Frequently asked questions
- General Inquiries
What else do you do in the clinic and what other practitioners are there?
We offer a varied range of skills and services to assist you with your lifestyle, aches and pains or injuries.
See who is part of our fantastic family
What do FM treat mostly in the clinic?
We take pain seriously and believe each person deserves to move with ease, and aim to improve your quality of life by assisting with:
- General aches and pain from your head to your toes
- Challenging cases, scar tissue and chronic pain (pain lasting 3+ months, and in many cases decades)
- Headaches or migraines brought on by muscular stress.
- Mobility issues, walking problems, movement restrictions, strengthening and stability for women 6 months postnatal.
- Specific conditions, including plantar fasciitis, kyphosis, lordosis, flat back and scoliosis
I think I am the most challenging case you may have seen, can you help me?
We get this a lot in clinic, especially clients who have had pain for a long time and have tried various therapies to help them. This may be due to not knowing who can help or being desperate for relief.
When this happens, it usually means either of the below or both:
a) We discover past treatments isolate the pain area, only treating the site of pain, and do not take the whole body and other systems into consideration.
b) They have seen the same practitioner fortnightly/monthly for the exact same treatment and therefore have had the same results for years.
FM follow postural and movement patterns instead of chasing pain.
What does an Initial Consultation include?
Initial Consultation: A 45-60 minute thorough, specialised assessment to identify your problem areas, that contribute to your pain. This includes:
-Spinal curve measurements
-Hip tilt measurements
-Joint range of motion measurements
-Stability muscle function and coordination
-Movement function in all 7 movement patterns humans must be able to do for quality of life: squat, lunge, push, pull, twist, bend, walk.
We analyse your results and tailor a program specific to you, with mobilisation and exercises to help restore balance to your body and structure to support yourself. Programs are updated every three weeks, as you begin to move easier. The three phases are:
-Mobility and stability
Programs can be completed at home, if you have equipment, in the gym, or our clinic with personal training for faster results.
The best thing about our program is how specific they are to your body’s weak areas and they are yours for life. We recommend using your first program once a year, to maintain and test your stability muscles. Or if you get pain again (because life is full of lemons, and pain is part of life), you have the tools and understanding to rectify your problem.
We do NOT want you to depend on a practitioner for pain on an ongoing basis. If you have seen the same practitioner for 3+ months, who uses the same treatment methods, you’re not getting results OR only short term relief, this is NOT helping you, and it’s time to move on.
We discuss with you:
- How and why the other side may be more painful than the side presenting pain
- Why we treat other areas instead of where you are feeling pain
- How your body works and how it should be
- How we treat physical pain, whether it’s emotional, inflammation, hormones, stress etc. we can identify the cause and refer you to someone who specialises in this area
- Why we treat postural and movement patterns, instead of pain
What equipment will I need for my programs?
For optimal results we recommend using equipment to help your body achieve the stability and strength it needs. If your body is not challenged the right way, it will not change. Equipment required in the mobility and stability phase may include, a large foam roller, swiss ball, therabands, tennis ball, light dumbbells – we sell some of these pieces in the clinic.
I already do pilates, stretching and exercises- isn't this the same?
We find most of these exercises, whilst helpful, may be generic and aren’t tailored to your exact problem areas. Eyeballing a client’s posture and guessing the right exercises doesn’t always work. Our assessment takes out the guess work, and we determine exactly what we need to work on. Stability muscles need to work for 3-4 minutes to be functional, I haven’t seen proper programming in my clients exercises they’ve been given.
If you stretch a muscle that feels tight or sore, it’s extremely common that the muscle is stuck in a long position, and you neglect the short side because you don’t feel it. For example a short muscle is stagnant, whereas the long muscle on the opposite side is pulled taut like a rubber band stretched to capacity. Think of how your tissue fibres will feel being pulled in this way. Most people feel pain in the muscles trying hard not get longer, yet most people stretch it and foam roll it for short term relief, and may worsen the problem.
I was told not to squat or lunge by my specialist or GP. Why do you recommend it?
Squatting and lunging aren’t just for the gym, you do these all day long whether you realise it or not.
Squatting is sitting and standing, lifting a baby, child or groceries, getting in and out of a car, squatting to look in a lower shelf.
Lunging is going up or down stairs, putting one leg in a car to sit down or get out, playing sport has all kinds of squats and lunges. In a clinic setting we teach your body how to be strong in all different types of squats and lunges. Eg a bridge position on the floor is a regressed squat. A mini step up is a regressed lunge.
There’s many different variations and baby steps to get you moving right. Move it or lose it. Perhaps the reason you’re in pain is because you were never shown how to squat or lunge properly.
Do you accept private health funds?
Please go to our team page to see our practitioners with health fund provider numbers. Our assessments with Fiona are claimable under Exercise Physiology. Fascia/massage is claimed under remedial massage. Sauna is not.
Yes, we have the facilities to process your private health cover on the spot with your private health card. If you do not have your card on the day, we can email the receipt to you or print it out for you to submit to your provider.
