B.SC. (CLIN SC.) M.H.SC (OSTEO)Click anywhere to enter site...
Let's take a look at you.
What seems to be the problem?
The solution is closer to you than you might think. The experiences and habits that we develop early in life are never completely forgotten. Thankfully for most of us, we’re encouraged to move and experiment through unstructured play - tissues are elastic and problems are rare. So how do we develop problems?
Our body craves movement in order to function optimally, however often these are clouded by our experiences such as the perception of pain, inflexibility and weakness. Subtle breakdowns from repetitive actions, old injuries and poor posture are just some of the factors that contribute to these experiences.
How can I help? I’m able to identify these problems, where they’re occurring and more importantly, guide you through a process of building better connectedness using a variety of techniques to identify, isolate and facilitate rapid change.
fig i & ia. Head & Neck (skull and cervical spine)
Symptom: Headaches (fig ia.)
Causes: Excessive kyphosis (rounded curvature) of the thoracic spine (upper back) affecting position of neck (protruding chin).
Treatment: Stretching the hip flexors to reduce the kyphotic curve of the thoracic spine. (fig ib.)
Close to my heart.
My fascination with movement comes from a lifetime of sports and activities. I've dedicated many hours of my life to sports, ranging from gymnastics to football, cycling to crossfit. My goal has always been to always keep moving.
In my early 20s I suffered a number of injuries that took me away from the field. But my imposed rest allowed me to focus on my studies in osteopathy. As a result, I was able to put my injuries down to imbalances and a lack of body awareness.
Lately, I have been on a quest to explore movement and physical health through stretch and body awareness, delicious and nutritious food and community engagement - the idea behind Welwood.
Symptom: Impingement and pain over the tip of the shoulder with overhead work. (fig iia.)
Causes: Poor range of motion and stability of scapula (shoulder blade), creating an unstable base for the upper arm to move freely.
Treatment: Fascial release to Latissimus Dorsi (fig 11a.) improves upward range of motion of shoulder blade. Prescribed exercises to improve the function of the shoulder blade.
A Hands-On Approach.
I use my skills gained in Osteopathy to complement my innate desire to help people, wherever a person is on their journey to their optimal wellbeing.
I commonly use manual interventions, both direct and indirect, such as fascial release techniques, massage and joint mobilisation in my treatment sessions to improve alignment and reduce pain and stiffness. These techniques are useful adjuncts to other more lasting practises such as rehabilitation and strength exercises, loaded flexibility work, balance and stability exercises, breath work and meditation.
I like to see things through, however whether these changes are lasting or not depends entirely on the individual: their readiness to accept change and work to skill mastery through regular practise.
Symptom: Pain and weakness felt over the outside of the hip.
Causes: Tight and weak gluteal muscles (fig iiia.) with drop in pelvic height creating undue stress on their connecting tendons (fig iiib.).
Treatment: Trigger point therapy to the affected muscles to ease tension. Realignment of pelvis and correction of abnormalities in the spine and lower limbs. Strengthening of gluteal muscles to prevent pain from recurring.
Do I Need to See You?
An initial consultation is necessary before the proper course of treatment can be established. This initial consultation typically follows a three step process:
1. Take a Look
I’ll note your symptoms and problem areas, as well as recording a detailed medical history.
2. Get Hands On
I’ll assess your movement habits by guiding you through a range of exercises, and determine the cause of your problem or injury.
3. Find a Treatment
I’ll establish a treatment course to alleviate the problem at hand, and get your body moving the way it was designed to do.
fig iv. Knee (Tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints).
Symptom: Clicking and catching of the kneecap (patella).
Causes: Internal rotation of the upper leg (femur—fig iva.), altering the tracking of the kneecap (patella).
Treatment: Myofascial release of hip flexors (psoas and tensor fasciae latae—fig ivb.), stretching of hip flexor and groin muscles (adductors—fig ivc.) and mobilisation of the kneecap. Correction of associated low back, pelvis, hip, ankle and foot abnormalities.
I’ve been fascinated by breathing mechanics for years now. Ever since my first exposure to anatomy and physiology at undergraduate level, I have pondered the implications that movement patterns, posture and flexibility of our spines and rib cage on our health in general.
The question that I’m faced with on a daily basis from clients is “what do I need to do in order to achieve my goal of fixing a physical problem?”
Many of the problems that I help people deal with are related to a desire to perform physical movements that are, at that point in time, beyond their physiological limits.
This is especially true of the CrossFit community, who inevitably wind up with niggles or minor injuries that impact their training. A frustrating prospect for any CrossFitter.
This sport requires strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance in equal doses, however the foundations for these attributes are less apparent. These include symmetry, posture, control, stability, proprioception and breathing, to name a few. If the above foundational attributes cannot meet the demands of the sport for a person, inevitably, problems will occur.
The tricky thing is that we only have a finite amount of time to work on accessory skills such as flexibility, balance, core stability and control.
So how can we fast-track the process of identifying the main contributing factors, deal with them and prevent them from coming back?
While there are many approaches that eventually need to be incorporated, in my opinion the single best way to start is to learn how to stretch. And I don’t mean putting your foot up on a bench and leaning forward for 15 seconds… I mean seriously stretch.
An effective stretch can and will have an immediate impact on how our brain perceives the area that we targeted. Often, tension in a muscle or joint region is simply the product of our brain’s perception of what is happening rather than what is actually happening.*
Our brain doesn’t hold grudges, it often just plays tricks on us. So we are capable of making rapid change to an area as long as it receives the right level of input in order to safely make that change. The more specific and direct this is, the better the outcome.
In the beginning, I’d advise stretching whilst in complete control of the movement. Even under considerable load and with moderate discomfort, if your brain’s perception of the stretch position is one of confidence and safety, then the body will move into new range that is often unexpected.
I like to call these ‘breakthrough’ stretches.
Many of the stretches that I personally favour involve the application of force to achieve a deeper stretch position, to which a person will contract maximally against, as they further explore their range of motion. What happens is a neurological ‘re-mapping’ in the regions of the brain controlling the stretched/contracted tissues, which usually renders the muscle more neurologically active and therefore better able to recruit the individual motor units.**
This often is the difference between unsuccessfully trying to do a pull up and successfully reaching your sternum to the bar.
The experience of an effective stretch is also important. It can help identify and piece together imbalances, pinpoint areas of tightness, uncover strength issues through the full range of motion and highlight problems with motor sequencing. A great stretch will feel immediately different, bringing greater awareness and understanding to how ones body is moving within the context of its physiological limits.
*less commonly, in some situations there is actually a problem that needs to be looked at more closely, in which case it’ll need an expert opinion. Listen to your body.
**this ‘re-mapping’ can temporarily cause an inhibition of the stretched region, but it usually recovers within minutes to hours, depending on the intensity of the stretch. Interestingly, this inhibition can be used to ones advantage, especially when looking at the opposite acting muscle group. Take the hip flexors for example, a strong stretch may inhibit these allowing the opposing gluteal muscles to be more active!