Pilates for Stress Relief and Wellbeing

Pilates is not a religious practice, nor is it the same thing as meditation or Yoga. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, who was plagued with physical problems as a child and developed a set of exercises and movements to promote his own physical wellbeing. He wanted to help others achieve a superior physical state, too, and shared and taught his exercises to many. He believed "the whole world" would benefit from his exercises.

Pilates is said to offer more than just physical strength, however. Stress relief is considered one of Pilates' positive effects. Here are some possible reasons as to why and how Pilates offers stress relief and overall wellbeing.

Pain Relief

When you're in pain, that alone is stressful. Chronic pain can be stressful to the point of debilitation. Joseph Pilates made the bold claim that he never needed an aspirin, and suggested that others who practiced his exercises wouldn't need any, either. While that radical a claim may not be for everyone, it does lend credence to the idea that Pilates relieves pain.

Pilates promotes body alignment and core muscle strength, as well as flexibility. Pilates also works toward "spine lengthening." This may explain why such exercises can relieve pain.

Many health and medical practitioners chalk chronic pain up to the body's misalignment, often aggravated or caused by tense muscles. They say that muscle tension can pull bones and joints (especially the spine) out of their correct positions. The body then tries to compromise with more muscle tension to pull the bones back where they belong. With its emphasis on relaxing the strengthening muscles, then, you can see how Pilates could relieve pain.

Cardiovascular Health

Circulation is reputed to be enhanced by the practice of Pilates. Perhaps this benefit could lower blood pressure and other stress-induced cardiovascular problems that, when left unaddressed, can be deadly. Healthy circulation can go a long way toward an overall sense of wellbeing.

Muscle Relaxation

As noted above, muscle relaxation and stretching is a key component of Pilates. The exercises are said to elongate muscles and increase strength as well as flexibility. As the body takes on stress during the day, flexibility and relaxed muscles can help deal with those stresses in a healthy way, before they can take hold of the muscles and get the body out of whack.

A strong-yet-flexible state of body can also affect the mind the same way - strong but flexible. That's the ideal state of mind and body for a sense of wellbeing.

By Recent Health Articles

Newer Post Older Post