Blog

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!).

Setting Up For A Prosperous Year With Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management and Team Care Arrangement Initiatives

Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management

Medicare Chronic Disease Management
Written by Sean Cooney
 
With the chronic disease management and team care arrangements offering such a wide scope of practice for a wide variety of people, no two patients are really the same. But, of course, there are some key similarities.
 
Patients who see multiple allied health professionals on one referral
When the five sessions are spread across 2-3 practitioners we find that the first practitioners’ initial assessment is really important. The GP referral is so valuable at providing the history of the presenting illness or ailment and the goal setting section is instrumental. Where the patient decides to start the allied health care approach, ie which practitioner they see first, normally dictates the approach that they want to take.
For example, seeing a physio before the AEP may mean that there could be a level of fear avoidance behaviours that are present due to the length or severity (or both) of the patient’s condition. Seeing the AEP before the physio may mean that they’re more keen to get started with exercise and wanting to top up on education around their previous injury or refresh their self management strategies. Seeing the dietitian before an AEP or the physio may mean that they know that their food choices are impacting their ability or willingness to move. It can also mean that this is what they’ve identified as the best place to start forming better habits or routines around a healthy living – considering that we can eat 3-5 times per day whereas we might only exercise once.
 
5 sessions or more?
The premise of the CDM program being about setting goals and then setting a plan to achieve these goals means that we need to have an early conversation around how much they’re expecting to achieve in the 12 months that the sessions are valid. Some like to use their sessions and move straight onto the private healthfunds but for others they can only afford the 5 or only want the 5 sessions. When the person is requesting to continue beyond the 5 sessions, these initial sessions serve really well to get a thorough assessment of where the patient’s condition is at, how they have been managing, educate them on updates to evidenced based practice that are applicable to their condition and then getting started with a meaningful intervention. When the person is only wanting the 5 sessions from Medicare it is much more about educating on self management strategies and tools for reassessment from day 1. Patient’s can feel they didn’t get value out of the sessions if they’ve started on a plan of intervention that there wasn’t adequate follow up to reassess whether this was effective for them or not.
 
The value in a health spend
Working in CBD areas in North Sydney and Broadway, sometimes the reliance on a Medicare subsidy isn’t so great which can bring into question one’s value on the contribution. I think it stills gives the opportunity to set the person up for success and moving towards a happier and healthier existence. The premise of the management plan, to have the GP integrating with allied health professionals, mandating that we communicate, including the use of objective measures, health care plan and goal setting with time frames is no doubt the structure that is required to deliver long term outcomes and reduce the “burden of disease”. If this gives a person the first taste of this approach, it can surely do no harm.   Whichever is the patient preferred approach to their healthcare, the program is awesome and can be so effective. We’re truly lucky to live in Australia. As long as expectations are clearly communicated and smart planning is discussed from the initial appointment then we can truly chip away year on year, helping the patient adopt good management strategies to manage their chronic conditions.
 
Personal Trainer

Exciting news – Joining the Healthfix team Personal Trainer – Scott Lupi

Introducing NEW Personal Trainer Scott Lupi

We are really excited to announce a new addition to our Integrated Team,  please join us in welcoming Scott Lupi a new Personal Trainer . Scott is a Personal Trainer specialising in hypertrophy and strength training. With over 13 years of resistance training and eight years of personal training experience, he understands that each person has their own individual needs; from leverages to maximise results, exercise prescription to optimise a training program. He uses a blend of psychology and his own experiences to get to the deep reasons behind what drives us to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Scott believes in honest communication and pushing clients to breakthrough into new levels of confidence and self-belief whilst looking and feeling their best.

Qualifications :

Certificate IV in fitness
Broderick Chavez: Advanced programming and supplementation
Mike Israetel: Nutrition/training principles and periodisation
Book in to see Scott today.
nutrition

Exciting BRAND NEW – Revitalise your Nutrition – Course March 2021

Revitalise your Nutrition Course.

After the success & incredible feedback from our Nutrition Course in November “Fundamentals of Diet and Nutrition” we are pleased to announce our next course hosted by Melissa Juergens will be kicking off on the 3rd of March and we would like to see you come along and be a part of it! Are you confused by the conflicting information about “the best” ways to eat? Are you wanting quick, easy meals that do not cost an arm and a leg? Are you sick and tired of feeling like every meal is an effort? Over a 5-week period you will learn from our expert Dietetics Team, the fundamentals of how to get back on track with our “Revitalise your Nutrition” course.  Simple, easy, and delicious tips and tricks that can help you push your health in the right direction.

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When: Starts Wednesday 3rd March.

               Classes will typically be Wednesday lunchtime and Sunday evenings

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What: The course will be a mix of educational and practical skills, all designed to help you achieve your diet goals. You will work with our Dietetics Team to learn about nutrition and positive eating habits, learning new recipes to flex your knowledge. We will provide you with simple, nutritious, and delicious recipes for all occasions building off each session as each week passes.
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Where: All educational sessions are held at Healthfix and via Zoom. Wednesday cooking sessions will be held face to face at our North Sydney location OR you can join on Zoom. All Sunday sessions will be held via Zoom so you can cook in the comfort of your home.
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Cost:  $275 for all 10 classes OR enjoy access to all Healthfix classes for only $325. These extra classes include Pilates, Yoga, Strength and Fitness classes. If you are already a member with us then this course is included as part of your membership! Please contact us now to get in touch and get signed up, places are limited.
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Once paid in full the course is non refundable and non transferable to another individual. Access to the Healthfix classes will run from the 3rd March to the 7th April inclusive.  Our Dieticians follow  the Australian Dietary Guidelines.  
What is wellness?

The Wellness Series | What is wellness?

