Are Your Cues Holding Your Clients Back?

Introduction One of the most common questions I get asked when teaching my courses is “what cue do you use to teach this?” It’s an interesting question to answer because the answer is always “it depends on the client in front of me”. Think back to the exercises and how you learned them - do you use some of the cues that you were taught? Certainly the answer will be “yes” for all of us in some way as well as using new ones we either made up or acquired along the way. Jane’s Story Let me tell you a little about Jane (name changed for privacy) - Jane’s story is a common one I have heard from patients, clients, physios and fitness professionals from around the world...maybe you have a “Jane” as a client? Jane has 2 primary school-aged children and is a healthcare professional working in the hospital system. She has moved a few times for husband’s work, juggling running the family and working full time. She had good post-natal physiotherapy for some stress-urinary incontinence, diastasis and participated in physio-led exercise classes with good results. She currently has thoracic and lumbar back pain, urinary urgency and pelvic pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), particularly in prone lying - which is also an aggravating position for her back pain. She was seeing a MSK physio for the back pain, a Women’s Health Physio for her urgency and dyspareunia, and a Pilates Instructor for some Pilates-based exercise. She asked for a consult... Read More

Words Have Power – What Kind of Scars Are You Leaving Your Clients?

Scars are interesting things...for some they represent injury and imperfection...for me, they represent just what an amazing body we have that can heal itself and adapt to injury! However, long after the physical scars have healed, the psychological trauma can still remain. This blog hopes to address the issue of how we health and fitness professionals often unintentionally scar our clients and how to leave our mark, our SCAR if you will, in a different way...

The Postural Structural Biomechanical (PSB) Model – It’s Time To Let It Go!

A different kind of blog post today. Today, I am going to tell you a bit of a story of change, one where I had to confront the difficult reality that what I knew and did was not complete and was not helping my patients for the reasons I thought it was. I had to confront my belief in the Postural / Structural / Biomechanical Model and let it go! It's a difficult to story to tell so I have enlisted the help of Queen Elsa to help me tell it. Part 1 - Life Before The Change The snow glows white on the mountain tonight Not a footprint to be seen A kingdom of isolation And it looks like I'm the queen I used to be part of a very large community of physical therapists and other health and fitness professionals - in fact, most of the world think the way I used to. This is where posture was important, where making sure you had the right alignment was crucial, where activation of muscles in certain sequences was essential, and where if you weren't stacked the right way, your biomechanics would lead to pain and injury and brokenness and suffering. My whole theoretical model was based on these beliefs and I taught them to many others (I am sorry for doing that!) - it is important to acknowledge that I was doing the best I thought I could to help these people and have spent an ungodly amount of... Read More

Important Announcement – New location and days

Hello everyone. This post is about some history, some announcements and the future! The History So Far... 3 years ago, I left Penshurst Physiotherapy Centre. It was a tough decision but I guess it had to be done. The new owner wanted to do his own thing and I had been there and tried that. So off I went and set up inside a CrossFit gym - Reebok CrossFit GCS. There I was able to recover from working my ass off for 13 years. I was able to work with elite athletes and get fitter. In that first year off, I got much stronger and much fitter than I ever had been - thanks to Darren Coughlan and Blocker Walsh for the GCS program. I also started at CrossFit Bodicomplete with my friend Vaughn. It was great to stay in touch and some of my Penshurst Physiotherapy Centre clients wanted to see me there as they felt Marrickville was too far away...fair enough. It's been a pleasure to watch Vaughn and his athletes grow and evolve. We have some plans to fulfil so watch this space 😉 After the first year, Reebok CrossFit GCS became CrossFit Creature with Rory Boyden, Lachlan Rowston and Raph Freedman coming on board as the day to day owners. It has been good watching these guys learn their craft, develop their podcast and grow their business. Whilst I love and still provide a broad range of physiotherapy services from persistent/chronic pain to elite performance enhancement... Read More

The “Bulletproof” Your Pelvic Floor Routine for Weights

Stress Urinary Incontinence affects many women throughout the world. Up to 50% of women who exercise experience some sort of bladder leakage. You don't have to have had a baby to get incontinence...and despite the name, it isn't mental stress that is the main cause of problems - it is increased intraabdominal pressure on the pelvic organs that cause problems. The usual practice is for people to "do their pelvic floor exercises" or "their Kegals"...but if it were as simple as that, we would solve the problem of incontinence...unfortunately it is more dynamic and variable than that. Part of the problem is that no matter how well you do your pelvic floor contraction, if you are generating pressure against the pelvic floor, you can still create incontinence problems. Part of what I have developed is a system of doing a breathing-coordinated core contraction and teaching the patient to spread the load around the body (#spreadtheload). In doing so, we can actually decrease the bearing down pressure we put on the pelvic floor (the subject of future research). Also, matching the #tensiontotask helps as well. But the biggest differences I think are being able to know how hard you should squeeze (most people including physios squeeze too hard)...and TESTING...if you don't test the contraction in a functional movement and compare it to what you normally do, how do you know you have really helped? So while this is a somewhat generic routine, by changing a few variables, we can individualise it... Read More

A letter to all partners out there…from your partner’s physio…

Dear Mrs Smith, Thank you for considering my requests for John. John has a serious condition of the neck and back called “Football Finals Season” in Australia but in the USA it is simply called "Football Season". It is very common this time of the year and he needs some serious rest this weekend and the next few weeks (or even months in the USA) to recover.
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