The Academy Awards are upon us, and everywhere around the world people are pondering one thing. Best Picture? Best Actress in a Leading Role? Best Original Screenplay? Nope. Instead, they wonder how that iconic golden figure is able to maintain unwavering posture for 92 years strong and counting.
Physical therapy of course!
All quips aside, actors (all genders) from all walks of life can rely upon physical therapy to help perfect their craft. Athletes leverage it to perform at championship caliber and so can you. With our clinic serving Hollywood North (aka Greater Vancouver BC) it is not uncommon to count practicing thespians among our client base. Below is an accounting of why you should make physiotherapy a part of your training too.
5 Practical Reasons Actors Benefit from Regular Physiotherapy
1. Helps You Prepare for Long Shoots
Long shoots (10 hours+) are typically the number one complaint for background workers and actors alike. You have to stand around for hours on end, yet be expected to jump at the call of ACTION. This “hurry up and wait” schedule is taxing on the body. Without core strength and overall physical wellness a 10-hour shoot can feel more like 20, and when you have to return to set day after day you begin to ponder your career choice. Before your throw in the towel and become a lawyer like your parents always wanted, find out how regular physical therapy can make those long days feel more like a walk in the park. Who needs more lawyers anyways?
2. Helps Prepare You for the Stage
Few actors are actually up there on the big screen. Instead, the stage calls upon many of you, asking you to perform for attendees and critics as you pound the pine or plywood in penny-loafers and stilettos. Recent studies have found that no matter your profession, you should be take a seat at least every 30-minutes when you are standing for extended periods of time. When you’re on the stage, you may not have that option. In addition, that ol’ theatre floor hardwood is probably not conducive to podiatric support. What will invariably ensue – is foot and lower extremity pain. This can be alleviated by working with a physical therapist to improve your core strength, posture, and overall body alignment. In addition, a therapist will perform a gait analysis to find out if you have issues with your gait (manner of walking) that could be causing pain and other complications. If so, you will be prescribed custom orthotics to correct the condition and ultimately alleviate the pain and discomfort that you are feeling on the stage. Learn more about how physical therapy can help those standing all day.
But there’s more.
Some of you may be experiencing dizziness on stage. Don’t chalk it up to nerves, as you may be suffering from an ailment in your vestibular system which can be responsible for affecting your balance, eye movements, and even hearing. The right physiotherapist will be able to determine if this is the issue, and if so, will employ a specialized treatment plan known as vestibular rehabilitation which involves head and eye movements along with guided exercises and balance training to help restore normal function. Let vertigo be nothing more than a passing Alfred Hitchcock anecdote as you tackle the stage with sturdiness, strength, and confidence.
3. Keeps You from Missing Auditions (and Getting/Maintaining Roles)
Chronic lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches are three types of nagging ailments known to throw a wrench in many actors’ abilities to show up for auditions, much less put on the performance required to get a part. If you suffer from either you may not be able to make it in for a last minute (aren’t they always?) call and/or get through a reading without wincing in discomfort no matter how many ibuprofen you popped beforehand. A physiotherapy clinic with a chiropractor on staff will help alleviate all of the above along with any other injuries that may be keeping you not just from auctions, but from maintaining roles you’ve already landed. Learn more about how a chiropractor can alleviate chronic headaches, neck pain, and most certainly lower back pain. Don’t let your acting parter or understudy steal the show because you’re suffering from pain. Keep them on the sidelines while you shine!
4. Want to Perform Your Own Stunts?
These days, actors are buffing up their resume and actor skill-set by performing some of their own stunts. Casting directors and budget conscious producers appreciate this qualification, and it may be the difference maker between you and another actor up for the same role. However, even the most seemingly menial stunt work puts you at risk for injury. By working with a physical therapist on a regular basis you will not just be better prepared to respond to injuries (receive treatment) you will be in a much better position to prevent them in the first place. A physical therapist will ensure that your small stabilizer muscles are up for the task of supporting major muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and will provide an exercise regime that considers optimal body movement and function. Which a physical therapist at your side, you are far less likely to sustain an injury when compared to another who does not make physical therapy a part of their thespian training.
5. Helps Avoid Dangerous Prescription Painkillers
We hate to take a dark turn here, but we’d be remiss to exclude one thing that has been hurting the entertainment collective as much as it has the entire population, if not proportionately more. Heath Ledger, Prince, and Philip Seymour Hoffman are more recent examples of actors/entertainers who died from drug abuse that began with common prescription painkillers. Of course, there are thousands of other actors who don’t make TMZ headlines who are battling from prescription painkiller abuse as they attempt to mask chronic pain so that they can continue to perform. By treating underlying injuries that lead to chronic pain through physical therapy you will avoid the painkiller trap being set by the prescription-happy pharmaceutical community.
If you reside in Hollywood North and are ready to up your acting game through physical therapy we encourage you to contact our Burnaby Vancouver clinic today. Schedule a consultation by calling 604.558.2273.