Resources

Educational Resources

ASPAH is proud to offer educational resources which are aimed at helping performers manage and maintain their own health. This section of our website includes guides to assist performing artists with common health challenges, interviews with healthcare practitioners who support performing artists, the “Help Your Show Go On” booklet for tertiary music students, videos of presentations from our past conferences, and recordings from our webinar series.

PERFORMING ARTS HEALTHCARE GUIDES

ASPAH presents expert advice on healthcare issues facing professionals, pre-professionals and students in the performing arts. These are examples of ASPAH’s many resources designed to support the physical and mental wellbeing of the performing arts community.

Individual Guides and Posters are downloadable by clicking the linked titles below.

In 2019, ASPAH published a Collection of Healthcare Guides which can also be downloaded at the button below.

 Acute Injury Care – Full Guide

 Acute Injury Care – Poster

Dancers, musicians, singers, bands, circus performers, actors and stage crew can all suffer acute injuries, often during a performance, on tour, or when medical help is not readily available. This guide describes immediate and follow-up care, while recommending professional advice as soon as possible.

Keywords: diagnosis; recovery; health professional; pain

 Australia’s Healthcare System

The healthcare system can be confusing to pre-professional and young performers and stage crew. This outline of the public and private systems includes the services available in each, the role of Medicare and potential costs.

Keywords: health insurance; allied health; mental health; sexual health

 Cross Training – Strength and Neuromuscular Control for Performers

Physical fitness has long been recognised as essential for circus artists, ballet and other dancers, and stage crews. Now, actors, singers, and orchestral and band musicians also embrace the relationship between exercise and high performance. This guide explains different training regimes, periodisation and possible risks.

Keywords: strength; endurance; conditioning; exercise physiologist

 Fatigue and Recovery for Performing Artists

Performing artists at all levels need to maintain a balance between fatigue and recovery. Physiological and psychological aspects of different types of fatigue are accompanied by information on recovery strategies and self-monitoring techniques.

Keywords: training injuries; self-management; hydration; stress

 Feeling Safe in the Performing Arts

For performers, a sense of safety can be undermined by unfamiliar environments; physical, technical and social challenges; and uncertainty about requirements. This guide outlines legal protections against threats to physical and psychological wellbeing, and ways to seek help. It includes a list of relevant websites and contact information in case of emergency.

Keywords: sexual harassment; bullying; racial hatred; assault; suicide prevention

 Fit as a Fiddle and Ready to Play

All performing artists benefit from general fitness, but they also need specific fitness to meet practice and rehearsal demands and to excel in their own area of performance. A summary of the benefits of fitness and exercise is followed by information on tailoring an individual exercise program.

Keywords: aerobic; depression; osteoporosis; high blood pressure; heart disease

 Health for Performing Artists

This guide addresses the strong interdependency between physical and mental aspects of health, and outlines lifestyle factors that can impact on health, wellbeing and performance. It includes websites offering support in situations that threaten performers’ physical or mental health, wellbeing or life.

Keywords: self-harm; substance abuse; addiction; LGBTI health; suicide

 Health Insurance Options

Brief descriptions and websites for the main health insurance options, including Medicare, private health insurance, health plans, Worker’s Compensation, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Keywords: contractor; self-employed; international students; Fair Work Ombudsman

 Overuse and Chronic Injury Care – Full Guide

 Overuse and Chronic Injury Care – Poster

Overuse and chronic injuries are common in many performing arts, due to specific technical requirements and the intensity of training and performance. This guide includes tips for avoiding and managing these injuries, and their relationship with pain.

Keywords: repetitive strain injury; stress fracture; risk factors; relative rest

 Psychological Wellbeing for Performing Artists

An introduction to the complex nature of psychological wellbeing leads to the duty of workplaces, training institutions and employees to manage risks, and the duty of students and performers to take reasonable care of their own wellbeing. Advice on maintaining cognitive, emotional and social health is included.

Keywords: crisis support; wellness; stress; burnout; depression

 Sleep for High Performance – Full Guide

 Sleep for High Performance – Poster

Good quality sleep is an essential, but sometimes ignored, contributor to high performance. An outline of the purpose of sleep, and problems relating to insufficient or inefficient sleep, are followed by a range of potential remedies for sleep disturbances and insomnia.

Keywords: metabolism; sleep apnoea; anxiety; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Insomnia (CBTi)

 Staying Healthy “On the Road”

At some stage in their careers, most performers need advice on maintaining health and wellbeing while travelling. This guide covers challenges arising from regional, national and international touring, such as nutrition, hydration, avoiding infection, jet lag, and DVT. Practical advice on travel clothing, luggage and travelling with medication may prevent discomfort and avoidable setbacks.

