‘Clinical Pilates’ and Health Fund Changes

There have been a few queries lately about recent changes coming into place for health fund claiming… the most noted being regarding ‘clinical pilates’…

Clinical Pilates is a phrase coined by Craig Phillips, a physio over East who runs the DMA method of Pilates… he teaches only Physio’s and has used that phrase for many years.

It relates to a clinician (physio in his case) offering pilates as part of the rehabilitation program, whether that be just mat work or on the big equipment, but it constitutes its use as part of the bigger picture of rehab, where we may need to breakdown how people move, release tight tissue, mobilise tight areas, strengthen others…there’s a clinical reason for it and its part of a rehab protocol, backed up by a thorough physio assessment to start with.

It is exactly what we do day in day out with our physio clients.

You come in and we assess what you require.

That may be hands on, it may be mobilisations, muscle work, release , strength work, balance work, and we may incorporate Pilates into that much as other may use a gym or exercise bike – the principle is the same.

We use movement and exercise alongside hands on to get you where you need to be – and it work bloody well!

This style of management is well within our scope of practise and is deemed PHYSIO so there is no need to worry it is not covered under your private health. We are managing you – whether you need hands on, exercise or advise.

The issue has come as with many professions and practices where the lines are becoming blurred.

We increasingly hear that clients are having their back managed by their personal trainer who teaches them to release, or decides what they should and shouldn’t do, massage therapist that can treat back pain, diet advise from non nutritionists or dietitians – demarcation has been watered down and what is believed to be within scopes of practise is widening..

I will never give dietary advise as I don’t feel its my arena to talk about. I will always refer to a pharmacist re medication as again its beyond my area of expertise.

Clinical Pilates is one of those little areas that has been removed from the health funds for claiming your rebate – IE there is no item clinical Pilates.

We have always claimed under your physio code as its part of your rehab process and its been a physio session, whether Pilates was required, exercise, mobilisations, strapping, taping, manipulation or release work, as we look to treat and manage you as a whole to get you where you need to be in the best way possible with the best outcome possible.

That’s why we spend a long time on your first appointment – everything can be interconnected – especially if you have had ongoing issue for a long time that affect multiple areas.

Acute stuff is easy – there is trauma, you have a healing time frame, there is recovery and remodelling phase and you utilise that to the best you can to get the best outcome.

Chronic issues take time and in depth knowledge. The help from the acute injury, repair and remodelling is no longer there – having been replaced with a potential chronic cycle of pain.

We need to look beyond what is now presenting to find where it came from and how it happened and why you are now where you are at. A sore knee can be a symptoms of an old back injury. Pain in the foot can manifest and move to the knee, back , opposite shoulder and so on.

That is what takes time.

That is why you don’t get better straight away.

That is why we offer the service we do and why we so good at it.

It takes time to see and get a difference in these tissues.

It takes time for the body to adjust – it’s had a LONG time to get to where its at – so it will take a LONG time to get to where you want it to be.

We can direct you in the right way, to do the right things at the right time in the right order so you get there QUICKER – and that is our forte. That is what our service is all about.

We get results where others fail.

In fact a lot of our clients have been referred to us by other professionals who cant fix them.


If you’re ready to make the change and committed to a better version of you – make that call.

We’d love to help xox



About Saree Hewlett (134 Articles)
Saree has 20 + years as a physio, training in the UK and completing her Masters in Manual Therapy in Perth, UWA. She has integrated Pilates into her practise having trained in the Polestar method and currently owns and runs two Studios in Perth's Northern Suburbs. A previous international Artistic Skater she understands the needs of sports people and also those suffering from chronic pain and reduced function - we all want the same thing - to be the best we can be! She is married with two active young boys!

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