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Jessie Danuser- Osteopath

Sleep hygiene is the phrase used to describe our sleep habits and practices. Having good bed time routines can drastically change the quality of your sleep.

Sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness can be signs of poor sleep hygiene. A few simple changes could make a big difference to your sleep quality and send you off to the land of nod easier.

First things first; your sleeping environment.
● Try keeping your bedroom on the cooler side, around 18 degrees Celsius.
● Your bed isn’t your office; Make your bed and bedroom as much associated with sleep as possible. Don’t work on your laptop, eat, play video games while in bed or your body won’t make the connection to sleep when you’re there, instead it will connect with it being time for activities.
● Exposure to daylight is important for your body clock, just as making sure your room is dark enough for sleep; use block out blinds, or an eye mask if you need.
● Comfort is key; make sure your mattress and pillows are suitable and comfortable. Perhaps a mattress topper could give your tired mattress a new lease of life if its not the right time to invest in a new one.

Other things to consider;
● Screen time; Light from screens can affect production of a key sleep chemical melatonin, so switch off your laptop and stop scrolling your phone at least half an hour before bedtime. If you absolutely must look at your phone before bed, get the F.lux app. It’s an app you install on your smartphone or laptop that filters the light emanating from your device so that in the morning it is blue/black predominant and in the evening it is red predominant. The new iPhone software even has it built in!
● Avoid alcohol in the evening; it might make you sleepier and get you off to sleep sooner, but the quality of sleep can be affected, leaving your feeling unrefreshed in the morning.
● Wind down time; establish a regular routine. Getting your body and mind in the zone for sleep rather than rushing round right up to the time you head hits the pillow may help you drop off to sleep quicker. Perhaps a warm shower, a cup of herbal tea (avoid caffeinated drinks), or reading a book might help wind things down.
● Try not to ‘clock watch’. This will only make things worse. Turn your clock’s face away from you.

If you are often kept awake by worry, try these steps:
● Write down the worries or problems that are on your mind. Telling yourself to stop worrying is often unsuccessful.
● Write down the next step you think you could take towards sorting out the problem, then leave it until the morning. If you wake up during the night worrying about the problem, remind yourself that you have the matter in hand, and that going over it now will not help.
● If a new worry crops up in the night, write it down and deal with it the next day.
● Practice your relaxation techniques. Or try focusing on a pleasant memory or imagining a nice holiday.
● If these steps are not helping within 20 minutes, it may be better to get up for a while and do something relaxing. This could include reading, listening to music, practicing your relaxation technique. When you are ready, return to bed and try again. After a while, if you still find yourself lying there feeling restless, get up again and repeat the same types of activities.

As well as osteopaths helping with the hands on musculoskeletal aspect, there is often advice and tools that may further benefit you outside the treatment room. Come see how we can help you at Procare.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Martin Gowdie- Osteopath

Being a Dad is tough. There, I said it. Woe is me. Bust out your smallest violin. I’m not saying that it’s
harder than being a Mum, I’m just merely noting that it takes it’s toll on us lads too. Sleep
deprivation is torture, toddlers test your limits and your sense of autonomy has eroded (although
not nearly as much as my poor partner). Amongst the fog of the sleep deprived, comfort eating, beer
swilling love bubble, I’ve stopped moving. I’ve gained 2 children and 15kgs and it all happened so
quickly – the weight gain that is, not the children. What’s more, as I negotiate with a terrorist every
night who doesn’t want to eat their broccoli because it isn’t blue, my temper has become short and
I’m moody. Wowee! What a catch I’ve become – an unfit, un-motivated, overwight, short-
tempered, moody wet towel!!

As a male with a “fix-it” mentality I thought that the answer was simple – get fit, become motivated,
chin up, chill out and be positive. Done. No. No surprises that this approach hasn’t worked to get me
back to my fighting weight.

This has led me to research if there are other parents that might be feeling the same. Would you
believe it – I’m not alone!!!! In fact, we are all in the same boat! There’s a common thread – I’ve
tried to control as much of my life that I can and somewhere between procreation and toilet training
(my toddler, not me) I’ve subsequently stopped prioritizing the things that I find fun. Not only have I
found that most parents share this feeling, there has been a book written about it! Jennifer Senior
wrote “All Joy and No Fun” and if I had the time to read it I’m sure that it would shed some insight
(Joke!). Seriously, it’s worth a read if you can sneak a few pages at opportune times.

