The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada with input from both experts and patients, has developed a “wellness toolbox” with strategies to help multiple sclerosis (MS) patients cope with their disease. It will come as no surprise to Pilates teachers that this toolbox includes Pilates, and that Pilates helps people suffering from MS.

Wellness is becoming a big area of research, particularly in patients with chronic diseases such as MS. With an estimated 291 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation, Canada has the world’s highest incidence of MS.

While pharmaceutical and scientific research are advancing in the therapeutic area, studies are also underway to determine the contribution of wellness factors such as nutrition, physical activity and emotional well-being — to quality of life for MS patients.

“There are as many treatment plans for MS as there are people with MS,” Karen Lee, the society’s vice-president of research, said. “Everyone’s journey with MS is unique, as is their choice for treatments. Today, people living with MS have a variety of options, from diet and exercise to pharmaceuticals. We want to provide the best information and support that we can on all topics that are of interest to our community.”

The University of Saskatchewan investigated the effect of Pilates in people with MS. The study recruited 30 MS patients. Half took Pilates classes twice a week and massage therapy once a week, while the other half only did once-a-week massage therapy.

Results showed that patients who took Pilates classes saw an improvement in their overall condition, compared to patients in the control group. So this evidence shows that Pilates helps people suffering from MS.

“This study is very promising, as Pilates can be individualized for almost everyone living with MS,” said lead author Charity Evans. “While the scientific evidence is statistically relevant, I was also moved by the personal stories of our participants. One individual had stopped driving due to lack of confidence and body control, but was able to start driving again by the end of the study. Another participant who required an assistive device to walk at the start of the study could walk unassisted at the end of the study.”

Whilst the sample group was very small, it is still encouraging to see that Pilates has the potential to be part of a package of factors that can help MS Sufferers. As is always the case (and why PilatesEVO is always concerned with total or holistic health), there are a number of different factors that effect our wellness, and to neglect any area means that the whole is affected.

If you have some personal experience of how Pilates helps people suffering from MS then please share. You can comment on this blog, or email me at

PilatesEVO is an additional qualification for Pilates teachers who want to go deeper into their practise to help improve themselves and their results. We study areas including meditation, functional training, NLP and meridians, and how they can be applied to Pilates. It is a stand-alone system but also all the teaching can be used in any Pilates or wellness class and also in everyday life. To find out more please contact the PilatesEVO School in Barcelona by CLICKING HERE.