As a Pilates Specialist in postural deviations (poor posture) and muscle imbalances, many of my clients feel they are not aligned when they have been directed to realign their position to correct alignment. Why do we feel “skew whiff” or not aligned when we are actually aligned correctly? This is what I refer to as proprioception deception.
What is Proprioception?
Proprioception, is the sense of knowing where a body part is in space and occurs without conscious thought. Proprioceptive abilities are often compromised when joints are injured. You may feel unstable or that the joint may give-out. When our posture and alignment is abnormal, this becomes our sense of what is normal. Our bodies adapt to what we do habitually. When you are asked to realign to correct positioning, normal feels skewed.
How Do Clinical Pilates Private Sessions Help?
Proprioceptive exercises teach your body to control the position of an injured joint and to realign your posture.
Pilates equipment decreases proprioceptive challenges by supporting the body. A Pilates specialist plans a program to address the challenges and provides cues throughout the exercises to correct alignment and imbalances. When a client progresses, the teacher can then provide further challenges by decreasing support and assistance when the client is capable. We can further challenge movement with functional tasks and gravity. With continued practice, the new movements become automatic which reduces the chance of re-injury and increases efficient movement. Specialized Pilates training is an example of traditional motor learning theory and simply put, it works.
One such interesting study: The Effects of Pilates Exercise Training on Knee Proprioception – A Randomized Controlled Trial http://www.deu.edu.tr/UploadedFiles/Birimler/17854/5.pdf concluded that Pilates exercise training had positive effect on knee joint position sense.
I like to tell my client that “motion is lotion” for the joints. The last thing we want to do is move when we feel stiff, but often, movement is what is needed to restore mobility. At Pacific Spirit Pilates, we have great success in helping with arthritic issues. Pilates is gentle on the joints and gets you moving without pain. Your posture throughout your life-time results in how you look and feel it also defines your proprioceptive sense of normal posture and alignment.