So, if my primary goal is to get fit again, maybe I’m trying to change too much at one time! What if I
just need a circuit breaker rather than an overhaul? Maybe this will create a positive cycle rather
than a negative spiral?!? I decided to start with finding fun. It’s not easy to dedicate time for “fun”
when you know that your partner is home with 2 kids following her into the toilet but we started
with 2 hours a week and what have I found out so far? I’ve found out that, ironically, the things that I
find fun are also the things that give me a sense of autonmy, keeps me healthy and fit, keeps my
weight down, keeps me grounded and positive and allows me to have more tolerance in testing
times at home. I’ve returned to surfing with mates. I go free-diving when I can. Of course, there is
balance. If I returned to the “pre-children” levels of fun I would quickly find myself in the divorce
courts but finding just a few hours of fun has helped me be a healthier person, a more tolerant
father and a more positive and supportive partner.

Maybe the answer to motivate ourselves to exercise isn’t a complete over-haul, maybe it’s just a
circuit breaker? Now, I’ve just got to sew the seeds of a boys surf trip away…


Stephanie Cations- Osteopath
Bachelor of Applied Science (Complementary Medicine)
Masters in Osteopathy

It’s official. Winter is here. It’s cold, grey and so tempting to just want to curl up on the couch with the heater on and eat soup everyday. Or if you’re like me lay on the floor in front of the fire and bask in the warmth like a cat.

Being an Osteopath now for over 7 years I’ve noticed a couple of trends with what people present with and at what time of the year. I noticed that over the warmer months we can naturally get a renewed motivation to get out and about or start a new exercise regime. I mean the suns out, the days are warmer and longer it’s a good time of the year! But sometimes, even though the intentions are great, that that “nothing to all” approach can sometimes end in some more overuse/incorrect loading issues resulting in unwanted aches, pain and frustrations from having to rest after starting such a positive routine. It can be a result from “New Years resolutions” a need for a “summer body” or the start of intense sporting pre seasons after a very relaxed off season.

In winter, I’ve noticed we tend to see more stiffness, aches and pains from being less active, as we naturally want to hibernate, and therefore move less.

But what if there was a happy medium? What if we thought of staying active in winter as a way to get more out of ourselves when the weather warms up?
As we all know exercise is good for us both physically and mentally so to me it’s important that if you’ve put in so much effort and hard work to getting a good exercise regime when the weathers good, keep up the momentum even when it’s cold.

Here’s a little pep talk to help you stay motivated in the cold.

As we all know things don’t stop for winter. We still have to get up and about to do the usual every day things such as go to work, get the kids to childcare and school or just get to the supermarket. So how do we combat /plan to get out to get those jobs done? We just chuck the coat on, maybe a beanie and scarf and we just do it.
So we should take that same approach when it comes to our winter exercise. If you’re a walker or runner. Get the beanie/gloves, coat, spray jacket, whatever you need on and just get out there and go. You’ll find you’ll warm up and it’s generally not as bad a we think. I’ve even got a coat for my precious greyhound Tigger which means he still gets out and doesn’t follow me around the house all day haha.

Keep going to the gym. If you’re a gym goer and it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning when it’s cold give yourself the pep talk. It’s only cold going from the house to the car, car to inside of the gym once you’re inside it’s all good and you’ll thank yourself later for getting there.

If you really can’t leave the house we’re so lucky with technology these days that there are plenty of reputable you tube channels that have yoga, Pilates sessions so whip out the matt in the living room and get to moving.

Obviously if you’re struggling with aches and pains preventing you from getting active then a trip to one of our friendly practitioners will aim to get you moving again. Otherwise keep the coat and beanie close and keep moving in the cold as it might just set you up to hit the ground running and get more out of yourself, and potentially less time on the sidelines when the weather is warmer.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Shanti Arwen- Myotherapist

Apart from the the obvious obstacles that are faced by multiple sclerosis patients, it is tiring for the body, mind and spirit. Over half of multiple sclerosis sufferers seek complimentary modalities from an allied health professional in the form of massage or other muscular skeletal services. (Nayak et.al, 2003).

