There is new evidence that heart health is important to brain health. People with both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of cognitive decline, according to a study of 516 participants by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“Pilates has changed,” says Nora St. John, MS, education program director for Balanced Body®.
Today, she explains, many Pilates teachers are well educated in biomechanics. “An understanding of both anatomy and the mind-body connection makes you a better teacher and certainly a better problem solver.
“In the best situation, Pilates is taught with the idea of, ‘Who is the client in front of me? What are his or her goals? How can I use this environment to help the client achieve those goals?’ I think this is a good contemporary view of Pilates.”
Many yoga teachers consider savasana—also known as corpse pose or relaxation pose—both the easiest and hardest of all postures. Why? On the one hand, the point of the pose is to relax deeply and fully in a supine position with arms and legs gently rolled out to the sides.
In the first study to tease out the effects of different components of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, researchers have identified yoga and sitting meditation as particularly beneficial practices for promoting health among older adults.
Mind-Body Bridging [MBB] is a mindfulness-based technique developed by Stanley H. Block, MD, to improve mindful awareness. Use of the technique is growing, particularly to help people with sleep disturbances.
If you’re working with clients with chronic neck pain, let them know that a consistent mat-based Pilates program may offer hope of pain relief and improved functionality. The incidence of chronic neck pain is on the rise, especially among older women. Currently, clinicians lack general consensus on what type of exercise program manages this condition most effectively.
Relaxation training, as part of an overall weight loss program, may be an important factor in helping people lose weight and keep it off, suggests a study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2013; doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.05.005).
Researchers from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, in Boston, conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive mind-body approach to weight loss. Twenty overweight and obese participants from an employee-based program took part in the 20-week intervention.
Tai chi offers short-term improvement of pain, physical function and stiffness for people with knee osteoarthritis, according to a research review published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2013; 21 , 396-406).
Scientists from University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, reviewed five randomized, controlled trials with a total of 252 patients to assess the short- and long-term effectiveness of tai chi for people with this type of arthritis.
Growing evidence supports the use of mind-body therapies—yoga, qigong, tai chi and others—to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for women in midlife.
As many as 40%-50% of women aged 45-60 report that they sleep poorly, and the statistics probably underrepresent the problem, says a review of studies published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing (2013; doi: 10.1177/0898010113493504). Mind-body therapies are modalities that foster the mind’s capacity to affect physical functions and symptoms.
Dispelling Myths With Great Instruction
“‘Pilates is mostly for women.’ Because of this myth, we work hard to make sure our men’s class is outstanding. We designed it to enhance running, cycling and surfing, and all of our men comment on how the class has positively impacted their sport. It’s fantastic to see strong men get blown away by the subtle posture corrections and use of the core muscles. By the end of a session, they are sweating and high-fiving us for a great workout.newsletter_teaser: What can you do to counteract the many common misconceptions about Pilates? We asked instructors to list the Pilates myths they encounter most frequently and to share their ideas on how to counteract false perceptions.