There are Many Reasons to Join a Pilates Studio

Exercise fads come and go.  From Zumba to kettle bells and CrossFit, the trends rise and fall.  Pilates, however, has stood the test of time as a reliable exercise program that gets results.  There are many great reasons why you should visit a Pilates studio.


Pilates is named for its creator, German-born Joseph Pilates.  His father was a gymnast and his mother was a naturopath, so he was, from birth, witness to the benefits of physical and mental health.  Joseph himself, however, was not blessed with the good health of his parents.  Suffering from a variety of ailments such as asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he vowed to improve his health.  His tenancy paid off. By the time he was in his early teens, he was fit enough to model for anatomy charts.  Later in life, he worked as a circus performer and took up boxing.  During WWI, he was placed internment camp in England. It was here Joseph developed the Pilates system we know today as he created movements help rehabilitate his fellow soldiers.  In essence, the internment camp was the first Pilates studio.

Pilates Philosophy

Pilates are a series of deep movements that activate the core muscles and build strength.  The graceful, fluid movements improve both body and mind.

The philosophy of Pilates is this: since all movements centre on your core, or as it is called in the Pilates studio, “the powerhouse”, this area must be stabilized and strengthened.  The movements and deep breathes work your powerhouse intensely.  The movements also work several muscle groups at a time, which increases the effectives of the workout over a shorter period of time (compared to many other exercises).

The Six Principals

There are many different movements and positions in Pilates, but they all center on six principals. Your Pilates studio should be familiar with these principals.

1.    Concentration:  One must focus to move in and out of the positions.  Training your mind to concentrate has benefits far beyond exercise.  Concentration can be used to improve your life in all aspects.

2.    Breath: The breathing patterns in Pilates are very precise.  Typically, you will exhale on contraction and inhale on release.  These deep breaths help to support and strengthen your core.  Deep breathing is also a known relaxation technique and something that is encouraged to combat the onset of anxiety or panic attacks.

3.    Centering: Pilates focuses on the core, your “physical center”.  Finding your center also relates to accessing your inner strength for physical and mental improvement.

4.    Control:  The positions and movements of Pilates must be done in a controlled manner.  It is not sloppy, haphazard or rushed.  Mastering control of your movements will improve your grace, posture and carriage.

5.    Precision: Precision ties into control.  The movements of the hands, the placement of the feet, the way you hold your body – in Pilates, you must be precise to reap the full benefit of the movements.

6.    Flow: The transitions from one position to the next are very smooth.  These transitional movements work the body while increasing grace and agility.

Is Pilates Similar to Yoga?

On the surface, Yoga and Pilates may seem similar.  Both involve deep stretches, fluid movements, controlled breathing and precise positions.  However, they are very different.  In Yoga, the movements are a very small part of an overall belief system.  Yoga is closely tied to spiritual aspects.  Much of the Yoga seen in Western cultures has been adapted for American/Canadian use and focuses mostly on fitness with some meditation.  The styles and levels of Yoga will differ among fitness centres.  True Yoga is a multi-faceted discipline to which some devote years of study.  Pilates, on the other hand, was conceived purely as tool for fitness and mental health.  There are no spiritual beliefs attached to it and no chanting or mantras going on in Pilates studios.  Additionally, Pilates’ focus on the powerhouse is not seen in Yoga.

Why You Should Check Out a Pilates Studio

For some, the thought of jumping, running, and lifting heavy weights is very unappealing.  Others may have injuries that prevent impact or heavy load-bearing exercises.  In those cases, Pilates is an excellent alternative.  The fluid moments add an element of cardio, the body or simple tools/machines are used to deepen the movements and provide resistance and the focus on the powerhouse promotes strong core and muscle strength.  Another reason some choose to visit a Pilates studio is to add to their current workout.  The many benefits of Pilates work well in tandem with everything from power-lifting to ballet.

Pilates is suitable for men, women and youth, making it a healthy activity the whole family can enjoy.

