Pilates Takes Time

Here is a post by a Pilates Teacher I studied with early in my training, Michael Miller of Michael Miller Pilates, http://www.hermit.com/.  I love the point he makes about the movements taking time to assimilate into the body.  The benefits are absorbed over time.

Cornu“Pilates takes time over a steady routine, 2 times a week at least, every day at best.  Memorize this sequence: 100, Roll-Up, 1 Leg Circle, Rolling Like a Ball, 1 Leg Stretch, 2 Leg Stretch, Spine Stretch, Saw, Side Kicks, Seal.  (10 exercises, 10 movements flowing one to the other.  (See why not everybody does it?) Don’t move at all until you have the sequence memorized.  Then learn the movements in the sequence.  Perform the sequence.  That is the essence of what Pilates has to offer.  ABCDEFG…”

Be the CEO of Your Body and Your Life

This is a terrific article on chronic neck and back pain by my friend and colleague Lori Peacock of Physical Performance Solutions. As a Pilates Teacher, the points she makes are what I try to teach people all the time, since my number one function is as a movement educator. Her statement that “exercising with EDUCATION is the most important key to relieving neck and back pain” is a point I am constantly trying to make. It is absolutely true that people exercising in dysfunctional movement patterns perpetuate the dysfunction, and therefore the pain.

Lori Peacock Article

Be the CEO of your body and your life

A recent JAMA article, JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 11, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7636, demonstrates exercising with education, performed on a regular basis, continues to be the ticket for relieving low back or neck pain.

Three things in the article screams off the page. These three things must work together for exercise to be the most beneficial:

  • Consistency in the person performing the exercise
  • Educate, educate, educate
  • Optimize how muscles and tissue function together through correction of dysfunctional movement patterns

Consistency in the person performing the exercise

Over and over we see when there is no consistency with exercise after low back injuries, eventually pain and limitations return. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19177524. Learning new habits and utilizing methods to change bad habits are critical to establishing consistent exercise. Consistent exercise really pays off.

Educate, educate, educate

People are, in general, self centered creatures. When we have the information, and understand it well, the chances of follow through are greater.

Optimize your muscles and tissue

Although this is not a new topic, it is a new topic. Too many people exercising do not incur the benefits because dysfunctional movement patterns have not been identified. These individuals remain in the same dysfunctional pattern, which continues to perpetuate the dysfunction..

What are a few (and just a few, otherwise we’d be here for a while), types of devices and other treatments used for back pain?


  • Home decompression units
  • Home laser units
  • Belts for low back, SI
  • Taping
  • Home massagers
  • Magnets
  • Whirlpools and jetted tubs
  • Compression garments

Fee based alternative treatments:

  • Massage therapists
  • Feldenkrais
  • Alexander Technique
  • Acupuncture
  • Energy healing

All of these and then some are good adjuncts for acute and chronic physical musculoskeletal issues and should not be neglected, especially if we want to remain as physical able for the length of our days.

Be the CEO of your body and your life. You’ll be so glad you did.

“De-Stress At Your Desk” – Head Rolls

This video clip demonstrates gentle seated neck stretches rolling/moving the head that you can do at your desk. These include forward bending, rotational and lateral or side bending and backward bending. These movements show a greater range of motion, progressing from the stretches in the previous video, Neck Stretches.

“De-Stress At Your Desk” – Neck Stretches

This video teaches seated neck stretches that you can do at your desk. These include forward bending, rotational and lateral or side bending and backward bending. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can create a sore, stiff neck and lead to greater problems such as chronic neck pain. If you utilize these stretches to create movement in your neck, you can give your neck some relief while sitting at your computer.

De-Stress At Your Desk – Wrist Stretches

This video contains stretches you can do for your wrists. Sitting at a computer and performing the repetitious movements of typing and using a mouse all day can cause numerous wrist and hand problems, including arthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome, among others. Here, Gemma demonstrates wrist stretches that you can do at your desk. These are stretches that can be done seated, as well as a standing series using a chair, and cover all ranges of motion of the wrist. They include movements that counter balance the habitual position we hold our wrists in for prolonged periods of time.


De-Stress At Your Desk – Standing Stretches

In this video, Gemma demonstrates standing stretches that you can do at your desk. These include standing quadriceps stretches, rotational and lateral or side bending stretches for the neck and back, arm stretches, backward bending opening the chest and standing forward bends. If you spend long hours sitting at a computer, you need to take a break and stand up and move around. Standing stretches help get your spine and limbs realigned and refresh the body after extended periods of sitting.

De-Stress At Your Desk – Upper Body Stretches

This video shows seated upper body stretches that you can do at your desk. These include seated forward bends, lateral bending or side bending, and backward bending opening the chest. When one spends a lot of time at a desk, particularly if slouching or slumping over, our backs and torsos can become sore and not want to bend. These stretches help keep the spine and torso flexible while sitting.


De-Stress At Your Desk – Seated Leg Stretches

This video contains seated leg stretches that you can do at your desk. These include stretches for the hamstrings and quadriceps. Sometimes when sitting for long periods of time, your legs can become stiff and cramp. If you stand up too quickly, you can pull a muscle in your legs. These stretches will help lengthen these muscles and prevent them from getting stiff and cramped.


