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Newsletter Term 4, 2013

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In this newsletter...

* General updates
* New booking system review
* Progress evaluation
* Exercise of the term
* Client of the term
* Staff top tips


General updates...

Welcome back to Term 4 Pilates 2013. The year is whizzing by at an alarming rate. Xmas and merriment will be upon us in no time!!

Term will end Friday 13th December and we will recommence Tuesday February 4th 2014. As yet I have no information regarding holiday classes over the January period. If interested please notify your teacher.

Progress Evaluation...

In term 3 we had our re-evaluation class wherein we looked in more detail into the body and how we move. I hope you all had at least one big ‘take home’ from this session.

Remember to ask your physio questions during the classes if you want to understand more about what you are doing and why. We are here to help.

Exercise of the term...

Don't forget to view our regular feature in which we film a common Pilates/rehab based exercise with cues and progressions for you to watch and practice at home. Each exercise video can be found on the website in the articles section where we frequently upload tips on health, nutrition and exercise.

 see 'Articles'    

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This term we have ‘chair exercises”. As we tend to spend an overly high proportion of the day sitting (work,car,sofa,eating) it is essential we learn to move more frequently. Regular movement throughout the day is more powerful for the body and health than 1-2 hr sessions a week.

I hope you can try some of these exercises in your daily routine, make it a habit and feel the difference !

Client of the term...

We are returning to our segment wherein we congratulate one client who has been nominated by our instructor for making great progress throughout the last term, whether it be for attendance, improving flexibility, push ups or maintain core control and posture.

This term we congratulate.....
Margaret, Tues 5pm, with Sally.

I have nominated Margaret for her dedication to her training, improvement in posture and confidence in movement. As a result of this she no longer requires regular ‘hands on’ physio which is a very positive outcome.

Margaret says.....
"The good news is I survived a weekends skiing – in fact I skied well and when I had to get up from a slight fall I could use my core and up I got!!! This was not so 2 years ago which was an unpleasant awakening at that time. I think my quads were in better condition too after all the lunging exercises which I do not really like but they are working. Margaret has also reported a cessation in bone loss since commencing regular classes.

Well and keep up the good work. She has received a voucher to shop away online!

Ask the physio............

Stay well while gardening......  by Claire McAlpine


I’m not sure, because I’m not an avid gardener ( it may have something to do with the lack of green space at my apartment) but I’m guessing it’s an important time of year to get on top of the garden right now? Or maybe it’s The Block Finales inspiring everyone to do landscaping work.  Either way it seems that over the last few weeks there has been a huge amount of lower back pain patients coming into my clinic with one common cause of back pain....the garden! Of course you guys all have immaculate core strength and body awareness so we don’t need to worry about you guys...however, a few things you  may want about when do work on the house whether inside or out:

·         It may not hurt at the time but it will later – sustained flexion positions (where you bend forward and lose that inwards curve of your lower spine) cause a huge amount of pressure on the structures of the spine, discs, ligaments and muscles included. Although you may not feel pain while bent over the vege garden it doesn’t mean it’s not causing your spine damage that you won’t feel it tomorrow. Every half hour have a think is this good posture? A good way to decided whether it’s a good position or not is to think to yourself `` would I be doing this/ standing like this/lifting like this if my back was sore?``

·         Get help- Don’t try and do it all yourself or lift things that you wouldn’t usually lift by yourself. I know it’s tempting to try and get it done quickly but it’s not worth it!!! Pace yourselves.

·         Use Equipment- when possible sit on a chair or stool. Make sure your gardening tools are working properly so that you don’t have to strain to overcome stiff rusty tools.

·         Break it up – take a small break every 45 minutes (good chance to sneak in a hot drink here!)

·         Remember your safe lifting techniques- what else do I need to say? You know what your meant to do..... so do it!

·         Do Mckenzie extension exercises- these simple exercises are designed to push the gel that sits in the spinal discs back to the front of the disc where it belongs. When we bend forward the gel pushes to the back of the disc and can cause disc bulges or worst still herniations! If you are not familiar with these exercises ask your Pilates instructor.

