Physical therapy conferences always have vendors demonstrating the latest products. Reactions usually vary from “It’s great but we already have something like this” to “Cool–maybe someday!” One typically attends these conferences for the education and the networking; browsing the vendors is usually more of a “window shopping” activity.
This time was a little different.
Minimalist form/maximal function: Balanced Body is a company that makes equipment based on Pilates principles, which emphasize the importance of core strength to overall well-being. (Regular readers know the fundamental importance of core strength is something we talk about here, a lot). So as we passed the CoreAlign machine on display at their booth, looking like something out of a Danish gym with its almost old school, blonde-wood ladder look, we knew it would be a quality product–but at first glance it doesn’t exactly exude “cutting edge.”
Feeling is believing: Trying it quickly changed our minds. We knew it had tremendous potential and endless versatility as a tool for rehabilitation, education, gait training, and for strength and balance training. We made an offer on the floor model and took it straight back to the clinic!
You feel it the moment you begin an exercise: the movements require your brain to pay attention and make connections between your muscles at a deep, neurological level. Even very simple, small movements focus specific groups of muscles in unique, often unfamiliar ways. This leads to a sense of discovery: “Wow–I didn’t even know I had a muscle there!”
Target acquired: As physical therapists, helping you make these complex connections is part of our job. Sometimes, the part of the body we’re working with is one that simply doesn’t get used enough or for which you may have been compensating in other ways that lead to pain or injury. CoreAlign works great to help us analyze you in a functional position while you can actually feel the compensations we are observing. The CoreAlign demands core stability and simply does not allow cheating! Not only does this help correct movement patterns, it increases the efficiency of the treatment or training: you get stronger faster!
Using a series of elastic bands of varying resistance allows you to control the level of exercise, while the two glideboards are employed in a variety of ways that work muscle groups throughout the entire body. We’re psyched for the efficiency this brings to treating patients–but also for the world of possibility it opens up for our personal training clients! (Hint: we have awesome personal training deals available right now!)
You’ll probably see us talking more about the CoreAlign in the future. It needs to be experienced! For now, check out one of their videos.