So many people are under the impression people only use Pilates for pain.

The fact is yes, Pilates is an effective way to help with pain and discomfort around joints and muscles. However, Pilates teachers are not doctors or medical professionals - unless of course they're qualified. I have helped train Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Massage therapists and more in the Pilates technique. In conjunction with their practice Pilates has proved an effective tool.

Lady with red inflamed back muscles

When pain in non-specific - you've been gardening, or slept badly, waking with a stiff neck, a Pilates for Pain session may be just the thing to relieve the discomfort. A well trained Pilates teacher will have the knowledge to offer an effective class that won't aggravate your situation.

A brief questionnaire about your pain may lead them to suggest a medical diagnosis. With more information from a Physiotherapist or Osteopath a Pilates teacher can decide on the best path forward for your programme.

Often medical practitioners will recommend Pilates for clients dealing with long-term pain management. These clients may be fearful of movement which their medical professional knows is the best way forward to help them deal with everyday tasks. A Pilates/medical collaboration has proved effective for clients with chronic pain


Pilates for Pain Prevention

Taking regular Pilates classes is an effective preventative measure to avoid pain from joint stiffness if you're less active, especially as you grow older. With age can come an assumption you'll be more prone to aches, pains and illness. This isn't necessarily true.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing".

George Bernard Shaw

Senior with Parkinsons using weights

Staying active doesn't mean a strict regime of aggressive exercise. When you chose a structured programme like Pilates the class will be tailored to meet your needs. Stability, Mobility, Strength and Balance will be included at a level to suit your ability. With regular practice you'll notice an improvement in your confidence with movement, not only when attending class but in your everyday posture and confidence.

Pilates For Rehabilitation

When you've turned your ankle playing sport, or put your shoulder out over-reaching when decorating or any other sprain, break or muscle pull. When the pain has subsided you'll need to regain stability, mobility and strength in the affected muscles or joint.

Pilates is perfect for this sort of rehabilitation, With its controlled, precise exercises a gradual return to fitness and health are guaranteed.

In Conclusion

Pilates for Pain covers all areas from chronic pain or just regular Pilates classes to help avoid age-related changes to joints and muscles. Whatever you need from your Pilates class a good teacher will provide it. Whether you choose a group class or want a more personalised programme make sure your teacher is well qualified and experienced to help with your needs.

Our Inner Eco-System includes about 22,000 human genes - it also hosts as many as 3.3 million microbial genes a staggering 150 times more genes than our own genome.

These bugs and bacteria work together with our cells and tissues, in fact our Inner Eco-system directly influences every major body system:

70% of our entire immune system is found in our gut!

Microbes - Our Inner Eco-System

These microbes have a huge impact on the way we feel. From regulating our appetite, allergies, sensitivities, metabolism as well as neurological function and behaviour. So it's not surprising when they're out of balance our health is at risk. Diabetes, Auto-immune disease, chronic illness, are exasperated by inflammation caused by dysfunction in our microbiota.

In addition our gut is at risk from common problems Diarrhea, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Usually these are minor, short-term concerns, but should they prove recurrent medical intervention may become necessary.


Gut Solution healthy microbiota leads to a healthy lifespan

Our gut responds well to good practices. Making small changes can yield big results. Because our Gut effects so many systems in our body when it's efficient it will improve many areas of life.

Any small changes to digestive health will benefit skin, energy and mental health to name a few.

Where to Start With Your Inner Eco-System

Let Food be thy medicine and medicine thy food


4 Suggestions to improve your gut health

Hi Fibre Foods For Your Inner Eco-System

When you have a diverse diet eating  variety of fruits and vegetables your gut microbiome will function better
Eat the Rainbow

Fibre could possibly be the most powerful solution to improving our Gut function. It acts as fuel for the Gut bacteria, they feed on it - that's why it's such an important dietary component.

Beans, Berries, Oats, Chia Seeds, Avocado, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are mainstays in a diet high in fibre.

Fibre-rich foods can be difficult to digest if people suffer with digestive issues such as IBS. The answer is to supplement with Prebiotics. A good place to start to help the Gut bacteria digest the fibre.

