Monday, December 13, 2010
Questions from a certified STOTT Pilates Instructor
What I really also want to know is... am I understanding correct, the rectus abdominals actually rip apart in the center?
There is connective tissue in between the recti and transverse abdominal muscles, called linea alba (linea negra when pregnant). As the muscles split apart further and further with forward forceful pressures (pregnancies) or forward forceful movements (coughing, incorrect abdominals) the connective tissue spreads out across the organs like saran wrap. As you can imagine, it gets incredibly thin - if it gets a hole or tear, the organs can poke through (hernia). And by the way, the connective tissue at this point is the only thing holding in all the organs, which is really the job of the muscles. So most women at this point get an unsightly bulge in the midsection (mummy tummy), and the abs won't lay flat.
If that's correct, will she always be in danger of further injury?
If you are asking if the abs can resplit with the foreward forceful pressures or movements again, the answer is ABSOLUTLEY YES!! However, once you bring the abs together, the mind body connection is much stronger. Certain basic exercises (Tupler Technique™) must continued to be done the rest of your life, just like walking and stretching, so the muscles don't atrophy and resplit. If they do resplit briefly, the client can put on the splint for a few days, do more sets of the basic exercises of the Tupler Technique™ (VERY intrinsic so can be done literally ANYWHERE...similar to kegels in this regard) and it should come back in a couple of days. Tupler Technique™ should be done during subsequent pregnancies to prevent splitting, or keeping it to a minimum.
Does your system only bring them back together "sort of"... and will she forever have to wear the splint?
The technique, given that the clients technique is good (which I check for and ensure) and she is consistent when I am not with her, she can bring it back totally and completely. Its beautiful when the recti and transverse totally come together. The stretched out connective tissue also shrinks and heals. Many people's hernias pop back in. The splint is to be worn UNTIL the diastasis is closed - all day and night, and then as mentioned, if they are resplit ( which she will learn how to check for) then they can be quickly closed again.
I'm not sure how to explain my question... they don't actually mend in any way, do they?
So yes, in summary: The gap becomes totally closed, which eliminates the diastasis. The connective tissue shrinks and heals back to its normal size.
WORDS OF AWARENESS: You really sound like me when people ask me about pilates ... all they know is what they get off a video or at a Lifetime Fitness club - which is NOT what pilates is or was meant to be (real pilates, that is!). And proper technique can allow the body to withstand herniated discs, etc. etc. without fusing the spine... but all doctors ask is "pilates... isn't that like yoga?" NO! not at all! "core" training has turned into simple AB exercises that give you 6-pack abs, but that don't touch the transverse abdominals - which is where they should reach! And unfortunately pilates has been watered down by very unprofessional, very untrained "certifications" and the art and benefits of real pilates is being marketed away by money making organizations giving you "certified mat" credentials for a weekend training session! It took me three years to get my certification! Whew! There's MY rant and rave, thank you very much!!
I want to thank this C. for allowing me to give insight into her questions, and for allowing me to post her words of awareness on pilates! Thanks so much!