Clinical Pilates 

Clinical Pilates 

Mindful Intelligent Whole-body Exercise for Rehabilitation

What is Clinical Pilates?

Clinical Pilates adapts Joseph Pilates' original body-weight and spring based exercise method. It incorporates current knowledge of human anatomy, neuromuscular physiology, biomechanics and physical rehabilitation. 

Equipment with springs, such as the Pilates Reformer and Stability Chair are used to teach movement. The main goals of most Pilates programs are to improve strength and to gain mobility.

Clinical Pilates is a gentle, intelligent, mindful and whole-body form of exercise therapy. Consequently, each exercise follows a set of principles.

For example, each exercises has a breathing pattern. There is also a focus on breathing three dimensionally with the rib cage.  Each breath pattern keeps us mindful, the result is a stronger connection to the muscles needed for stability and movement. 

Exercise choices during Clinical Pilates appointments account for your goals, your movement capacity and your health conditions.

What Are the Differences Between Private Clinical Pilates and Pilates Classes?

Firstly, in group classes the instructor's attention is divided between multiple participants. Unlike in a private session where the focus is solely on you. 

Secondly, group classes are usually formatted and are often limited to one piece of Pilates equipment.  During private Pilates sessions we have access to the mat, Reformer and Stability Chair.

Thirdly,  group classes are often fitness based, instead of having a rehab focus. 

What Happens During a Private Pilates session?

During the first appointment there is an assessment that includes a health history, a movement screen and goal setting. There is also time for an introduction to the Pilates principles and some exercises.

Follow-up sessions begin with a check-in to see what you have been doing since your last visit and to learn how you are feeling. Since the focus on you, that day's exercises are progressed or regressed depending on how you feel and what you are capable of doing. 

Book in East Vancouver near Renfrew Skytrain Station at C.A.T.C.H Physio and Wellness.

What are the Benefits of Clinical Pilates?

Pilates has many benefits. 

Firstly, taking part in weekly or twice weekly Pilates develops core strength, including deepening your connection to your pelvic floor muscles.

 Some Other Benefits of Pilates are: 

CATCH Physio and Wellness Vancouver Clinical Pilates equipment for rehabilitation.

Clinical Pilates is effective for treating many chronic health conditions, for injury rehabilitation, for injury prevention and for supporting sports performance.

It is often used simultaneously with other therapy modalities, like massage therapy, chiropractic and physiotherapy. 

What Conditions Improve with Clinical Pilates? Is Pilates Right for Me?

Many chronic conditions and injuries improve with regular Pilates training. It is excellent for achieving both physical rehabilitation and general fitness goals. 

Pilates is right for you if:

  • You want to gain strength before joint replacement surgery (knee, hip or shoulder replacement). Or rehab post-surgery.
  • You have chronic stiffness, or you have trouble moving with ease.
  • You have chronic pain or chronic fatigue. You seek a supported and gentle way to restore movement without making symptoms worse.
  • You already lead an active life. Pilates makes participating in running, cycling, tennis, and other sports more fluid.
  • You want to gain strength and stability while reducing symptoms from low-back or neck pain.
  • You have a neuromuscular condition such as Parkinson's disease.
  • You have fibromyalgia and you want to gain more endurance to have more energy for daily activities.
  • You want to return to your favourite sport. Pilates for sports rehabilitation restores joint stability, body co-ordination and improves load transfer from limb-to-limb.
  • You are preparing to have orthopaedic surgery or have an injury. Such as, a meniscus tears, a ACL repairs, a rotator cuff injures, other shoulder injuries). Get stronger before to recover faster after surgery.
  • You were in a car accident. ICBC recommends active rehabilitation with a Kinesiologist to recover from whiplash, have lower-back pain or other injuries. ICBC pays for kinesiology treatments.
  • You want to stop athletic injuries that keep resurfacing. Learn how to overcome poor movement patterns to prevent reinjury.
  • You want to manage a mental illness like depression, anxiety or stress with physical activity.
" Movement is integral to life. Mobility is our ability to actively move our joints through their entire range of motion with ease and without pain.
Our quality mobility impacts our freedom to work, our ability to take part in sports and our ability to do our daily tasks.
Having greater mobility improves our quality of life and prevents injuries and disability. "
Alfred Ball, Kinesiologist | Clinical Pilates Instructor | Fascial Stretch Therapist

Why Choose Private Pilates with a Kinesiologist?

