedure

The first 24 hours following a cesarean are rarely the most painful as most women are still under the effects of the epidural or receiving pain killers through a drip

Food is generally light (tea and biscuits are given on the first day, soup the next day followed by the first meal) as the intestinal transit has not yet been reestablished. Its reestablishment generally accompanies gurgling noises and gas which is difficult to evacuate.

After a birth, you will still experience contractions. These are the afterpains : the uterus is retracting to progressively return to its original size before pregnancy (generally 2 weeks after the birth). They also compress the blood vessels to avoid a hemorrhage. This mechanism lasts between 1 and 4 days, with a maximum of 1 week, and is particularly strong the first two days. A few tips to decrease the pain of the afterpains: urinate frequently (especially before breastfeeding) as a full bladder will push the uterus towards the back and will prevent it from contracting.

As you will be bedridden for some time after your cesarean, you will perhaps be receiving some anticoagulants in the days following the procedure in the form of sub-cutaneous injections. You will most certainly be asked to get up from around 12 to 24 hours following the cesarean. The first time you get up is often painful.

Here is some advice :

- Begin by sitting on the side of the bed with your feet placed on theground (if the bed is electric) or in a stool. Straighten yourself up byleaning on your arms. Do not look at the ground.

- Supported by a nurse, cross an arm over your stomach to support the scarwhen you take your first steps.

- Try to keep as straight as possible. Most women are dizzy when they firstget up. The more you move and walk straight up, the quicker the scar willheal and you will prevent build-up around the scar.

- If you get a spasm, lean on a nurse and close your eyes so that you can concentrate on your breathing.

The next day following the procedure, it is important to begin breathing exercises to stimulate lower stomach circulation, which is essential to accelerate the scar’s healing process. Mobilizing your scar and stomach is imperative to ensure rapid healing. The following exercises can be carried out in bed, several times per day, from the first day after the procedure :

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Footwork
Sitting in the bed, with the legs stretched, energetically extend and bend the tip of the feet, and alternate, and then the two feet together. Repeat20 times.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Footwork
Stretched out in the bed, stretch the legs and do 10 ankle rotations withone leg at a time and then do the other leg.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Pelvis Tilts (engagement of the back muscles)Stretched out in the bed, with the knees slightly bent, press into the mattress by progressively rotating the pelvis and bringing the stomach towards the spine, and then release. Repeat 20 times.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Dead Bug (table top) & Femur Arch
Stretched out in the bed, bring the two knees towards the chest or one at a time (by sliding the feet on the sheet to gently lift the legs). Hold this position and breathe in completely and then release by sliding the legs along the sheet again). Repeat 10 times.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Side to Side
After the stitches have been removed : lie on the back, bring the knees towards the chest and then bring the knees together on one side and then the other by "rolling" on the backside. Repeat 10 times.

It goes without saying that constant discomfort and painful contractions are constantly present after a cesarean butthis entire sequence should be done without increase in pain or discomfort. If this is the case, decrease therepetitions or intensity. Listen to your body and try your best to connect to the new sensations in your abdomen and pelvis.

Cesarean: wound care at hospital

Most woman complain of tugging and itching of the cesarean wound.

These are the various abdominal walls which, when they heal heal at different speeds, tug a little at each other. On the other hand, the skin around the scar can feel numb. During the stay in maternity, the bandage around the wound will be changed on average every two days to allow the nurse or doctor to check that the scarring process is taking place as it should. In certain maternity hospitals, the wound is simply left to air without a bandage.

If the wound appears red, swollen, throbbing or oozing, there could be an infection, especially if you have a feverover 38.5°C. Self-care often resolves the problem but antibiotics are often necessary.

48 hours after the cesarean

This is generally the most painful day due to the re-establishment of intestinal transit. Nevertheless, try to walk as much as possible and to do exercices in bed

Often after a cesarean, the new mother feels as if she has been “cut into two" (even though the abdominal muscles have been stretched and not cut). She needs to rebalance her pelvis, to regain contact with her body and to feel her muscles again.

Two days after the procedure, you can begin to exercise again allowing you to recenter, to re-energize and rebalance the intra-abdominal pressure of a part of the body which has been immobilized by pregnancy (it is important to do this exercice with an empty bladder) :

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Single and doule Knee Fallout
Lying on the back, bend the knees, flatten the pelvis, and ensure that thefeet are flat on the ground, open one knee or both knees out to the side not moving the pelvis keeping the belly engaged (as flat as possible).

