5 Top Tips To Get The Most From Your Physical Therapy Appointments - CircusTalk

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5 Top Tips To Get The Most From Your Physical Therapy Appointments

As a physiotherapist that specialises in circus and the founder of Perform Health— I have spent the last decade engaging with people in this community. I often bear witness to a couple of recurring issues that patients are faced with in their experiences with generic or sports physical therapists. First, there is frustration at not being able to communicate quickly and clearly about the complex acrobatic movements they perform, and second, there is often a  lack of education and skill on the part of the healthcare provider in relation to the unique skill-set of circus performers, leading the provider to  be all too quick to prescribe the “rest and anti-inflammatories” solution.
Sadly, the stark reality is that circus medicine is a specialty so niche that it is not often easy to find a healthcare provider with relevant experience. Google “circus medicine”  and you’ll see the top hit is a musical rock band, but do the same for “dance medicine” and you’ll get 3 million  actual relevant hits. No, you didn’t misread that number. That said, take the time to research if there are any physical therapists or other allied healthcare professionals out there working with pole, aerial and circus arts in general. Try googling “where to see circus physios” and you’ll find some good links there. If you’re not lucky enough to find a specialised provider near you, here are my 5 top tips to make your appointment with your local therapist go as well as possible: 1. A picture is worth a thousand words ...
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James Wellington

James Wellington is a physiotherapist specialising in circus arts,and the founder & director of Perform Health Ltd. Born and bred in London, UK. He studied Physiotherapy in Manchester in the late 90s and obtained his MSc in Sports Physiotherapy from University College London in 2006. After visiting the Circus Space in London (now renamed the National Centre for Circus Arts) in 2005 there was no looking back. The Circus Arts was his new focus. He took on the role as Resident Physiotherapist at the National Centre from 2007-2011 and continued to oversee the physiotherapy and athletic therapy provision to the degree students until 2015. From 2012, he has also been working between in Barcelona, Spain where he teaches at the Barcelona Circus School (Centre de les Arts del Circ Rogelio Rivel) and main training space for circus professionals (La Central del Circ). In 2012 he won the contract to provide therapy services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies, a vast, 6-month project in which him and his team were responsible for over 2,000 performers of mixed ages and abilities. In the same year he founded and became Managing Director of Perform Health Ltd, a company dedicated to improving the health and vitality of performing artists. He opened a consulting and treatment studio behind the National Centre for Circus Arts which provides performing artists of all levels easy access to an expert team of clinicians, all with specialist knowledge of performing arts medicine. Currently, he works not only as a practicing performing arts physiotherapist, but also as a researcher and educator in the field of circus medicine. Circus performers from all over the world now choose to work with James and his team of associates because they provide solutions in ways they can relate to. With the knowledge of what a performer requires to enhance their performance ability, they apply sound and simple solutions to match these specific needs. He speaks English, Italian and Spanish.