All posts by Sharon Ostalecki

The Amazing Human Body; Do We Need Maintenance

 

 

Just like a car the body is a machine designed to work in a specific fashion. Nothing in the body works in isolation—every part has an explicit function meant to work in harmony with other parts. Our skeleton is like the chassis of a car and the quality of our posture determines whether all of the moveable parts can work effectively. Many of the body’s muscles though far away from each other are meant to work in synch and require proper posture to do so. Our body follows a mechanical model—it is a series of arches, hinges and pulleys, and learning about and understanding your body’s mechanics will allow you to effectively utilize the genius behind the body’s design.

You have to learn how the body works in order to use it correctly.

Bones hold us up; muscles move us; nerves tell the muscles to move the bones. Are you interested in learning more?

Join our newest class : “The Biology of Movement and Meditation.”  People from any background can take it,  we spend half our class period learning about the body (anatomy) and the other practicing movement and Pilates, then end with a meditation.

One of our clients commented on the class, “It is a great class with movement, somatic anatomy (learning about the body inside and out), and of course pilates.

Class is held on Monday from 5-6PM.  For more information or to sign up, send us a note or call.   Questions just ask!

Follow Your Passion It Will Lead You To Your Purpose

 

 

“Follow Your Passion It Will Lead You To Your Purpose”

I’ve spent a ton of time learning about the body, how it works how it moves, how it’s put together, and what can go wrong.  I spent 15 years mentoring and  lecturing with Dr. Martin Tamler, leading  physician for Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain.  I have authored 3 books and produced an award winning documentary, on pain.  I’ve spent thousands of dollars on certifications, education, a PhD, and I know a  great deal about the body.

I guess I can say, I am following my passion of working with the body, teaching others anatomy and helping them understand  their pain.  Even with Fibromyalgia when we experience pain and tension in specific areas of the body, that sensation only tells a small part of the story. Our bodies are much more complex and integrated than we imagine. In fact, no pain or problem in the body is local. The way we hold ourselves, that injury we didn’t think much of way back when, what we do with our toes when we walk-all of these things affect our organs, our circulation, our immune system and our overall muscle and bone health. Why? Fascia.

This month I had the opportunity to participate in a 2 day cadaver dissection lab.  An amazing experience.  I also participated in a week long Fascia Training class.  And let me tell you Fascia is throughout the whole body, wrapped around the organs-it has a breath-taking presence.

Fascia is like a network within our body-Do your want your body to be durable and last? The key is moving our bodies to create healthy fascia.

Our new studio class, Fascial Movement is an excellent class with a focus on multidirectional exercises, tension release, and skeletal balancing for efficient movement. The movement variables including Bounce, Sense, Expand and Hydrate. The result of movement from this class is healthy fascia, less pain, and healthy durable strong bones.

If you would like to know about our private classes on Fascial Movement please contact us.

My purpose is helping you to work on making your body durable, pain-free and”long lasting.”

Hope to see you in our new programs, at our studio!  I know I can make a difference in your life!

And yes, the “homework” I created for clients is the signature of my practice.  I give people stuff to do at home!!

 

Pilates For A Reason-One of the Many

 

 

I recently took part in the, “Freedom From Fractures” screening event in Birmingham and Northville, Michigan, speaking about bone health and screening participants. If you are over 45, this simple screening (Fore Fracture Risk Calculator) can give you valuable information on how to reduce your risk of having a fracture based on your personal health history.

At my studio, Gentle Pilates, in Novi, MI the number of clients with Osteoporosis is increasing.

Osteoporosis is a disease where bones are weakened and can easily break especially in the hip, spine, and wrist. Bone is considered living tissue. Throughout life, this tissue is broken down in the body and replaced with new bone. For some individuals, the bone continues to break down but is not easily replaced with the new. The inside of a healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When afflicted with osteoporosis, this honeycomb structure develops larger spaces that indicate loss of bone density and strength.

Osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent” disease. In the early stage, the individual feels nothing until a bone breaks usually in the hip, spine, or wrist.

