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Pilates for Sciatica


Sciatica is one of the most common, yet misunderstood, types of pain. As many as 40% of people will get it during their life, and it becomes more frequent as you age. Sciatica tends to get lumped in with regular back pain, but it is different. The pain originates with the sciatic nerves and often goes away by itself within a few hours or days. However, some attacks can come and go for several weeks or even months. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prevent sciatica, as well as relieve the pain.

Exercise is a key way to prevent or help relieve sciatica. But not all exercise is created equal and has to be done in the proper order when sciatica is present.

  • Aerobic exercise: walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, and other activities that increase your heart rate can cause more pain if you already have sciatica.
  • Strength training: exercises using free weights or weight machines, or isometric exercises, which involve contracting muscles without obvious movement can exacerbate the nerve pathway in the joint making sciatica worse.

But…

  • Flexibility training such as Pilates increases both flexibility and strength without hurting the joints and excels at…
  • Core Strength. Your core is not just your abdominal muscles, even though they are key contributors to the stability of your spine. Muscles in the back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks also are part of your core. Strengthening all of these muscles helps to support your spine.
  • Good posture. Mom was right—slouching isn’t good for you. But you don’t have to walk around the room with a book on your head to practice good posture. Follow these tips:
  • Pay attention to your body’s position when you’re standing or sitting.
  • To prevent slouching, pull your shoulders down and back. Imagine your shoulder blades touching.
  • If you work at a computer, take frequent breaks. Position your monitor so you can see it without bending your head down or tilting it back.


Join us for classes or private lessons

Hydrate your Fascia

Fascial tone defines the fine balance between fascia’s ability to resist distortion and return quickly to its ideal shape. If fascia is hydrated, it’s toned. If we lose some of the elastic or stiff properties, we lose fascial tone.

Prepping your fascia before the gym and after the gym is key to whole person exercise, health, and wellbeing. You do not need a manual therapist to do this (although it is nice). You can self administer your own compressions for affordability , ease, and portability. Learn more with us at MELT Method Winnipeg, inside Pilates Manitoba.

Ruth Baines, a Pilates & MELT Method instructor, instructs MELT in-person and on Zoom at Pilates Manitoba. MELT is a self-treatment system that restores the supportiveness of the body’s connective tissue. It helps eliminate chronic pain, improve performance, and decrease accumulated stress caused by repetitive postures and movements of everyday living. Essentially, it helps balance the nervous system. Learn how with us!

Neuroplasticity and intenSati with Annabel

Excellent 13 minute YouTube video with Dr.Wendy Suzuki (she is a neuroscientist and a certified intenSati instructor too) that has a sample of internSati at minute 11ish! Then join me Wed 7:45 am or Fri 9:30 am on ZOOM and Wednesdays in-person uplifting cardio and meditative fitness. Fitness-ceuticals!

Integrative Oncology

Integrative Medicine is becoming mainstream, with successful partnerships in primary, secondary, and tertiary care, in most of the world but… let’s be honest…really slowly in Winnipeg and Canada. We’re on a mission to redefine medicine, you’re a key part of that and you’re in good company! Together, we’re helping reform healthcare, address inequalities and create a sustainable health service for all.

Medicine, as we know it, is no longer affordable or sustainable. Nor is it able to curb the increase in obesity, mental health problems and most long term disease. It is now time for Integrative Care a.k.a Lifestyle Medicine to take centre stage. Join us and be a part of this movement for change.

We know different medical practitioners get together to discuss the patient but this care we are talking about  includes the patient and any complementary care they may be practicing from the very outset, helping them understand where in the cycle of change they are. It helps the doctor be a better lifestyle doctor, the physio a better physio, and the patient a better patient so the lifestyle and medical health outcomes are amplified with greater ease and better economics. The doctor knows more beyond drugs, some manual therapies, and surgery. The physio and other secondary care practitioners know more about core activation and the application of fascial exercises in treatments.
The patient knows more about their role in their own health and healing.

Oncology experts present whole person
cancer care for better patient outcomes


Integrative Oncology UK will highlight the benefits of taking an evidence informed integrative approach to cancer care, to optimise health, quality of life and clinical outcomes. Promoting mind and body practices, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modifications, alongside conventional cancer treatments.

Delegates will leave with a strategic toolkit of practical take-home advice to help better support people in their care.

As Canadians, let’s find out where our Integrative Oncology Care is. Let’s help create it. We have to help our doctors and nurses.

Yes….Pilates is right up there at the top of the list of whole-person, joint safe, diaphragm expanding, life-affirming  exercise

YOUR ACHY KNEE IS ACTUALLY THE VICTIM

We’re zeroing in on the knees this month with weekly strategies to keep them healthy and feeling good. We propose it’s time to stop cursing your knees and start looking for the cause of the symptoms (spoiler: it’s often compression caused by sitting). Then nix knee pain with the 10 min foot treatment which is key to stopping knee pain before it starts (or helping you deal if you’re already in the throes). Bonus: It’ll also boost your balance, gait, and overall knee health.


