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Womens Health @ Healthfix 1 e1632721245991

Meet Your Womens Health Team – Samah Elomari

Samah Elomari – Your Women’s Health Physio

2021 05 Headshots Healhtfix Copyright Franck Gazzola WEB 027 Meet Samah!
Samah is a passionate pelvic floor physiotherapist with a holistic, evidence-based approach to women’s pelvic pain and dysfunction. She also has a special interest in treating pregnancy and postnatal conditions. Samah is a qualified Exercise Scientist (Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science) and Physiotherapist (Master of Physiotherapy). 

Samah is great at helping women manage pregnancy related pelvic girdle or lower back pain, post-partum pelvic floor recovery and return to sport, and sexual pain disorders. Samah strives to create a safe space for all of her clients to be heard and the concerns and opinions valued. 

Why Women’s Health?
In 2017 while listening to a university lecture about pelvic pain, Samah had an ah-ha moment – pelvic floor physiotherapy was (and still is) her calling.  Samah was fortunate enough to land a placement at Fairfield Hospital where she worked on the maternity wards, seeing women with varying degrees of perineal tearing, abdominal separation and those with a high risk of pelvic floor dysfunction postpartum. She was also involved in the assessment and treatment of outpatients with prolapse, urinary and bowel disorders. Since then, she’s worked in private practice, treating people with various musculoskeletal dysfunctions, including those related to pregnancy and the postnatal period. Samah has more recently been working with more complex pain conditions including sexual pain and endometriosis. 

Samah has been practicing Women’s Health for the last three years, under the guidance of leading women’s health physiotherapists including Aline Filpe, Tusanee Jierasak, Zoe Wallace, Ruth Schubert and Heba Shaheed.  

Samah has a special interest in treatment of pelvic pain, and management of pregnancy related conditions, working closely with Obstetricians, Gynaecologists and GP’s including Dr Andreadis, Dr Valmadre and Dr Gemma Blain. 

Why Healthfix?
Samah loves working within an integrated team to help patients achieve whatever it is they want to achieve! She shares the belief that physiotherapy is only on component of a total solution for health. 

Samah’s Qualifications
  • B.App.Sc. (Exercise and Sport Science) 
  • M.App.Sc. Physiotherapy 
  • Women’s Health Level 1/Introductory Course (WHTA – Taryn Hallam) 
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence Course (WHTA) 
  • The Pregnant Pelvis – An Integrated Approach (Sydney Pelvic Clinic) 
  • Dry Needling Introductory and Advanced Course (CPD Health Courses) 
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Genitourinary, Anorectal and Sexual Pain Course (WHTA) 
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Pelvic Floor Relationship to Exercise, Sport and Musculoskeletal Dysfunction Course (WHTA) 
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Anorectal Pelvic Floor Disorders Course (WHTA) 


Interested in booking in to see Samah? Click book now to start your journey today!


Want to meet the rest of our Womens Health Team? Check out their profiles here:
Womens Health @ Healthfix 1 e1632721245991

Meet Your Womens Health Team – Zoe Wallace

Zoe Wallace – Your Women’s Health Physio

Zoe Wallace Meet Zoe! Zoe is a Physiotherapist in North Sydney who’s full of energy and is driven to really make a difference for her clients, focusing on getting back and doing what they love. She strives to become an expert in the physiotherapy profession and helps you become an expert at managing and preventing injuries, so you too, can achieve your greatest success! Reflective of her personality she’s previously been nicknamed the ‘Energizer Bunny’. Its with her go getter, enthusiastic attitude that she approaches her clients and their rehabilitation.   Zoe completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 with Australian Catholic University and went on to work at Royal North Shore Hospital where she gained experience in musculoskeletal, rehabilitation, orthopaedics, neurosciences and acute care physiotherapy. Zoe then moved to private practice, focusing on Musculoskeletal and Women’s Health Physiotherapy. She endeavours to continue building her skills and expertise and achieve personal and career goals, through helping her clients to reach their own goals and full potential. Why Women’s Health? Zoe completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 with Australian Catholic University where she was lucky enough to be introduced to women’s health during this degree with a 12 week introductory program. Zoe then started her dive into women’s health with introductory training with Womens Health Training Associates (WHTA), completing several WHTA courses including training in prolapse and urinary incontinence management, pessary fitting, sports/ musculoskeletal conditions and pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain and sexual health including trauma. In 2020 Zoe completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Conservative Management of Pelvic Organ Prolapse with the University of South Australia which is the worlds first tertiary led physiotherapy certification for pessary fitting and management.   Zoe works closely with Obstetricians, Gynaecologists and GP’s to care for women during their pregnancy and post partum, women with prolapse and incontinence and women with sexual or pelvic pain. Zoe works closely with Dr Ujwala Parashar, Dr Minke Burke, Dr Erin Nesbitt-Hawes and Professor Jason Abbott in her role as a physiotherapist treating women’s health clients. As you can tell, Zoe’s great at working with a variety of clients and with her special interest in Women’s health is particularly skilled at helping in pre and postnatal care, stress and urge incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.   Why Healthfix? Zoe loves working as part of an integrated team. She doesn’t believe physiotherapy alone can provide a sustainable solution to musculoskeletal problems, nor is it the gold standard way to provide healthcare. Not only can we provide our clients with the best possible care with a team of professionals but we can also become expert, more holistic professionals ourselves through experience and interactions and shared knowledge amongst the team.   Zoe’s Qualifications
  • B.App.Sc. Physiotherapy
  • Women’s Health Level 1/Introductory Course (WHTA- Taryn Hallam)
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence Course (WHTA)
  • Advanced Pessary Course (WHTA)
  • Advanced Pelvic Floor – Exercise, Sport and Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (WHTA)
  • DMA Clinical Pilates Unit A
  • NOI Group Explain Pain Course
  • Musculoskeletal and Segmental Dry Needling
  • CPR & First Aid
 

