Skill Toys and Your Health, with Physiotherapist Jamie Dunnett

We brought physiotherapist Jamie Dunnett into the Poi Studio to talk about maximizing the benefits of skill toy use. We use poi for the demonstrations, but all the information applies to all skill toys. It’s 25 minutes long, and well worth it.


“I became interested in poi during my time studying physiotherapy at the University of British Columbia. Skill toy practice provides an awesome opportunity for a physiotherapist to study the mechanics of human movement. The movements and in some cases, extreme positioning of joints during skill toy practice, shows how adaptable the human body can be when trained properly.

Although beautiful to watch when performed by a skill toy expert, these body positions can be harmful to soft tissues. By collaborating with Nick Woolsey on this project, it has given me the opportunity to study poi in depth from a physiotherapy perspective. I posted questions on the “Home of Poi” website regarding injuries that people had sustained from their skill toy practice. The response that came back reinforced my suspiscion that repetitive strain injuries such as tendonitis would be the most prominent.

Interestingly though, several respondents suggested that poi had helped them recover from pre-existing repetitive strain injuries. This also did not surprise me as poi could certainly be included as an exercise if introduced during the correct stage of a rehab program.

The video focuses on increasing your awareness of body mechanics during skill toy practice and provides valuable information on how to prevent injuries from occuring. I hope that the information will be informative and helpful in practicing skill toys sustainably.”

-Jamie Dunnett, Physiotherapist