Pilates exercises are designed to work on the myofascial lines, emphasizing full range of motion, centering control and mindfulness. This can be done on the mat with exercises like planks and abdominal curls, or using pieces of equipment such as the Arc Barrel reformer or mini stability ball. These exercises help to improve fascial mobility, hydration and health. Transcript: "Can you provide specific examples of how myofascial continuities can be incorporated into Pilates exercises to enhance their effectiveness? By nature of the Pilates exercises, we are working on the myofascial lines throughout the work, emphasizing full range of motion, eccentric control, and mindfulness. Focusing on how the body is moving to balance and maximize proper muscle function and prevent compensation. We emphasize length tension relationships, creating tensegrity of the body, lengthening with strengthening. From essential mat work to advanced reformer, Pilates addresses the fascial lines. From the deep back and anterior lines to the spiral lines, creating a flowing movement to improve fascial hydration and health. The video gives just some examples of exercises within the Pilates repertoire on the mat, the arc barrel, reformer, that addresses the fascia. There are many more pieces of equipment not shown, like the mini stability ball, flex bands, and twist ball that can be used for a variety of mat-based exercises, not only to challenge the body, but to improve fascial mobility. Thank you for the question, and I hope that this video gives you some answers."
Breathing in Pilates is important. It helps us bring awareness to our core muscles and helps with the connection between the movements and the breath. Inhale and exhales help extend and flex the spine, respectively. The most important thing to remember is to keep breathing and not hold your breath. Transcript: "Can you discuss the rule of breath in Pilates and how it can enhance the benefits of the practice. Every movement in Pilates can be correlated to either an inhale or an exhale. When we inhale, our spine has a tendency to extend. And when we exhale, our spine has a tendency to flex. We can use this to our advantage in Pilates. When we flex or round our spine an exhale is generally associated with the movement to help engage the core and create movement. Conversely, when we extend the spine like in swan dive, we inhale to allow the ribs to open and the spine to extend. Like all things, However, this can change. We can use the exhale to help with the connection of the muscles to help provide strength and stability throughout an exercise while performing any movement. Using the inhale as a preparatory breath. We can also use the breath to challenge the body to flex with an inhale. In some more advanced exercises like jack knife and scissors and air. The most important thing to remember, however, is that inhales flow into exhales. Don't hold your breath. Sometimes our bodies want to inhale when we cue an exhale and the reverse, which is absolutely fine. Just keep breathing."
During the pandemic I learned that it was possible to treat pelvic health issues such as pain with intercourse and vaginismus through Telehealth. This proved to be a really convenient option for pregnant and postpartum moms, making the pandemic good for my business. Transcript: "What lessons did you learn during the pandemic with regards to your business? Well, my whole business is telehealth, and so the pandemic actually kind of played right into my business model. And what I learned is I was pleasantly surprised with how much more that we can treat for pelvic health via telehealth. I knew that we were going to be able to treat bladder problems pretty easily, such as leakage, getting up at night, urgency on the way to the bathroom, leaking when you cough or sneeze, anything like that. But I didn't realize that we'd be able to treat pelvic pain, such as pain with intercourse or vaginismus, as well via telehealth. And that actually worked great, so it was great to learn that. Works really, really well with pregnant and postpartum moms, so it was good to get that confirmed that that was helpful as well. And telehealth is much more convenient, so the pandemic was good to me."
When the pandemic hit, I had just started my business and had to quickly learn how to treat patients via computer and video. During the first few months, I focused on building my website, presence, and connecting with patients to understand what made them feel more comfortable starting pelvic health treatment. Transcript: "How did you manage your caseload during the pandemic? Well, actually for me, I had just started my business about two weeks prior to the pandemic happening, so I had kind of a steady increase in patients over time, which actually really worked well for me so that I could get used to treating via a computer and via video versus being in person. Because prior to that, for over 20 years, I was treating my pelvic health patients in person. The technology piece, that was something to kind of learn, and then learning what my patients needed to feel comfortable before they came to see me to start a session. So I really used those first few months just to not only build a presence, build my website, etc., but really to kind of connect and see what makes somebody else on the other side of my screen much more comfortable starting with pelvic health."
PTs should ask athletes if they experience any leakage or urgency/frequency while doing their sport, as bladder issues are common in high-level athletes. Transcript: "What are some questions that all PTs should be asking athletes to screen for pelvic floor issues? This is a great question because so many of our high level athletes actually are having urinary incontinence in particular and are embarrassed to even talk about it. So if you're seeing any athlete, a simple question is just to ask, once you have a little trust with somebody, it's not the first question you're going to ask, but once you have a little bit of trust going with your client, you want to ask, so do you during your sport have any issues with leakage when you do your sport? Maybe when you cough or sneeze, maybe when you do any particular exercise, and do you have any urgency or frequency on the way to the bathroom? Because of the high prevalence of bladder issues with high level athletes, it's a great question to ask and you're probably the first one that will open the door to them to get some help."
I was always interested in women's health, but when I realized how common pelvic floor dysfunction was in my extended family, I felt drawn to helping this population and getting the right information out there. Transcript: "How did you get started with women's health? I actually have always had an interest in women's health and pelvic health and the OB-GYN kind of realm, but it was really identifying that so many women in my extended family had some challenges in this arena, in pelvic health, and I knew there was a lot of fairly simple things that you could do to address it. And I realized that it was so common in my own family, I just realized how common it must be in the entire general population, which it is. So one in three women have some kind of pelvic floor dysfunction. That's a lot of people, and there's a lot of really simple things that you can do to fix that. And pelvic floor problems really affect your quality of life, so I just really felt drawn to help this population and get the right information out there."