Circus News

The Pain Response–New Ways of Thinking

Without a shadow of a doubt, the modern-day circus artist is exposed to high training loads and increasingly competitive and saturated performance calendars. Injuries from circus training and pain associated with them often lead to the inability to train or perform causing physical, emotional and financial stressors.

If the pain response is better understood by circus practitioners, we strongly believe that you can take action to manage it and move forward more successfully. Nobody experiences pain as you do. Your pain experience is individual. It is manufactured by your brain using a variety of inputs namely, proprioception (information from different parts of the body) and cognition (beliefs, memory, feelings, logic). The most important take-away from this blog post is to make you aware that there are many factors that govern your pain response. It’s not a simple electric circuit. This article’s aim is to shed some light on the advances in modern day pain physiology which can help diminish the sense of threat for circus artists. How Do We Interpret Pain? Challenging the Traditional Paradigm Before we actually experience a painful sensation, the brain has to make a detailed calculation: do I need to give this circus person a warning...

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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.