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Lolita San Miguels Provressive Pilates BreathingPlace the hands on the stomach and feel the breathing movements and increase the lung capacity progressively. Follow inhalation and exhalation with your hands : on inhalation, the hands rise and stretch, on exhalation, they descend and come closer together. Fully fill and empty the lungs in all three dimension (front, side and back) mobilizing the ribcage by counting to 8counts and progressively expanding your breath to 12-20counts.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Engagement of the Centre (TA)
Try to gently draw the stomach (belly button) up and in towards your spine as far as possible by exhaling completely. Imagine wearing a tight highwaisted pair of jean that you need to zipper up.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Bridging
Bend the knees and imagine pressing the ground with the soles of the feet, as if you want to transcend the carpet. The pubis rises and rotates, the hollow of the back descends, the back stretches and relaxes, the stomach rises again a little, the perineum is spontaneously brought to the top and your pelvis rotates to the pubis by supporting the backside to the ground by articulating the spine, vertebra by vertebra.

- Pre-Pilates Matwork : Engagement of the Pelvic Floor
Try to mobilize your pelvic floor in the following three ways :
* Make as if you want to retain gas. The anus contracts. Release.
* Contract the lateral walls of the vagina as if you are closing the doors to an elevator. Release.
* Imagine the pelvic floor like an elevator which is closing it's doors and ascending to the penthouse. The urinary sphincter will contract and lift.Release.

How do you optimize scarring from a cesarean?

A cesarean scar is from 10 to 15 centimeters long and is invisible for others to see but it is however always present. It is an indelible relic from this fundamental moment in a woman’s life which is the day that she gave birth to her child

Halfway between a surgical act and birth, the cesarean is ambiguous. It provokes a flood of emotions with the arrival of a baby, while the procedure and the disgust faced with this scar, many women feel powerless by this scar.

Some face this procedure very well, while others have a hard time accepting it: a feeling of failure, of having«missed out» on the birth, numbness in the stomach and disgust when facing the scar are all part of the physical and psychological impact. Many do not dare to touch their scar because they do not know how to handle it. Once they are back home, they feel lost.

The cesarean has become so banal that we have the tendency to forget that it is major surgery. However, we knowthat it sometimes takes several months to recuperate.
All women are not always the same when faced with their scar. It is more a question of skin than a technique of closure; certain scar better than others, but it has been proven that regularly massaging a scar aids in good scarring.

“The impression that a part of my stomach no longer exists”. Certain women get the impression that a part of their stomachs no longer exists. Certain areas of the stomach are numb which can be very confusing. By cutting into the stomach, certain nerves are cut which takes a little time for the nerve network to reconstruct after a cesarean. But feeling comes back little by little and usually after about six months, feeling should have returned

More than a treatment, massage assists in accelerating recuperation and bringing back feeling to the skin but also in bringing back one’s body and in finding a better sensation in the stomach.

I hope that after all this information you as a Pilates teacher can understand more precisely what a c-section means and what you can teach your pregnant ladies for their recovery to prevent any negative or apprehensive feeling associated to this, let's not forget it, often life saving option for the mother to be or/and the child when giving birth. Please keep in mind that if my recovery was successful, it was because I practiced Pilates before, during and after pregnancy. So it will be most important to teach and prepare your client to these suggested exercises before and during the pregnancy for optimal results without taking any risks. Our input as Pilates teacher is of great importance as we can truly help mothers with the Pilates technique to stay connected to the body during all these changes in 9months of pregnancy. Helping your pregnant lady staying connected to herself by applying the concept of mind-body-spirit will help her tremendously to listen to her body and it's wisdom to optimize her recovery process.

Birth via abdominal incision (the cesarean)

Debunking C-section myths! Explore a positive recovery journey with tips for pain management, exercises, scar care, and emotional well-being.
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8 min

"THE TEXT NECK" is becoming an epidemic and could wreck your Spine

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published byKenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration, herniated discs and even surgery.