Interested in booking in to see Zoe? Click book now to start your journey today!

Want to meet the rest of our Womens Health Team? Check out their profiles here:
Pregnancy Pilates 3

Try Yoga @ Healthfix!

Did you know that Healthfix offers Yoga classes for our community? Yoga is a broad system encompassing philosophy, physical movement, meditation and daily living – and that’s really just scratching the surface. What sets the physical practice of yoga apart from other disciplines such as Pilates is that yoga is strongly introspective, which can, for some people, transcend to an energetic or spiritual awakening. Yoga is all about calming the mind and obtaining clarity of thoughts, which helps us live a more joyful life.

What sets Healthfix apart from other yoga studios is that we pride ourselves on our client centred, evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to achieve optimal client outcomes. Every yoga class allows for our accredited yoga instructors to take the time to attend to each student’s development and form, ensuring you get the most out of your time on the mat. Healthfix’s team of professionals work together to get you to your fittest, at your pace.

That’s why we have listened to our community’s requests and developed two new yoga classes!

Introducing Yoga Flow. A class where you can move with your breath and create space in your body and mind. Classes integrate traditional yoga postures with functional movements, that are designed to address common areas of tension and weakness. Many options are provided so that you experience a level of challenge that is appropriate for you, allowing you to safely progress your practice and build awareness. You will leave feeling balanced and connected to mind and body. No props required, all fitness levels are welcome. This class is held on Tuesdays at 6PM

Introducing Yoga Revive. A restorative class focusing on supported and relaxing postures that allow the body release, and the mind to unwind. This practice relieves tension in tight muscles you didn’t even know were tight! A focus on deep breathing allows the mind to find a meditative state. This is very calming for the nervous system, thereby supporting you in times of stress. Props include supporting materials like yoga blocks, cushions, pillows, and a blanket. You want to be as comfortable and cosy as possible! This class is held on Fridays at 6PM

Ready to try a class? Our yoga classes are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6PM over zoom during this lockdown. The perfect time to wind down from work and settle in for the night.

There are 3 ways to get started in our Yoga classes;
  1. With a FREE trial to make sure that we are the right fit for each other.
  2. Using a Class Pass which you can prepay 10 – 20 classes at a discounted rate
  3. As a part of our health club membership where all classes are free and you can receive the added benefits of discounted one on one sessions with our other services as well as being allocated a mentor to help you navigate remaining in optimal health at this important time in your life.
 

Book in for your first class online, give us a call on 02 8065 0445 or fill in the form below for our team to reach out
Member Event Banner Mail Chimp 2

Health Club Members Wellness Retreat!

Over the past 8 weeks, our community has battled many challenges. From working form home to home schooling to social isolation and the stress of having our routines thrown out the window. That’s why our team at Healthfix, would like to take this opportunity to host an online wellness retreat for our community reflect and prepare for life out of lockdown.

We would like to invite all of our health club members to join our team on Friday the 3rd of September for this online wellness retreat. Over zoom we will be hosting a group wellness coaching session and a rejuvenating stretch based pilates class. The intention of this event is to emphasise the importance of self care and develop the mindset to ensure you are thriving through lockdown. Not just surviving day to day. This event will also be an opportunity for our community to connect virtually and support each other through challenging times.

