Clinical Pilates – Osteopath Dr. Rebecca Naylor explains what it is and its benefits

Before Clinical Pilates, first came Pilates. So lets touch on that…

What Is Pilates?


The principles of Pilates originated from Joseph Pilates, who used Pilates as way to rehabilitate injured patients in World War One (WW1). Pilates in the 21st century is usually done on reformers or as part of a mat routine and is designed to improve strength, posture, flexibility and overall physical fitness.


What is the difference between Pilates and Clinical Pilates?

There are numerous studios offering reformer and mat Pilates. Knowing what one is right for you can sometimes be difficult and daunting. Clinical Pilates at Holistic Bodyworks is run by experienced Osteopaths with postgraduate training in the Pilates methodology within a clinical setting. Clinical Pilates is personalised and focused on stabilising local and global muscles primarily in the spine, shoulder girdle and abdomen – the core.


So, what does this mean?

It means we have further developed our knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy, common injuries and are able to design a personalised program, which focuses on functional movement control. Most Pilates instructors don’t have such in-depth knowledge and understanding of the human body. Pilates classes can range from eight participants to over 20 in a class, whereas Clinical Pilates is one-on-one as part of an Osteopathic treatment and private health insurance can be used to claim on the cost of the session.


How do I do Clinical Pilates?

Prior to commencing Clinical Pilates, a thorough assessment is undertaken and an Osteopathic treatment is given for any postural strains, asymmetries or injuries diagnosed. Depending on your particular case this may be only the initial or the first few sessions as deemed necessary, with some take home exercises preparing you for rehabilitation.

Then we move into more of a rehabilitation consult using the reformers with a continuing at-home exercise program. From the assessment and the following treatment we develop an in-depth knowledge of your injury so the exercises prescribed are specifically tailored to rehabilitate your injury.

Clinical Pilates is highly effective in injury prevention, rehabilitation, and overall improvements to posture, flexibility, balance, and strength. Under the guidance of our talented team, patients will undergo safe, supervised exercises using the Pilates Reformer and instructions on at-home floor exercises to maintain a strong core.


Clinical Pilates can be of great benefit if you are:

  • Recovering or undertaking rehab from an injury or surgery: Pilates can help to regain lost strength, balance and motor control. It’s a great way to transition back to sport or to return to your everyday activities.
  • Employed in a typical office desk setting: prolonged sitting often leads to poor posture, which in turn can result in back or neck pain. Pilates can help correct your posture and also to stretch out those sore or tight areas.
  • A Sports enthusiast/athlete: Pilates can help to fine-tune the skills required for all sports. It can add that extra dimension to your current training program, and increase sports performance. Plus, it’s a great way to help prevent injuries.
  • Pre- or post-natal: Pilates can be tailored to suit women who are pregnant to help manage the physical changes involved with pregnancy and prevent pregnancy-related symptoms like back pain. Pilates also has a big role with post-partum recovery and can help women strengthen their pelvic floor.
  • Maintaining strength after 50: Strength and balance often decrease after this age however appropriate exercise can dramatically slow the losses and in some cases reverse them! Pilates provides an opportunity to improve strength without the sometimes intimidating environment of a gym.


Clinical Pilates can have benefits for whatever stage of life you are in! If you would like to find out more about Clinical Pilates or would like to give it a go, call the clinic on 95703388 or book online now.
Call (03) 9570 3388