I am always asked:  Is  Pilates is safe for those with low bone density? So, here is a quick answer:
The good news is that bone is a living tissue. Just like a muscle, the bone can be strengthened. In many situations, stronger bones can slow and even reverse the effects of osteoporosis.

Pilates helps to teach proper movement and weight-bearing exercises for strengthening the bones and the surrounding muscle, especially around the spine and major joints – hips, knees, shoulders. The muscles that attach along the spine are small muscles, which make up the core that supports the spine. When these small muscles are strengthened through targeted exercise, the result is increased mass and stability to support the spine.

Pilates can also help by creating body awareness. A Pilates professional that has experience with osteoporosis will know how to safely assess and teach proper movement and exercise. After regular practice, this movement becomes natural and can then be leveraged in day-to-day activities outside of the studio. It is also important to learn how to avoid contraindicated movements that can cause injury, such as flexion (roll downs and forward bend), side bending and rotation

Pilates exercises for osteoporosis are safe for people living with the condition. However, not all Pilates classes cater to people with osteoporosis. “Three-quarters of the exercises in traditional Pilates need to be modified for someone with osteoporosis.”   Make sure you are training under the direction of a well trained instructor.

And one quick word about posture:  At Gentle Pilates we evaluate you- your posture, because standing straight with great posture and keeping a neutral spine is the most important safety tip to follow when exercising, especially with osteoporosis.

One of the first things I do as a Pilates instructor is observe a person’s posture. Good posture is the position of the body that puts the least stress on the muscles, joints, and ligaments when sitting, standing, or lying down. The spinal column is the foundation the body supports itself on. When you look at it from the side, you can see that there are three main curves in it.

The neck (cervical) region and lower back (lumbar) region of the spine have inward curves. The mid-back (thoracic) region has an outward curve. These curves have a normal angle, which is the neutral position of the spine. Maintaining this neutral position puts the least stress on the back and neck.

If you slouch while sitting or standing, you lose the normal inward curve in your lower back. You also increase the curving in the mid-back and neck area. Doing so puts undue stress on the whole spine, because it over-stretches some muscles while tightening others. Also, your head isn’t resting on top of your body then. This forward head position fatigues the neck muscles, leading to increased tension and pain. In good sitting or standing posture the head and upper body are balanced on top of the lower back and pelvis, maintaining the normal curves of the spine. This minimizes the stress on the muscles, ligaments, and spinal discs.

Maintaining good posture requires you to be aware of what good posture is and how it feels. Also, you need the strength and (more importantly) the flexibility to achieve the proper position.

If you are interested in taking part in the simple screening (Fore Fracture Risk Calculator)or more information on achieving stronger and health bones, please contact me.  I look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

If you are interested in attending one of our buff Bone Classes or Gentle Pilates class, contact us.

 

 

 

New classes in October (schedule and registration coming soon)
We offer private sessions and group classes.

Gentle Pilates Mat Class

 Buff Bones  Class
This is a great class for those wanting to improve their bone density and create stronger bones.  A great class!

Yoga For Osteoporosis

The class will be held at: 23915 Forest Park, Novi MI  48374

PILATES BASED EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA: MULTIPLE CASE REPORT

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PILATES-BASED EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA; MULTIPLE CASE REPORT

AUTHORS; Ostalecki,S. Ph.D.; Gentle Pilates, Novi, MI, USA.
Tamler, M. MD; William Beaumont Hospital. Royal Oak, MI, USA.

 

SUBJECTS: 15 subjects (3 Male, 12 Female); mean age 55 years, age range 50-65.

MATERIAL/METHODS: Inclusion criteria: Community dwelling adults with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Subjects volunteered to participate in 2x per week 50-minute mat class for 4 months taught by a PMA/Polestar certified instructor.

Subjects received the following pre-tests and post-test at 6 weeks and then at the conclusion of the study.

