About Pilates 4 Parkinson's
P4P is the result of 20 years of working with people with Parkinson's disease, and applying various fitness training modalities to achieve or maintain optimal mobility, flexibility, coordination, and balance.
Pilates 4 Parkinson's evolved from the question, "Is the Pilates Method of exercise effective in decelerating and/or stabilizing the progression of motor symptoms for those suffering from Parkinsons' disease?"
Multiple research studies conclude the answer is "YES". In a study of the efficacy of a mat Pilates program on patients in stage 1-3 of the Hoehn & Yahr scale for PD, researchers claimed that Pilates was an inexpensive, effective, and home based exercise program which would improve fitness level and quality of life for this population .
In another study specific to assessing whether Pilates could improve balance, test group participants who completed an eight week exercise program, showed a significant improvement in functional balance . Further the premise of this investigative study was specifically to identify an effective exercise means to improve postural instability. As one of the most common debilitating factors of PD, postural instability can lead to increased risk of falls, reduced mobility and impaired functional capacity .
Abundant and positive research exists supporting the beneficial effects of physical exercise programs on both motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. However, the heterogeneity of exercise interventions continues to obscure professionals and care support providers of PD from establishing a physiotherapeutic, standardized protocol for intervention, in particular per disease stage. For this reason, Pilates 4 Parkinson's has emerged with a specific protocol and method in working with people of all stages of Parkinson's disease.
The Advantages of
Suitable for all fitness levels, and Stages 1-4
Exercise any time, flexible schedule
Convenience of exercise from home
Professional and varied resources available
Certified, Professional Trainers
Client in stage 1 working in side bend for the first time, while seated on a stability ball. Focus is on gaining trunk mobility with lateral flexion of the spine.
Client in stage 2 working with the modified Pilates Hundred, flexion of spine with distal mobility while maintaining core stability.
Client in stage 4 working from supine position on core stability. Dumbell used for grasp feedback and to minimize tremor.
Why Pilates exercises for Parkinson's disease?
There are tremendous advantages of using the Pilates Method to work with individuals who have neuro-degenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease:
Pilates is safe, especially when using the Reformer or Cadillac apparatus because you can create many closed chain movements in all planes of motion. Always work with a certified Pilates Method instructor.
Pilates is non-impacting which helps to preserve already compromised joints and tendons.
The Method is progressive, in which all exercises stem from very basic movements.
Pilates is core-centric helping clients to develop much needed trunk and core strength which directly effects posture, back support, spine flexibility, and gait.
Pilates is accessible to everyone regardless of age, size, gender or physical fitness condition.
Pilates can be done with or without props or equipment, and in any location like a studio or one's own home.
Pilates movements stimulate brain Neuroplasticity. "Motor learning is improved during activation of the mirror neuron system, in which regions of the brain are accessed and neural receptivity heightened using various sensory enhancement techniques" .
Pilates supports amplitude training in a closed chain environment (large movements).
Pilates stimulates automaticity training (transition from effortful strategic movement in basic level skills to quick, fluid, and efficient performance).
Pilates promotes fascia-focused movement. "An approach that integrates manual therapy and fascia-focused movement may address both functional change in the architecture of the neuromyofascial system and improvement in motor control." .