Can You Really Have a Spring in Your Thorax?




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Published June 9, 2018

You may have noticed our instructors talking a little differently lately… lots of talk about feathers, wetsuit zippers, and warm breezes blowing through your ribs. What on earth is going on?!?!

Recently, Claire, Kirrilly, Merina and Emma had the pleasure of attending a workshop in Sydney, called “Put a Spring in Your Thorax”. The workshop was presented by Lisa Anthony, a physiotherapist, Polestar Pilates Educator, and all round fabulous person.


Lisa opened up a whole new way of thinking for us, presenting us with a new way of getting the most out of the body before us. This work is based on the research of Dr Linda-Joy Lee, a physiotherapist who has developed the “Thoracic Ring Approach” and “ConnectTherapy”.

What did we learn?

In a nutshell, we learnt that previous thinking about the thoracic spine being stiff and rigid is not quite right. In your thorax (the region of the body containing the thoracic spine, ribs and lots of important organs), there are over 130 movable joints. And like any other joint in the body, we need to work to be able to stabilise the joints so we can achieve efficient movement (that is, movement that is biomechanically “correct” and pain free).

Why is this new information important?

Lisa and others have been using this new paradigm in Physiotherapy sessions with clients for the past few years, and are seeing astounding results. By teaching clients to correctly achieve stability in the thorax, a whole host of other issues in Lisa’s clients’ bodies have improved. Things like shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain, pelvic floor issues, even issues in the feet like plantar fasciitis. Thankfully, Lisa has developed a way for Pilates teachers to incorporate these new techniques into our studios so we have the chance to achieve similar amazing results too.


What results have we seen at Pilates Can already?

In the first week since the workshop, Emma has extensively used this new information in her sessions with clients and has seen some amazing things happen. One client who finds it difficult to walk following a series of traumatic events to the body has, in just two sessions, improved the way she walks. She is much more stable and her legs feel lighter.

Another client who has Multiple Sclerosis was almost in tears as we were able to achieve full range knee flexion in her “bad leg” for the first time in many years. Her gait (the way she walks) improved and she was blown away with how effective, simple and subtle this technique is and how she felt.

Over the weekend, PilatesCan ran a staff training and had fun exploring these techniques with each other. Our instructors are keen to share this knowledge with you and integrate this new information into your sessions.  It might take a little while to “get” what we are trying to teach you (especially for those who are not particularly visual learners), however, stick with it, because this new way of working has the potential to bring a host of benefits into your life. You will never feel the same again!

If you would like to take advantage of what our instructors have learnt then try our semi-private equipment sessions. Our Manuka studio is within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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