recovery after sport

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the ballet dancer recovery

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Ballet Dancers Recovery

What do ballet dancers and ultra marathon runners have in common?

Exhaustion after performing or competing

  • Sore legs

  • Sore ankles

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Muscle tightness

  • Blisters

Those legs may start to feel like the runners above who have spent days on a running track going around it in circles-one of the runners has exhausted muscles, and the lady runner has blisters-can you think of similarities in your own condition after rehearsals or performing?

Well maybe not so severe but sometimes it feels like it!


Principal dancers may have the benefits of physical therapists, masseurs and other health modalities to call on when the need them, but students and Corps de Ballet members have to fit in where they can, and if they can afford it

Leg fatigue and Poor circulation

The muscles fatigue because the tissues are not recieving enough supplies of fresh blood to keep them working properly-they can't recover and continue to do what they do indefinately

They need a constant supply of fresh blood going in to the tissues, to keep this happening, used blood has to be removed from the legs because if it isn't, it acts as block and prevents the exchange

Gravity and the weight of blood in the body

The body is subject to 2 types of pressure down towards the feet

Pressure from the arteries-Forced Pressure

The heart pumps blood under pressure to all parts of the body; including the legs; because it is being pumped, this pressure is higher than the standing still pressure

Pressure from the veins-Hydrostatic Pressure

Water is subject to pressure-the deeper it is the more pressure there is at the bottom-the term for this is Hydrostatic pressure (Hydro-water Static-standing still) and is measured in millimeters of Hydrostatic gravity

Blood in the body is similar; in a standing person, the pressure at the head is almost non-existent, but at the feet the lowest part of the body, the pressure and the weight of the blood in the veins is higher

-10 mm hg

+90 mm hg

Long hours of practise and performing tightens the leg muscles, making the calf muscles tense which applies pressure to the venous system and reduces the flow of used depleted fluid out of the lower legs

The Calf Muscle Pump

The arteries take fresh blood under pressure from the heart to the extremities-when it arrives at the lowest part of the body-the feet-the pressure is exhausted and there is none left to take it against gravity back up the legs again

The calf muscle pump forces used blood against gravity through one-way valves in the veins up the legs by alternately putting pressure on the venous system and releasing it

As the muscles sqeeze the vessels, they open the valves, letting blood pass through them; when the tension is released, they close stopping the blood flowing back down towards the feet

Depleted blood is progressively moved back up to the body where it is re-nourished with oxygen and nutrients and sent back out again to various parts of the body through the arteries

Recovery is needed after a heavy training or performing

This can be done in either of 2 ways

  • Reversing the effects of gravity-the passive way

A way to change the pressure of gravity is to simply lie down with the legs elevated higher than the body-

-10 mm hg

+90 mm hg

This will let the fluid in the ankles flow back to the body so the fresh blood can flood the muscle tissues and help them to recover

Because it relies on gravity to do the work, the legs are just waiting for it to all happen for an unspecified period time that could be spent doing something else

  • or it can be done using the pro-active way and making the legs do the work

The Ballet Dancer does not need heavy sports type massage and stretching for recovery -they are usually hyper-flexible so it is a waste of time using the hard stretching that is used on other athletes

Stretching is done for muscle relaxation-when the tension is removed from the muscles, the tissues surrounding the veins allow the vessels to expand and contract fully so that maximum flow of fluid is returned up the legs

The faster the legs receive help, the faster they recover but it is important they get it as soon as possible before soreness and stiffness limits what can be done with them.

The Problem-dealing with fatigued legs after dancing

here are some points to consider

  • what are you going to do about it?

are you going to accept them or take some positive action?

  • who are you going to get to deal with it?

do you know anyone who can help you recover the legs and what is their background?

  • how close is the help?

when you are fatigued are they going to come and help you recover?

