How can a hands on approach (tactile cuing) heal your Pilates clients?
A hands on approach can decrease blood pressure, decrease stress in the body and improve mood. It can also induce electrical flow, improve vitality, create inner calmness, and healing. (Massage and Manual Therapy for Orthopedic Conditions, second editions by Thomas Hendrickson, pg. 7)
As a Pilates instructor, I have been searching for information to confirm the power of touch to help people heal their body. I had to look outside of my current industry as I was not getting concrete definitions, research and answers. Hands on, power of touch is something that can be controversial in the Pilates Industry.
So, how did I get to this place where supportive hands are helping the client. It comes from my dance background. I had teachers that would move the body into place or soften a movement and give words of encouragement. And unfortunately, I also had teachers tell me that I wasn’t getting it, I was limited in my body (shape, structure and weight), which locked up my tissue. Both deeply effected me.
When I began teaching Pilates, it was natural for me to touch the client to correct movement patterns or encourage them to let go of tightness with my support. It was natural. I didn’t think about it. I really wanted to learn more about tactile cuing.
I started following Madeline Black and read her book, Centered. She’s a leader in the Pilates Industry and her work is ALL hands on. I studied with her in San Francisco for her Gather Workshop and Foot to Spine workshop in San Diego in Spring 2019. I learned to differentiate between muscle, bone, skin, and fascia as well as supportive hands on techniques to improve the client’s dysfunction of movement patterns. This was confirmation with a lot of my own practice as well as a place for me to take my own work deeper.
I am particularly interested in Induce Electrical Flow: Areas of injury or dysfunction have disruptions in normal electrical signaling, due to swelling or adhesions (scar tissue)…. Medical research has shown that the pulsing magnetic fields that emanate from the hands of therapist (biomagnetic fields) stimulate healing. (pg. 7)
If we as teachers know that we can positively influence by holding space, breathing with them, gentle hands on touch to induce electrical flow and positive encouraging words: we can heal their body, mind, and spirit. As a teacher not only are you the guide, you are creating a moment in time with that person or people – which is an emotional experience.
Touch and movement affect your emotions through your words and touch. (Henderickson. pg. 71)
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if you want my blogs sent directly to your inbox. I am available for private sessions online for coaching teachers.
I have another blog coming about words of encouragement and words of healing in a blog out soon!
Here is a link of the VLOG for this topic, on my YouTube channel Carrie Miller Pilates: https://youtu.be/Q9AvHsWJJHc
In good health.