I have just been on a course which many of my clients will have heard me talk about: Functional Foundations for Health, Fitness and Wellbeing. It is run by Joanne Elphinston, a well respected physiotherapist who focuses on efficient, robust and adaptable spontaneous movement in people of all ages and levels of activity. Whilst Joanne is often working with top level athletes who are experiencing injury or performance barriers, her approach is applicable to absolutely everybody; raising self awareness and reducing stress on the body in order to achieve more effective movement. A core principle of JEMS is considering the whole person and their environment.
Part one of the course included looking at effective force management: its generation followed by sharing across a large surface area and transmission throughout the body before finally dispersing. We also looked at functional stability. A key focus throughout was on sensitivity and proprioception, and there was careful attention to visual and verbal cues. By the end of the four days many of us noticed improvements in how we were moving and feeling: subtle but profound changes. Part two extended this and whilst I found it helpful in consolidating part one, I was rather overwhelmed by the volume of content and intend to redo these two days (Joanne says that it is very usual for people to repeat parts of the course; it's a relief to not be alone in needing this!) The depth of knowledge and experience of Joanne and her team was inspiring, and their enthusiasm as well as effectiveness in sharing their skill with us kept the four days enjoyable.
The course was very practical as well as covering the background theory. I will not be able to use all of what I learnt over the four days straight away and will be going back to redo part two to ensure it is embedded. However some of it I am using already and I will be integrating yet more over the coming months. It combines extremely well with my soft tissue work and my aim in using it is to consolidate and maintain the improvements in well being gained through massage treatment. So far I have had positive feedback and some excellent results which is very encouraging.
You can find out more about JEMS here; Joanne's blog posts can be found on her site and are always interesting: