JEMS is about beautiful, effective movement for everyone.
Take a look at this photo: determination, engagement and challenge are clearly evident. Who do you think these people are?
We might all think that we are incredibly different, but people are people: we all have nervous systems, joints and muscles, sensory organs, minds and emotions. Our functional level may appear anywhere on a spectrum of abilities, but fundamentally, the way that humans work, while individually unique, is still governed by our common anatomy, neurology and physiology.
Sometimes in a world of specialisation, this is overlooked, and people‘s expectations of themselves and each other are shaped accordingly.
I’ve been teaching this work for many years, and in that time have had the pleasure of sharing it with diverse groups of people. Among these are hundreds of physiotherapists from different clinical environments, from neurology to learning disabilities, paediatrics to sports performance, falls prevention to chronic pain, and although we adapt the techniques, loading and skill level to suit these different needs, the fundamental principles for optimising a person’s potential and engaging them in the process are the same across the board.
Once you understand these principles, suddenly the possibilities open up. We frequently find as the courses progress that “sports” physiotherapists suddenly realise that they have something to offer a neurological patient, and the same in reverse when previously both would have shied away from a patient outside their normal case list.
Sometimes, someone comes along who grasps this concept of enabling people with an enthusiasm and drive which sweeps everyone along with them. I met such a person just recently.
I had not seen Margaret since she attended one of my courses a decade ago, and I was awed as she regaled me with how she had gone back and applied with the principles and philosophy in her specialist area, Multiple Sclerosis.
Margaret uncompromisingly focuses on her patient’s abilities, rather than their disabilities, challenging their expectations, and stretching their capacity while all the time maintaining a sense of fun. She told me that she had copied out all my quotes on beautiful movement and made them into posters, one on each wall, so that everyone remembers the spirit with which they exercise together.
Margaret inspiringly illustrates what I’ve hoped for and created JEMS to be: a way for movement professionals to help people to make the most of their abilities, and to find a joy, confidence, curiosity and ease of motion that supports whatever their situation, job, recreation or goal might be.
She brought joy to my heart and from the faces of her patients in the photos she sent, I’m not the only one.
A few words from Margaret:
“I first experienced Joanne’s holistic and intensely practical style of teaching in 2003 when I enrolled on her ‘get on the ball’ course.
I am still using many of her insights for facilitating movement and balance with my patients, all of whom have MS with varying levels of mobility. I have just attended her JEMS Part 1 course and have come away excited and inspired and am already using my learning from the course to enable more fully my MS patients both individually and in groups to ‘explore possibilities rather than accept limitations, to discover ways to make movement possible, with more control, less effort and a better outcome’ (one of Joanne’s definitions of Beautiful Movement).
Thank you Joanne for your inspiration and clear, practical teaching. Looking forward to JEMS Part 2.”
Margaret Wilson, Neurophysiotherapist, MS Therapy Centre, Bradbury House, Bedford, UK. www.mscentrebedsandnorthants.com
Margaret, the pleasure and the honour is mine.