A Match: The Powerful Connections Between Pilates and Acupuncture
In recent years, holistic approaches to health have all seen a surge in popularity – and with good reason. More than just placebo effect, practices like acupuncture promise to have a measurable impact.
Simultaneously, Pilates has seen a resurgence in popularity – bolstered by its focus on core strength and balance.
These two disciplines– Pilates and acupuncture—have much in common. From similar effects on the body to a concentration on mental cohesion, Pilates and acupuncture offer a world of tangible benefits, especially when practiced simultaneously.
So, now that we understand that Pilates and acupuncture have similar effects on the body, it’s important we understand why.
Acupuncture works by targeting “meridians” or the points that surround various muscle and organ groups. The needles of acupuncture serve to regulate the nervous system and naturally the body responds to these points and the tissues that surround them.
Pilates works in a similar fashion – with a focus on bodily movement. A typical Pilates regimen features movements designed to engage and rebalance the “myofascial meridians”. When these fascial and muscle chains are working in coordination the body can work as an integrated whole – a collaboration of many systems.
So, what really happens when you combine Pilates and acupuncture? According to new research published by The Mayo Clinic, acupuncture was found to dramatically relieve lower back pain and improve overall mobility.
With the addition of Pilates, the overall impact of acupuncture is only increased. Given that the overarching goal of Pilates is to improve core balance and function, the two practices can truly work in tandem – building a healthier and more balanced you.
No mention of any physical activity or natural health treatment is complete without noting mental and emotional benefits. Interestingly, both acupuncture and Pilates directly focus on your body’s natural energies – albeit in slightly different ways.
Indeed, Pilates instructors and professional acupuncturists share a recognition of the psychological and cognitive reach of both disciplines. According to acupuncture experts at Integrative Healing Arts, the “stress response” of acupuncture helps “us to experience whole body balance – aligning ourselves on physical, energetic, emotional, and spiritual levels.” When adding Pilates and Acupuncture one can imprint the positive changes happening in their acupuncture sessions into conscious changes in how their body feels and moves.
Similarly, the Pilates staff at Mongoose Bodyworks note that their discipline is most concerned with “improving one’s kinesthetic awareness” and that acupuncture specifically relaxes the nervous system and increases blood flow which in turn improves kinesthetic awareness making it a “wonderful co-treatment with Pilates…especially for movement re-education.”
The message? Acupuncture and Pilates just go together.