Why do some people age well and others not so much? Undoubtedly genetics play a role, but the way we care for our bodies can make a big difference in whether we spring into old age or shuffle our way there.
Keeping the spring in our step – having a flexible, resilient, balanced body that is injury resistant – is largely about healthy fascia. Imagine a three dimensional web that wove in and around the skin, bones, internal organs, blood vessels and nerves of your body. If it could be seen apart and separate from all the other tissues, it would look exactly like the shape of your body.
As opposed to bones that are designed to bare weight (compression loading), fascia is designed for tensional loading and behaves as a tensegrity structure. In other words, elastic tissue (fascia) is strung between solid structures (bones, skin and organs) in a continuous fashion and supports integrity of the body through tension.
The shape and density of fascia vary depending on the functional need. The global fascial net includes loose fascial elements like the superficial fascia and the fascia that runs through and around muscles – called myofascia. Myofascial pain syndromes are common, hard to treat and frequently chronic.
When the global fascia net needs to withstand more force or more tension, the fibers become thicker forming ligaments, tendons, aponeurosis and retinaculum. The global net is continuous flowing between thin and thicker strands. In certain areas such as joint capsules, it is difficult to discern individual fascial elements as they seamlessly flow into each other.
Fascia has a built in system for keeping itself healthy – resident fibroblasts keep the extracellular matrix of the fascia renewed, restored and revitalized. BUT, and this is a big but, these natural construction workers (fibroblasts) require proper movement modalities to stimulate them to work. No movement – no renewal.
Ideally, both movement and manual therapies are applied to facilitate healthy fascia. Mindful coordinated body movements like Pilates and yoga are uniquely suited to fascial restoration. Soft tissue release therapies such as foam rolling help keep fascia hydrated.
Bound water – visualize a liquid crystal that compresses but doesn’t collapse with force – is a large component of the fascia. Toxic substances released from stressed tissue accumulate in the bound water layer. Mechanical compression, like foam rolling, squeezes out bound water and allows fresh water from plasma to flow into the space eliminating toxins and renewing hydration.
I have taken yoga and Pilates classes from Stephanie for many years, and I can say that she is terrific. Her background in physical medicine and rehab makes her uniquely qualified to instruct and coach with a focus in balanced strengthening, proper alignment, and prevention of injury. I enjoy the low key environment at the studio, and have made many friends in her classes.
SDK Pilates is great! So far I’ve taken Pilates classes with Steph and Nancy, and I’m looking forward to Yoga with Mark. Currently working on core strengthening, shoulder mechanics, overall conditioning, and my golf game.
SDK Pilates is wonderful! I have been taking classes from Stephanie for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy both her Pilates and therapeutic yoga sessions. Her training as a doctor enables her to work around physical limitations and injuries and strengthen weaknesses. She has helped me immensely with chronic shoulder issues. The fun nature of the classes, the camaraderie of the attendees and the great workout make SDK classes my favorite way to exercise!
Stephanie’s class is well-paced, challenging yet welcoming for first timers and those who are more experienced. She offers seamless coaching throughout and her enthusiasm and energy is inspirational.
“SDK Pilates’ yoga instructors are beyond wonderful and very reliable. Our community and hospital staff truly enjoy the classes and we are extremely thankful for their partnership with us.”
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience. They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
My experience with SDK Pilates has been outstanding. All of the instructors have been knowledgeable and welcoming. All levels of fitness and capabilities are embraced, addressed and challenged. Individual needs are seamlessly met with in the class. Every class is different and I always walk out feeling better than when I walked in. I take Pilates twice a week and wish I could take it every day!
I love the classes and instructors at SDK Pilates! Stephanie, the owner, has been a tremendous help to me with understanding challenges I face with a bad hip. Her expertise and medical background have helped me select exercises that are appropriate for me and I have learned there are still plenty of things that I can do to strengthen my body! At other places, I sometimes overdid my workouts (and hurt myself) – SDK’s instructors have helped me increase my flexibility and strengthen my body in a s…
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience.They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
Pilates has been a wonderful experience both physically and mentally – it relieves stress and gets your body in a “can do” spirit to stretch and feel good. The instructors are the best and the people I’ve met in class are fun to be with. Friendships develop. I will do this forever!