How can Pilates help people with neurological conditions?
Pilates can provide significant benefits for people with neurological conditions. Pilates can help to improve your balance, co-ordination and strength through exercises designed to work on your core muscles. It can also help to loosen up stiff joints and muscles and provide relaxation. Pilates is frequently used in physical therapy sessions to address problem areas and help improve people’s abilities to carry out a normal life. These have included improvements in walking ability and stamina; the ability to use arms while sitting and standing; and providing improvements in ease of movement. All these factors help improve people’s daily lives and routines.
Neurological diseases are slowly progressive degenerative disorders that affect the
Muscular/Nervous System. They lead to slowness of movement, as well as difficulty planning and executing muscle movement. They are also associated with involuntary muscle contractions and relaxation. Pilates exercises require you to work with as much “mindfulness” as possible toward every movement. The goal with ND and Pilates is not to get every exercise “correct” but to help neurons fire and to work towards connecting the mind and the body to work together as one
For people with multiple sclerosis, Pilates can improve posture, boost the immune system, reduce stress, increase energy and bone density, improve circulation and respiration, improve muscle tone and balance. Pilates is ideal for someone with multiple sclerosis as many of the exercises are done lying down and they are all non-impact and non-weight bearing.
Some Parkinson’s sufferers turn to Pilates to ease their symptoms. Parkinson’s patients that take up Pilates report anecdotal evidence that Pilates helps to ease their symptoms. Pilates consist of slow, controlled exercise that use springs for resistance. Using springs for resistance mimics the natural movements you make in day-to-day life. Pilates allow you to increase your core strength and balance, which may ease the symptoms of rigidity and poor balance that Parkinson’s sufferers experience.