Clients take part in private Pilates because they get individual attention. Therefore, the focus is solely on them, their health condition(s) and their abilities.

 Alfred is a compassionate and attentive Kinesiologist with over 20 years of experience.  Along with a Pilates certification, he is also an allied health professional with a 4 year degree in Human Kinetics.  He understands your medical condition(s) and movement history. 

Most clients also seek the support and guidance of a human movement expert. 

People who choose Pilates have a variety of health, physical rehabilitation, and fitness goals.  

For example:

  • They want to get back to playing golf without reinjury after back surgery. 
  • Or they want to get more shoulder mobility to enhance their swimming.
  • Some, people want support to regain strength post-surgery or reduce myofascial pain symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  •  While, others want to change their posture to improve self-confidence.

What are the Differences Between the Pilates Reformer and Stability Chair?

The Pilates Reformer and Stability Chair are both pieces of specialized exercise equipment that are similar and different.

Similarities Between the Reformer and Stability Chair

Firstly, the main similarity is that they both have several built-in springs to assist with movement and provide resistance. These springs also have a variety of tension levels. There Reformer has an adjustable gear bar to change the starting tension. Where as the springs have different attachment points with many combinations to alter the challenge.  

For example, changing the total spring tension switches each exercise's focus between strength and stability. Therefore, the exercise becomes easier or more difficult.  

Secondly, the Rehab Pilates Reformer has an elevated platform that makes it easier to transfer on and off it. The chair is also elevated, however its height can make some exercises too difficult for someone with knee pain.

Thirdly, the chair provides the capacity for exercises that mimic daily activities, like sitting and climbing stairs. While the Reformer, has a tower, which is a modified Pilates Cadillac to assist with standing and other exercises.

Differences Between the Reformer and Stability Chair

The first difference between the two is the available accessories.  On the Reformer these include the mat converter, jump board, long/short box, straps and arc barrel. Even though, the main accessory on the chair are the adjustable handle bars, the long box is also used for some of the chair exercises, like the standing leg work. 

A second difference is the platform size.  The mat converter extends the Reformer, so a person can lie down on it.  Unlike the Reformer, the stability chair surface is the size of a large square seat which remains fixed.  As a result, you need more body-control to lie down it. 

Thirdly, spine support is different between the two. On Reformer the spine is in a supported position more often. During exercises on the the stability chair the spine has less support.  This means that the back muscles do more work during the chair exercises. 

Another key difference is in the footwork exercises. On the Reformer there is larger leg range of motion than on the chair. Lastly, the pedals work independently or together on the chair, so clients can use their left and right side together or separately. 

Choosing between using either one depends on each individual's needs and goals. 

Alfred's Experience Teaching Pilates for Rehabilitation

Alfred Ball, Practicing Kinesiologist

Alfred is a Kinesiologist, Fascial Stretch Therapist and a  STOTT Merrithew trained Pilates Instructor. He has been teaching private and group Pilates on and off since 2015. He guides and empowers people with injuries, chronic pain and chronic illnesses. 

By working with him they gain strength and movement so that they can lead more active lives. Alfred understands the immense positive impacts Pilates has on their quality of life. 

His passion for this gentle form of rehabilitative exercise reignited after a hiatus. The foundational principles of Pilates continued to guide his Kinesiology work even when he didn't have access to a Reformer.

Alfred started teaching again Pilates in East Vancouver at C.A.T.C.H Physio and Wellness near the Renfrew Skytrain station in September of 2021.

Alfred expanded his Pilates exercise repertoire recently to the stability chair. In May 2023, he completed the STOTT Pilates Stability Chair course.

Book a Clinical Pilates session in Vancouver near the Renfrew Skytrain Station at C.A.T.C.H. Physiotherapy and Wellness.

Are Pilates Sessions Covered by Health Benefits?

A growing number of health benefits plan providers, like Sunlife do cover Kinesiology. However, this is dependent on what each employer has negotiated.

Clinical Pilates sessions with a Kinesiologist can often be covered under your Physiotherapy benefits. To do this at CATCH, first check with your benefits plans then a book physiotherapy assessment. Thirdly, book a follow-up Clinical Pilates - Physiotherapy  appointment with Alfred.

If benefits aren't available, book under Clinical Pilates - Kinesiology to pay privately.