People who endure the symptoms of multiple sclerosis generally receive a lot of physical and emotional relief from soft tissue work. For me, as a soft tissue therapist, it is an honour to be a part of their comfort strategy.
Some small studies have started to show promising results showing massage being safe and beneficial intervention for management of fatigue and pain in people with multiple sclerosis. (Backus et. al., 2016) .

I also believe massage helps with reintegrating the mind body relationship that can often be disturbed during the process of ongoing M.S. symptoms. This is particularly useful to support the patient in their exercise programmes.

Every person , healthy or not responds differently to soft tissue work and there is no single strategy that will work for everyone. M.S. itself is a varied condition that has no specific pathway or timeline , choosing your allied health professionals who will work with you and adapt to your needs will make the journey a lot more comfortable.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

Backus, D., Manella, C., Bender, A., & Sweatman, M. (2016). Impact of Massage Therapy on Fatigue, Pain, and Spasticity in People with Multiple Sclerosis: a Pilot Study. International journal of therapeutic massage & bodywork, 9(4), 4–13.
Nayak, S., Matheis, R. J., Schoenberger, N. E., & Shiflett, S. C. (2003). Use of unconventional therapies by individuals with multiple sclerosis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 17(2), 181–191. https://doi.org/10.1191/0269215503cr604oa


Jessie Danuser
Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy Bachelor of Clinical Science Masters in Health Science (Osteopathy)

Being a new grad osteo means coming out the other side of a long slog of five years at university. Part of me would love to know how many hours I’ve spent at my desk, staring into the computer screen and at text books, but I think ‘enough’ would sum it up.

You don’t need to be studying to be sitting at a desk all day- so many occupations these days involve desk and computer work. Unfortunately, they say sitting is the new smoking and comes with back/neck pain and headaches.

We were lucky enough to get treatments from the osteopathy student clinic at uni to help with those achy niggles between your shoulder blades or headaches from the never-ending study. This was helpful physically but also mentally to chat to other students who had been through it all and knew what you were going through.

Aside from the great hands-on help osteopaths can offer to these issues, there are a few little wisdom pearls for the setup of your workstation that may make a huge difference to how your neck or back might be feeling after a long day at it. These can include changes to the set up of your desk/computer combined with some stretches.

Check out these infogrpahics (care of Heath and the team at Corporate Work Health Australia https://corporateworkhealth.com.au/) or come see us at Procare to see how some of these simple, effective tools can help you get through the work day easier.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


We’ve all heard it, or even said it ourselves before, “I don’t have time to exercise!” Here are my top tips for putting the excuses aside and just doing it!

Set goals

No-one wants to get out of bed early or stay out late to exercise, but you don’t have to feel motivated if you have a motivation.

Why is it that you want to exercise? Is it to feel healthier? Lose weight? Feel less stressed? Maybe you’re training with the idea to do a marathon?

All of these have one thing in common, they are not very specific! If you are going to have a motivator, it’s needs to be concrete or “SMART”

S: Specific or concrete, the most effective goals are those you can describe easily. Who, what, where?

M: Measurable. How will you know you have achieved the goal? How much? How Many?

A: Achievable. Is it something that you will be able to physically achieve?

R: Relevant. Will achieving this goal help you live a meaningful life?

T: Timing. In what time frame do you want to achieve this goal?

My motivator is staying fit for hiking, but that in itself is not enough to motivate me some days. So I made it SMART. I booked in a 7 day hike for the end of November. For you it might be something like that, or maybe it’s setting a goal weight/ timeline or maybe it’s just that you’d like to be able to pick up the grandkids by christmas.

Put less expectation on yourself

I know I make this mistake myself everytime I get back into exercise. “I must workout 4 times a week for 90 minutes each time”, I’d tell myself. Then I’m motivated for a few weeks and because it’s unrealistic, I eventually stop.

So I put less expectation around it, now I workout 15 mins 4 times a week and one longer workout on weekends when I have time.

Have a plan

Good intentions aside, if there isn’t a concrete plan in place, it’s not going to happen. When can you fit exercise into your schedule? When will it not feel like a burden? For how long at a time?  

For me, it meant getting up 30 minutes early on week days and 1 day of the weekend.

Putting it together: An example template

Putting all of the above together, this is what I do. This won’t work for you, but use it as a template of how to create YOUR exercise program.

Number of days I want to work out: 5 Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday
Workout time and length Before work, 15 minutes.

Set alarm 30 mins early.

Before work, 15 minutes.

Set alarm 30 mins early.

