The prevention against injuries workshop for dancers was held at the Rukmini Devi Arangam of the Kalakshetra recently. The event was part of the Rukmini Devi Birth Anniversary celebrations organized recently by the Kalakshetra Foundation. Sports medicine specialist, Dr. Kannan Pugazhendi, conducted the workshop on two successive days.
Here are some focus points from the report that appears in The Hindu ..
“ At the inaugural session, Dr. Pugazhend, a medical officer and lecturer, YMCA College of Physical Education, and Director of SPARRC (Sports Performance Assessment and Rehabilitation Research) Institute, specialised in sports medicine, with a masters in the subject from Australia, pointed out how avoiding injury is a major problem in dance. “It has come to be accepted that a dancer will sustain injuries but will continue to dance because of will power. No stress fractures are sustained in Bharatanatyam thanks to the sound postures that have been adopted for many centuries. Though dancers bang their feet it never results in a fracture.
The doctor pointed out how it was important for dancers to train regularly irrespective of whether one has a performance scheduled and how de-training affects the body. “Young people may be able to recover soon, but this is not the case for those above 30. They need more exercise because the metabolic rate of their body is dropping. It is necessary to have not only a warm up but a ‘warm down’ as well. This can be achieved through yoga or an ice rub, weather permitting. He demonstrated exercises for the head, neck and limbs. Later he explained to this correspondent about his involvement in the subject. The vulnerable areas for Bharatanatyam dancers are usually the knee and the foot. A balanced diet was very important and the South Indian diet containing adequate carbohydrates, fat and protein was ideal.
Hydration is very important for dancers. Hydrate yourself adequately before the dance.
* Add only two teaspoons of glucose to one liter of water to get the best effect.
* Ensure a carbohydrate snack one hour before the class or an hour later.
* Losing weight by not eating properly will be deleterious as one will lose muscle mass. ”
The doctor believes in a holistic approach, integrating sports medicine, yoga, martial arts, physiotherapy, pranic healing and acupuncture for fitness and sports rehabilitation, management of ailments such as disc prolapse and obesity as well as degenerative conditions such as osteo-arthritis and spondylitis.
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