Even tough true incidences and prevalences of cervical degeneration are uncertain; however, studieshave shown that 50-67% of adults experience neck and arm pain at some time, and 54% report painpresent within the last 6 months. Today's statistics also show on MRIs, that 25% percent of asymptomaticindividuals under age 40 show signs of cervical disc degeneration (that is one in four individuals!); thisincreases to about 60% in asymptomatic adults over age 40 (that is more than one in two individuals!).

“Neck strains is becoming an epidemic or, at least, it’s more and more common.” Hansraj, chief of spinesurgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just lookaround you, everyone has their heads down.” To understand better how this new poor posture awarenesscan affect your neck and cause inhibiting pains, we want to go over a little more anatomy of this part ofyour body.

The anatomy of your head and cervicals

The anatomy of your neck is a well-engineered structure of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

The cervical spine (neck) is delicate - housing the spinal cord that sends messages from the brain to control all aspects of the body - while also remarkably flexible, allowing movement in all directions, and strong.

The neck begins at the base of the skull and through a series of seven vertebral segments connects to the thoracic spine (the upper back). With its complex and intricate construct, and the many stresses and force that can be placed on it through a trauma or even just daily activities, the cervical spine is at risk for developing a number of painful conditions, such as:

-Cervical degenerative disc diseaseCervical herniated disc
-Cervical stenosis
-Cervical osteoarthritis
-Simple muscle strain resulting in a painful or stiff neck.

The Cervical Spine: Roles and Functionalities

The cervical spine maintains several crucial roles, including:

- Housing and protecting the spinal cord. A bundle of nerves that extends from the brain and runs through the cervical spine and thoracic spine (upper and middle back) prior to ending just before the lumbar spine (lower back), the spinal cord relays messages from the brain to the rest of the body .

- Supporting the head and its movement. The cervical spine literally shoulders a big load, as the head weighs on average between 10 and 13 pounds. In addition to supporting the head, the cervical spine allows for the head's flexibility, including rotational, flexion/extension and lateral bending motions.

- Facilitating flow of blood to the brain. Vertebral openings (vertebral foramen) in the cervical spine provide a passageway for vertebral arteries to pass and ensure proper blood flow to the brain.These openings are present only in the vertebrae of the cervical spine.

The cervical vertebrae play a key role in maintaining these functions in the neck.

How much weight do you wish to carry on your neck with your smartphone?

Can’t grasp the significance of 60 degree incline and 60pounds on your neck in your 'Text Neck Position' ?

Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said. "The problem is really profound in young people,” he said. “With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would really like to see parents showing more guidance.”

Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles. The effect is similar to bending a finger all the wayback and holding it there for about an hour.

As the tissue is being stretched back for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed and injured. This can then also lead to muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve which will affect furthermore the whole anatomy of the spine causing further issues and pain because of this new misaligned and poor posture.

Poor posture can then cause other problems. As an example, experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent because of the compression through a misaligned and tight ribcage. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid todays technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” according to the research.

Smartphone users tips to avoid pain are:

- Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck or lift your phone level with your neck.
- Exercise: Move your head from left to right, up & down, forward and back several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and press your head gently against them, first forward and then backward.
- Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to open the ribcage.
- Stand against a wall to teach proper head alignment in relation to the rest of your body. Three points of contact should touch the wall: head, upper back and pelvis should be touching the wall with the clavicle wide. You will be surprised how many people can not reach back with their heads sufficiently to be in contact with the whole body.

Pilates for a healthy Cervical Spine and a healthy mind

So all our neck strains and injuries due to poor posture are nothing to mess around with, but they don't have to keep you from working out and using your Pilates knowledge

As a matter of fact, Pilates with its carefully controlled movements, will help immensely by releasing and strengthening the neck, shoulder and back muscles. Overdoing it can make things worse, so it's important that you keep your movements fairly gentle, very controlled and absolutely pain free.

As a boxer Joseph Pilates had developed numerous exercising mobilizing and strengthening the neck muscles. He was well aware of how essential and important neck alignment and a healthy neck is going to be for a healthy mind in a efficient body. Apparently he used to stand in front of his window at thePilates studio in New York watching people walk down the streets and would say: "look at this men walking down the street, his head will reach the corner of the street 3 seconds before the rest of his body... He NEEDS Pilates!" Unfortunately a lot of those neck exercises have been taken out of today'sPilates practice as they were misinterpreted and demand a lot of body awareness and body wisdom to be performed safely. Most of our today's clients would not be able to perform his Neck Repertoire with no strain. But this does not mean that because we have taken out Joseph neck repertoire, we should forget about the taking care of our neck. Reintroducing the concepts of his exercises by adapting them to today's clients ability is essential and has never been more needed because of our excessive use of technology. But very little teachers use these concepts and give homework to their clients to maintain a healthy neck... So let's introduce this again the sooner the better.

