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FASCIA and pilates

Fascia: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How We Use It in Pilates

WHAT IS FASCIA?

Fascia is a fibrous type of connective tissue in the human body that preserves physical shape by enclosing discrete elements such as organs and muscles. It exists throughout the entire body. In fact, the deepest layer encloses every single cell!

FASCIA CREATES FORM IN THE HUMAN BODY

Fascia can be found throughout the muscle tissue, encasing bands of muscle and enveloping the entire muscle and its tendon. It also exists directly underneath the skin, functioning like a final envelope around the entire body. In other words, fascia creates both separation of body parts and unity of the whole body.  Without fascia, our body wouldn’t be able to hold its shape. We’d slide off our skeletons!

FASCIA AND MOVEMENT

Healthy fascia allows the muscles, organs, nerves, and blood vessels to slide along each other, essentially allowing the body to move without falling apart. To effectively fulfill this role, fascia needs to be both structural and mobile. It needs movement to stay hydrated and flexible. In the absence of movement, fascia becomes dry, hard, and stiff. It then begins to inhibit movement. Lack of movement creates more lack of movement, and the cycle continues! Fascia can also become rigid from injury, years of moving inefficiently, and not moving enough.

Recognizing the presence of fascia and understanding its role in the body are essential in the practice of Pilates. Through the use of soft rollers and balls, fluid full-body movement, and kinetic imagery, fascia can be softened and hydrated so it can function at its best.

MYO-FASCIAL MERIDIANS

Fascia, along with muscle, creates long myofascial bands that can be traced from head to foot. This concept is very important to movement educators as we use these vertical meridians to assess alignment and identify imbalances.

For example, the underneath of your foot (plantar fascia) can promote flexibility up the posterior myofascial chain to the low back and sometimes even to the head and face. If you’ve tried rolling the bottom of your foot on a pinky ball, you may have observed this holistic effect.

Additionally, movement educators use the knowledge of myofascial lines to create movement cues that engage the entire body, giving the students a sense of physical wholeness. For example, when instructing a side bend, a student may be asked to sense the stretch not just through the ribs and waist but also from the edge of the foot all the way to the back of the palm. This kind of attention builds full-body awareness and can “rewire” mind-body connections to improve functional coordination.

Learning about fascia helps us to understand that the body doesn’t only work as a mechanical set of levers and pulleys. The biomechanical body can be a useful construct, but a more inclusive model takes into account the holistic unifying force of fascia.

Maintaining healthy fascia is important and easy. You just have to move fully every day and practice mind-body techniques such as Pilates to exercise your proprioception and kinesthetic awareness. 

To learn more about Fascia and how to optimize your movement potential contact us at info@mongoosebw.com

Mongoose Bodyworks is a boutique Pilates studio in soho NYC that focuses on delivering customized private sessions designed for your exact needs.

Halle Clarke NCPT is a 2nd generation master teacher having studied  closely with two of the great NYC protégés of Joseph Pilates: Kathy Grant and Romana Krysanowska. Halle opened Mongoose Bodyworks, a boutique Pilates Studio in New York City in 1999 .

As well as training in Pilates Halle has pursued studies in ideokensiology, anatomy , biomechanics, muscle energy technique, trigger point therapy ,neuromuscular re-patterning, Alexander technique, The Feldenkrais Method, Polartity therapy and Cranio-Sacral Therapy. She has additional certifications from the PMA-CPT and ACE. Halle integrates all of her extensive studies of the body into her work as a New York based Pilates Instructor and Teacher Trainer.

She has been conducting Pilates Teacher Trainings for Balanced Body since 2006 both in New York and around the country. Halle has taught Master Pilates classes nationally and internationally, including at The PMA Conference and Mind Body Expo.

Pilates and Physical Therapy

Pilates And Physical Therapy: A Two-Part Approach

 Pilates and physical therapy. Two separate disciplines with different objectives, right?

 

In truth, Pilates and physical therapy (PT) have much in common – including a history rooted in building strength and maintaining mobility. Although the approaches may differ based on skill sets; pain free function and individual attention are two of many common threads that link the two disciplines.

Pain Free Function :The most important connection between Pilates and PT

For physical therapists, the approach to pain begins with pathology: searching for the structural drivers, both neuromuscular and articular, of a patient’s pain. PTs can then use techniques like manual therapy, strength training and movement re-patterning to help eliminate pain. Somewhat surprisingly, the practice of Pilates was also born out of a desire to help individuals recover from painful injuries. In fact, Joseph Pilates’ first innovation was attaching springs to hospital beds to help bedridden patients build strength. Still today Pilates maintains a place in the physical rehabilitative community for addressing pain.

Both modalities look to improve alignment, joint articulation and mobility, movement control and fluidity as means to becoming pain free. Because of this major overlap in objectives Pilates acts as an ideal transition out of PT and back into movement and sports.

 Individual Attention : Another link between Pilates and physical therapy? They’re built on the idea of a close relationship.

A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional. They diagnose and treat injuries – with the goal of eliminating pain. Of course, this calls for an open and intimate relationship with their patient.

Likewise, Pilates instructors are frequently tasked with developing new movement strategies and approaches based on observing their client’s unique movement patterns which also requires a very individual and personal relationship with their client.

A Path Towards Better Health?

When practiced together, Pilates and physical therapy can truly be the cornerstone of an overall recovery and health plan. With a shared focus on eliminating pain and restoring function through personal attention, the two modalities are not just complimentary but collaborative. When both practitioners are working in collaboration they can more effectively re-educate patients away from movement compensations that may cause a return of pain and dysfunction. We have found at Thrive PT and Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates that an open dialogue between PT and Pilates instructor has guaranteed the success of our patients and clients.

 Recover And Rebuild With Experts

 If you are interested in exploring Pilates or physical therapy in NYC soho, you need guidance from comprehensively trained professionals. Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates and Thrive Physical Therapy can help you recover and rebuild, even in the wake of an injury. With open atmospheres, and highly qualified staff, there are few better places to begin your recovery or fitness journey. You’ll be able to build strength, increase flexibility, and enjoy a more mobile life.

To get started with a consultation, contact Thrive Physical Therapy and Mongoose Bodyworks Pilates , New York, Soho.