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Can I make a claim for my Pilates through my Health Insurance?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding practising your Pilates with the Pilates Studio is " Am I able to claim against my Health Fund?"

We would like to give you a simple YES/NO but as is often the case with the Health Funds here in the UK, the answer is a bit more complicated than that!  It depends on which Fund you are a member of and the level of Cover you have.

Firstly, let us start by saying that all of the teachers at the Pilates Studio are specialist Pilates Instructors who specialise only in Pilates and consequently teach at the highest standards available in the UK.  It is advisable to clarify your situation with your Health Fund as the amount you can claim does vary from Fund to Fund.  We are always happy to provide you with an official receipt upon completion of your classes to assist you in this matter.

There is one important last thing to consider if your decision is based purely on cost rather than on the level of Pilates care and experience you will receive. Depending on how much you can claim back through the 'non-friendly' Health Funds and upon the price charged for your Physio Pilates classes, it may be less costly to go with a non-physiotherapy studio like ours, anyway.

We have excellent relations with several allied practitioners within the marketplace and regularly liaise with them to ensure that the best service is given to all of our clients. We do, however, strongly believe that Pilates should always be taught by Pilates instructors who are highly experienced and qualified in the field - regardless of their other qualifications - and we are very proud to say we hire only the best instructors within the industry. As the industry becomes more formalised, more and more Health Funds are acknowledging our Instructors so it might just be a matter of time before they all follow suit anyway!

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise programme that focuses on improving the client's individual needs such as posture, flexibility or core strength,  rather than just generalising and giving the client a generic workout.  Pilates is not a gym or aerobics style class. Professional Pilates Instructors specialise in movement analysis and their prescription of exercises are designed to create balance, strength, flexibility and coordination for each client.  Incorrect movement patterns and muscle imbalances will lead to injuries and postural problems and each Pilates program is designed and personally tailored to suit the individual client's needs.


Pilates has a reputation for improving flexibility, building strength without bulk and lengthening and streamlining the body.  Pilates can also invigorate and energise the body through improved breathing styles and a mind-body focus that stimulates circulation and enhances body awareness.  The Pilates practice of specific exercises and breathing patterns yields numerous benefits if practiced regularly.  Posture, balance, control and core strength are all improved.  

While many clients use Pilates for their general conditioning, it is also ideal for specific rehabilitation of injuries and conditions. Please note that Pilates is often not suitable for client's still in the acute phase of injury and a professional Pilates Instructor will firstly refer you on and then happily liaise with your allied medical practitioner once the acute phase has passed. Tailored programs are then designed in consultation with the client's medical practitioner or conditioning coach. 

Exercises are performed on specifically designed Pilates apparatus such as the Reformer, Cadilac Table and Wunda-Chair as well as on mats and other associated equipment.

Who was Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880 and started to develop his exercise system in the 1900’s.  With an exercise background including yoga, martial arts and gymnastics he had a vision of an ideal lifestyle, attained through a balance of the physical, mental and spiritual.  Pilates believed that happiness was achieved when the body was mastered.  By renewing the spirit of thought and movement, the first step is taken towards stress reduction, graceful movement and greater enjoyment of life.

While interned during World War 1 in England, he worked as an orderly in a hospital and designed resistance training equipment for the patients by rigging springs to hospital beds.  After World War 1 ended, Joseph Pilates moved to New York City in  1926 and opened a studio, close to the New York City Ballet studio.  His first clients were dancers who were sent to Joseph to be “fixed”.  He continually developed his exercise methods until his death in 1967.

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the “secret” of dancers and performers became popular with athletes, models and actors and increasingly the general public.  Today Pilates is used for a variety of reasons.  A commitment to Pilates work promotes greater trunk and pelvic stability, as well as improving movement and muscle control around the spine.  The Pilates exercises aim to create muscle balance through the body while developing greater coordination of movement and control of the abdominals and breath.  With the body working as a whole unit, muscles become lean and strong, rather than developing isolated strength and bulk.  Performed on the mat and specially designed equipment including the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda-Chair, the unique approach to working the whole body efficiently is renowned for its long-term physical and mental benefits.  Pilates exercises use muscle control and correct alignment without resulting in post exercise muscle soreness and fatigue.  Quotes from the man himself:

  • “The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors.”
  • “With body, mind and spirit functioning perfectly as a coordinated whole, what else could reasonably be expected other than an active, alert, disciplined person?”
  • "The science of Contrology disproves that prevalent and all-too-trite saying, "You're only as old as you feel." The art of Contrology proves that the only real guide to your true age lies not in years or how you THINK you feel but as you ACTUALLY are as infallibly indicated by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life."
  • “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."

How Do I Choose My Pilates Studio?

When choosing a Pilates studio it is important that you always enquire as to what level of training your Pilates Instructor has received.

  • Are they professional Pilates Instructors who have completed approved Pilates Certification Courses?
  • How long was the relevant training course that they undertook?   -  Look for a minimum  6-12 months duration, theoretical and practical examinations  plus follow up apprenticeship training?
  • Do the Pilates Instructors hold current First Aid Qualifications along with Malpractice Insurance?

If the answers to any of these questions are unsatisfactory then we suggest that you look to practice your Pilates in another more established studio.

Can Pilates Help My Golf?

Pilates is about mental and physical focus and so is golf.  It’s about movement from the centre of the body.  Your golf mates or coach may say you need to alter your swing but what if your body can’t move freely?  By practicing Pilates you can make corrections to your body – improve flexibility, strengthen core muscles, stabilise the shoulder and pelvic girdle and increase your power with rotational movements to ensure that you not only hit further but do so with more accuracy as well.  These improvements will also make squatting down to eye up that putt and carrying that heavy golf bag easier too.
The Pilates Studio can offer specialised programmes that address all these for our golfing community. 

Do You Cater For Pre and Post Natal Women?

Pilates is an excellent exercise choice for women during their pregnancy as it strengthens the abdominals, pelvic floor and back muscles in a low impact and controlled environment.  These muscle groups are frequently troublesome during this time, especially as pregnancy progresses.

Pilates will also help to safely increase flexibility, endurance and balance which are essential for a healthy pregnancy, labour, delivery and, most importantly, recovery.  In addition to the visible physical benefits, Pilates also offers improved mental well-being as it helps to focus and calm the mind, which in turn leads to reduced stress.  What’s more, many pregnant women feel more energetic and much happier with themselves by continuing with their Pilates programme during their pregnancy and it is quite possible to continue right up until the birth.

We recommend to all women who are considering having a baby that they should ideally begin their Pilates tuition before trying for a baby. This will ensure that they are in their optimum condition in advance and hence ready for the changes that the body will experience once pregnant.

The Pilates Studio offers both pre and post-natal programmes.

How long can pregnant women come to Pilates for?

For most women we suggest they can come to Pilates for as long as they feel comfortable. Frequently during the later stages, even when women are very tired, they actually say they feel better after their sessions anyway. Many women will continue to attend Pilates right up until the last few days of their pregnancy.

When can you return to Pilates after giving birth?

The general rule for returning to Pilates is once the doctor/obstetrician has said it’s ok. This is usually 6 weeks after a natural delivery and a little longer after a caesarean.

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