Fermented Foods For Gut Health

With the improved information about the importance of a healthy gut fermented foods have become main-stream. Fermented foods - Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha, Yogurt, improve protein quality and assist with the absorption of Vitamins, Magnesium and Zinc.


Regulate Bowel transition to prevent constipation and reduce inflammation in the Gut. Probiotics also heals Colon tissue to help prevent Leaky Gut by strengthening the intestinal barrier. They don't only help with problems associated with the gut, they also help with Type 2 Diabetes, cardio-vascular issues, obesity and mental health.

There are simple ways to change diet and life-style to improve stimulation of the body's digestive enzymes:

Small Changes Big Results

Making changes to any area of our life can take time.

Turmeric/Curcumin - Anti-inflammatory Agent

Spice of life Turmeric will help to ease joint pain offering anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant assistance
Spice of Life

Turmeric or Curcumin as it is sometimes known is a potent any-inflammatory and anti-oxident agent. It is said to be more effective than some anti-inflammatory drugs. Used in soups, sprinkled on salads, added to a smoothie or in a curry it's an every-day healthy addition to our diet.


The driving force of all nature

Leonardo da Vinci
Healthy Water from well changes the composition of the gut microbiome
Staff of Life

Research has shown how the amount of water consumed each day has a significant impact on the composition of our gut microbiome.

Besides the amount of water we drink the mineral content as well as the microbial composition can influence the microbiota.

Sufficient hydration will assist with the movement through the digestive tract helping avoid constipation.

In ConclusionÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2IN1TVXME3D58&keywords=Eat+to+Beat+Disease&qid=1675346233&s=books&sprefix=eat+to+beat+disease%2Cstripbooks%2C82&sr=1-1

The health of our Inner Eco-System is vital. Our Gut determines the health of every system in our body when it's functioning we're in control of our overall health. Because it's involved with so many areas if out Inner Eco-System is out of balance we may feel bloated, constipated, headaches, suffer skin problems as well as fatigue.

Inflammation can result increasing the risk of many chronic diseases. Small changes we can make each day can yield big results avoiding serious health problems in the future.

When you're first teaching, Structuring your Pilates class takes time and effort. You spend time preparing your class, listing the exercises, deciding if they work together as they transition through strength, mobility, flexibility, and co-ordination. You're continuing your Pilates Education.

Initially you need notes to remind yourself of the order you're going to teach. You'll still be developing your teaching style, deciding on your "voice".

In time of course this all falls into place, you no longer feel chained to your notes, you can deliver your class almost automatically. Continuing your Pilates education is paying off.

There's a definite learning curve when mastering a new skill.

The Conscious Competent Learning Model

It's now, when you've been teaching Pilates for a while, gaining experience you can sharpen your skills to become the great Pilates teacher you want to be.

Michael King

Anyone Can Learn the Pilates Repertoire...

Yes. I believe learning the repertoire is the easiest part of your Pilates teaching journey. Being able to perform the exercises beautifully will give you a great sense of satisfaction but it doesn't mean you'll be a great teacher.

It's More Than Performance

Teaching movement whether to a group or an individual is a mixture of the physical, the psychological, intuition, observation and awareness. Noticing your client is performing any particular exercise safely is a given. In addition you need to observe how easily their body is dealing with the exercise.

One Size Doesn't Fit All

When watching a client perform an exercise, consider how it looks. Does it seem natural or do you see struggle. In the years I've been teaching I've yet to meet someone who is equally strong, flexible, mobile or co-ordinated.

This is the reason I don't grade my sessions. The Pilates repertoire has a well defined beginner, intermediates and advanced range of movement. Someone may be strong but lack flexibility and or mobility. They'll find the full 100 relatively easy because it's strength dominant. The Saw however, a combination of rotation and forward flexion may be a challenge. I'm reminded when working with clients how every Pilates exercise is a combination of all elements from strength to co-ordination. This is the reason it's such a great method for everyone and all abilities.

Full 100

Hiding Behind Strength

A strong client can hide their lack of control, using their strength to "work" the exercise. I mean their strength over-takes any benefit from the correct sequencing of the set up for the exercise.