Gemma’s First Main Line Healthy Living Interview

Here is my first interview on our new online video magazine/TV show, Main Line Healthy Living, with our host Dr. Marc Kossmann.  This video was an introduction to me, giving my background and how I came to be a Pilates teacher, as well as what practicing Pilates can do for others.

Pilates And Movement Training For Healthy Living

By on September 8, 2015 in Pilates for Healthy Living 

Meet Gemma Pagliei, owner of Gemma’s Pilates and Movement Training in Ardmore, PA

Take this from a guy who spends WAY too much time being sedentary: bodies in motion stay healthier and have fewer aches and pains. I’m working on it. And here’s one of the people who have helped me work on it. Gemma Pagliei is the owner of Gemma’s Pilates and Movement Training in Ardmore, PA. Here’s her bio:

Gemma began studying Pilates in 1997. She is a graduate of the Teacher Certification Program at Body Precision Pilates Studio in Rosemont, PA, which she entered in 1999, and joined the staff as a full-time teacher in 2000. She is comprehensively certified to teach on all Pilates apparatus, having completed a 700+ hour training program. She is also a member of the Pilates Method Alliance, and achieved Gold Certified status as one of the first 250 teachers certified by the PMA in 2005.

Gemma received her initial exposure to movement as a teenager, studying classical ballet and modern dance with the Lori Ardis Ballet Company, in her hometown of Media, PA. Subsequently, she pursued training in theatre, and holds a B.A. in Theatre from Allentown College/De Sales University. Later, this was followed by post-graduate study, in the Professional Actor Training Program at Brandeis University. In addition, she studied acting, speech and movement for many years, with local theatre schools. She was a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and is familiar with a variety of vocal and theatrical movement techniques.

Shortly after beginning Pilates, Gemma resumed studying dance, and took teaching workshops in the Vaganova Ballet Technique with John White, of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. She also began studying gymnastics for the first time as an adult, stemming from her fascination with human movement potential.

An avid yoga practitioner, Gemma began taking classes in 2001. Major styles she has focused on are: Kali Ray TriYoga with Kali Ray and master teachers, Iyengar Yoga with Joan White, and traditional Ashtanga Yoga with Amy Gordon. In addition, she has studied the Bikram method of yoga, and taken numerous workshops in various yoga techniques. In 2006, she was certified in Kali Ray TriYoga, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher and member of the Yoga Alliance. She also teaches Ashtanga Yoga.

In 2003, Gemma became a Certified Body Rolling Instructor, studying with Yamuna Zake, in New York. At that time, she began offering this technique to her students, as well.

In 2006, Gemma resumed horseback riding, a childhood and teenage passion. Beginning with hunter training and now focusing on classical dressage – another classical movement technique, she has also studied natural horsemanship. She believes riding has added a whole new dimension to her movement training, and now has trained animals, in addition to people.

In 2004, Gemma opened her own private Pilates and movement practice, and is currently teaching at Privately Pilates in Ardmore, PA. She is motivated by her commitment to quality movement training of the highest standards.

You’ll be hearing more from Gemma as she comes back month after month as a regular contributor to Main Line Healthy Living. Also, feel free to reach out to her directly with questions about her work. She’s happy to speak with you. And if you want to be a little more public about it, post comments and questions right here below this or any future posts. It’s bound to be helpful to lots of other people!

Click Here To Get Directly In Touch With Gemma

Gemma Joins Main Line Healthy Living

I am proud to announce the launch of a new professional group I have joined, Main Line Healthy Living.   Main Line Healthy Living is an online video magazine/talk show, which is free to the public.  For more information about it, please watch the Introduction video clip below by our host, Dr. Marc Kossmann, and read his description of it underneath.  At the bottom is a link which will take you to the Main Line Healthy Living website, where you can subscribe.

Here’s what you find when you click on the “Recent Feature Interviews” tab at the top of the page: We’re bringing together the top expert voices from across a broad range of healthcare and healthy living professions from along the Main Line.

We’ve got our chiropractic expert, our massage therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, pilates and movement experts, and of course diet and nutrition. We’ll have regular contributing experts coming back to you with great information month after month. And we’ll have special guest experts visiting with us to shed light on specific topics along the way.

Are you a local healthcare or healthy living expert? Should you be a contributing member on Main Line Healthy Living? Use the contact form to reach out and let’s chat!

Think of this space as a cross between a magazine and a talk-show. Dr. Marc Kossmann, the host of our show, will be doing interviews with all of our expert voices, drawing out the best tips, tricks, and strategies for the residents of the Main Line committed to living a healthier life.

We will also be tapping our experts to offer you very special discounts on their products and services. These will only be available to subscribers to our members-only email list. And that is why you should subscribe right now.

Why subscribe? Not only will you have the convenience of getting our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox, but you will have access to ALL the members-only coupons, discounts, and invitations to special events.

And what does it cost to subscribe you ask? Absolutely Nothing!

That’s right. Subscriptions to Main Line Healthy Living are free. So, I ask you, why in the world would you NOT subscribe?

Sign up right now for your free subscription. Hear each week from a different line-up of our experts with tips and strategies for living the healthiest life possible. And in the process, get to know your local experts from up and down the Main Line region.

To subscribe, click on this link: http://mainlinehealthyliving.com/