Joanne Elphinston is a leading elite performance movement and rehabilitation consultant, and highly respected international lecturer, physiotherapist and author.
JEMS® is about joy. Joy is what we are left with when we are not fearful about our bodies, and we rediscover the experience of wonder and exploration through movement.
Drawing from the fields of biomechanics, motor learning, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology, Joanne’s passion for exploring and stimulating beautiful movement in her clientele has led her from her native Australia to the USA, UK and Sweden, working with an extraordinary range of people, from children to the elderly through to high performance athletes.
Joanne and Sport
The world of sports science and sports medicine can sometimes lose sight of the human within the athlete. Joanne’s approach to unraveling movement barriers blends biomechanics and force management with neurology, sensory connection and self awareness, but also accounts for the environmental stresses and belief systems which influence an athlete.
An internationally recognised lecturer on movement efficacy, injury prevention, rehabilitation and performance movement, Joanne has been Head of Performance Movement for the British Olympic Association, a presenter for the Swedish Sports Confederation, and an advisor and educator to many organisations including British Triathlon, the Royal Yachting Association of Great Britain, the FA (Football Association), England Badminton and the British Canoe Union.
At elite level, Joanne has worked with sports including Professional Football, Rugby, Sailing, Golf, Tennis, Badminton, Triathlon, Skiing (Alpine and Cross Country), Kayak and Canoe, Swimming, Weight lifting, Track and Field, Cycling, Netball, Karate, Squash, Rowing, Judo, Equestrian and Biathlon. Joanne’s sporting clients include medallists in World Championships, Olympics and Commonwealth Games, as well as Ryder Cup, Walker Cup and European Tournament golf championship winners.
A former coach herself, Joanne has one foot planted in the medical and the other in the training aspect of athlete management and development. This gives her a unique understanding of the challenges in sport from both perspectives, and an ability to build bridges between the two areas in her teaching, writing and consultancy.
Joanne has a particular interest in child development in sport, and has designed physical preparation programmes for the Royal Yachting Association, Welsh Lawn Tennis Association, British Canoe World Class Start programme, Welsh Netball and Welsh Sports Acrobatics. She created a DVD on child movement development for SISU Idrottsbocker, the publishing division of the Swedish Sports Confederation, which has subsequently been translated into Norwegian.
“Joanne’s ability to identify key biomechanical areas for an athlete to develop is an exceptional talent, however it is the following application of very specific correctional and developmental training and exercises that is irreplaceable. Joanne works from the needs of athletes individually and with regard to their sport outwards, always ensuring that her work integrates and links with all physical, technical and psychological elements of the athletes training, and therefore working closely with the other support staff. The result is that the athlete can work on specific movement, alignment and body awareness with very high levels of understanding and continual concentration which applies directly to their sport and ensures excellent transfer and retention.”
Mark Tiltson, Spanish Women’s Downhill Coach and former British Ski Team Head Coach
Joanne and the Performing Arts
Joanne’s detailed approach to movement expression from a holistic standpoint has led her to naturally develop her work with dancers and musicians. For ten years she has been a consultant to the National Dance Company of Wales on dancer development, individual dancer performance, mentoring and organisational dynamics. Her dance clients also include Ballet Cymru, and Joanne was an external tutor for the London Contemporary Dance School.
Joanne’s musical clients include musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, and a number of international soloists.
After identifying a spiraling injury rate amongst young musicians, Joanne and her husband, fellow physiotherapist Kent Fyrth, successfully secured support for injured music students from the Musician’s Benevolent Fund, and implemented an injury prevention educational lecture series which has run successfully at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama since 2005. Kent and Joanne have also delivered these lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia.
“I have continued to work with Joanne to improve my sound, playing comfort and physical condition. This has been an enjoyable and revelatory journey, finding that the way I listen as a musician can be improved through eliminating tensions and blockages …”
Matthew Barley Internationally acclaimed cellist
Joanne and Rehabilitation
Diversity has been the hallmark of Joanne’s clinical practice, but her particular field of interest has been with people of all ages struggling with chronic or recurrent barriers to recovery or performance. Joanne’s interests in functional and behavioural influences on the body, along with her love of neurology and psychology have led her to accumulate an unusual breadth of patient experiences which have contributed to the development of her approach.
Working with children is a particular pleasure for Joanne, and most of these patients present with chronic musculoskeletal problems.
Some of these are due to hypermobility, but many have a constellation of subclinical signs such as global low tone, incoordination or focal control issues, which require a structured neuromuscular approach.
JEMS® is the result of a life long collaboration between myself and my own body, and with the clients and patients who have inspired me, challenged me, and through their stories and experiences, have been my best teachers.
Joanne and Teaching
Joanne has been developing her concept for twenty five years, and has been teaching rehabilitation professionals, coaches and health and fitness professionals intensively since arriving in Europe in the mid ‘90s. She is passionate about sharing her love of movement and the fascinating process of engaging patients in their own recovery, teaching a methodology which is enjoyable and stimulating for patients and therapists.
Joanne’s former students have applied her techniques in diverse settings, continuing to explore and reason critically, relevantly and creatively. They have taken her concepts into hospitals in intensive care, falls prevention, rheumatology, neurology and orthopaedics, into the community for learning disabilities, schools and eating disorder clinics, into the occupational arena, the military, the elite sporting world and onto the stage.
Joanne is a regular and popular conference speaker and receives a high number of invitations to present in the UK and abroad. Conference highlights have included:
- The Swedish National Football Sports Medicine Conference, Stockholm
- The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) National Sports Medicine/Sports Science Conference, London
- The Golfing Union of Wales National Conference, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport
- The SportRehab Strength and Power Symposium, Gothenburg
- The Reading Shoulder Conference
- The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Sports Medicine Symposium
- Physiofirst National Conference, UK
- The England Golf Conference
- Association of Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine National Conference, UK
- Chartered Society of Physiotherapy National Conference, UK
- International Conference of Science and Medicine in Tennis, Bastad, Sweden
- The Swedish Sports and Orthopaedics National Conference, Bastad, Sweden
- The International Symposium of Natural Health, Sydney, Australia