Pilates is one of, if not the safest exercise programs for people diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Sabrina trains patients based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates with pre-Pilates exercises modified specifically for the EDS population, people with POTS, cervical instability, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and more.
Who was Joseph H. Pilates? We know he was the originator of The Art and Science of Contrology, which is what he called his method. It only became known by its creator’s name after he passed. Mr. Pilates wrote and published two books in his lifetime. The first, Your Health which he used as a platform to discuss what he believed to be the “present-day ill-health” of society. It went into print in 1934.
This book demonstrated correct posture and postural imbalances, how to perform basic movements and how not to, he included the importance of the alignment of the foot. Joe also spoke about finding the balance of the body and mind, a concept not often talked about in the 1930’s. It was also where he stated, “We must know what is wrong before we can even suggest what might be right.” How poignant for someone with Ehlers-Danos Syndrome. It was from that statement that I learned to teach a client how to stabilize, I must first have them recognize when they are not stable.
In 1945, he wrote, Return to Life Through Contrology. In that book he demonstrated his original mat exercises. In fact, he was one of the first people to use photography for clinical research of the body and to document movement. Mr. Pilates held over 25 patents of unique originally designed apparatus created to deepen his method. What we now refer to as the Universal Reformer which he began to patent in 1924, the Cadillac, the High Mat,
and the Wunda chair, which is speculated to have been named after a popular chair design in the 1930’s – The Wunda Sprung chairs, are all widely known apparatus designed by Pilates. They can be found in studios all over the world. The chair, which Joseph most likely designed from watching a group of Chinese acrobatic artists train on while he was in the circus in Britain was carefully created to be promoted for home use to his clients. Lessor known apparatus such as the Ladder Barrel, the Spine Corrector, the Small Barrel, the Electric Chair, the Small Armchair, the Pedi-Pole, the Guillotine Tower, and the studio wall unit were also invented by Joseph Pilates and are used in more traditional studios. The Foot Corrector, the Toe Stretcher, the Bean Bag Roll-Up Device, and the Push Up Device now copied by numerous equipment manufacturers were created specifically to aid clients in stabilizing the feet and wrists. The Breath-A-Cizer, the Neck Stretcher, and the infamous Magic Circle do not complete the list of his inventions. Joe designed The Bench Mat, the Catapult, The Tensometer, and several beds.
He revolutionized the exercise world with these designs and today his work is more prevalent than any other system of exercise for the athlete, the dancer, the client just wanting to get in shape but most specifically for the patient with EDS and Sabrina is not just a classically trained teacher specializing in the Zebra population she also has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.