This event will be led by our Member Experience Manager and Certified Wellness Coach, Mark Wilson. Mark will be taking the group through a wellness coaching session on reflection and gratitude during challenging times. This session will help all members feel connected, supported and inspired so we highly recommend everyone attending this session. Following the wellness coaching session, our pilates instructor, Amy Yeoland, has designed a rejuvenating and relaxing pilates class. Designed to help reset your body for the weekend.

This event will commence at 5PM on Friday the 3rd of September, and is exclusive to our health club members. If you’re a member and are interested in coming along, fill in this form to RSVP your attendance and we look forward to see you at the online retreat!
Take Care, Team Healthfix

In the message section of the form, please input ‘RSVP’ and our team will do the rest!
Pregnancy Pilates 2

Antenatal Pregnancy Pilates – New Class @ Healthfix!

Calling all future mums to be. Healthfix has developed a new program to help you prepare mentally and physically for birth and motherhood in a safe, supportive and sustainable way.

Our Women’s Health Team of pelvic floor physiotherapists and Pilates instructors have developed a brand new Pilates program that is designed to help you build pelvic floor awareness and posterior chain strength to support you during pregnancy and beyond.

The goal of our Pilates classes are to –
  1. Build lower body and posterior chain strength to support you in carrying your growing baby through pregnancy.
  2. Build upper body strength and endurance to help prepare you for carrying your new-born and breastfeeding.
  3. Develop hip stability and pelvic control to assist you in a safe labour and delivery.
  4. Lengthening and strengthening your adductor thigh muscles to help support the weight of your growing baby belly and providing your more leverage to push during labour.

Exercise is a safe and beneficial thing to be doing throughout your pregnancy as it can help reduce common pregnancy symptoms and improve your overall health during pregnancy and post-partum. Exercise during pregnancy has proven to help:
  • Reduce symptoms of morning sickness, insomnia, stress and anxiety.
  • Improve psychological well-being.
  • Assist with weight management and prevention of gestational diabetes.
  • Reduce and prevent lower back pain.
  • Improve labour outcomes by improving pelvic endurance, awareness, stability and strength.

Wanting to get started with pregnancy Pilates today? Here’s the next steps. Our classes are hosted in-person at our North Sydney gym or you can join over zoom from home! Classes are on Thursday evenings at 6PM. To sign up for a class, fill in the contact form below. Our team with respond with the required forms needed to register and make sure you’re safe to exercise. Then, there are 3 ways to get started.
  1. With a FREE trial to make sure that we are the right fit for each other.
  2. Using a Class Pass which you can prepay 10 – 20 classes.
  3. As a part of our membership where all classes are free and you can receive the added benefits of discounted one on one sessions with our other services as well as being allocated a mentor to help you navigate remaining in optimal health at this important time in your life.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Around The World Course Intro 1

Join us for a brand new nutrition course! Starts the 18th of August

Healthfix would like to invite our community on a tour around the world (from home of course) with food! Our dietitians, Mel & Jordan, have put together a brand new nutrition course focusing on ‘healthifying’ your favourite meals.

We believe that food brings communities together. Food is fun, comforting and exciting. But some of our favourite meals, aren’t always treating our bodies with the highest quality of nutrition that we deserve. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them! By learning to ‘healthify’ your meals from our registered dietitians, you can enjoy all of your favourite dishes and cuisines and still stay on track with your health and nutrition goals.

Starting Wednesday the 18th of August, our dietitians will be taking you on a cooking adventure around the world which will give you the versatile tools and knowledge to transform your family favourite meals into dietitian approved healthy recipes!
Copy of ATW IG Posts

If you’re keen to get involved in this nutrition course, or you have any questions, fill in the form below and our team will be in touch!

Healthfix – Then and Now

Joel bates then and now                          

To think that only 9 years ago, only 4 of us were huddled into a corner of Anytime Fitness down in McMahon’s point, pondering where this thing called Healthfix could end up. I always admired Sean’s vision and determination to ultimately have a facility full of great people working towards amazing personal health. At times I would question whether those were dreams of grandeur, or simply dreams that lay the foundation for a thriving business of 20+ staff over two locations. Thankfully I was wrong.

Before I could see develop further, I decided to ditch Healthfix, and chase a girl to Singapore. Luckily this was the best thing I have ever done. Now Lisa is my amazing wife and mother of our beautiful daughter Odette. This move personally was the life experience shift that has shaped me and the way I treat. I created the context for my development as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, but more so the experience to understand what it takes to treat people from all countries, cultures and backgrounds.

This also then allowed me to look back on what Healthfix was becoming. I loved the chance to talk to Sean (he did most of the talking surprisingly) and share stories of our professional and personal development. Not only did the layers of professional assets grow at Healthfix, so did the vision of the facility that now exists in North Sydney.