We all know someone who has had knee surgery or a knee replacement, or who was forced to live a more sedentary lifestyle because of knee issues. This person might even be you. You are not alone. In fact, knee pain is the second most common type of chronic pain. A third of all Americans report experiencing knee pain at some time or another. And roughly 3 million women and 1.7 million men are living with total knee replacements.
Perhaps more than any other area of the body, knee issues generate not just feelings of pain but feelings of worry – feelings of being broken or fragile, of falling apart and facing an inevitable decline.

What if you could instead focus on helping your body heal and taking charge of your health?

When I injured my knee in 1991, I was told I’d need surgery to fix my meniscus. I said not so fast, and instead looked to a variety of self-care techniques. Long story short, I opted out of surgery, kept my meniscus and got myself out of pain, without drugs or surgery, and today continue to be active and pain-free.

If you’ve already had surgery or even a knee replacement, that doesn’t mean the self-care boat has sailed for you. In fact, I’d even say it’s an invitation for you to be a little extra diligent in your self-care activities. Left unattended, surgery can cause stuck stress, imbalances in your posture, compensation, and pain in all new areas of your body to deal with.

One of the most significant principles of MELT comes from Sue Hitzmann’s own work as a manual therapist –we call it “Indirect Before Direct.” Simply put, your knee is not the criminal – it’s the victim. That means that whether you have knee issues, or are looking to avoid them, it’s important to work on the hydration of the connective tissue in your entire lower body.

Connective tissue is like a sponge. Compressing this tissue for long periods of time creates dehydration. When do you compress the back of your legs for a long time? That’s right – when you sit. Sitting acts like a dam that keeps the fluid from flowing around your knee joint. To restore this tissue, you need to stimulate it with brief compression and friction that works the fluid back into the “sponge.”

The Back of Thigh Shear is one of my favorite moves in the Lower Body Compression Sequence. Try this simple MELT Move to prevent and treat a key cause of knee pain.

  • Place the MELT Soft Roller under your upper thighs. Extend your legs so that they’re relaxed and straight. Slowly drag your legs together and apart like jumping jacks to Shear the back of the thighs 4-5 times.
  • Try this one leg at a time: Bend one leg and relax it on the roller, and then drag the other leg in and out 4-5 times. Repeat on the other thigh. Then pause and let the tissues adapt.
  • Move the roller halfway down your thighs and repeat the techniques. Again, pause and let the tissues adapt.
  • Move the roller just above your knees and repeat. (Remember: You’re never going to MELT the spaces, so keep the roller out of your knee joint!) Once again, pause and let the tissues adapt.

The Back of Thigh Shear is a simple move that is great for counteracting the dehydration of the back of the leg that can lead to knee pain.

Difference Maker Tip of the Week

One thing you can do to protect your knees is to work on the stability of your hips. Once you’ve spent time hydrating your lower body, and moving on to the Lower Body Stability Sequence, we then build base stabilization muscle with the Reformer Legs in Straps to lock and load the joint stability in place, increasing the stability of your hip girdle that will significantly reduce your risk of knee pain and injuries.

#pilates #pilatesreformer #joints #knees #hips #activeexercisetherapy

Spring Program to make you the pain-free Unicorn you want to be

Does it hurt to turn your head to see cars in the lane behind you? Do your knees and back feel stiff and achy? Is it difficult to reach the cereal on the top shelf or bend down to pick up something off the floor?
Would you like to find an easy way to become more flexible, ease pain, improve your balance, and prevent falls that can threaten your independence?

Discover simple fascial stretches that improve balance, increase flexibility, and ease pain and then hop on the Reformer to train the deep base stabilization muscles to keep the balance and flexibility. We will work with you on any existing stretches and exercises, physio or otherwise, that you have and make them work better.

Our Spring Fascial Stretch programs teach:

  • How a tight ankle or calf muscle can make you more likely to fall
  • The secret to making arthritic joints more flexible
  • 4 ways to make stretching easier
  • The trick to being flexible enough to touch your toes
  • The best stretches to do to increase your range of motion
  • 2 muscles that can give you a pain in the back, and how you can get relief
  • And so much more

You’ll learn how stretching and flexibility can help you improve your balance and prevent falls, all customized to your ability. You’ll find moves to boost overall flexibility and loosen up tight muscles, plus specific stretches to ease back pain, sore knees, and the neck and shoulder pain that comes from spending too much time sitting at a desk staring at a computer! These stretches will also warm you up before your workout, and are best for a variety of sports, like golf, tennis, cycling, walking, swimming, and more.

MASKS MANDATORY Please

Just a loving reminder that masks must be worn, as displayed in this graphic provided below, over the nose, mouth and chin inside our two studios. By properly wearing your mask, you make it easier on the instructors so they don’t have to keep reminding you, and it is more comfortable for your fellow students as well. Thank you.

The Yoga Barre allows the individual to choose whether to wear a mask or not when you are attending their classes i.e TRX, Yoga, Spin,  and Fusion in the other rooms. Thank you.