Simply being able to support the weight of the head and limbs for the full 100 isn't proof the work is coming from the inside (stabilising muscles) out (the superficial muscles). When observing this strong client you might see the following:

You probably won't see all of the above but you will certainly see some. This client is working too hard. Putting the emphasis on the muscles moving them rather than starting from their deeper stabilising muscles. They will seem to almost attack the start of the exercise.

Cueing For Quality

Conversational cueing works best when teaching Pilates. By that I mean giving clients information in a way they can relate to. Rather than a list of objectives - Align you Pelvis, drop your shoulders, engage your abdominals. Describe how changing these placements might feel or look. Drawing the client's attention to the issue rather than giving them direct instructions to fix it.

Our goal as Pilates teachers is to inform our clients in such a way they begin to self-correct. For example that strong client "working" the full 100. It could help them to ask "do you notice your shoulders are up round your ears?" This may well be enough for them to get them to let them go. When you see this change confirm it by asking how the different position feels. Did they notice the release of tension in their neck and how their collar bones (clavicle) became wider.

Eventually with this style of cueing clients will begin to notice how subtle changes in alignment take the stress out of some exercises. Their body awareness will improve with help from you.

Your Why? - Their Why?

Ensure you and your client are on the same page. Get into the habit when you notice something needing change to make sure your client is also aware and the reason you want changes made. When teaching your client is a collaboration results will be permanent rather than just for the class. They will become part of their natural alignment and behaviour.

In Conclusion

I've talked about developing your Pilates teaching skills with Continuing Pilates education. Moving from a debutante to an experienced teacher trusting your intuition and observations to work with your clients to get the best results. I've touched on the importance of:


Email me on

After years of teaching Pilates the most common problems I see is poor posture and in particular round shoulders. My clients are concerned about their posture and ask me, "How can I fix round shoulders".

Using computers and mobile phones encourages poor posture. Chest muscles become strong, and back muscles become weak, pushing your head forward and creating tension in the neck.

Pilates for forward head position

Fix Round Shoulders - Pilates helps

Strengthen Mid-Back

Strengthening your mid-back will help avoid unwanted strain on the neck and back by allowing back muscles to hold and maintain the best posture. Avoiding or helping alleviate round shoulder posture. Pilates professional equipment will bring awareness to the placement of Shoulder-blades and strengthen this area. At the gym avoid focusing mostly on the chest muscles (Pectorals), and balance your workout with back and shoulder exercises.

Strengthen and mobilise upper back to fix round shoulder

Develop Flexibility in the upper back

The upper back has a natural curve, poor posture can create a hump that's stiff and at times painful. Together with a forward head position the potential for neck pain and headaches is increased.

Exercises to work this area in the opposite range of motion are what's needed to lengthen and extend the spine. This will eventually change posture, and counter-act round shoulders. Pilates exercises to fix round shoulders have proved successful.

Avoid round shoulders

Back Extension

A simple way to activate the muscles in your upper back - lay on your front with arms at 90 degrees, keeping your abdominals engaged to support the low back - inhale to lift your head and chest from the floor. Think length rather than lift - depending on mobility in this area the movement may be small - don't force it.

Stretch Your Chest


When back muscles become weak and chest muscles strong the shoulders will be pulled forward. A balanced programme to lengthen the back and improve flexibility, releasing and opening the front of the chest will help fix the round shoulder posture.

Using an elastic resistance band. Stand tall and hold the elastic wider than your shoulders, then inhale as you pull the band wide. Hold this stretch for 2/3 deep breaths then release - repeat 5 times - don't rush use the full breath and control movement rhythm.

Wall Push Up to fix round shoulders

A simple wall push-up will open the chest and gently work the upper back. Stand away from a wall and place both hands a little wider than shoulders, bend both elbows wide then stretch both arms. Make sure your head does not push forward. Repeat up to 10 times.

In Conclusion

Fix Round Shoulders with Pilates

We've talked about problems with poor posture and how to fix round shoulders with simple Pilates exercises. This problem has developed over time, so will take time to fix. However, a little attention to this every day - even just noticing how well you're standing or sitting will reap benefits.

5 Reasons to Do Pilates

Nuala Coombs
Pilates For You
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