The first time I was personally introduced to the importance of exercising the neck was in my postgraduate training with Elder Master Teacher Lolitas San Miguel that had developed a whole sequence of Post Pilates exercises including specific Neck and Wall exercises to maintain good posture for better everyday living. After having understood the importance of your neck, there has not been a class, without me teaching my clients to take care of their neck and its alignment. Working your Neck should involve mobilization movements targeting the head, the neck, the scapula and rib cage through progressive breathing.

So the whole aim of bringing more awareness when using your smartphones more wisely was not to bashing technology in any way but to simply be much more cognizant of where your head is in space when you text. So continue to enjoy your smartphones and this technology — just make sure your "head is up"and "mobilize" your neck 3-4 times a week (every second day) to avoid any patterns that can lead to pain.

Taking care of your neck and its strains because of today's modern world has to become an essential part again in your exercise routine if you want to stay healthy in your body and your mind 'for the greater enjoyment of life' just like Joseph Pilates wrote in his book Return to Life.

Source:
Text Neck based on an article in the Washington Post written by Lindsey Bever, general assignment reporter, November 20, 2014.Study informations based on the courtesy of Dr. Ken Hansraj M.D.

"THE TEXT NECK" is becoming an epidemic and could wreck your Spine

Feeling neck pain? Text neck caused by hunching over smartphones is on the rise. Learn how it affects your spine and simple exercises for relief.
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17 min

Repressed emotions lead to physical aches & pains

We all know that Pilates is a movement method rebalancing and acting on the Mind, the Body & the Spirit.

Thinking that we can address each on if those bodies independently and separately would be rather foolish as the body acts as one complete and holistic being, integrating our Mind and our Emotions at all times in everything we do and whenever we move. We are just as much what we think, as what we feel and what we do every day, every hour, every second of our life.

Joseph Pilates dealt mainly with people suffering from mechanical and physical distress which caused pains. But in today's times, I cannot stop noticing how much more people suffer from emotional and mental distress causing pains and chronic aches. Joseph was aware of this fast growing world and that men would eventually suffer from the imbalances in the body caused by stress.

Elder Master Teacher Mary Bowen was one of my teachers who has helped me understand and experience how much my own emotions and my subconscious affect my body and my postural behaviour. Our emotional body isway more powerful on us that we possibly are aware of or we want to recognise. Giving it acknowledgement is the first step to better health, I believe. Being aware on which body parts act as a sponge to our emotions and how mobilising these body parts can lead to good emotional health was a life saviour to me in some moments of my life.

I hope that with this sample of information about the science of our emotions affecting our health, based on kinesiology, you will be more aware of the subtleties of the relationship emotions have with our body and our mind.

Think & Feel for Health

Our emotions affect us physically whether we are aware of it or not.

It might be easy to understand that a scary thought gets our heart beating faster, but it can be harder to realise that loneliness, sadness or depression can also affect us physically, and when it comes to more complex emotions or illnesses few of us consider our emotions to have any relevance.

Emotions that are freely experienced and expressed without judgment or attachment tend to flow fluidly. On the other hand, repressed emotions (especially fearful or negative ones) can zap mental energy and lead to health problems...

It's important to recognise our thoughts and emotions and be aware of the impact they have - not only on each other, but also on our bodies, behaviour, and relationships.

Generally speaking, we tend to think of our bodies and minds as separate systems and believe they function, for the most part, independently. Yet instinctively we know that is not the whole story. Understanding the body-mind relationship won’t necessarily cure all our physical difficulties, but by learning the language of symptoms and illness we can discover what is being repressed or ignored in our psyche and emotions, and how this is influencing our well-being. From this vantage point we can discover that there is an extraordinarily intimate three-way communication going on between our body, our mind and our emotions that affects both our physical state and our mental and emotional health.

