Interview: Shaun Gilmore

Shaun Gilmore is an Australian-born Sport Massage Therapist, newly part of the Anamaya team. He has an impressive background, having treated top-class athletes in a variety of disciplines. He himself has a martial arts background.

We had a chat with him, to find out a little about him and his treatments. A man of few words, he tells us in his quiet, laconic antipodean way that injury suffered during sporting activity is no different from injury (pain!) suffered in the ordinary course of working life in an office. We can see how that is true.

Anamaya: You're from Western Australia, Shaun: the two founders of Anamaya are both Aussies - is this some kind of reverse colonial takeover?

SG: (Laughs.)

Anamaya: You are a pretty dedicated man - when did you first decide on a career in Sports Massage?

SG: I worked as a croupier (dealer) in casinos for 15 years. While I was living in Ireland I went to an open day at a college in Dublin, they had a sports therapy course on offer, as soon as I walked into the clinic room that was it, I signed up straight away. I have always been into sports, mainly the martial arts of Taekwon-do.

Anamaya: You have worked on a variety of top class athletes of one sort or another. Can you provide some insight into the similarities between, say, an Irish National Rugby player and a member of the cast of Riverdance?

SG: I think the one thing they all have in common is their dedication and passion to their respective disciplines.   

Anamaya: Athletes, including professional dancers, put themselves through some pretty extreme stuff. But, then, so does the ordinary person - hours and hours sitting at a computer, for instance. Do you see parallels in the damage we do to ourselves?

SG: Absolutely, the underlying issue is repetitive movement and overuse. An athlete, say a runner, repeats the same action again and again, the action of running. The person who works at a computer repeats the same action day after day, typing and sitting. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the result, this stresses the musculoskeletal system and creates an imbalance within the body.    

Anamaya: So, when you say you are a 'Sports Massage Therapist', you are not limiting yourself to treating injuries that come from playing sport? 

SG: Not at all, basically I am trying to achieve the same result. Balancing the musculoskeletal system which reduces stresses that lead to RSI. An injury is an injury, the difference is the mechanism of injury; the treatment may vary slightly due to severity.

Anamaya: Kids are young and invincible, and tend not to break. How old were the youngest and oldest clients you have treated?

SG: I have worked on a 12 year old swimmer, the oldest client was in their 80s 

Anamaya: What is the most common non sport-related injury you see?

SG: Lower back and neck pain/ache would be most common musculoskeletal conditions. 

Anamaya: Your academic qualifications are very impressive, and we see you are continuing your studies. You obviously see this as important to your practice.

SG: Absolutely, the health industry is always changing and progressing. This may be new improved techniques or new science-based treatments. Continued professional development is important for all practitioners.  

Anamaya: Thank you, Shaun, we are very pleased to have you on the team at Anamaya.


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