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Fascial First Aid

MELT is a step-by-step form of gentle and easy neural development or re-pattering exercises using special rollers and little balls for your feet and hands and face. It hydrates the fascia and connective tissue that dehydrates when you get sick, sit for too long in one posture or workout for too long in one way. It is easy to do and feels great.

Discover how you can reap the many benefits of the MELT Method,  helping your autopilot reconnect to your centre of gravity, improving breathing, and activating your restore regulators.

And it is all through hydration of the cells. Water is the elixir of life. We all know how relaxing or invigorating water feels on our bodies – a nice warm bath or a dip in the sea to cool off.

Even being physically near to water and hearing it swirl or gently ripple soothes our brains. The real challenge we humans have is drinking enough of it. Life can just get in the way and you easily forget to drink if you’re juggling a million and one jobs at work or at home.

Drinking enough water is vital for your health and wellbeing. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already somewhat dehydrated and this can affect all sorts of functions in the body and the brain.

Sometimes, the body gives you a little signal to rehydrate even before you feel thirsty, but us humans are not very good at reading signals and so a little reminder can really help. If you’re getting tired, grouchy or just feel off, the first thing you need to do is drink a large glass of water. Rehydrating helps you to destress and pausing to drink can also help you to reset mentally.

“Why” of water can make it easier to find ways to drink more.

Intuitively most of us know that water is essential for our health, but why?

Your body is about 60% water and you need to be hydrated for so many important functions. Not only that, but your wellbeing is affected by how hydrated you are and being properly hydrated can improve your health.

Let’s consider a few examples:

Brain health – dehydration will negatively impact focus and memory and can cause ‘brain fog’. When your neurons detect dehydration, they also signal the part of your brain regulating mood. Disturbances like tension, depression, fatigue, vigour, confusion, anxiety and anger are improved when you rehydrate. Consider them a warning signal prompting you to drink up! Regular hydration also aids the production of melatonin in the brain which helps you to sleep.

Digestive health – water helps to create saliva which you need to break down food and kick start digestion; it also helps with nutrient absorption by dissolving the nutrients in the food. Water helps you to produce a healthy stool and avoid constipation.

Immune health – water helps to oxygenate your blood which means that your cells can work at full capacity, which in turn keeps your muscles and organs healthy. When you feel your best in this way, your body can fight off germs much more effectively. Water also supports the production of lymph fluid which carries unwelcome bacteria to your lymph nodes to be destroyed. Water helps your kidneys work properly to flush out toxins and lubricates your eyes and mouth which means that infection is less likely to access your body.

General health – water helps to regulate your body temperature through sweat, it can help to keep your skin hydrated and it protects and lubricates joints, tissues and the spinal cord. Dehydration can cause fatigue, especially in women (in men higher testosterone levels temporarily override dehydration to boost energy) – but it does affect strength and endurance in both men and women. Drinking enough water can also help you to lose excess weight by regulating the signals from your brains that sometimes misfire with a hunger message when you’re dehydrated.

If you’re not drinking enough the physical signs are quite easy to spot: your urine is dark or concentrated (‘normal’ is the colour of straw) and you’re not going to the loo regularly, i.e. every two to three hours. Another sign, but perhaps more subtle, is that you might be susceptible to a streaming or congested nose.

You might also feel drowsy in the afternoon or your mood and energy levels are not as they normally are. Your blood pressure might be a bit low if you’re dehydrated and you feel dizzy. You might be more hungry than usual….

Food contributes only about 20% of water to your daily intake. The rest you need to drink. Pure water, coconut water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.

Six to eight glasses a day is a general rule of thumb and easy to remember. For average or moderate activity levels you can also calculate a more accurate amount based on body weight using this formula: weight in kilograms x 0.033 [e.g. 60kgs (approx. 9.5 stone) = about 2 litres per day; 90kgs (approx. 14 stone) = about 3 litres per day].

Of course, we all have different body types, environments, lifestyles and activity levels and therefore need different amounts.

It is possible to drink too much water, for example with certain health conditions such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver or heart problems or if taking medications that make your body retain water, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opiates for pain relief as well as some anti-depressants. You should check with a doctor if you’re not sure about the right amount.

How you can retrain yourself to drink more water …

Two litres seems like a lot, and you might wonder if you’ll be dashing to the loo all day and night if you drink that amount! The good news is that your body can quite quickly adapt to drinking the right amount your sleep needn’t be disrupted.

Here are some tips and tricks to try:

– Keep a reusable water bottle handy – this will help you to drink on the go and have a visual reminder to drink more
– Time-based habits can also serve as a reminder – for example drink a glass before each meal, before bed and soon after waking up– Use fresh fruit and herbs to flavour the water to add some variety – try strawberry and mint, blueberry and basil, lemon/orange and rosemary

Apart from drinking more, you can also eat more water-rich foods such as cucumber, spinach, celery, apples, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries. Every little helps!

Pilates Medicine

Pilates is a form of mind-body exercise that is based on slow, flowing, and rhythmical movements, that can help you function better in your everyday life. For example, it can help improve your balance and muscle tone while fostering a calm, focused clarity of thought. It’s often called meditation in motion.

Scientific studies are showing more and more health benefits that you can get from this practice. In fact, the health benefits are so numerous, some people are calling it medication in motion.

It is becoming widely recognized as one of the most powerful ways to improve both physical and mental health. A Pilates practice can help your health with:

  • Better Balance making you less likely to fall, and thus cut your risk of injury in half
  • Pain Relief: significant relief from back, neck, arthritis, and fibromyalgia pain
  • A Sharper Mind: It’s shown to help reduce age-related cognitive decline … and even slow dementia!
  • Better Heart Health: may reduce your chances of developing heart disease — even if you have risk factors
  • Improved Mood: greatly improved mood and lowered anxiety. It’s also an effective treatment for depression
  • Less Stress: Learn the secret to taking deep, calming breaths and reduce anxiety and depression

Pilates: Allied Healthcare

One of the most common myths about Pilates is that you need a to be of a certain age, body-type, or flexibility in order to practice. Pilates is for everyone! As clinical reports and research continue to reveal the pervasive health benefits of Pilates for people with a host of health conditions, it’s vital to dispel such misconceptions, and instead promote the value of Pilates to people of all ages and abilities.

Pilates is modifiable and adaptive, amplifying benefits, regardless of someone’s abilityWe welcome movement therapists, and all allied health professionals to learn how to prescribe and practice Pilates.

We have the dream of  accessible Pilates being everywhere, working tirelessly to pioneer Pilates practices that welcome people for whom the mat is a barrier. The Reformer had raised mats and there is also Chair Pilates, enabling a diverse range of health populations to access the benefits of the practice: improved fitness, flexibility, balance, strength and coordination; relaxation for body and mind; elevated health and wellbeing overall. The raised mats ideal for those who cannot get up or down from the floor due to age, disability, inflexibility, or injury.

Our comprehensive programs will empower all within a huge range of abilities, including those with Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, cancer or other conditions, as well as those with dementia, learning disabilities and their carers.

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.


  • 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