The principle of flow however goes way beyond showers and into your whole life – streamlining it and getting the most out of every facet and moment. When it comes to fitness however, how do you make your body comply with the same idea?
Physio:pilates is the rehabilitative practice with a difference that has quietly been making its presence known, and does just that. It is a practice that Chartered Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor Emma Law has both personal and professional experience of, and in talking to her, there are two crucial things that stand out.
The first is that while she emphasizes physio/pilates isn’t a quick fix, but rather a long term solution to sports injuries, lifestyle injuries, surgery or pretty much anything else you can think of, it is a solution that aims to keep you fit while you recover.
The second, is that this isn’t just for people with injuries. Thanks to a huge educational component that encourages you to understand your own body and recognize your ‘neutral’ (more on that later), it can also be used to optimize your workouts.
So, first things first Emma, what is physio:pilates?
Physio:pilates is physiotherapy that borrows some Pilates techniques and principles to make it more accessible. It’s part of your lifestyle and routine rather than just something to do when you’re injured. It’s about injury prevention, injury cure and injury maintenance using exercise as well as traditional manual manipulation. There doesn’t have to be something wrong, it can be used from a wellbeing point of view so your body works at its optimum level.
Who is it for?
I have had children come to me, teenagers with scoliosis, people in their twenties and thirties who are triathletes, people who are post operative, people pre and post pregnancy, someone in their nineties, people with Parkinson’s – it’s a pretty wide variety so essentially it’s for everyone. That’s the real beauty of it, you can use the equipment to modify it for ability and needs.
Why is it good for fitness fans?
The reason it’s particularly good is because it’s individually assessed. So regardless of your sport, it irons out your weaknesses. For example, people who do a lot of cycling they tend to get very strong in one direction of movement. Then when you want to go skiing or something, your lateral muscles are not strong enough and that’s when you risk injuries. It’s what would be the traditional idea of cross training. That’s why Olympic athletes tend to train in other things other than their own sports, and lots of them do Pilates.
Can people do it themselves or does it always have to be with a practitioner?
Whether you’re interested because you have an injury or just because you want to optimise your physical function, I try to make sure everyone leaves educated in their individual neutral, which is the alignment in which you should do everything to prevent injuries, back pain etc. That’s the essence of Pilates. It’s about simple exercises done well so they have optimum effect. I look at where your weaknesses are, where your strengths are and five basic principles of Pilates. So it’s something that you then carry through everything that you do. As Joseph Pilates said: “In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty you’ll see the difference and in thirty you’ll have a new body.”