Pilates Program at RCCA - June 2004

The Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults recently added special Pilates equipment as a beneficial modality for patients. Pilates (pronounced, Pi-Lah-teez) exercises have been utilized for nearly 100 years. Devoting his life to improving health, Joseph Pilates created an exercise apparatus during World War I to help recovering soldiers; later the exercise program was adapted for dancers and performers. Potential instructors worldwide may study at All-American Pilates Certification, Inc. located in Royal Palm Beach. Owners Joe and Susan Santisi explain, “Pilates may be used to complement methods of exercise."

Some benefits include:

Replaces muscular imbalance with appropriate posture

Replaces faulty movement patterns with bio-mechanically correct movement

Lengthens tight muscles and strengthens weak muscles

1. Mind-Body Connection
2. Dynamic Alignment
3. Diaphragmatic Breathing
4. Core Control
5. Oppositional Lengthening
6. Precision & Fluidity



Palm Beach County has several Pilates studios with instructors from various backgrounds including personal trainers. The Certified Instructor training process requires multiple weekend coursework, over three hundred internship hours at various Pilates studios, two written and two practical exams. Occupational Therapist Camy Dreifuss is completing that process and will be utilizing the new equipment with current patients at the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults. " As an occupational therapist, I plan to incorporate the teaching of Pilates into my therapy program. The Pilates method is an excellent rehabilitation system for the neuromuscular and orthopedic patient population." The Rehabilitation Center's program will be unique as the instructor is an occupational therapist who will also be a certified Pilates specialist. The Occupational Therapy team plans to use the equipment to help some of their patients with upper extremity weakness, shoulder fractures and rotator cuff injuries. Physical Therapists also use the Pilates mat fitness techniques and will now have the equipment available to help their patients with knee, hip and back problems. After injuries, compensatory muscles become stronger and movements asymmetric; individualized Pilates exercises target re-strengthening the muscles that should be working to promote symmetry and prevent re-injury.

A grateful Occupational Therapy patient, Ken Ohrstrom, became a generous donor when he encouraged therapists to identify any equipment or training wish-list item. Mr. Ohrstrom said, "I am so pleased to see the new equipment on the second floor in a peaceful setting." The Pilates set-up includes the Cadillac, reformer, high and low chairs and several other beneficial accessories. Board of Governors' member Trish Donnelley commends the Rehabilitation Center for adding this important therapeutic dimension. "I benefit most from Pilates because of the mental concentration required to accomplish the focused physical exertion." Professional Endowment Committee member Victor Di Elmo offers that he has done "various Pilates exercises for 9  weeks, lost 13 pounds and improved my golf driving distance by 30 yards."

Medical Advisory Council Chairman Dr. Gary Wexler reports that, under the direction of skilled therapists, patients recovering from surgery and sports injuries may benefit from the program. You may find more information on Pilates at www.allamericanpilates.com or call the Santisi's at 795-1219.

Geographically convenient for Palm Beach residents and businesses, the Rehabilitation Center reminds everyone that, as consumers, YOU MAY CHOOSE where you wish to go for therapy. If a Pilates program might be beneficial, you may ask your physician for a referral. The Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults invites you to come by for a first-hand look at the services and new Pilates equipment. For more information, call 655- 7266.


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