How to get back into dance work after being injured
Most dancers are keen to get back into dance as quickly as possible following an injury but its important to know that great care must be taken not to go full force into training after time out.Trying to do too much too soon could send you right back to square one or create other imbalances in the body to compensate for the injured area.
It is important to establish if an injury occurred due to faulty technique ,imbalances in the body or a freak accident.If it was caused by imbalances or faulty technique these things will have to be looked at to build strength and solid technique.This can sometimes be a blow to the ego as we may feel like we have gone a step backwards which is why some people rush to get back to what they used to be able to do.Dancers can be terribly hard on themselves at times and self care doesn't always come second nature but its very important to take care of physical and emotional selves.Taking a holistic approach to healing is the best way forward,I know from personal experience that healing is not about just the body but also dependent on our mindset
So what is the best way to getting back into dance ? ,I would say remember the tortoise and the hare story ,who won the race? My point being a slow and mindful approach is best.
There are a few factors that help heal the body,first of all what are you eating ? Nutrition is often an overlooked topic for rebuilding the body after injury.As a healthy eating coach and reiki practitioner I would recommend to eat foods in their most natural state possible in particular raw fruits,veggies ,green juices,nuts and seeds and plenty of water.Plant based proteins such as darky leafy vegetables in particular kale,algaes (such as chlorella,spirulina ,afa blue green algaes) are the most effective of delivering easily digestible proteins to help repair of the physical structure.Most dancers don't realise that too much protein can make the body more acidic therefore taking the body longer to heal.I recommend a high percentage of raw due to the high vitamin,mineral and enzymes contained within them.Enzymes are responsible for digestion and healing.Greens are high in chlorophyll and chlorophyll helps to aid all different kinds of issues in the body.Having the right kinds of fats and oils in the diet are also important.
Arnica can be very useful for injured area,as can bathing in Epsom salts and ginger,enzymes and MSM powder.
I would recommend yoga to rehabilitate but be selective and work with an teacher who has had experience working with injuries .Sometimes you can find yoga teachers who are also body workers which is the most ideal in my opinion.I found this to be the case after fracturing my ankle a couple of years ago.Yoga helps draw your attention to the imbalances in your body,in a restorative class you have the time to stay in positions longer to really feel what is going on and it can be very calming on the mind which is important healing tool.
Stamina is usually the first thing to go so I find that a rebounder is very good because it takes the weight if the joints and allows you to get your heart rate up.It would of course be dependent on what the injury is and how far along the road to healing you are.
It may also be necessary to work with a physio although personally I find that treatment is focused on the injured area and not to how it relates back to the rest of body which is why I prefer yoga teachers who are body workers or have a more holistic approach.
Positive thoughts and not being to hard on yourself are also important ,you would be surprised of how much our mind really does effect the body,science is backing this up more and more.Getting the balance of knowing when to push through something and knowing when to stop after an injury is an important for complete recovery.I have sadly witnessed dancers that end up having secondary injuries from not paying attention to what their bodies were telling them.
To sum it up I would say good rest,proper nutrition ,rehabilitation and self care are the main points to recovery.Be kind to your self and go slow but steady.