What products do you use on clients?
Our products are all natural and chemical free. Massage oils we use include:
-Organic liquid coconut oil: Liquid means the fibres responsible for the strong coconut smell are removed, to prevent you smelling like a coconut when you leave. It contains no essential oils and is safe for those who are pregnant or with allergies (unless you have a coconut allergy). Coconut has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It soaks into the skin nicely, leaving no greasy residue.
-iKOU Massage Oils: High quality luxury oils made in the Blue Mountains, using Australian grown, organic and wild-harvested ingredients. We use the Muscle Relax Massage oil- a perfect blend with anti-inflammatory Arnica extract to help ease aching muscles and clear the mind. It is designed for you to feel energised and renewed.
-Tui Balm Myofascial Balm: A powerful healer with almost twice the Arnica of our Massage Balms. Arnica is excellent for inflammation, muscle aches & pains. St Johns Wort (Hypericum) is great for nerve pain, scars & contusions.
-Fisiocrem: A topical massage gel containing natural herbal ingredients for temporary relief of inflammation, muscular aches and pains. This is a product we recommend clients use at home.
How are you keeping up to date with new treatments?
Our practitioners love learning, and to maintain their license have to complete a certain amount of course points per year which averages out to be two courses per year... per practitioner!
This keeps us up to date with new discoveries, expanding our knowledge to improve our technique and treatments.
All this extra learning is for you.
- Exercise Physiologist
What is the difference between a physiotherapist and exercise physiologist?
This is our most asked question, and we have outlined the similarities and differentiators below.
(This largely depends on the individual practitioner and what extra education and experience they have had outside of basic university… yes basic, and generally unhelpful to challenging pain cases)
The similarities: Tertiary qualifications of 4 years, recognised by Medicare and private health funds, Allied professionals, require yearly professional development to maintain accreditation, common goal to help improve physiological functioning
Physiotherapist specific: Great for acute pain or recent injury less than 3 months, may utilise dry needling, massage, joint mobilisation, manipulation, isolation exercises to treat a specific area.
Exercise Physiologist specific: Experts in recurring injuries, chronic pain or health conditions lasting longer than 3 months. Prevent and manage injuries and chronic diseases by utilising evidence-based movement and exercise interventions. We examine and modify behaviour and lifestyle habits to prevent future recurrence. Aim to determine root cause of the problem.
How long is a program?
This depends on the individual and the goal. For a goal to help treat pain:
There is no exact measure of how long it may take to get out of pain, I will, however, be upfront with you about progressions required for you specifically along the way.
Usually getting out of pain PROPERLY is a 7-month process. In some cases, having the body move differently from the first stretch and exercise program has been enough to get some clients out of pain within the first month. In this situation the body moves a little more freely from mobilisations, and you will be happy with this as a result. However, this just touches the surface of what your body is capable of, and it does not necessarily mean your body is moving well. It takes 30,000 repetitions of movement patterns to consciously unlearn, consciously relearn and subconsciously have the movement occur naturally (without thinking about it) eg similar to learning to drive a manual car, it takes months of little mistakes for the neural pathways and muscle memory to be created for you to drive comfortably.
Working on your body is a lifetime commitment and should be part of normal self-care. Much like having one bath doesn’t make you clean forever, it is recommended daily. We’re fighting the battle against gravity, fighting against a culture of sitting, our fascia is hardening as we get older, accidents and injuries are a part of life, and we need to learn to work WITH our body. The more we challenge our body, the more it will help us as we age. So when our goal is to be pain free, there is no final destination for this one, and no catapult or magic pill to get you there.
Why does my program need to be updated so often?
You will have program A and program B going at the same time. Every 3 weeks we update one of the programs. Your stability muscles learn very fast, and when it starts out hard, the exercises will become too easy around the 6-week mark. If you stay on the same program for a long time you will no longer being challenged, and this stagnation equals no results. Even if you find the exercises difficult, it’s best to update them, as the next round of exercises may see you progress sooner. You will always have access to your programs.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is connective tissue that acts as a casing for our muscles, bones, and organs. Everything is being suspended in our fascia system, so it ultimately determines the length and function of our body. For fascia to move well it has to be hydrated and moved daily to maintain its slide and glide, and optimal movement between our muscles.
As we age the fluid-like substance that helps with slide and glide gets stickier, stiffer and less bouncy. If we have poor movement in some areas, inflammation or a trauma/injury to an area, the fascia can get thicker and feels more solid and rigid, creating less movement – this usually happens without us even knowing until sometimes months or even decades later when we start experiencing pain. Every day fascia build up, and we need to move to melt the new fascia away, otherwise we can feel stiff.
Here’s my favourite video of Gil Hedley, an anatomy dissector, who calls fascia “the Fuzz” – click here to listen to The Fuzz Speech
Why does Fascia hurt?
Fascia is full of proprioception sensors and nerve endings, and like any tissue when we’re trying to break it up to restore movement it can be sensationful.
