Of Evil Witches & Warlocks

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When I was younger, my family and I spent a lot of time in the Lake District visiting, well more family, out walking on the fells and round the lake / waters of that beautiful part of the world. As we walked we obviously passed others on our route and with our cousins we always played a very simple game.

  • When we met someone coming the opposite direction we always said hello. 
  • If they said hello back, they (or we) were safe – they were just your everyday humans.
  • If they didn’t reply, they weren’t just rude, they were evil witches and warlocks.
View Off Latrigg (Ed Pratt, 2019)

I’m happy to report that usually we met more of the former than the latter and this post is not meant to offend the good witches and warlocks out there, it was just a game after all.

Ever since, whenever out walking or running, I try to say hello when passing people out on the paths and trails. Granted I live in the country and not a big city, so probably don’t pass as many people as others will. It is, I think, better to smile and say hello than to put your head down and rush by.

During this period of lockdown and the accompanying sunny weather, it has been great to see so many people getting out running. It seems that there’s more than ever, but this maybe because they previously ran at the gym (which is now closed) or on their lunch break at work (which they can no longer go to). Similarly, all the families out on their one walk out of the house that they can take a day. 

All I hope, in these worrying and uncertain times, is that you stay safe, follow the advice regarding social distancing and of course – don’t be an evil witch or warlock, say hello to people you meet along the way.

Best wishes

Ed

The Reformer or the Rack?

My experience with a Pilates Reformer at The Pilates Studio, Yarm.

So when Helen Smith owner of Yarm Pilates studio first described the Pilates Reformer to me, the mental image it conjured up was not exactly enticing and thoughts of medieval torture kept popping into my head:

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Medieval rack has definite similarities!

Helen, however, assured me that it was great for loads of different exercises and so we arranged a time for me to have a go. What I found surprised me, other than the similarities in size and shape, it was nothing like a medieval rack!

Under Helens guidance, we started to go through just a few of the many exercises you can do on the reformer, working the legs, trunk muscles and arms. The Reformer adds adaptable resistance to the movements (by adding / removing springs), which change the feel of many of the common Pilates exercises. I found that there were definite similarities to some gymnastics strength training exercises, such as weighted mobility drills.

Using the Reformer was an interesting experience and hopefully, we’ll get a few more sessions in to really get to grips with it. It won’t be for everyone (nothing ever is), for those who have tried Pilates, I would definitely recommend it as a way of adding a bit of a twist. Helen is a great teacher who focuses on and promotes movement rather than holding a bracing, which is great to see. I did end up in some rather strange and unflattering positions though!

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Pilates Reformer rollbacks.

The Pilates Studio, Yarm is located on Yarm High Street and offers several friendly Pilates classes with great instructors to suit all levels, as well as 1-1 Reformer sessions. My clinic is at the studio on a Thursday afternoon / evening and appointments can be made via the Book Online button.

What would you like to do?

This is just a quick post relating to a recent client, who had been advised not to do any more rowing following a back injury.  Even without going into detail about the history of their injury, I find this advice unhelpful, catastrophising and discouraging. There may be extreme circumstances where an individual has to stop doing a particular sport due to an injury, but by encouraging rather than discouraging movement, activity and exercise the end result is often more pain free movement and improved function. So often I hear from patients what they can’t do and are not supposed to do and a lot of the time I think it would be better if, as therapists, we asked them what they can do and what they would like to do and worked with that.

By helping people change their perceptions of their pain and the movements that are coupled with that pain we can help people to improve quality of life and increase their levels of activity.