Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the most ancient forms of medicine and is constantly evolving and adapting to suit your individual needs. After studying for many years to become confident in this art of medicine, I realised that I needed to help my patients to prevent their aches and pains from coming back. The best way to do this was with pilates.
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s, these exercises are used to work out the muscles and areas that we don’t use much anymore. By not moving naturally enough each day we weaken and these muscles aren’t strong enough to keep our bodies in the positions we’re comfortable in. That is why pilates is so important to do at least once a week.
Every day in my clinic I see back pain, hip pain and just general aches and pains. If your muscles were strong through your core, hips, thighs and back you would most likely not get these pains at all. That’s why during my sessions I also talk about what exercises you can take home to do and keep yourself strong.
To help keep myself strong and continue to teach people about their health, I also teach pilates at Wellwood once a month. It’s not just a normal pilates class though. Being me, I have to add some Traditional Chinese Medicine flare!
My classes start off with a loose fist tapping along all twelve meridians in the order that the Qi (energy) flows through the body. This gets everyone’s energy levels rising, warms you up and lets you know which areas you may need to show a bit more care to for the day.
After the tapping we get into the pilates part of the class. By honing those small movements so you’re doing them for maximum effectiveness, we’re able to help you grow stronger and fitter, making you feel and look great. For me, my favourite movements are Clams and Abdominal Curls, as they work out the right core and glute muscles to keep you standing strong and take heaps of pressure off you’re back and hips.
During the pilates part of the class I’ll also spurt various bits of trivia relating to your health and wellbeing. We have a great time in these classes as we chat about how best your health can be improved.
Finally after everyone is feeling that beautiful soreness from working out their deep muscles the best way, we move into Qi Gongs to warm down. Qi Gongs are repetitive movements that focus the mind and the breathing with each move. Each helps to clear various channels of the body and get your circulation smoothly travelling through you. The Qi Gongs performed are also wonderful for reducing stress, opening your lungs so your breathe more deeply, and focusing your mind so you can work clearly for the day.
The combination of meridian tapping, pilates and Qi Gong helps to bring your whole body back into balance. There is no better way to start your day than with some energising Chinese Medicine and Pilates!
By Rhiannon D. Elton
BHSc Acupuncture, Dip. Tui Na, Reiki Master