Keywords: traveller’s diarhhoea ; stretching; self-massage; health documentation

 Understanding Pain

After demystifying the purpose and the nature of pain, this guide offers information that can help lessen or even ‘unlearn’ pain. Pain can be increased or decreased by factors such as the evidence of your own eyes, the reactions of those around you, your stress levels, previous experience, and urban myths.

Keywords: brain plasticity; nociceptor; tissue damage; perception of danger

 What Health Professionals Do

A brief list of some of the types of health professionals commonly consulted by the performing arts community. All descriptive information has been drawn from relevant professional websites.

Performing Arts Healthcare Practitioner Interviews

Why and how do they care for performing artists?

This is an evolving series of interviews with healthcare providers in various disciplines (General Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, and so on), each serving one or more artistic disciplines – music, dance, drama.

In each of these interviews, Dr Mark Seton goes ‘backstage’ to learn what attracts these professionals to help artists, asking:

  1. What sparked your first interest in performing arts medicine?
  2. How did you get more involved in helping performing artists with their health?
  3. What types of ailments have you treated? What’s more challenging to treat?
  4. What are the significant health issues for artists that you often face?
  5. When do you often see artists – and would you like to see them sooner?
  6. What are some of the ‘traps’ that you see performers falling into in regard to their health and wellbeing?
  7. What might be some tips you’d recommend to artists to look after themselves?

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Watch this space for more interview to come!

‘Help Your Show Go On’ is a project designed to bring key aspects of health literacy and performance-specific healthcare to tertiary performing arts students in Australia. Issue 1 of ‘Help Your Show Go On’ is a booklet tailored for musicians which covers health topics such as rest and recovery, sustainable practice, general fitness, and performance-specific healthcare.

It is our goal that by presenting accessible, concise and engaging information to performing arts students, we will contribute to increased health literacy amongst young performing artists, and cultural change which decreases stigma in seeking healthcare as a performing artist. We understand that whilst history sometime glorifies “suffering for our art” – a healthy artist produces great work and can enjoy life to its fullest. We know that many health issues in the performing arts – physical and mental – are preventable, and we’re here to help prevent them.

If you’re interested in getting involved with ‘Help Your Show Go On’ at your institution, please contact us at admin@aspah.org.au

VIDEOS FROM PAST CONFERENCES

Presentations from the ASPAH Annual Conferences

On this page you will find presentations from some past ASPAH Annual Conferences. Whether a narrated Powerpoint presentation or a video of the speaker they are always interesting and illuminating, and demonstrate the breadth and quality of the work being done in Australia in the field of performing arts medicine.

We would like to thank the presenters on this page for giving us permission to publish their work.

2014

2012

2011

2009

2007

WEBINAR RECORDINGS

Recordings from our Webinar Series. These recordings are to be viewed by ASPAH members only.

Nutrition for Optimal
Performance

-Fumi Somehara

Intentional Resilience and Playful Attunement: Renewing Our Creative Attachments to Each Other

-Doctor Mark Seton

What’s New: An Informative Session for Teachers and Educators in Performing Arts

– Peta Blevins, Leslie Nicholson, Clifton Chan, Melanie Fuller and Fumi Somehara.

Integrating Psychological Wellbeing into Performing Arts Training

– Doctor Margaret Osbourne, Professor Gene Moyle and Doctor Fleur van Rens

Understanding the embouchure: Structure, function and managing common issues

– Associate Professor Bronwen Ackermann

Performance Psychology and Wellbeing for Performing Artists

– Prof Gene Moyle

Biomechanical video analysis for the clinic and classroom

– Dr Luke Hopper

Performing Arts Healthcare Practitioner Interviews

Why and how do they care for performing artists?

WEBINAR RECORDINGS

Recordings from our Webinar Series. These recordings are to be viewed by ASPAH members only.

This content is for Full Membership with printed MPPA, Full Membership with online access to MPPA only, Concessional Membership with printed MPPA, Concessional Membership with online access to MPPA only, Undergraduate Student Membership without MPPA, Membership (non student) without MPPA, and Concessional Membership (non student) without MPPA members only.

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This content is for Full Membership with printed MPPA, Full Membership with online access to MPPA only, Concessional Membership with printed MPPA, Concessional Membership with online access to MPPA only, Undergraduate Student Membership without MPPA, Membership (non student) without MPPA, and Concessional Membership (non student) without MPPA members only.

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