By brining your attention to our emotions, I am not trying to convince anyone that the sole reason for illness is in our emotions. Nor am I saying that by understanding how the mind, body and emotions work together that we’ll be able to miraculously cure ourselves.

What I believe although is that the role of the mind and emotions in our state of health is a vital one. By understanding this relationship they have to one an other we can claim a greater role in our own well-being. It is only a part of the overall picture, but it is the part that is invariably overlooked.

The Pilates method helps us move from the inside to the outside. Being able to integrate how we feel when we move with the method is creating that inner flow from the inside to the outside. Being more sensitive to our inner balance will strengthen our immune system, strengthen us from within and evacuate any repressed tensions for better general health and for the “Greater Enjoyment of Life”, like Joe would claim!

ILLNESS CAUSED BY REPRESSED EMOTIONS

In this very brief and short description of different emotions leading to illnesses you will be able to awaken you awareness to the power of repressing your emotions. So try to detect your inner emotional state as soon as possible evacuating the tension physically through movement or mentally through positive thinking.

PANIC

can cause diarrhea

Repressed ANGER or RESENTMENT

kidney failure

DIFFICULTY FINDING YOUR PLACE OR TAKING YOUR PLACE

can cause repeated urinary infections

SOMETHING THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO HEAR OR WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO LISTEN

otitis or earache

SOMETHING THAT YOU CANNOT SAY OR SOMETHING HAS BEEN REVEALED

angina or chest pain

A REFUSAL TO GIVE IN, TO COMPROMISE, TO OBEY OR TO SUBMIT

knee problems

FEAR OF THE FUTURE, FEAR OF CHANGE OR FEAR OF LOSING MONEY

lumbar pain

INFLEXIBILITY OR RIGIDITY

back pain and stiff neck

CONFLICT WITH AUTHORITY

shoulder pain

DOING EVERYTHING YOURSELF

also shoulder pains and a burdening sensation

GRINDING THE TEETH TO CONFRONT SOMEONE OR A SITUATION WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING

dental pain, ulcers and abscess

FEAR OF THE FUTURE

difficulty moving forward, or needing to lift the feet. Pain in the legs, feet or ankles

KNEES

Knee pain, knees that break, knees that crack, pains in the meniscus: refusal to bend and to “fall to the knees" (to submit) to yield, pride, ego, inflexible character or being contrary, you submit by not saying anything, or abstaining but our knees tell us whether or not we agree with this situation.

- Difficulty accepting comments or criticism from others.
- Problems with authority and rank, ego problems, pride.
- Having to concede in order to save the peace.
- Suppressed or frustrated ambition due to an exterior cause, stubbornness, humiliation.
- Guilty for being right.
- Anger at being too influenceable.

ARMS

There are several emotional causes linked to pains and arm problems. The arms are an extension of the heart and are linked to the action of giving and receiving, as well as authority and power. Pains in the arms can be linked to difficulty loving what I am doing. Feeling useless, doubting your abilities, which leads the person to retreat into themselves and to take pity on their own suffering.

- They believe that they have to take care of someone.
- Not feeling superior when they have the ”upper hand" on someone.
- Difficulty taking others in their arms and showing them affection.
- I do not allow myself to do things for myself because I judge myself and I remember my strict up bringing, which has damaged me.
- I do not allow myself to take things or I regret having taken something, or I think that I have taken something that I don’t deserve.
- Or something has been given to me out of duty, that I haven’t taken, I feel angry.
- This is linked to having been judged by one’s parents.
- Wanting to trap someone in your arms to have them under your control, but having to let them go again, and then not being able to love them and protect them (a child, for example...).
- Reliving a failed situation, wanting to lower the arms.

SHOULDERS

These are the parts that carry. The shoulders carry the joys, the pains, the responsibilities and the insecurities. The burden of our actions and everything we wish to do, but we are not permitted to, or what we are afraid to do... We become responsible for the happiness of others, we take everything on ourselves, we have too much to do, we feel overwhelmed, not carried, not supported.

- Possible pains also when you are prevented from acting or when things are imposed on you.
- When you are in a situation you no longer want to be in, you want to do something else, but the lack of self-confidence stops us.
- You lack support, you lack the means. You do not feel assisted.
- A loved one or one of our parents is sad and we would like to take their sadness and their problems and take it away.
- Repressed anger towards a child or another person who which is simmering gently while we do not even give ourselves the right to take a break.
- At work or at home, with our spouse, we feel obliged to submit, we feel dominated and we don’t dare react.
- We feel emotional insecurity (pain in the left shoulder) or material insecurity (pain in the right shoulder).

