Hi Amelia, welcome to the Neighbourhood Clinic’s Q&A session. We’re going to run through a few questions to help our community get to know you. First off, what drew you to Osteopathy? I grew up watching how passionate mum was when she was talking to people about recipe recommendations for certain occasions or how to cook with certain ingredients. Both her and dad had an incredible volume of knowledge about their individual careers and I loved the idea of having a career that could encapsulate both this knowledge and passion. I went and did work experience with my osteo I’d been seeing in year 11 and that was it, I fell in love. Watching how his skill set and knowledge base could be used in a way that would help people with the added bonus that as osteos we have time to spend getting know our patients was very appealing to me and it’s what I still really enjoy about my job.
This is a tough question and answer it however you want. We’d like to give the readers a bit of a sense of what they could expect from a consultation with you. Let’s say that someone came in with a headache (that they had seen a GP for and were cleared of any type of nasty) what would you do? Generally I take my time to try and ascertain possible causes of what my patient is presenting with. In this case, with headaches chatting about any habits people may have through work or general lifestyle they relate to their presentation. Depending on the time of day they get their headache maybe sleep posture, associated TMJ or jaw pain due to clenching, neck mid or lower back pain, life stressors, work postures etc Some appropriate treatment and then some management to take home so my patients have as much opportunity to help themselves outside of the clinic as possible; that might include stretching, some tips to address the cause of their pain - ergonomics, stress management and possible referral if necessary! The main goal I have in a consult is through education, patients understand what we think is going on and why we are applying the management chosen. When you aren’t osteo-ing what are you likely to be doing? Dragging my friends around Melbourne in search of the best brunch and coffee and chatting and catching up once we’re there. Reading, cooking, helping dad on the farm when I’m home for the weekend, swimming, playing the flute and watching my brother’s band play when they’re in town… Traveling when I can afford it. What pet peeves do you have within the world of musculoskeletal medicine? The perpetuation of the idea that things are ‘out’ and need ‘fixing.’ I find a lot of patients are very alarmed that their bodies aren’t perfectly aligned and there seems to be a belief that this is automatically going to lead to injury and pain.
Who are your heroes? And why? I don't have one in particular, being put on a pedestal seems like a lot of pressure. I'm very lucky to have a lot of people in my life who push me to be my best and inspire me with the strength in which they hold to their values and show people around them kindness, generosity and honesty. What is your favourite book? And what are you reading at the moment? My favourite book has been Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta since I was about 15. I’ve just started reading A Rare Benedictine: The Advent of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters. I found it on my mum’s kindle. We used to watch the TV show together when I was younger - historical murder mysteries...
In a parallel universe, if you weren’t an osteopath, what would you be doing? If we’re talking parallel universe and I had a better grasp on punctuation :P A writer, travelling to discover great places to eat and exploring local cuisines all over the world. I find it quite interesting how different cultures and people of all walks of life tend to congregate around food with their loved ones.
To finish off with, could you give us some general health tips that most of us could follow? MOVE! There is a big push that this, that and the other is bad for us. “Sitting is the new cancer,” and we need a new standing desk to overcome it. Not all of the time but quite commonly people have good ergonomics at both a seated or standing desk but still have pain or discomfort. Typically it’s not the desk itself but the lack of movement from the desk either, seated or standing, that is the problem. Try and hop up and move around every 30-45 minutes if it’s comfortable to do so. The same can be said for when we’re at home playing video games, reading, watching tv etc.