When I started studying osteopathy 14 years ago, I had no idea what it really was. No idea that I had lucked out by stumbling onto a profession that I would become so passionate about.
The human body, particularly anatomy, has always fascinated me. So initially, I applied to study physiotherapy. I didn’t even know that osteopathy existed. Thankfully my marks fell just short so I went gallivanting around the world for 12 months instead. I spent 5 months in China teaching English, where I met a fellow Aussie who first told me about osteopathy. Her basic explanations piqued my interest. Afterward, I headed to the UK for 3 months where I did some observations with local osteo’s. I didn’t much understand what they were doing, but the philosophy behind it all resonated with me strongly.
The body is a unit.
The body has self healing mechanisms.
Structure and Function are interdependent.
And so I embarked on the 5 years of study required to become an osteopath, graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Complementary Medicine and a Masters of Osteopathy.
After graduating I moved from Melbourne to Newcastle, to practice at what is now one of the largest Integrated Health Centres in Australia. Integrated health care is a no brainer to me. The body is so complex and every person is so unique that no one practitioner will ever have all the answers. Its absolutely necessary for healthcare professionals to put our ego’s aside and truly work together if we want out clients to get the very best outcomes possible. I spent 6 years there and truly value the diverse range of knowledge and professional development I had at my fingertips.
My interest in women’s health arose as I began to see more and more women who were burnt out. Typically they were mothers, balancing kids and careers and always putting everyone else ahead of themselves. Their complaints were often diverse and complex. They required integrated health care. But most of all they required someone to sit down with them and listen. To hear their story. To tell them it’s ok and right to put themselves first. To tell them that they deserve a quality of life, higher than what they have. I thoroughly enjoy supporting women on their journey back to health. Whether it be providing osteopathic treatment, coordinating integrated health care or simply being the shoulder and the ear they need.
Within women’s health, obstetrics has become a particular area of interest for me. It is a time when many first time mothers are motivated to improve their health for the sake of their child. Many mums today, don’t have the village that it takes to raise a child and some don’t have the self esteem to trust their own intuition as mothers. All mothers need support, but not all mothers know where to turn for it.
In Newcastle, I created and directed an Integrated Maternity care department with 7 other allied health practitioners. Together, we strived to assist women throughout their entire maternity journey, from pre-conception, through pregnancy and on into the post natal period up to 12 months. The positive changes that we saw, through collective support, only cemented my beliefs that integrated health care has so much to offer.
As for osteopathy, it continues to inspire me. Every person, every body teaches me something new. It is truly a never ending education. Osteopathy has the capacity to aid a very diverse range of conditions. Once you understand its basic principles you can apply osteopathic techniques to almost all of the tissues in the body. Your only limitation is your own imagination in its art of practice. At the end of the day osteopathy, like traditional chinese medicine or naturopathy is about seeing the body as a whole and supporting its own innate healing mechanisms.
So thats my little story, my passion.
If you haven’t already found yours, I hope one day you do.