Many beneficiaries have found Pilates an effective way of managing pain, maintaining mobility and improving their wellbeing. Take a look at the information here to find out more about Pilates and it's benefits.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise designed to develop a strong core (the body of muscle around your tummy, lower back and hips) which is thought to be the key to a person's stability. This helps with your co-ordination and balance so that you move better, and also protects your body from injuring itself. A stronger core can relieve pain in the back and help prevent you developing further pain.

The proper explanation is that Pilates causes the muscles to elongate. It is a system of low repetition, low impact stretching and conditioning exercises, developed by Joseph Pilates. They emphasize the balanced development of the body through core strength, ie, your abdominal, lower back and pelvic muscles. If practiced regularly, this develops flexibility, strength, control and endurance - which will support your back and restore the body to balance.

Pilates goes far beyond your core muscles however, and not only provides a complete body workout - you will be working muscles you didn't even know you had! It also helps you control your breathing and develop an awareness of how your body works, helping your mind and body to work in harmony. Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level.

The benefits of Pilates

These two videos have been produced by beneficiaries to demonstrate how Pilates works and explain the benefits irrespective of your thalidomide damage.

This second video is designed for Pilates practitioners who may not have worked with a thalidomide affected person before and want to know how best to support them.

We will be adding details of your recommended Pilates practitioners here as we hear about them. In the meantime, you can visit this website to find a Pilates teacher near you .

It is recommended that you have 1-1 sessions to start with and where possible find a Pilates teacher with access to Pilates machines.

Share Your Experience

We would love to hear your experience of Pilates and your recommendations for Pilates in your area. Please use this form to tell us about them.