Tag: healing

And the neck bone is connected…

Dear Clients, Friends and Family,

Hello again and thank you for continuing with us as we journey through the book written by Joseph Pilates, “Return to Life Through Contrology”.  Joe wrote this book in 1945, and the health giving benefits of Pilates are even more relevant today than they were then.  As a nation, we are much more sedentary in general, and a good exercise program is necessary to maintain youth and vigor.  But the benefits of Pilates extend way beyond most.  Please read on as we share with you, Joe’s thoughts on the spine.


Heart Healthy Pilates! Really???

Dear Clients, Friends and Family,


February is the month that we celebrate affairs of the heart and all things related. So this month, we will examine how and why Pilates is as healthy for your heart as it is for the rest of your body.  Let us count the ways…….


                      THE “INTERNAL SHOWER”


Joe calls it “Bodily House-Cleaning with Blood Circulation”

“…..your blood will flow with renewed vigor as a direct result of your faithfully performing Pilates exercises.  Pilates induces the heart to pump strong and steadily with the result that the bloodstream is forced to carry and discharge more of the accumulated debris created by fatigue.  Pilates drives pure fresh blood to every muscle fibre of the body, particularly to the capillaries which are rarely ever stimulated once we reach adulthood.” …..  Joe Pilates


Pilates exercises purify the blood in the bloodstream and carries clean fresh blood to all the organs of the body, including the sweat glands.  Pilates guards against the unnecessary throbbing of the heart relieving it from undue strain, as most of the exercises are performed in a reclining or sitting position.   The exercises will stir your sluggish circulation into action by discharging accumulated fatigue through the bloodstream. Your brain clears and your will power begins to function.

True heart control follows correct breathing which simultaneously reduces heart strain, purifies the blood, and develops the lungs.”…….Joe Pilates


The above quotes from Joseph Pilates are taken from his book “Return to Life Through Contrology” originally published in 1934.  For our purposes, “Contrology”, as the Method was originally named, has been substituted with “Pilates”, as we know it today.


Stay tuned for Part 2 (next month) of this “Internal Shower” when we discuss how breathing plays a big part as well.  We are hoping by presenting this mini-series on the life changing benefits of Pilates, you will enhance and deepen your Pilates practice and become more in tuned with your body.  The Pilates method is so much more than just “exercise” – and we want to share that so you can benefit fully.


In addition, we can’t forget to mention that adding the Pilates Jumpboard into your routine, produces increased cardiovascular benefits as well.  And check out our BarSculpt class for a fun and effective interval training workout!

              A sugar free treat to try…….


1/4 cup of Truvia Baking Blend

1/2 cup of almond flour

3 Tsbp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 egg

2 Tsbp half and half

whipped cream for topping

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, in another bowl mix together the wet ingredients.  Combine dry mixture into the wet mixture.  Put 1/4 of the batter into a coffee mug and microwave for 1 minute.  Remove from the mug and top with whipped cream.  Refrigerate remaining batter for later.

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Pilates for Pain Relief

Jennie’s Story

   “Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it, but to maintain it.” 

                 Joseph Pilates

October 2012, Jennie, 29, came into the Studio looking for relief from her constant pain. She presented with multiple injuries including a left knee dance injury, a lumbar spine injury which occurred when she was hit by a bus, on foot. While studying web-design, Jennie developed severe tendonitis of the wrist and forearm, as diagnosed by her doctor. Two years ago, Jennie was involved in another pedestrian vs vehicle accident, when a car hit her and threw her onto the hood, landing her on her right hip. She sustained soft tissue damage of the hip during this accident. Jennie had tried multiple modalities through out the years, including yoga, acupuncture, and physical therapy. They all helped a little but Jennie was not satisfied with her quality of life.

We approached her Pilates program cautiously, taking extreme care with the injured areas, but proceeded none the less. She needed to get stronger, but we also needed to release tight weak areas. When we began, she had little strength in her right leg, and was not able to bear weigh on it. Since Pilates allows you to gain strength in a non weight bearing position, Jennie got stronger without creating more pain. We alternated strengthening with Pilates and releasing techniques to achieve results. Jennie was determined and quickly gained strength and mobility as we progressed from the basics to intermediate work. Today, Jennie is 80% pain free, doing things she could not do before! Her form is beautiful and I am so proud of her accomplishments! Notice in the pictures, she is standing on her right leg!

In Jennie’s own words: “I found my way to Pilates because I was so desperate to find something to help me deal with chronic pain and injuries that just refused to heal. At only 29 years old, I was so frustrated with the constant pain and felt so let down by my body, I just didn’t know where to turn. Each injury impacted my entire body and the resulting chronic pain has had a major impact on my life. Thankfully, Pilates has turned out to be exactly what I needed and Marie is exactly the instructor I needed. Working with her one on one, we have been able to address the specific needs of my body. The thing I love most about Pilates is that it addresses the body as a whole. Every session I feel stronger, more flexible, and more balanced. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to do things I couldn’t do and it continues to get better! I love coming to my sessions not only for the benefits I see in my body, but the effect it has on my overall well-being and peace of mind. Pilates is helping me to get my life back.”