Before work, 15 minutes.

Set alarm 30 mins early.

Personal trainer, 30 minutes. 12 pm, First thing in morning, 45 minutes, 8am.
What am I going to do Gym. 2 exercises only.

Squats and shuffle run.

Gym. 2 exercises only.

OHP and Rows

Gym. 2 exercises only.

Deadlifts and knee control

HIIT/ TABATA with PT.   Longer workout.

Cardio (HIIT), chest movement, back movement, lunge movement.

Why am I working out:

I have a hike booked in November (specific, timing) and I want to make sure I am fit enough to climb the 2000m altitude (measurable, achievable), because hiking is something that is important to me (relevant).

If you are wanting to put together a plan like the above, but hit a roadblock, the team at Procare Geelong are more than happy to help! Give us a call on 03 5243 3819. Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Matthew Jakovljevic – Osteopath B.S(clin), M.H.S(osteo)

Crappy movie title, interesting story…. Maybe…

Tendon injuries are frustrating, they can come out of nowhere and because the blood supply to a tendon can be poor, they can take a while to heal.

Whether it be a stubborn tennis elbow, shoulder/ rotator cuff impingement, achilles, patella, plantar fascia etc, they’re frustrating. If it’s frustrating from my perspective as a practitioner trying to treat them I can only imagine what it’s like for my patients!!

Apart from the fact they can take a while to heal, they are confusing. There are some many treatment options, rest it, exercise it, massage it,  dry needle it, inject it with cortisone or PRP, the list is endless.

What happens when they don’t heal with conservative management of hands on treatment and rehab? I used to send of for cortisone or PRP, but both of these are fairly hit and miss and can be quite expensive.

About 3 years ago I starting using Shockwave Therapy…

Shockwave Therapy is  well supported by evidence (with up to 80% success rate quoted in literature) and the the machine itself is a ”mini jack hammer” that is used to stimulate healing in the tendon by drawing blood/ healing factors to the area (similar to the way a PRP injection works). Since starting to use Shockwave Therapy I have seen a great improvement in the outcomes of my tendinopathy patients.

Shockwave Therapy isn’t the be all and end all, it’s still needs to used in conjuction with exercise, education, re-assurance and other measures but can really help give that stubborn injury a kick up the arse.

The team at Procare Geelong have access to a Shockwave Therapy machine. If you think Shockwave Therapy might be useful for you, have a chat to your osteopath or give us a call on 03 5243 3819.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Stella McNamara- Osteopath

As the saying goes, it’s about the journey, not the destination. But lets not let the journey put a dampener on your enjoyment of your destination.

Be it international travel from our isolated corner of the globe, a camper trip up north to escape the winter or just a trip down the coast, here are some ways to keep those aches and stiffness to a minimum.

Planes ✈️:

  • Walk: Get up and walk around at least every hour. Pause that movie, get up from your seat and do some laps of the plane. Set an alarm on your phone if you need the reminder.
  • Move: Set yourself a goal to do an exercise every time you get up. Calf raises, squats, balance on one leg. You choose what works for you.
  • Stretch: Use the space at the back of the plane to do some stretches. Reach up to the ceiling, do some twisting.
  • Seat-belt sign on? No problem. Wiggle your toes, do some seated calf raises, a seated glut stretches, hug a knee to your chest one at a time, reach to the ceiling. There is plenty you can do right there in your seat.
  • Take the stairs: Yes air travel and train travel can be exhausting, and the lure of the moving walkways can be strong. But you’ve just spent (or will spend) a long time sitting. Your body and your mind will thank you for the extra steps.
  • Drink lots of water: Aeroplane air particularly can be dry and leave you feeling dehydrated. Making sure you keep your fluids up will help you feel more refreshed and energetic post flight.

Cars 🚗:

  • Prepare: make sure your seat is set up for you. Have yourself at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Sit squarely in your seat with legs uncrossed and a supported back. That may mean adding a lumbar support. Talk to your Osteo or Myo about what is best for your body.
  • Stop; Revive; Survive: Not just an important way to fight fatigue. Stop your car every hour, Get out at do a few lap of the car. Do your twisting and reaching stretches while your up. It may add a couple of minutes to your journey but its worth the time- for your body and your safety.
  • Schedule in lunch and coffee stops to break up your journey.