I’m halfway through my fascia sessions, why do I feel unstable, achey, or pain in different areas?
This is very normal and happens often. We break up your body’s perceived stability network, to create a newer, better one. Your body stiffens to protect it from moving, because movement = pain. When we unwind the fascia, we remove the tight support it previously had, and sometimes the real cause of the problem starts to expose itself, as we work through the different fascia layers.
Why can't we just work on the area that's painful?
Pain may occur when areas of the body are not coordinating with each other. Or one part of the body isn’t functioning, resulting in more pressure on another area.
Another common example is knee pain with golfers and tennis players. Usually caused by minimal spinal rotation. When winding up your racket or club to take a swing, if the spine doesn’t have enough rotation the knee bends more. When you go to take the hit the knee is in a less favourable position to take the load of your bodyweight, which eventually creates more wear and tear on the knee joint.
Why are the sessions so frequent?
Because fascia grows every day, once we start the sessions of getting rid of fascia restrictions, we want to keep the ball rolling. Fascia sessions are not recommended to be more than once a week as the body and proprioception sensors in your tissue need time to adapt to the new placement of your tissues and joints. Our proprioception is there to act as a reflex response to protect our joints in case our muscles need to suddenly contract. During the fascia series you may lose some of this as it takes a while for the brain to get used to where your body parts now are.
Why don't I opt for a massage instead of fascia?
Massage is great for short term relief, and maintenance for regular self-care. It won’t provide long term changes to your system. Massage uses oils that slide over the fascia and works more into your muscles. It’s great when you’ve been working out a lot, playing sport, need to relax, and it just feels great.
Why am I so tired after a fascia session?
Fascia work requires the client to have energy for the session. When an area holding a lot of tension has been released, you can feel quite tired/ relieved. Your body and central nervous system can also go into parasympathetic (relaxation) mode which create tissue repair hormones. (As opposed to sympathetic nervous system which is stressed). A 20 minute slow stroll is recommended post session, Epsom salt bath to keep the muscles relaxing, and an early bedtime for healing.
Why infra-red sauna?
The infra-red sauna is NOT a steam room, it is a dry heat that allows you to breathe easily. The sauna provides you with the warmth of the sun, without the dangerous effect of the ozone layer. The invisible infra-red light provides your body with a healthy absorption of heat to penetrate your muscles, skin, joints, and tissues at a cellular level.
Our skin is the body’s largest organ and it absorbs absolutely everything we expose it to, including air pollution and the harsh chemicals we choose to use daily.
Sweat is the body’s natural way of expelling toxins, helping the skin breathe and destress. There is a reason why we sweat when we exercise or when we have an infection- it is the best way to eliminate toxins in a natural and effective way.
Expelling the body of unwanted chemicals, toxins and stress helps your body focus on the things that matter- creating healthy cells and boosting your immunity. Sweating profusely is linked to a reduction in scarring, cellulite and helps the body heal.
An infra-red sauna session is also equivalent to a sweat session at the gym, by generating sweat, the cells in your body work hard to cool it down and burn calories.
What are the benefits?
Heat therapy is beneficial for your body as it:
-enhances the flow of blood and oxygen in the body, which improves your circulation
-reduces inflammation, increases flexibility, and soothes discomfort from chronic pain
-helps heal damaged tissue, muscle injuries and strains, reducing your recovery time
-increases your flexibility
-helps your body detox, ridding the body of impurities, heavy metals and all things toxic
-calms your body, releases serotonin and boosts dopamine levels equivalent to the natural high achieved post workout
-achieves a state of deep relaxation, promotes restful sleep and a healthy balance of hormones
-helps with pre-comp fluid weight loss
What do we recommend pre sauna session?
It is important to stay hydrated leading up to your appointment. Do not eat atleast 2 hours prior to your appointment.
Wear comfortable loose clothes to your session to put on after- in the actual sauna itself it is best to wear swimmers and wrap yourself in one of our towels to soak up the sweat, protect the untreated timber in the sauna and prevent the spread of germs.
What do we recommend post sauna session?
It is important to hydrate immediately and there is filtered water available in the clinic. There are no showers in the clinic. It is not advised to take a shower right after leaving the sauna. It is recommendd that you relax and take it easy whilst your body cools down slowly.
It is a good time to focus on your breathing in fresh air, slow and deep breaths to keep the body relaxed.
Once home, a brief shower at the desired temperature will rinse off sweat and toxins. Heat kept in the body helps to stimulate our organs and metabolism.
When is it recommended not to use the sauna?
If you have any underlying health conditions please consult your GP prior to making an appointment. Your health is important to us to, and we ask for you not to use the sauna if you are presenting or experiencing any of the below:
-under 12 years old
-you cannot handle temperature extremes
-those with hemophila
What do I do during the sauna session?
The sauna is a device free space, it is for you to either meditate or focus on your breathing and relax. Otherwise, we recommend reading.
It is not under any circumstances a safe space for sleeping. If at any point you feel unwell during the sauna please do not 'tought it out', please exit the sauna immediately.