Category Archives: Allied Health

Three things your massage therapist will always tell you

If you’ve injured yourself there are a number of things that your massage therapist will tell you to do after your massage, but there are three things they will always tell you in order to help you get better;


  1. Stretch

If you’ve injured yourself or you have chronic muscular pain and tension, stretching is a really great way to ease that tension and manage the pain. It will almost certainly speed up your recovery.

And you know, we can tell when you’re not doing them!


2. Rest

If you’ve injured yourself during a specific activity, particularly during sport, it’s a good idea to rest that part of the body. If you’ve injured your shoulder at the gym, then make this week, leg week. If you’re doing a repetitive task at work, ask your manager to change your duties or switch to light duties. It’s important to rest your injury, to enable it to heal, otherwise you may just be exacerbating the issue.

3. Follow up

Even if you feel better, please have your follow up within 5 to 10 days of your initial appointment. There is often still tension there, even if those trigger points have been eased. If you are still tight, and return to the activity that caused the injury, the trigger points, and pain is likely to return too.

If you have that follow up the week after, you are likely to stay pain free for longer, and that is every massage therapists goal for you!


Need a massage but in a lunch rush?

Half hour massages now available

Do you work or live locally and are looking for a quick massage in your lunch hour?
We now offer 30 minute massage, tailored to suit your needs.

‘Gone to Lunch’

Sore lower back? Tight neck and shoulders? Headache? Tight hamstrings from this mornings workout? Whatever your need, try a quick half hour massage to suit.
Book online now, call or message 0450721661

Cold and flu season: Hit it before it hits you!

Winter Special

From now until the 31st of August, 2017 I am offering a winter special
of 45 minute manual lymphatic drainage treatments
to help you kick those winter sniffles.


Last flu season, for the first time in my adult life, I was hit by the dreaded flu lurgy. We all get a sniffle from time to time and have a whinge about it but this was the real deal. Fever sweats, congestion, pounding head, the works. Then once I’d just about kicked it and headed back to work, it knocked me off my feet again and sent me straight back to bed. When I was able to get back to work, I had a cough and a sniffle that just lingered for weeks.

Supporting the immune system with adequate sleep, healthy eating and regular exercise sometimes just isn’t enough. Sometimes our bodies need a little extra helping hand.

My solution to kick this bug in the butt was to have some manual lymphatic drainage.

Manual lymphatic drainage is a physical therapy that aids the flow of lymph throughout the body. The lymphatic system is a system, much like the circulatory system that circulates our blood but it in-fact has more vessels and transports more fluid than the circulatory system. Lymph fluid carries white blood cells throughout the body to help you fight infection, be it cancer or the common cold, and then carries away waste from the tissues to be flushed out of our system.

Lymphatic drainage techniques aid the body to carry out this process by stimulating the lymph nodes and with a slow and gentle technique, acts as a pump to move the fluid through the nodes, to then be naturally flushed out of the body.

In a 45 minute treatment we would focus on Shoulders, head, neck, face and scalp. The treatment is gentle and relaxing, and a great way to support your immune system in a natural way.

$65 for 45 minutes

Go to the Book Online page and chose “Winter Special” from the booking menu.

Stretching; the when, what and how.

When should I stretch ?

In the first 24-72 hours of injury the best treatment is R.I.C.E.R. (rest, ice, compression, elevation, and referral). At this stage, stretching is not advised. It’s best to rest the injured area and apply ice for 10 minutes of every hour until the swelling goes down.

Head to the emergency department if you think you may have a bone fracture or to your health physician for further investigation.

After the initial 72 hours, with clearance from your health physician, you can start some rehabilitation techniques over the next 10-24 days.

Over the period of 2 to 5 weeks you should aim to regain your flexibility, strength, power, muscular endurance, balance and co-ordination.

Long term, once you have recovered from your injury, it’s time to regain fitness, strengthen the injured area and improve flexibility.

When we talk about injury, this doesn’t always mean a serious injury. It could be anything from also waking up with a stiff neck or straining a muscle while picking something up to tearing a muscle during sport or exercise.

What types of stretches are there?

Static Stretching

Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (before the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds.

Passive Stretching

Passive stretching is a form of static stretching in which an external force exerts upon the limb to move it into the new position. This is in contrast to active stretching. Passive stretching resistance is normally achieved through the force of gravity on the limb or on the body weighing down on it.

Active Stretching

Active stretching eliminates force and its adverse effects from stretching procedures. Active stretching stimulates and prepares muscles for use during exercise. … Agonist refers to actively contracting muscle or muscles while their opposing muscles are termed antagonists.

PNF Stretching

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a more advanced form of flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle group being targeted. PNF stretching is a very effective for rehabilitation.

Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static-passive stretching ability.

When should i use these stretches?

Static and passive stretching should be used in the early days after injuring.

PNF stretching can be used in the later weeks as the muscles are beginning to regain their strength. This type of stretch is often performed with a physical therapist.

Dynamic and active stretches should only be used when the muscles are healed and are strengthening. They should never be forced and always a controlled action.

What techniques do i use to stretch?

  • Focus on the muscles that are sore;
  • Ease into the stretch, do not over stretch or force the muscle into position or into pain;
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds;
  • Breathe! Oxygen helps the muscle release;
  • Stretch both sides. The other side is likely to be carrying the work of the sore muscle.

Stay tuned!

In the coming weeks I will be adding some fact sheets on stretching routines for each of the major muscles groups, such as the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings, lower back, neck and shoulders, rotator cuff, and forearms.


When is a bruise not a bruise? When it’s a cupping mark.

Cupping, in Chinese medicine, is a therapy in which glass cups are applied to the skin
along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

It is also a modality of deep tissue, myofascial release that I perform as part of my remedial massage treatment. Using suction to create vacuum pressure, cupping is used to soften tight muscles and tone attachments of muscle to bone, loosen adhesions within the muscle and lift connective tissue, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, move deep inflammation to the skin surface for release, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening lymphatic pathways.

It works by suctioning a glass cup to the skin. A vacuum is created when a flame briefly inserted into the cup heating the air, the cup is then placed onto the oiled skin to seal the vacuum. The air in the cup cools and the skin, fascia and muscle tissues underneath, stretch up into the cup.

As a result blood and fluids are drawn out of the muscle beneath and towards the skin. This leaves the appearance of a bruise where the cup was placed.

Typically a bruise is caused by tears to the muscle fibres after an impact to the area. Blood pools and clots in the area to aid healing to the muscle tissues. The cups do not cause tearing, but rather suction and stretching.

Also, a bruise is generally painful to the touch due to inflammation of the injury. A cupping mark is not.

There has been little scientific research into the marks left by cupping but their continued use throughout history indicates a popularity in traditional and alternative medicine practice. The only research known into the marks was performed at the Australian Institute of Sport where cupping tissue samples were observed under microscope. The finding was “old blood”.1

In Chinese medicine the cupping marks are used a diagnostic tool. An indicator to the level of ‘stagnation’ of energy in the area. I would say, in my practice, I have observed that the greater the area of tension is, the deeper the colour of the mark. Some people however, do not mark at all.

Most people are alarmed by the sight of cupping marks, as there is nothing in our frame of reference in modern medicine that indicates a mark as a safe or healthy response to treatment. However, in my experience as both a therapist and an avid receiver of cupping I can comfortably say that the marks are usually forgotten once the muscle tension has been relieved.




Allied Health Care Professions: Hydrotherapy

What is the definition of the practice?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat a disease or to maintain health. The theory behind it is that water has many properties that give it the ability to heal: Water can store and carry heat and energy. Water can dissolve other substances, such as minerals and salts.

Cooling or heating the body encourages blood flow either towards the organs or out to the skin aiding in elimination of toxins. By alternating the temperatures, elimination through sweating and circulation is increased. Hydrotherapy also aids, in rehabilitation, the musculoskeletal system by using the buoyancy of water to provide support for joints following surgery or injury.

Colonic irrigation is also considered a form of hydrotherapy.

What modalities does this practice involve?

Irrigation – colonic and also eye and ear irrigation.

Thermal therapy – heated pools, saunas and steam baths, hot compresses, cold compresses, cold baths

Herbs – used in rinses, compresses, steam baths, localised baths as in for an eye or for an infection or wound, orally infusions. Some common herbs used are scouring rush tea, alum and hay flowers.

Full and half baths – involves the patient to submerge part or all of their body in cold water for a short period of time, wrapping themselves in a sheet whilst still wet and tucking themselves into a warm  bed, allowing their body to warm itself up. This is more of a home remedy.

Joint mobilisation – exercises designed to be performed in the pool

In what instances might you see this practitioner?

In the case of a musculoskeletal injury or following re-constructive surgery of a joint that would benefit from the combined resistance and support to the water provides as well as the added benefit of heat. This would also benefit those suffering from rheumatoid or osteo-arthritis, general joint and muscular pain.

Who in Mildura does Hydrotherapy?

Callahan Physiotherapy




  1. Harris, P., Nagy S., Vardaxis N., 2006, Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, Elsevier Australia, NSW, Australia
  2. Keller J, 1968, Healing with water, universal Publishing and Distributing co, New York
  3. Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre Melbourne: Beleura n.d viewed 2 August, 2011<>