Just a little tidbit for the Pilates professionals… When you are working with a new client, you can begin to assess the product of their current or past pain and decide how you will begin working with her just by watching how she sits in your reception area. It’s an easy way to begin assessing your client… and they’ll think you are psychic to boot!
Observe how your client is sitting. Is he slumped? And how did he stand up? Did he press his hands into his knees? Yes, on both? He is very likely flexion intolerant and has some history of back pain even if he is not in pain right now. Avoid all flexion until you have a better feel to how he will react.
What if your client is sitting like she just stepped out of military training? Ramrod straight and even a little extended with the shoulders thrown back towards the wall behind her. Yep. Extension intolerant. Avoid all extension until you have a better feel for how her body will react.
So you can see, this is not rocket science. In fact it is right up there with the difference between long box and short box on the reformer. Complicated stuff, that.