Fibromyalgia (FM) Impact Questionnaire (FIQR)

Assessing: Function, Symptoms, and Overall Life Activities

Universal Pain Assessment Tool

Assessing: Weekly Pain levels

Functional Tests

Heel raise test, Goal Post, ½ squat, Spine Extension (prone), core strength (supine)

KEY WORDS: Pilates based mat exercise, Gentle Pilates, Pain, Fibromyalgia

FUNDING: None

Results: All of the subjects completed the study, even though less than half of patients in our study were provided recommendations to initiate an exercise program as part of their treatment plan.

Post test at 6 weeks showed improvements in the following areas: level of pain, 2 points, level of energy, 2 points, level of stiffness, 6 points, level of depression, 6 points, balance, 3 points, heel raise: increase in reps from 2 to 5. Pain levels fluctuated which is typical of FM patients, but assessment was in the 4-6 ranges as opposed to the starting range 9-10. The most significant changes were seen in pain levels, depression and ease of movement. At the onset of the study participants moved slowly and had difficulty getting down to the floor, and up.

 Conclusion: Gentle Pilates group exercise, mat based program, appears to improve physical function well being, balance and also decrease pain. A small percentage of the participants reported they have reduced pain medications. The comradery of the group was important; and gave support to the group as a whole, which contributed to the high attendance, at each class. The program will now continue at a low fee for Fibromyalgia patients; and it is recommended to include home-based physical activity as an exercise intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia. It is also important to offer phone or in person contact so Fibromyalgia participants could receive feedback/support, on their home-based activities

Also, a randomized controlled trial is recommended to compare the use of Pilate equipment (reformer, Cadillac, chair & spine corrector) with a mat based (Gentle Pilates) program.

 

Fibromyalgia: Can we Prevent A Flare Up?

 

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If you’re living with fibromyalgia, simple steps you can do right now can help prevent a painful fibromyalgia flare.

For the 5 million Americans living with fibromyalgia, the discomfort that characterizes this condition never really goes away. But from time to time, sudden bouts of intense pain, fatigue, and other symptoms — known as fibromyalgia flares — will also occur. While there’s no definitive way to avoid occasional flares, you can be proactive and develop strategies to keep your symptoms in check, according to

  •  Journaling. Take 10 minutes every day to jot down things like what activities you did, what medication you started, how well you slept, or if you ate something new. Journaling is the key to discovering your flare triggers, so you can try to avoid them.  It can take up to 48 hours for an event to trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up, and if it’s not noted somewhere, you might not remember or recognize the correlation.
  • Delegating and saying no. Many people with fibromyalgia are perfectionists and like to do everything themselves, from all the cleaning to all the cooking. But you have to learn to let others do things for you because even mild overexertion can lead to a severe flare-up.
  • Stress management. Stress tightens you up, and when you have fibromyalgia, the muscles don’t let go. Find something that reduces stress for you before it gets to that painful point. I like listening to books on tape, for instance.”
  • Standing tall. Learning and maintaining proper posture is crucial to managing fibromyalgia, because posture errors that push the head too far forward or cause slouching can lead to muscle fatigue, followed by increased tension and pain.  Movement is vital and Pilates is one of the “best” forms of movement.  Pilates is movement that changes life.
  • Proper diet. Protein intake is vital to those with fibromyalgia because it’s the only macronutrient that builds and maintains muscle. A diet low in protein results in more nodules, more pain, and consequently more exhaustion.”

Do your own personal research for any new therapy you want to try, applying a simplified  scientific method. “Try tested therapies before untested ones, and make sure any treatment you try is safe.” Dr-1._Tamler_&_Sharon1

You can best assess whether a particular therapy is working by following these steps:

  • Start only one new treatment at a time.
  • See if you feel better when you use the treatment.
  • Stop the treatment, and see if you get worse.
  • Restart the treatment, and see if you improve again. If you do, you can be fairly confident that this treatment has a positive effect on you.

Don’t forget to join our newsletter for information on upcoming classes and workshops.  shutterstock_100548082

Signature - Sharon Ostalecki