If you’re planning to travel, have a chat with your practitioner about what stretches you should be doing for your body.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Shanti Arwen- Myotherapist

People ask me all the time” How does dry needling work?”… The scholarly answer is so long and boring I promise not to answer it that way…. Better to present it like a short story.

Our bodies are like hospitals, with doctors, nurses and pharmacists ready to cure almost any problem that the body encounters.

Pain in the muscles is often caused by trigger points (knots). A trigger point are a bundle of muscle fibres that are “glued” together and no longer functioning well. Every day activity , not enough rest or water, over or under exercise (life) can cause trigger points. When there are too many trigger points the whole muscle or group of muscles will become heavy, achy, painful and limited.

Our muscles are the most exquisitely designed things I can think of. There are fewer things more beautiful to me than the art and science world of our musculoskeletal homes. They are self contained amazingness and our blood is like a pharmacist running around with everything we need to maintain our general health, including a range of chemicals (medicines) for pain relief, anti-inflammatories, immune system responders….

So…..Basically.. When a dry needle is inserted into a trigger point, the muscle is tricked into thinking it is being ‘stung’ or “damaged” and immediately responds like a medical team in an emergency. It sends histamine to investigate the invader, the histamine does two things, it unglues the trigger point chemically and widens the blood vessels allowing more “medicine’’ to the area. Medicines such as cytokines that reduce inflammation and substance P that reduces pain.

The muscle then communicates with the brain to release enkephalin which has a pain reducing effect over the whole body.

So beautiful, our bodies are divine; and even more astounding, our muscles will continue to release these medicines for 2 days after treatment.

Now if you don’t love needles, no need to worry, soft tissue treatment has a similar effect. All hands on practitioners have  been releasing trigger points with their crafty little fingers forever…. it’s a big part of what we do.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

If you are interested to see how dry needling can help you give the clinic a call on 5243-3819 or book online with Shanti or one of our osteopaths at www.pro-care.com.au



Matthew Jakovljevic – Osteopath B.S(clin), M.H.S(osteo)

We live in a busy world and if you are anything like me you find it hard to calm our busy minds. Whether it’s work, the kids, back pain, our minds are rarely still.

Mindfulness is a bit of buzz word going around at the moment, but what exactly is it? Put simply, it just means being right here, right now and calming that busy mind.

Mindfulness can do some really cool stuff and I’m finding myself talking to more and more patients about it. It can help with your mental health, all those ongoing pains you have and can even help your sex life!

Why practice mindfulness meditation

The word meditation can make some people cringe and think of monks chanting. I feel really comfortable talking about mindfulness for two reasons. It’s part of my daily routine to calm my own busy mind and it has some seriously good research behind it.

Mindfulness changes your brain. A study by Hölzel et al (2011), did MRIs before and after 8 week mindfulness meditation program and it showed increases in the size of the gray matter (muscle of your brain). Just think about that for a second, real, physical changes. Just like working out your muscles makes them bigger and stronger, being mindful makes your brain bigger and stronger.

You can learn more about these changes from this TedTalk from Sarah Lazar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8rRzTtP7Tc

There’s some high quality research showing mindfulness can:

Let’s do a quick and simple mindfulness exercise now…..

Give it go, you might just surprise yourself. 

I suggest that my patients try mindfulness everyday for at least two weeks. It’s a skill and just like any skill, it takes time to become good at it. So give a good chance to start seeing the benefits. Try one of these ‘apps’

Smiling Mind (Free)
ACT Companion: The Happiness Trap App ($15)
Headspace (10 days free)

Different forms of mindfulness

Maybe listening and thinking exercises aren’t working for you. You could always try to the new craze of adult colouring. Remember, the idea is to get lost in the colouring, not just ‘get it done’.

Please note, the advice above is generalised and may not be specific to your situation. If in doubt please contact one of our osteopaths or another health care provider to provide a specific diagnosis and treatment of your condition.


Harris, R. (2013). The happiness trap: Stop struggling, start living (Vol. 1): Exisle Publishing.

Hölzel, B. K., Carmody, J., Vangel, M., Congleton, C., Yerramsetti, S. M., Gard, T., & Lazar, S. W. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 191(1), 36-43.

Gotink, R. A., Chu, P., Busschbach, J. J., Benson, H., Fricchione, G. L., & Hunink, M. M. (2015). Standardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs. PLoS One, 10(4), e0124344.

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