Whilst some may categorise Pilates as another “workout”, it indeed has greater benefits for your body than you may realise. Pilates exercises encourage greater communication throughout the integrated body systems by promoting energy transport and utilisation efficiency.
Pilates exercises may facilitate communication to multiple systems of the body (eg. immune, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular) due to physiological integration. Many bodily systems interact and influence the processes by which they undertake. Communication throughout the body systems is considered to be conducted through a combination of chemical and energetic pathways. The focus on postural alignment and efficient movement patterning in Pilates exercises promotes a balanced body whereby physiological processes can flow and interact with minimal disturbance. The role of Pilates in enhancing communication is by way of realigning the internal networks through postural alignment, structural integration and movement patterning.
Muscular balance is a visible sign of vital communications whereby energy flows freely within the functioning body. These energy pathways through the muscular system may flow by way of fluids, neural impulses or vibrations. A great focus of all Pilates exercises are to promote efficient movement patterning. Efficient movement allows for decreased energy expenditure, sparing energy to be utilised for other bodily functions.
In regards to the holistic perspective of the human body as a network of integrated bodily systems, corrective movement patterning may improve function of multiple systems including immune, digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This is facilitated by the nature of integrated movement which allows for efficient transfer of energy throughout the body, requiring a decreased demand for energy to achieve balance, strength, control, and/or power.
Joint alignment allows for effective communication of nerve impulses throughout the skeletal structure. Muscles and connective tissue conduct electrical impulses transmitted from the heart. The biomagnetic field is conducted effectively by the parallel arrangement of connective tissue fibers. Disruption in the uniform arrangement of fibers slows and/or interrupts the conduction path and therefore transmission of energy. Therefore joint alignment, which is emphasised in all pilates exercises, not only effects efficient movement and transfer of mechanical energy, but also improves communication by way of neural impulses and electrical signaling.
When joint alignment and muscular balance are present, equilibrium is achieved with minimal energy expenditure. Pilates training focuses on improving posture encourages correct alignment to achieve equilibrium whereby muscular efficiency of internal stabilisers can maintain their tonic engagement, decreasing the requirement of the global muscular system for stabilisation. This in turn decreases the likelihood of fatigue and gradual wear on the soft or hard tissue structures. An aligned, balanced body is also stronger, more powerful and capable of greater performance in both activities of daily living and exceeding expectations in physical performance contexts.
By Natalie Jacobs
If you have any questions please always feel free to ask one of our fabulous Pilates Instructors in the Neutral Bay Studio.