Where do we start? Of course there’s the wonderfully relaxed feeling you get from a good massage, but there are also a number of medically proven benefits you should know about. These are just a few…
o Decreases chronic and acute pain
o Releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller and mood enhancer
o Improves muscle tone
o Aids in the removal of metabolic waste and Cortisol, a stress hormone
o Lowers blood pressure
o Promotes tissue regeneration, reduces scar tissue and stretch marks
o Pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
o Increases flexibility and range of motion in muscles and joints
o Lessens depression and anxiety
o Assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers
What should I expect during my first massage visit?
Your massage therapist will welcome you into the studio and go through a client registration form and health history with you. This information is kept strictly confidential. During this time we will determine the intention of this massage session and prepare a treatment plan consistent with your specific needs. Your therapist will then leave the room while you undress and get under the sheets on the treatment table. If your hair is long you may want to pin it up, and any jewelry should be removed. Your modesty will be protected throughout the treatment, as we will only ever undrape the part of the body being worked on at that time. You are welcome to give feed back to the therapist before or during the treatment about pressure preference or areas you would like to focus on. If any technique is painful or unpleasant, or if there’s anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please let your therapist know immediately. Communication is essential!
How does massage feel?
The way a massage feels can vary greatly depending on the client’s preferences and the techniques used by the therapist. We are happy to work as lightly or as deeply as you feel is beneficial. Generally your therapist will start with broad, flowing strokes or static deep compression, to help calm your nervous system and warm your tissues. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually increase to relieve specific areas of pain and muscular tension. A light oil or lotion is usually used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. If we are doing a myofascial treatment, there may be no lubrication used so that we may deepen the work and address the target tissue. Please feel free to give feedback or ask questions during your treatment. Always mention if you feel any discomfort so we may use another approach or technique that will better serve you.
How will I feel after a massage?
When you receive a massage, your body’s muscles may respond as if they were just doing a strenuous work out for the last hour. People who receive massage less often are more likely to experience this feeling than those who are on a regular massage schedule. The more you come the more pleasant the experience and the better the benefit. When your therapist releases areas of tension or spasm they direct blood to the injured tissues which can cause temporary inflammation to occur and toxins to be released into the blood stream. Because of this response you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness for 24-48 hours. If soreness persists for more than 48 hours please contact your doctor and let your massage therapist know right away. To minimize discomfort and maximize the benefits of the massage please drink plenty of water after your massage, and avoid alcohol or cigarettes. You may also want to do some light exercise or stretching, or take a warm bath.
Sometimes after a massage session some people may feel emotional. Your body has memories and we store many emotions within our tissues and these emotions can be released during and after a massage, especially if you have been under a lot of stress or are dealing with chronic pain. This is completely normal and you should allow these emotions to surface during or after the massage. Embrace them.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
The benefits of this safe and effective exercise method seem to be endless! Here’s what you can expect from your Pilates training:
o Increased core strength and stability
o Better mobility in the periphery, your arms and legs
o Improved fitness levels which may help prevent injury
o Greater ease of movement through a full range
o Heighted body awareness and mindfulness of movement
o Decreased impact on the joints
o Added variety as a compliment to other forms of exercise
o Improved performance of specific sport skills (golf, skiing, hockey, etc.)
o Enhanced balance, coordination and circulation
What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?
In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with STOTT PILATES® exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.
Can I lose weight from Pilates workouts?
Pilates can be a positive addition to your overall weight loss program. Weight loss occurs when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength training component, such as STOTT PILATES® exercise, and following a balanced diet. Combining Pilates with aerobic exercise also offers additional benefits: greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality. The best way to keep your body moving is to find an activity that’s effective, motivating and fun. And that’s what these workouts are all about.
Can I safely practice Pilates while pregnant?
Note: The following information should NOT be substituted for medical advice from your doctor. Please consult your physician for information on what will be appropriate for you during your pregnancy.
The available information on pregnancy and exercise can be very confusing – even conflicting. No two women’s bodies are the same, and this is especially true during pregnancy. There are workouts that are quite appropriate for some people during pregnancy and not for others. During a normal, healthy pregnancy, moderate exercise is safe for the fetus. A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy and exercise must be adapted and modified as the pregnancy progresses. The beauty of Pilates is that it can be individualized for anyone’s ability. It is important to continue strengthening and rebalancing the muscles around the joints – supporting the body as it goes through postural changes related to pregnancy. Exercise is also said to prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and low back pain and helps to boost self esteem, maintain fitness levels and prepare the body for the physical demands of birth and motherhood.
I have an injury. Can Pilates help?
Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. Our experienced instructors are all trained in adapting exercise for those with many types of injuries, and will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.
What is a “Reformer”?
The Reformer is the main piece of equipment used in Pilates exercise. The Reformer glides forward & backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance, along with other attachments, for a wide variety of exercises and positions. By using spring resistance, the Reformer provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked properly. There is greater resistance at the muscle’s strongest point of contraction and less resistance on the initiation and completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments. The Reformer is highly versatile. It facilitates hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact (easy on the joints), allows for modifications for those with injuries or conditions, allows for three-dimensional movement and conditioning, facilitates core conditioning, and is suitable for a wide variety of clients (from rehab to pro athlete).