Now things are different. I look at the younger physio’s here and am so impressed with their knowledge, maturity, and empathy. Their development is incredible, and it provides the glue that creates a great physiotherapy team and keeps us all on our toes. Our ability to integrate with our team, allows our patients to achieve so much more. This can range from the simple things of picking up your kids or running your first marathon. For too long, Physio’s have been trying to do too much, when the answer is creating a team around the patient so they can achieve more. The facility we have (and have access to in Broadway) creates the active environment needed to get the long terms results we crave.

Physiotherapy has changed, and in that change, we are moving towards the model that Healthfix embodies. Integration and drawing on high level Exercise Physiologists, Personal trainers and Dieticians simply mean we get better results for our clients. We now need to consider all facets of the individual in front of us to understand where we can best help them. This is the environment we have now at Healthfix. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be back at Healthfix. Whilst much has grown and developed, the same core of quality results for patients remains at the core. Ultimately that’s why we do what we do.

Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In vs Calories Out

    Calories In vs Calories Out Welcome to part 1 of our Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In Versus Calories out series where we look to debunk the long held belief that weight loss has always just been about calories in matching calories outs. When we look at low fat, low sugar, low carb diets and more recently the intermittent fasting fad, a lot of this centres around this concept. Dietitians know this is not the case and now we’re looking to educate everyone on what IT IS about over this series.

PART 1 – Biology

It is often touted that weight loss is as simple as eating less and exercising more, and that with sufficient willpower all people can achieve this. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Weight is extremely complicated as it is influenced by a large number of interconnected factors, many beyond an individual’s control. As dietitians, we frequently witness frustration expressed by clients who have tried all sorts of diets with no success, and understand that a holistic weight-neutral approach to nutrition creates the best results. This can start by understanding the role that biology plays in determining a person’s weight.

Genetics

Genetics play a major role in the size and shape of our body. It is estimated that 40-80% of weight is contributed to by genes, with over 300 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with adiposity. These genes and SNPs influence our bone structure, musculature, metabolism and more. This means that if we had people following the same diet and exercise regimes, their bodies would all look extremely different.

Set point theory refers to all people having a weight their body prefers to be at. When people sit above or below this point, their body will regulate intake and energy expenditure to return to this weight – in other words, via homeostasis. For example, weight loss at a rapid rate increases ghrelin secretion, increasing feelings of hunger to promote weight gain to an individual’s set point. Additionally, if we consume more energy than we require, our body will increase its temperature to increase the metabolic rate. A person’s set point is not fixed, however, and can be increased or decreased. If a person is seeking to lower their set point, we know that slow and sustained weight loss (0.5-1kg/week) allows the body to adapt to the reduced energy intake. This can’t be achieved by crash dieting or dramatically limiting calories, thus this is where an accredited dietitian can assist.

Hormones

Hormones play an enormous role in appetite, metabolism and fat storage. We know that fat cells produce leptin, a hormone that signals satiety. Individuals with larger bodies produce higher levels of leptin however display resistance to its hunger-regulating mechanism. Rapid weight loss can decrease leptin production, thereby increasing appetite and causing weight gain. Gradual lifestyle changes prevent this rapid shift in hormone production, creating sustainable and effective changes in the long-term. Furthermore, sex hormones greatly impact body fat distribution. Changes to these hormone levels, such as during menopause, can greatly impact one’s body shape without changing their diet or exercise. Insulin is another hormone that greatly impacts one’s carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Health conditions and medications

Numerous health conditions impact our weight and should be investigated prior to prescribing low-calorie diets. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome impact hormone production associated with weight gain and obesity, which can’t be rectified with diet alone. Mental illness can also greatly impact an individual’s ability to maintain their healthiest weight.

There are a number of medications that may affect a person’s weight. For example, antipsychotics, antidepressants and corticosteroids are associated with weight gain. There are a number of reasons for this, such as by increasing lethargy, decreasing resting metabolic rate and fluid retention. It is beneficial to set goals surrounding cardiometabolic health for these individuals, as their weight may not be in their control whilst on certain medications. Again, an empathetic and weight-neutral approach can assist with increasing motivation to make positive dietary changes.

How a dietitian can help

At Healthfix, our dietitians assess all of these factors and more in the initial consultation. We see weight as complicated and stigmatised, and work with our clients on health goals greater than just the number on the scale. We work with, rather than against, a person’s biology.

This article was written by Ashley Maiden and reviewed by Melissa Juergens (Healthfix’s Dietetics Department). Should you have any follow up questions regarding this information our dietitians will be more than happy to assist you.