What are you Waiting for?

If you have yet to experience all that a Pilates studio has to offer, why not check out one this week?  For the exercise-committed, you just may find a new way to work your body.  For those hesitant to start a workout regime, you’ll likely love the slower paced yet very effective movements of Pilates.  For anyone with an injury or limited range of motion, Pilates was designed especially for you. There is literally no excuse!  Visit a Pilates studio today.

Acupuncture Weight Loss: How Does it Work

Practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is an age-old practice of inserting thin needles to stimulate the flow of vital energy or Chi in the human body. Over the past 40 years, this form of alternative treatment has gained huge popularity. With a steady increase in the number of people resorting to acupuncture treatments for pain relief, researchers are now engaged in comprehending the true potential of this alternative form of treatment. You can find clinics that provide sessions in acupuncture for weight loss in Houston, TX.

Losing weight is never an easy task, no matter what you do. Alternative weight loss methods such as acupuncture help in weight loss gradually. It stimulates the energy or Chi of the body and reverses the factors that lead to obesity. It works by reducing appetite, lowering stress, and increasing metabolism. Based on the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, weight gain is due to an imbalance of the life forces- yin and yang in the body. This can further lead to other illnesses and maladies.

Malfunctioning of various organs of the body such as the thyroid gland, kidney, liver, and spleen can lead to obesity. Therefore, an acupuncturist targets these areas during the weight loss treatment.

Another area that the acupuncturist focuses for a weight loss treatment is the ear. According to the Chinese beliefs, it is possible to control food cravings by manipulating certain points on the ear.

How Acupuncture Facilitates Weight Loss?

Studies reveal that when there is a combination of acupuncture and traditional weight loss treatments, you can experience positive results. Acupuncture is an effective method to lose weight and maintain a healthy body and mind. The treatment involves the insertion of fine sterile needles at specific points or locations on the body that are energy pathways. With the insertion of these needles, the body is stimulated and releases endorphins or the so-called happiness hormones.

Stress is one of the major factors that contribute to an imbalance in the body, which leads to illnesses. When the body releases endorphins, it creates a calming and relaxing effect, which negates the need to binge eat to feel good. Depression and anxiety lead to obesity as the person tends to consume carbohydrates and sugary foodstuffs. This, in turn, causes weight gain. It is more or less a vicious cycle.

Ear acupuncture is one method, which the acupuncturist uses to manipulate points on the ear. This technique helps to control food cravings. However, a well-qualified acupuncturist must administer it to avoid complications. A recent survey reveals that a well-balanced low-calorie diet, light exercises, and ear acupuncture proved beneficial in weight loss. Most of the patients experienced a decrease in appetite after ear acupuncture sessions. Experts believe that there are no short cuts or quick fixes. Doctors prescribe completion of 10 sessions for best results.

Effects of Acupuncture on the Nervous System

Acupuncturists also believe that this form of treatment has a positive effect on the nervous system, which facilitates weight loss. Acupuncture can restore the natural balance of the human body by blocking the release of harmful neurochemicals. It also helps to release endorphins that reduce stress and anxiety. Therefore, the urge to overeat no longer exists.

It is important to note that a licensed and qualified healthcare practitioner must administer acupuncture treatment. Some of the potential side effects of administering acupuncture incorrectly include soreness, muscle spasms, and exhaustion. These side effects are subjective-some people might experience it while some might not. Improper insertion of needles can also lead to organ puncture.

People who are on blood thinning medications or suffering from bleeding disorders must consult a doctor before availing acupuncture treatments. Pregnant women must also seek the advice of a doctor or medical expert before resorting to acupuncture to treat childbirth anxiety, back pain, and so forth.

Bottom line is acupuncture in Houston can help you lose weight when there is a combination of the treatment along with low-calorie diet and mild exercises. Acupuncture is a complementary form of treatment that works well when administered effectively and professionally.