Ariel Lim — Merrithew® Instructor Trainer and the owner of Merrithew Host Training Center WITH PILATES® — faced a Lumbar 4-5-disc issue during her teenage years and later acquired a T1-L1 disc problem due to an accident. These personal challenges, along with a challenging period in Ariel's life, led her to discover the remarkable benefits of STOTT PILATES®.
Ariel firmly believes that the foundational principles of STOTT PILATES played a pivotal role in not only aiding her recovery but also effectively managing her spinal health to this day.
In Ariel's role as a Merrithew® Instructor Trainer she had the privilege of working with several clients who also contend with various health issues, such as lumbar disc problems, degenerated knees, and mild frozen shoulders.
In this blog, we asked Ariel to share her story, what led her to discover STOTT PILATES, and her experience of working with clients dealing with pain.
Helping clients with pain management
“Keeping a tab on my client’s condition is a non-negotiable. I like to ask client’s condition before the session. It is crucial for me to know how they were feeling after the last session, as well as their current situation,” Ariel says.
It's noteworthy that each of Ariel's clients received a formal diagnosis from a medical professional and completed their initial treatments at the hospital. Following their doctors' recommendations, they turned to Pilates, and Ariel has been guiding them on this transformative journey. Some clients have been under Ariel's tutelage for over a decade, while others have embarked on their Pilates practice just a few months ago.
Ariel’s recovery experience
Ariel began STOTT PILATES with a focus on 3D breathing and gentle movements, starting with small hip joint movements while lying down in various positions. “I also incorporated arm movements. Initially, I couldn't perform any exercise which involves flexion, extension or rotation of the spine.
“After a few months of consistent effort, I was able to do exercises that requires to lift one leg into a tabletop position. I vividly remember the joy I felt during those milestones.
“Although I've had my own experience with a disc issue, I recognize that each person's experience is unique. Therefore, I always inquire about how my clients are feeling on a given day and actively listen to their responses,” Ariel says.
STOTT PILATES and its healing power
“The STOTT PILATES Principles played a pivotal role in my recovery and continue to help me manage my spinal health to this day,” Ariel says.
Muscle activation: “STOTT PILATES places a significant emphasis on strengthening the core muscles, including the deep stabilizing muscles of the spine. This core strength helps support and stabilize the spine, which is crucial for individuals recovering from or managing spinal issues,” Ariel says.
Ariel believes that building a strong core helped alleviate some of her discomfort and provided better overall spinal support.
- Alignment and posture: “The method focuses on proper alignment and posture, which can be especially important for individuals with spinal problems. Correct alignment can relieve stress on the spine and promote better overall spinal health,” Ariel says.
- Controlled movements: “STOTT PILATES emphasizes controlled and precise movements. This controlled approach allowed me someone —who may have experienced pain or discomfort from sudden, jerky movements— to exercise in a way that minimizes the risk of exacerbating my condition. The controlled movements can also improve coordination and body awareness,” Ariel says.
- Adaptability: “STOTT PILATES can be adapted to suit various fitness levels and health conditions. This adaptability is essential when working with clients who have health issues such as lumbar disc problems, degenerated knees, or frozen shoulders,” Ariel says.
Ariel appreciates the versatility of the method in tailoring workouts to meet the specific needs and limitations of her clients.
For Ariel, this holistic approach has been beneficial during challenging periods in her life, as it can promote relaxation, stress relief, and an overall sense of well-being.
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