Stiff and blocked shoulders:
a blockage in the circulation of the heart’s energy, which runs from the shoulder, then to the arm, the arm gives (the right arm) and receives (the left arm). The blockage of energy is often retained in an artery or tissue.

The energy must circulate from the heart towards the arm to enable us to realize our desires.
We wear masks, we lock our feelings, we keep grudges (pains in the trapezius, especially in the left) sometimes towards ourselves. We paralyze our shoulders to prevent ourselves from moving forward and from doing what we really want. We take the burden on ourselves, rather than expressing our demands and our thoughts, for fear of offending the other person. Difficulty or inability to life the arm: deep conflict in the family, difficulty flying with your own wings.
Try to modify, clarify or to let go in terms of the situation that is bothering you.

HERNIAS

As a general rule:

distress implodes on the inside and demands to be released.

- Desire to escape or to leave a situation where one feels trapped, but where one remains out of fear of missing something, generally material.
- Self-punishment because you do not have the ability to understand certain things you want.
- Frustration of working hard, feeling pushed to go too far, or or trying to reach your goal in an excessive waywhich demands too much. Mental pressure (stress) tries too escape.

However, in addition the place or the seat of the hernia indicates its emotional message in a more precise and detailed way:

Inguinal hernia:

(in the groin): difficulty expressing one’s creativity, a secret that one is keeping and that is making us suffer. A desire to escape with a person who is unpleasant but with whom we have a connection or with whom we are obliged to be in contact with. We would love to leave and to escape from this situation.

Umbilical hernia:

feelings of nostalgia for the mother’s womb where everything was easy and where we felt totally secure. Refusal to life.

Herniated disc:

interior conflict, too much responsibility, feeling devalued, not feeling on top of what is expected of us, projects and ideas not being recognized. The spinal column represents support. A need to be carried, supported, but difficulty or inability to ask for help.

Hiatus hernia:

feeling trapped in being able to express one’s feelings and experiences. Repressing one’s emotions. Wanting to control everything, not allowing yourself to be lead by life but rather controlling it.

SKIN PROBLEMS

Skin problems very often have their origins at a badly managed or, badly experienced conflict of separation by either the mother or the child due to the fear of remaining alone and a lack of communication. The separation is also towards oneself: under appreciation of oneself as opposed to others around us. Paying too much attention to what others might think of us.

Eczema:

- Anxiety, fear of the future,
- Difficulty in expressing oneself.
- Impatience and annoyance at not being able to resolve a conflict.
- Separation, grief or no contact with a loved one.

In children, eczema can result from too rapid a separation or from a difficulty by the mother in accepting that herchild is no longer "in her”.Weaning from the breast or the mother going back to work again and unexpressed guilt,that the child nonetheless senses and somatisizes as a result. Quarrels or tension in the family that the child senses.Insecurity.

Acne:

an indirect way of pushing others away out of fear of being discovered, of showing what one really is, because wethink that we cannot be loved the way we are. Because we are rejected, we create a barrier so that others cannot approach us.

- Refusal to have one’s own image, personality or new appearance.
- Ashamed at the transformation’s taking place in their body.
- Difficulty being alone, refusal to identify with the parent of the same sex.

Psoriasis:

the person is often hyper sensitive and does not fit well in their skin and would like to be someone else. Not feeling recognized, having an identity crisis. Psoriasis is like an arm or with which to defend yourself.

- Need to feel perfect in order to be loved.
- Often a double conflict of separation, either with two different people, or an old non-resolved conflict, which has been reactivated by a new separation situation.
- Feeling belittled or rejected, edgy.
- Protecting oneself from being approached physically, or protecting one’s vulnerability, putting up a barrier.

Sources: books by Lise Bourbeau, Jacques Martel, Claudia Rainville, Philippe Dransart, Philippe Huraux, http://www.huffingtonpost.com.

Repressed emotions lead to physical aches & pains

Don't ignore your feelings! Learn how repressed emotions can manifest as physical pain and how to release them for better health.
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