4.4 Exercises for Neurological Conditions (Mat & Accessories only)


Mariska Breland, founder of the Fuse Pilates method, initially set the standard with the launch of her  Pilates for MS™ Teacher Training which incorporated the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into Program design for common problems associated with multiple sclerosis.

Diagnosed more than 10 years ago, Breland has lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) and challenged her body to curb the debilitating effects that MS can have through exercise. She has also worked with clients with spinal cord injury, a variety of chronic medical conditions, and athletes (and weekend warriors) who have suffered from sports-specific injuries. Many are surprised when they learn that Breland has MS and are eager to know how she successfully manages the disease in her day-to-day life.

Mariska brought the MS programming to the UK in 2013 and at this time she was expanding her focus to cover wider Neurological conditions including Parkinsons and Stroke.

Because of the crossover between different Neurological conditions when selecting exercises to help with the condition, the structure of the course was changed to include a 'common' day of exercises using Mat & small Accessories appropriate to all Neurological conditions which would combine with theory days to Understand the specific conditions. 


Recognise influencers of balance and how to improve them and learn a battery of exercises to target balance

Understand the causes of bladder/bowel problems and learn a battery of exercises to target key areas associated with these issues

Recognise causes of MS weakness, Understand what types of strengthening are most effective and learn a battery of exercises to target key areas. Discover how to work with hemiparesis. Learn exercises for common weak muscles/muscle groups

Understand the differences between muscle tightness and spasticity. Learn different types of stretching exercises and when to do which type and what not to do when a client suffers from Spasticity in a limb.


This is a one day course with minuimum 7 hours of tuition 

Further Details

Pilates brings a variety of benefits to one’s health, including increased body awareness, control, and circulation.

“In addition to the physical benefits, there are also emotional benefits,” says Breland. “Being able to do Pilates is a huge mood booster. Depression and suicide are both higher with many neurological patients than with the general population. That and many other symptoms can see improvement with the right kind of exercise.”

Pilates also includes core exercises for stabilization, back and spine strengthening that improves posture, and dynamic flexibility that relieves muscle spasticity. This all is helpful for fighting the problems associated with Neurological conditions and various other health conditions. Plus, many Pilates exercises are done sitting or lying down with no or low impact movements. This makes the workout accessible for any age and fitness level, and serves as a great introduction to make changes to one’s body.

The Exercises for Neurological conditions course is not a qualification in its own right - it needs to be combined with one or more of the 'Understanding' workshops Understanding MS, Understanding Stroke or Understanding Parkinson's Disease to gain a Specialist certificate in these areas.  However the course may be taken as a module in its own right for those not requiring a qualification or the Understandng courses could be taken at a later date.


Feedback for this course

"Learning Pilates techniques has helped me enormously with my MS. Fine tuning each move has not only re-awakened muscles that had long been asleep, particularly in my feet and legs but has also helped me to relax more and improve my outlook. My walking style, speed and balance have all greatly improved, reducing my need for over-reliance for walking aids. Since starting with Jane, I have gone from mainly using a wheelchair to mainly using elbow crutches and for shorter distances, a walking stick. I can even climb a few stairs! The freedom this gives me is amazing. I'm determined to continue working with Jane and to use Pilates to keep on improving."
Stephanie Hanna, August 2014

"Stephanie and I have now worked together for 12 one to one Pilates sessions. We will however continue to work until we achieve our goal - for Steph to be able to walk with a stick around the house (enabling her to carry things.) And short useful distances with a stick e.g. from a taxi into a restaurant, or theatre or from the car onto a friend's house. We are close to this goal and may well re-evaluate soon!

We did the first one to one on 7th May 2014. At this point Steph could walk very short distances with her crutches, her major walk of the week was from her car into my Pilates class on a Thursday, about 50 metres ,then back to the car after the lesson.

Steph started to attend my Pilates classes (non-specialised, general class) in March 2013. At this point she used her wheel chair to go every where. She progressed to walking into the class using crutches during February this year.

She can now use a stick to walk around the house.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Steph, she's determined but sensible so she makes the perfect client. The moves and methods I learnt at the Mariska Breland course are remarkably effective and it's a joy to both Steph and me to have been able to make this life changing progress. I refer to the excellent training material all the time as there's plenty in the book we have not yet utilised.

Jane Christie, August 2014

"Exceeded my expectations - I rarely get so many new exercises. I enjoyed the whole course from start to end. Having copies of the overheads was very useful. Both manuals were very good."
May 2014

"I feel that I'm going away with so much information! Very impressed from start to finish - enquiry/registration/actual course. Thank you very much."
May 2014

"Really enjoyed the course, can't wait to get out there and teach! x"
May 2014

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"I really enjoyed the course, there was lots of input from others on the course. I enjoyed learning the exercises as there was so much variety and felt the benefits were explained really well."
May 2014

"This course exceeded my expectations. Imelda was great at engaging the group."
May 2014

"My ms client is doing really well. She has been confined to a wheelchair but the work we are doing is helping her walk again so please pass on my thanks to Mariska because it is wholly down to attending that training that has given me the knowledge and confidence that I needed to help her."
J T, March 2014

"Thank you so much for the Pilates for M.S training last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned masses. I feel very motivated to start teaching some of the moves and see the benefits they bring to people"s strength, mobility and balance. It"s great to come away from a course with new moves, and I found myself thinking of clients who would benefit as Joy taught many moves, also how I might adapt them to suit other clients too. I feel sure I"ll use many of the moves during my non-specialist Matwork classes too.
Thank you"
Jane, March 2014

"Thank you so much. Very good course."
March 2014

"I am writing to let you know that I will beginning to work with my first MS client on Friday morning. Her name is DELETED and lives in DELETED just outside of Birmingham. She is super keen and excited to begin her 10 sessions. Hopefully after that she will want to continue. She mentioned that she is a member of the MS Society ..... I think I might also have the chance to work with another male client suffering from MS. I have been given his details.

I thought Mariska's course was absolutely fantastic. I feel inspired to do something different with my Pilates and it has helped me come to terms with my sister's MS and my father's Parkinsons. ....... Mariska delivered the information so well, made things clear and seem simple. Her lovely, friendly nature created a great atmosphere for learning which I really appreciated. I came away feeling as though I had really absorbed everything. I was very impressed with MBodies organization and will be definitely returning for more workshops!
Rachel P , November 2013

"Thanks Chris! The course was absolutely brilliant, I really learned a lot and was very impressed by Mariska and MBodies. It was lovely to meet you and the team.I am in touch with the contacts from the MS Society that Jane and Rhona gave me."
B. S. (Petersfield UK), November 2013

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