Month: July 2011

Balance, perturbations, and neuroplasticity….

A lot of people are concerned about losing their balance and have a fear of falling. So, what can we do to  improve our balance? Let’s start with some basic exercises in standing. 1) Single leg standing: Stand in front of a counter top or other stable surface. Gently place your hands on the counter top for safety. Lift one foot off of the floor so you are standing on one leg. Don’t rest the lifted leg on the standing leg, just let hang relaxed in the air. You can lift your hands off of the counter, but it’s there if you need it to steady yourself. See if you can balance on one leg for 30-60 seconds.You may feel your ankle or hip wobble a bit, but that’s fine….you are actually training the nerve endings (proprioceptors) in your feet, ankles, knees and hips how...

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From fear of falling to fearless falling.

    Most of us are afraid of falling, especially as we get older. Why is that? Of course, we don’t want to get hurt, and many of us either know someone or have heard of someone falling and experiencing long term injuries. But it doesn’t have to be that way.     As babies and small children, we lived, played and crawled on the floor. As we grew, we continued to frequently get down on the floor. The occasional spills we experienced were no big deal, and we would bounce back up and be off on our next adventure. But as adults, we keep ourselves upright. We stand, walk, sit in chairs and lose our intimate relationship with the ground. As a result, we develop a fear and distrust of the ground, of our ability to fall safely (yes, there is such a thing) and gracefully get back up.    ...

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Sense of smell. How neuroplasticity saved the day.

    A few weeks ago I was hiking in the mountains with my husband. I was in  a terrible mood. I was irritable, sad, depressed and feeling sorry for myself. It was Father’s Day, and the first Father’s Day without my Dad. This was only 6 short weeks after going through the first Mother’s Day without my Mom. Trying to hide my bad mood, I did what I do best….I put my head down and stubbornly forged ahead, placing one foot in front of the other and forced myself up the mountain, oblivious to the spectacular scenery around me. After about an hour we stopped to rest. The wind shifted, and  I caught the indescribable fragrance of clean mountain air, pine trees, melting snow and damp earth. As I stood there soaking in that incredible smell, my mood immediately began to shift....

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So….why Pilates and how can it help you?

      Have you ever wondered what Pilates can do for you? Here are a few examples: 1) The Pilates reformer provides a supportive environment which is very important for people who are recovering from injury, surgery, trauma, or are deconditioned (out of shape). Springs provide resistance (instead of weights) which more accurately simulates natural muscle activity. The springs also provide assistance for you in the early stages of physical rehabilitation.     2) The reformer provides immediate feedback to the client in a partial weight bearing position to allow for postural corrections and healthy movement patterns to develop. Clients experience changes in their movement patterns in a stable environment, without trying to fight their habits in full weight bearing against gravity.     3)...

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