·         Afterwards is important too – Gardening works you hard and your muscles will be fatigued. It is important that you are aware of this and take it easy. Don’t try and go for a run or vacuum post gardening as your back may not have the strength left to carry out these tasks safely. Likewise avoid blobbing out on the couch for 2hrs straight after as it’s a good way to seize you right up. It may be good to go for a gentle walk or swim. Remember if you are feeling sore heat or ice packs may be appropriate.

·         If its not improving post 48 hrs – go and see your physiotherapist. Pain exceeding this time period is unlikely to be` just muscular` you may need some hands on work or corrective exercises to get you back on track.

Hopefully this will help those with the green fingers keep themselves safe as spring is fast approaching.     Claire x

Staff top tips...


Sally- “Tiredness has become the most common day to day health complaint. Research shows that a nap of just 10 mins can alleviate tiredness, improve mood and concentration. Going without sleep for 17 hrs gives you a reaction time equivalent to 0.05 blood alcohol level!! Lets embrace the ‘mini siesta’!”

Erin- We spend most of our day in a flexed position especially when siting at a desk, driving, cleaning or cooking. Try doing some stretches in the opposite direction to avoid a hunched posture. I recommend some chest stretches in a door frame, upper back extensions over a rolled towel and some hip flexor stretches.”

Claire- A lot of us sit in front of a computer all day at work and then come home and work/play/communicate on our phones/laptops/ipads etc
Human bodies weren't designed to sit for such long periods of time. The prolonged loads and pressures on our ligament/discs and bones in our spine can begin to cause pain and discomfort (stopping our deep cores from working properly!!). Instead of sitting while you send a text message or email why not do some simple calf raises? A hamstring or hip flexor stretch?
Don't forget to have an ergonomic assessment of your work station and try and take the key points home with you! E.g. remember all because your phone/ipad doesn't sit on a desk doesn't mean you shouldn't try and keep your screen at eye level while you use it.

Amy- You are never too old or young to improve your balance! Try balancing on one foot when you clean your teeth or wash the dishes. Think about keeping your pelvis horizontal (or parallel with the ground). This exercise helps to activate your deep core layer, your pelvic floor and also your hip stabilizing muscles. Make it a bit harder by closing your eyes or moving your arms. You will amazed by how quickly you improve!”

Alex- “Regular movement draws water into the tissues and cells to rehydrate them. Remember to move regularly throughout the day. Little and often is the magic formula.  Even as we sit our tissues (hamstrings and adductors) will become dehydrated and stuck together.”

AnneMarie- "Try an early morning stretching routine when you first wake up. It boosts circulation, muscle and joint flexibility!   Try the following routine from pro-align....   30 seconds well spent!!”

Michelle- "Did you know your gall bladder will constrict and tense up with stress. This can even lead to gall stones as stored bile becomes more viscous. Next time someone cuts you up in traffic, take a deep breath, relax and be kind to your gall bladder "

Caitriona- "When starting to work a weak pelvic floor, do your exercises at the end of the day so you are not putting pressure on a fatigued pelvic floor throughout your day"


We would like to thank you once again for another great term and look forward to progressing your rehab in our last term. Always feel free to ask any questions of your instructor or alternatively contact Sally via the website. The website is regularly updated with free tips on nutrition, healthy lifestyle and exercises for you to follow, so keep an eye out for updates.

Don't forget you can now follow us on twitter and on Facebook!

Enjoy term 4

From the team.......Sally, Erin, AnneMarie, Claire, Michelle, Alex, Amy & Caitriona.

Is not uncommon for a person with a spondylolisthesis to present with no symptoms at all.
The most common symptom, however of a low grade slippage (<50%) is that of lower back pain.
If an anterolisthesis has been discovered, back pain symptoms will often be activity related and worsen with extension of the lumbar spine.
Other common symptoms include tightness of the hamstrings and decreased range of motion and stiffness of the lower back. Changes in gait and posture are very common and an increased lumbar curve can be quite common.


This is a common exercise undertaken in all classes. It is essential for lower abdominal contr
ol, integr
ate breathing and core and stabilise the low back.


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