It's More than a Core Workout: Pilates for Rehabilitation

By Monet Cruz, Instructor at All Wellness and Monet Cruz Pilates

Like many Pilates students, I was introduced to Pilates after a back injury.  Prior to 2014 I always felt comfortable moving through life in my body. I started running at 28 years old during a transitional time in my life. Running brought me empowerment in helping me realize I am capable of doing things that I previously did not believe I could do.  As an asthmatic, I was never encouraged to run at school or at home. Running became my defiance of limitations, and when I felt stress or anxiety, I would run it off.

A combination of my own search for relief from chronic back pain and the mysterious workings of the universe brought me to Pilates.  After a foot injury put me into a boot for over a month, I was anxious to get back to exercise.  To my dismay, the imbalance of walking on the boot caused me to injure my lower back once I resumed exercise and I was in constant pain.  After getting x-rays and an MRI, I was diagnosed with a slipped disc at L4, L5 and a scoliosis caused by tightness in my hips and pelvis from my body trying to stabilize my unstable sacroiliac joints.

There happened to be a Polestar Pilates studio in the building where I worked at the time, where I started seeing a Physical Therapist on the Pilates Reformer.  These sessions brought some relief, and eventually I started group classes and private sessions.  The Pilates studio became my wellness sanctuary.  While I had previously practiced yoga for many years, what I found in Pilates was something new and unique.  Having moved to Vermont from New York City in 2013 to explore a new career, I now realized I had found my passion. 

I started my Polestar training in the fall of 2016 in Montreal.  Today it has been four years since my injury and after working with many professionals, I am still moving toward a full recovery.  As I continue my journey in mastering this incredible method, I am empowered by a greater understanding of the biomechanics of the human body and in my own body. 

There is constantly new research, information, and evolving understanding in human biomechanics and as movement teachers and students there is always more to learn.  Whatever your goal or wherever you are in your wellness journey, Pilates meets people where they are.  By improving balance, posture, strength, and mood, this method has changed my life and the lives of my students. 

I always tell my students that Pilates is both a blessing and a curse because of the knowledge you gain through the practice.  You learn your own body, how it moves, and you become aware of every inconsistency and imbalance.  When your body is not cooperating because of an injury, illness, or any other reason, it can feel frustrating.  With the Pilates method you can see the path to health and healing.  It is the light at the end of the tunnel.  Pilates may make you aware of your asymmetries, but it also works both your large global muscles and your smaller supportive muscles to truly make the practitioner a most efficient mover through life.  I do believe that things happen for a reason, and the positive side of my injury is that it changed the course of my life and put me in a position to help others.

If you are struggling to find an exercise routine while dealing with an injury or chronic pain, Pilates may be just what you’re looking for. Schedule your 3 introductory Pilates privates today.