How Pilates helped me Post Hysterectomy

Three weeks post surgery, I’m feeling pretty good. So how specifically is Pilates serving me well.

Awareness

Pilates has gifted me awareness of my body. The importance of the large ‘moving’ muscle groups, and equally smaller ‘stabilising’ muscle groups. This awareness has enabled me to see the extreme sensitivity of my muscles during my recovery period as knowledge. To notice the micro movements in the body, such as the movement in my inner abs when I type. Who would have known?! Three weeks out from surgery I can’t notice this, but one week out I definitely could. Wow, what a gift to experience that extra degree of sensitivity and awareness. Pilates has given me an awesome body.

Isolation

The ability to know my body as a system and as individual parts. Pilates has taught me to use my body as a system. It’s also given me the conscious ability to isolate different muscle groups to work alone within this system to maximum effect. This has helped me to consciously turn on and off muscles during recovery so I can move safely and independently. Very cool. Which moves me nicely on to strength…

Strength

because pilates has taught my muscles to work in isolation as well as part of a system, each muscle is strong in it’s own right. While we typically work the system in Pilates, we ensure that system is working in a way that maximises each muscle’s individual strength and flexibility. Through this we’ve added to the strength, flexibility and support of teh system. This has meant that when I haven’t had fully operational abdominals, I’ve been able to consciously turn off those muscles that need to repair and turn on other muscles to do the work, which they have the ability to do by themselves in a stable and safely supported way.

Balance

All those weird exercises we do that put us off balance have enabled me to completely take this one for granted. And it’s been pricelessly useful. When walking upstairs, especially in the first few days when lifting my leg was like a turtle in slow motion, I could easily stand on one leg for ages. The hospital physio was amazed how stable I was on one leg without holding on to anything – until I told her I do pilates. I can stand on one leg and dry my feet, or put on my trousers. This has been a huuuuuge help.

So often we forget how much pilates is doing for us until we stop doing it. In this case though, I am so thankful for all the benefits of it for pre-op preparation and post-op recovery. So keep it up! We never know when the benefits of our pilates will be a strong foundation for the things that life throws at us.

How to Have a Stress Free Christmas Break

Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. So let us help keep you calm! We want you to be able to relax and enjoy yourself.

Plan Ahead

Make a list! Try to prioritise the items on your list: can they be done now, and are they essential? Do not over estimate how much you can achieve on ChristmasEve and Christmas Day. Delegate the responsibility for certain tasks to other family members since this will reduce your workload. Keep your list for next year; it’ll need tweaking and updating but will give you reminders of the sorts of things you need to think about.

Shop Online

As much as possible, shop online from the comfort of your own home! You’ll not only save time and be less stressed but will probably save money too. Always make sure you buy from reputable online retailers and check that they can deliver before the big day. If you haven’t already tried it, you can do your food shopping online too and have it delivered directly to your door.

Kknow When to Stop

Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparations and start to relax and enjoy the holiday. Work towards and try to stick to this goal, even if it is in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Remember that Christmas is your holiday too.

Keep Calm

Play some relaxing music, perhaps seasonal carols, and burn some scented candles or aromatherapy oil. Take a relaxing hot batch to unwind. Come in to Tiaki for a yoga class!

Practise Breathing

When we’re stressed our heart beat increases and our breathing shallows. Work on reversing this process and take time to breathe deeply. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for 15 or 20 seconds and then breathe slowly out through your mouth, repeat for a few minutes to instantly help reduce stressful feelings.

Have an Escape Plan

It’s a good idea to have some pre-planned excuses to escape from proceedings if they get too stressful. Be imaginative and use things such as leaving the room to make a phone call to a friend or perhaps checking on a neighbour. Just by having planned a couple of escape routes you’ll probably feel less stressed anyway but actually leaving the situation, even for 10 minutes, will help clear your mind and relax you. of course, we think the best escape is a class at Tiaki!

Make Time for Exercise

Christmas can be a time of excessive eating and drinking, and exercise can be easily overlooked. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Try going for a walk after your Christmas meal, as the fresh air and exercise will lift your mood and make you feel better. Tiaki will be running at least 2 classes every day during the Christmas break – we’re only closed on the stat days!

Avoid Excessive Alcohol

Most de-stressing articles will tell you to avoid alcohol altogether but, let’s be realistic, it is Christmas! However, do avoid excessive alcohol as it dehydrates your body and makes your liver work overtime to process it. Drink as much water or juice as alcohol as this will help you to stay hydrated, feel better and therefore cope better with stressful situations. You’ll also feel better on Boxing Day!

Have Fun!

Remember it’s your Christmas too so try to relax and have fun, laugh and be merry.

Have a great, stress-free, Christmas break