What is Mensendieck and Cesar therapy?

Exercise therapy focuses on the posture and musculoskeletal system. If you suffer from physical complaints, you can contact exercise therapists. Two theories that have been developed are those of Marie Cesar (Cesar therapy) and Bess Mensendieck. The Mensendieck and the Cesar therapy will be discussed here.

The theory

The exercise is based on the idea that complaints arise and are maintained by incorrect posture or making certain movements. By correcting and improving these, complaints will “automatically” disappear.

Mensendieck or Cesar

At Mensendieck, behavioral change is central. The therapy is somewhat more static than Cesar therapy and makes more use of verbal instructions. Awareness is especially important with this therapy.

Cesar therapy originated in the 1920s in Amersfoort. It is a therapy that originated from the Mensendieck therapy because Marie Cesar was a student of Bess Mensendieck and subsequently developed her own vision. However, the difference is not that big nowadays. Marie Cesar worked more with jumping exercises and the use of an instrument (tambourine). It’s more about rhythm and tempo.

For whom?

Exercise therapy by Cesar and Mensendieck is applied to people with complaints and disorders of the back, neck and shoulders. The exercises can also be used after rehabilitation following an accident or operation. The treatment is also suitable for longer-standing back pain (from six weeks) as well as for neck pain. Practitioners often have their own practice where they can practice.

Exercise therapy is used for, among other things, hernias and whiplashes, hyperventilation, rheumatic pain, but also to improve breathing, such as COPD.

As far as we know, there are no people for whom exercise therapy would not be suitable.

Effect of exercise therapy

Exercise therapy is primarily a do-it-yourself therapy because the exercises can often be performed at home.

Exercises in Mensendieck therapy are focused on posture and movements. It is especially important to move the neck, back, shoulders, arms, hips, knees and feet properly. The exercises that are performed are also suitable for daily life and should therefore be easy to apply. These actions must also be adaptable at work.

Exercise therapy mainly focuses on improving posture and movements in daily life in order to reduce the burden on shoulders, neck, back, etc.

Exercise therapy firstly looks at a patient’s posture and the way a patient moves (in relation to the complaints). Analysis of home and workplace also takes place because it is necessary to determine how people sit, walk and stand in these situations, which often has the greatest influence on disorders and complaints.

Advice is then given and exercises offered to make a patient more aware of his or her movements and posture. In principle, therapies do not have to be long because the exercises can be practiced and applied at home. It is mainly about raising awareness and learning better posture/movements.

Advice may be to adopt a different posture, but also to adopt a more ergonomic posture (design of the workplace) or to exercise (more). An exercise can be breathing and relaxation, adjusting posture and coordination or doing light strength training to strengthen the muscles.

Exercise therapy and health insurance

Need a referral?

Treatment by the exercise therapist requires a referral from your general practitioner, company doctor or medical specialist. However, it is also possible to go to the exercise therapist without a referral (since July 1, 2008).

Is exercise therapy reimbursed?

Exercise therapy is reimbursed by additional insurers.