Do you have fitness or wellness goals that you would like to accomplish? Pilates of Old Town is committed to helping you reach those goals. Now is the perfect time to start. For more information call 714-731-7900 to set up your free no pressure evaluation today!

Pilates Positive Impact on Aging

Pilates Positive Impact on Aging

Some of us know all too well the signs of aging. We are either experiencing them ourselves or seeing them in others. A decrease in height, and increase in weight, more fat and less lean muscle mass, rounded shoulders and upper back (kyphosis), reduced bone density (osteoperosis), loss of balance (increasing the risk of falls), and a general decrease in strength, to name a few. That’s the bad news, the good news is that there is a lot you can do to counteract this aging process. A good diet to guard against weight gain, and a program of moderate intensity exercise to help with body composition, posture, balance and strength can help immensely. Strength training on the Pilates Apparatus can increase lean muscle mass, reduce bone density loss, greatly improve posture and balance, providing a full body workout. By adding some cardio to your program, such as walking or cycling, you have all your bases covered!

Pilates addresses the “whole person”, and no one says it better than Joe did. ” Pilates (Contrology) developes the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” Joseph Pilates

This lovely lady is Darlene Elliott, a twice a week visitor to Pilates of Old Town. Darlene is 84 years young and has been doing Pilates for 3 years. Darlene is shown here performing the Pilates Knee Stretch, and can hold a “Plank” position like no other 84 year old I’ve seen! She is certainly a testimony of the anti-aging benefits of Pilates, don’t you think?

SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SESSION NOW!!! Call now! 714-731-7900

Fitness at Fifty

When I took my first Pilates lesson at age 50, I thought I was going to die.    It was so difficult, but my friend and I had paid for a 7 week series, so I persevered.  By lesson 6, I noticed that my normally painful neck was not hurting, and I had more range of motion.  At the conclusion of the 7 weeks, I re-enrolled, and Pilates has been part of my life ever since.  Combining focsed breathing with controlled movements, the goal of Pilates is to increase flexibility, strength, endurance and coordination without adding bulk.  Pilates also increases circulation, aids in sculpting the body and strengthening the “core” abdominal muscles.  Most people see their posture improve quickly,  I certainly did.  Pilates forces you to stay focused, keeping your mind alert and active. Though Pilates will always be challenging, it has become a way of life for me, I look better and I certainly feel better.

Sheryl Friedner Strich, D.P.M. Podiatrist/Foot Specialist

Pilates, Podiary & Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Sheryl Strich


We have been hearing about all kinds of athletes who are sidelined due to Plantar Fasciitis.  How do you know if you have it?  Your heel hurts!! The heel pain is the worst when you take the first step in the morning and then subsides after you walk around for a few minutes.  However, a dull ache usually returns later in the day after sitting or standing for a long time.  The pain can be very limiting.  The plantar fascia is a strong ligament that is attached to your heel bone and extends to the base of your toe joints, and plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia.  Causes of plantar fasciitis include strenuous sports, high arches or flat feet, walking on hard surfaces for a long time, and unsupportive shoes.  HINT: DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS TO DISNEYLAND  – DEFINITELY A SET UP FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS!  Interestingly enough, plantar fasciitis is the one foot problem where high heels are not the evil doer.

When a patient comes in to my podiatry office, there are various treatments available; anti-inflammatory meds, strapping the foot in a neutral position, orthotics and shockwave therapy.  At home, patients are instructed to ice in order to take down some of the inflammation.

As a Pilates Instructor, here are two of my favorite exercises to help prevent and/or rehab for plantar fasciitis.  Since the heel bone is connected to the leg bone, the Achilles tendon must be included in the exercise regimen.


     1.  Using the Reformer:  The balls of both feet are placed on the bar as though you were
          wearing stiletto heels.  Maintain the stiletto heel position as you press the carriage
          away.  When your legs are fully extended, drop your heels.  Hold it.  Then go back to
          the stiletto heel position as you bring the carriage back in.  Repeat 8 x.


     2.  Inchworm:  With your mat against the wall, place legs in tabletop with the soles of
          your feet against the wall.  Your knees are directly over your hips.  Begin by “doming”
          your feet, allowing your heels and toes only, to touch the wall.  You will flex and extend
          your toes as they drag your domed feet up the wall and then back down the wall.
          Repeating for one minute.


Dr. Sheryl Strich
Podiatrist – Foot Specialist
Certified Pilates Instructor