  • how much can you afford to pay for it?

what is their cost and will they be ongoing?

there is a shortage of experienced people who deal with recovery after dancing and you may not have access to any of them when you need it

Light Manual Muscle Relaxation solves the problem

it lets you become the expert and simply do it yourself!
(its easier than you think)

The Tested Environmentally Friendly Green Alternative

That uses

  • Simplicity

  • Predictability

  • Consistency

Active recovery means taking a pro-active role in helping the calf muscles to work the pump at moving the fluid up the legs and they are helped to recover using a system that is directed at increasing the circulation fresh blood

This takes advantage of the bodies natural healing powers to enhance recovery through increasing input/output of fresh and used blood through the muscle tissues

Do It Yourself Recovery

  • User friendly

  • Easy to learn

  • It does not require a long course or workshop

  • It is not a massage system

  • It is not invasive

  • It is not aggressive

  • It is not time consuming

  • It does not need disrobing

  • It does not need oil applied to the skin

  • It does not need strong hands and fingers

  • It does not need hand/brain coordination

  • It does not need equipment

  • It does not work on the muscles

  • It does not work on any specific injuries

  • It does not threaten the integrity of the muscles

  • It does not use force on the muscles

  • It does not need more than a few minutes to do

What does it do?

It is a fully self contained non-technical, non-invasive 'cutting edge' recovery system

  • No disrobing

  • No oil used

  • Non invasive

  • User friendly

  • Easy to learn

This is applied using

The latest in non-technical, non-invasive 'cutting edge' solutions to fatigued aching legs relief-

the Light Manual Muscle Relaxation

This is ideal for student or professional dancer because it is cost effective-can be done by parents or partner anywhere at any time as it does not need space or the normal equipment associated with conventional massage systems

The chair next to the soft drink bottles was my home
and working space for 24 hours at the 2007 Montreal World Championships

me giving a workshop notice the lack of equipment

$20.00 a manual

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Some References

Michael's methods of massage and blister care helped me to stay mobile throughout the race and to recover quickly afterwards. His techniques are safe and gentle.
Unlike some treatments, which put the runners and walkers at risk of muscle tears or infection, Michael's techniques are gentle, safe, reassuring, and highly effective. They enhance comfort and flexibility, build confidence, and promote success.

This booklet will help others to learn and practice Michael's methods. It is recommended reading for everyone who walks and runs and who wants to go further, go faster, or just to enjoy life more!!'

SANDRA BROWN 1996 Ladies 1000 Mile World Record Holder

1999 Ladies 100 mile Race walking World Record Holder
"I know that your massage kept a number of competitors in the event. The cold weather of Saturday afternoon and night certainly got to many of the walkers and your prompt action had them back in the race after a short stop.
In years past, that would have ended up as a non-finish. A number of walkers were able to keep going for the full 24 hours on the basis of your expert help."

Tim Ericson Secretary Australian Centurions Club

'I have known Michael Gillan for many years and have always got quick relief for my aches and pains from the stretching he performs'.
CLIFF YOUNG-75-80 24 Hour World Record Holder (150.07 kilometers)

A word from Jesper Olsen World Runner about Light Manual Muscle Relaxation

"If I hadn't had the qualified help from the excellent masseur Michael Gillan, taking several thousands of km out of my legs, I could spare myself the effort!"

"My crew for the current stages, Michael Gillan, has proven to have other talents than the quite taxing job of taking care of all the requirements of a really tired ultra runner!
He has since years back been working on a new approach to stretching and muscle-rebuilding for ultra runners. I have the last two days tried his careful stretch and massage, and a bit to my surprise the muscles are beginning to feel like before the start back in Greenwich, London!!

Usually I doesn't take massage as the legs of an ultra runner will often be quite sore during the long time events (and especially in an multi-year event like this...), and getting a massage can at times cause more injury and cramping up than good. For example my last massage was some 12 000km ago when I ran the 12-hour competition in Finland. And so far that has been the only one.

But Gillan came with best recommendations from my main contact in Australia, Phil Essam, who besides being vice president in the Australian Ultra runners Association has heaps of good knowledge to share. And this new kind of mild massage for ultra runners is definitely one of the good tips! There should be a fair chance that I actually get fresh enough to do some decent running at the 6 Day Race that I have coming up in Colac from the 21.November. I quite look forward to that, even though I can't expect to make a top class result :-)"

He won!

756.2 kilometers (Jesper holds the record for the longest run in history over 26000 kilometers and the first person to run around the world Taken from

Ballet Recovery and Blister Fixing

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