Do you really want to stop using your shoulder?
I’ve had a bit of an arm and shoulder week! I’m working with a Scottish Kayak champion who mailed me this week to say that her tennis elbow has all but disappeared. I love stories like that!
And then I remembered this blog about shoulder pain. The blog beautifully explains how the method that I learnt and practice of working with clients collaboratively can achieve remarkable results. It’s also useful to remember that when someone tells you that you can’t do something, trust your instinct and challenge whether you really can’t or just haven’t found a way yet.
Thank you to Julia Moss at Moss Pilates, Polestar training school in the UK for allowing me to share this.
This morning I was working with a client who was experiencing shoulder pain due to swimming. She asked me, “Will my shoulder pain go away if I stop swimming?”
I responded, “Maybe, but do you really want to stop swimming?”
She said, “No,” and we then started the process of figuring out what was going on with her shoulder. We spent the next hour using Pilates as a tool for problem solving. The body’s motion was our research. We explored movement of the shoulder in different relationships to gravity. We moved through closed chain movements and open chain movements to increase proprioception and we also progressed from exercises that assisted the shoulder to exercises that added gentle resistance. But that’s not all, because our shoulder girdle moves in relationship to the rest of the body, we also looked at the thoracic and cervical spine as well as fascial connections throughout the entire torso. Pilates became our method of change, and not only did my client’s shoulder movement change, but her entire emotional life was improved.
Pilates is often thought of as a set of exercises, but if you attend the right pilates teacher training, it becomes so much more. At Polestar Education, pilates becomes an avenue for critical as well as creative thinking and problem solving. The Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training helps teachers learn how to see the body in front of them and then design a program based on the findings. Pilates becomes a collaboration between two people instead of a script read by an instructor. The Polestar Pilates Teacher learns how to cue movement using imagery and tactile cues as well as the timbre and rhythm of the voice. All of this has the goal of creating a positive movement experience.
What is the result of the Polestar Pilates curriculum? Pilates Teachers that are able to empower their clients to make change in the function of their lives. Pilates Teachers that can help an athlete enhance performance. Pilates teachers that can help their clients make an ache or pain disappear for more than just a Pilates session. Pilates Teachers that don’t have to say, “Yeah it might be best if you stop swimming.”
I love teaching the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Series. I get to see the “aha” moments when a teacher realizes, oh there’s more than one way to do things. As students are mastering the different exercises and concepts their bodies begin to change before my very eyes. They tell me stories about how their life improves with greater movement and then they tell me the story of how their heart grows when they are able to empower someone else. I love teaching Polestar Pilates Teachers because I know that more people will be able to keep swimming as long as they want!
Katrina Hawley is a Certified Pilates Teacher by the Pilates Method Alliance. She is also a graduate of the Polestar Pilates Rehabilitation Program. Katrina studied Somatic Movement approaches under Janis Pforsich, Aliza Shapiro, Charlotte Wile, Irene Dowd and Martha Eddy. From 2005-2010 Katrina was on the Board of Directors for the International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association (ISMETA) and now continues to be an ISMETA Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME). Katrina teaches Laban Movement Analysis and Pilates at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School in the Dance Division. Previously, Katrina was the co-director of Hawley Martin Dance (2001-2006) and she holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University. She currently co-owns The Pilates Place in Hadley.
The original article was published here.