From a COVID disrupted 2020 to thriving in 2021.

COVID Distrupted 2020

Covid disrupted 2020 Written by Sean Cooney
 
The Past
If you caught our January internal newsletter I discussed how we adapted when severe COVID restrictions hit New South Wales. We knew there was going to be a continued need for good health care but we had to concern ourselves with the best way to deliver it. There was also a need to educate patients on how looking after their health was one thing that was in their control in a world that was seemingly changing by the day, sometimes by the hour (depending on the next press conference).
 
We connected with the mantra of Reconnecting to Purpose both for our patients and for our clinical and exercise teams. Why did patients value their health and the time spent working on caring for their health? If they could connect with what their long-term goals were then it made more sense to keep working in that space and enjoy all the mental clarity that comes from being in a good state of health. Most who connected with this found that they had more time considering that commutes and the access to “bad health choice options” were removed. For our Healthfix team, reconnecting to why they became a health professional allowed us to focus on the actionable solutions that were in place to deliver effective health care – outdoor sessions, telehealth, better communication, more teamwork and integrating.
 
The Present
We’ve always had a strong focus on the person and not just the presentation as per our biopsychosocial approach teaching but this is so much more at the forefront of people’s minds now. The vernacular around coaches and mentors, thriving instead of surviving, looking after oneself holistically and making enough time down time is so much more of a prominent discussion. Patients are wanting meaningful engagement and to be on a path that works for them with a clinician who can be flexible and adaptable to their changing needs. I think our patients like to know that they have a team behind them for support but they want care that is simple and makes sense. I can see more of our patients ready to get to work on health care issues that have been around for a while and happy to chip away at getting a long-term, sustainable result.
 
The Future
Who knows? Do we go back to a fast-paced life and take our health for granted OR does that freeze in time that the global pandemic offered to reflect and check where our lives and our health was going lead to happier and healthier humans? With consideration to how some areas of health care strengthened whilst others were used less, perhaps due to being seen more as a discretional spend or ineffective, I can see good health care operators will continue to thrive within a more discerning crowd of patients. Ones who can embrace the holistic nature of good health and how it impacts mental, physical and emotional wellbeing as well as our work productivity and social relationships may be in a better position. But then again Nassim Nicholas Taleb has won a lot of praise from teaching us not to be fooled by randomness and a “black swan robust” so effectively who really knows what the future holds but there’s a good chance that we can get through it! Either way we’re looking forward to helping even more people in 2021 than in 2020 with what we’ve learned and with collaborating with awesome GP’s.
Mel Jeurgens

5 Quick Questions With Our Dietitian On Starting Your Diet Well in 2021!

Mel Juergens 5 quick questions

Written by Sean Cooney

Our dietitian Mel and I sat down to have a conversation about the early influx of GP and non GP referred patients that we tend to see in the months of January and February. Here’s some key take away points.


You say that a lot of people come into your consults after having visited their GP’s for blood work in the earlier months of the year, what do you think is behind this trend?

People seem to have that “New Year, new me” feeling. They’re wanting to start the new year fresh and kick start their health with an understanding of where they currently sit.

Why do they come to see a dietitian and what conditions are you seeing mostly?

Weight loss is a big one. Many have tried and failed at multiple diet fads or they’re after a long term solution and not a fad. They want to do it the right way.

For some they can feel it’s their last resort coming to see a diet professional. There’s a lot of confusing information out there online and they’re, well, confused. Others have regrettably tried the fad diets and failed to stick to it which has wound up resulting in weight gain as we now know research shows can often happen.

What else do you see at this time of year?

People with diabetes and cholesterol issues. Ultimately at this time of year there are just a lot of people wanting to focus on their health and they have the time to act as they haven’t got too busy at work just yet. They are in a better position to make time for their health.

How have dietetic patients presented post COIVD?

During COVID there seemed to be a lot of people just surviving, not necessarily thriving. Now there seems to be a different attitude. The people that I am seeing now are wanting to work on their health and get great, long term outcomes from learning good habit and diet behaviours.

What would one expect when seeing you?

What most might find surprising is that we only spend 10-15 minutes talking about what you’re eating. 40 minutes or more are spent on truly understanding the person and their dietary choices. We look to understand their upbringing around food, their family history and a lot about their work and life now. Once knowing their history and all the factors that will impact on their diet and food choices we begin to forge a plan around what is realistic for the person and where is the best place to start.


What else?

GP’s wanting to know more about how our dietetics department, with Mel and Ash, are helping with general and more speciality based diet clientele please get in contact. We are always happy to arrange a visit to our clinics, come and visit you or set up a time to get on the phone (as we know how busy you are!).