I have always enjoyed movement from a young age. I was never very strong or coordinated but I was very curious and loved exploring my environment. From youth, I participated in various forms of physical expression including basketball, rugby, sprinting, high jump and weightlifting. Trying to learn a new form of movement or pattern of coordination always stimulated me, physically and mentally. Although I wasn’t very skilled, each activity brought me greater awareness of my body and the ways I could manipulate it in achieving a certain goal. Each time I practiced a physical skill to improve, I had to consciously connect my mind to different parts of my body. I realised I needed to repeat this process many times, with proper form to make each movement pattern unconscious. This required a willingness to learn, good teachers and patience!
As I got older, I began to see cross-over in movement patterns in various sports and in general day to day movements. I also noticed that the whole body works as a chain and the interconnectedness of this chain is what is fundamental to movement. Although the demands in the sporting world are greater on the body, the same fundamental principles of movement applied in general life too. Also, having experienced many injuries, I realised that my body is the only vehicle I have for the rest of my life! I can’t just get a new one if the current one doesn’t work well or is broken. And if movement brings me so much joy and stimulation, what if my movement was restricted and I was no longer free to explore what my body could do? This fear to preserve and improve my body unearthed my interest in Physiotherapy.
I believe that a physiotherapist is a movementspecialist who is also equipped with tools to alleviate your pain. I believe that the body and mind are inexorably connected. Through movement, we can further explore our mind, affect our mood and improve our access to the world around us. We have one vehicle we embody and must take care of it for the rest of our lives. The decisions we make in our life now, will considerably affect our quality of life in the future. Whether you are in pain, weak or don’t move very well, a good therapist will empower you to take control of your pain and teach you to be aware of your body so that you can strive to always move more flawlessly.
I am still exploring my body and learning to move more efficiently each day and I apply physiotherapy principles in each new skill that I’m trying to learn. This is embarrassing to admit but I have been learning how to swim and tread water more efficiently because I want to confidently explore aquatic environments. I have been learning how to do a handstand, hang and swing on the monkey bars and applying all this newfound body awareness to my chosen sport of mixed martial arts. Complementing all this training, I have also been exploring Yoga and Pilates which has improved my awareness of conscious breathing and how significantly it impacts mental focus, energy levels, mood regulation and ‘core’ control. Who would have thought you need to learn to breathe properly?
I choose to be a physiotherapist because it requires me to continuously learn more about the human body and in doing so, I learn more about myself. It is very fulfilling being a physiotherapist as I get to make genuine connections with people and witness the joy of alleviating peoples pain and improving their quality of life.
We take our cars to the mechanic in regular intervals to get servicing and ensure that everything is running properly. We should be doing the same with our bodies! All those little niggles are what turns into something more sinister the longer we leave it off. All new movement patterns lubricate our joints so that we function better. So, what are you waiting for? Pop in to see your local passionate Physiotherapist and discover how you could make your movement more beautiful.