Wellness is a broad, holistic integration of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Yes, it’s about fuelling the body nutritionally and physically, but it’s also about engaging the mind and nurturing our emotional wellbeing.  Not just surviving – but thriving. The World Health Organization has defined health as not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, but “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”.  Wellness is an attitude; the practice of healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, not jumping on a health fad or exercise craze. Several lifestyle areas are key dimensions of overall wellness. They include: social connectedness, exercise, nutrition, sleep and mindfulness. Each one has an impact on your physical and mental health – ie, your wellness. By making simple and healthy choices on a daily basis, you will be well on your way towards reducing stress and having positive social interactions.  

Social Connectedness

Connecting with friends or loved ones is a great way to help improve your physical and mental health. Strong ties with family, friends and the community provide us with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose. Being connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing and can be a protective factor against anxiety and depression. “What we try and emphasise is community – whatever that might mean for you,” says Healthfix Senior Coach Mark Wilson. “Healthfix embodies that social connectedness as all members of our public, whether they’re doing rehab or working towards performance-based goals – come together and work in the same space. It also serves a good education purpose, in that no matter the ability, we’re all trying to be better and improve.”  

Physical movement

Even 20 or 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a positive impact on your overall sense of wellbeing and help improve your mood. WHO has identified a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes high intensity exercise per week to have a marked impact on how people are feeling physically and emotionally. This is thanks to the release of endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter that helps relieve pain and stress. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which play an important part in regulating your mood and improving sleep cycles. Regular exercise also helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones. Don’t know where to start? Try a brisk walk on your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the lift when you can. “It is important that people get the appropriate type of physical activity,” advises Mark. “If you’re not sure, keep it low intensity. Light physical activity is a great way to help improve wellbeing and prevent injury.”  

Nutrition

By adding wholesome ingredients to your plate, you’ll be taking steps towards a healthier you. The food we eat gives our bodies the “information” and the materials they need to function properly. For example, your immune function thrives on vitamins A, E and C, while your metabolism is affected by potassium, niacin and B6.  “We are what we eat,” says Mark. “Nutrition is an absolute keystone to health and wellness – anyone can out-eat any exercise routine. It’s important to get the right foods in the right quantities, avoiding foods that might cause us harm.”  

Sleep

Sleeplessness and mood disorders are closely linked. And it can work both ways – sleep loss can affect your mood, and your mood can affect how much and how well you sleep.  Your amygdala is the fear processing unit in your brain. The good news is that not only is it reset during the night under deep REM sleep, it also becomes less active following a good night’s sleep.  Ask yourself: when was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed? Do you feel that you’re currently getting a good night’s sleep to energise you for the next day?  Consistent bedtime practices can help get you a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeine after 12pm, include quiet and calm activities before going to bed, and wake up at the same time every day – these are simple ways you can begin your journey towards becoming a successful sleeper.  

Mindfulness

Did you know that practicing mindfulness is good for the body and mind, helps with focus and also changes the brain? Take a moment right now to consider your own mind and how you are feeling. The more you tap into your own thoughts, the more you may become aware of how you react to stressful events. Healthfix’s integrative approach can help you achieve optimal wellness, particularly through its Wellness Coaching program, where Mark and team can work with you to find solutions to areas which are presenting as roadblocks to leading a healthier more bountiful life. “If you take the word wellness out, and replace it with whatever you personally want to work on – say, routine, lifestyle, healthy eating, sleeping, motivation, anything – that’s essentially what wellness coaching is,” explains Mark. “The coaching element remains constant, it’s just the goal that changes.” Healthfix utilises different methodology in its wellness coaching, including The Check Institute’s holistic health system, which focuses on the four-doctor principal: Dr Diet, Dr Quiet, Dr Happiness and Dr Movement. Contact us today to find out more.

How to Use a Foam Roller | Amazing Foam Roller Benefits

Healthfix Instagram Posts 37

Foam Rollers

What is a Foam Roller?  Foam rollers essential look like large noodles but they can quickly become your best friend. There are many types nowadays of all shapes and sizes. They get used to loosen up before a match or training session as well as serving as a great homework tool to do some physio or trainer prescribed home exercises around mobility and flexibility. When making your selection about which one to use I always recommend that you get one that is practical to fit in your home/ room / home gym (they can be quite large and bigger isn’t always better) and get one that feels comfortable and inviting to use – it shouldn’t be used as a tool of torture. You’ll see these commonly now in Pilates and physio studios as well as commercial gyms and sporting environment including institutes of sport.  ________________________________________________________________ What are Foam Rollers used for?  They work on releasing soft tissue, relieving muscle tightness and soreness and they can also be valuable in helping to break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue after injury. They can stimulate blood flow and are really valuable in promoting neural down regulation (this is often why they can be sore to first get on but then this soreness eases with a lasting effect of relief of the symptoms that made you get on the roller).  Effectively, any intervention that we put the body through be it a strong sports massage, Chiro or Osteo manipulation, hot / cold pack, dry needling, etc needs to be analysed and accepted by the body. Jumping on foam roller puts a lot of pressure to the area where the brain may be holding some tense muscles or trying to protect it with a pain response. So as you consciously lie on the foam roller, the brain can start to accept that you don’t want those muscles so tense or so much protection of the area and it relaxes; and then you can feel relaxed. ________________________________________________________________ Things to be aware of:  – Make sure you understand and are confident with how you intend to use the foam roller. Our Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and Personal Trainers can help a lot here.  – Don’t push through pain for too long. The whole point is to feel relief so if you’re still experiencing strong pain  after say 1 minute, take it easy on yourself and ease up. – Be aware of any “no pain no gain” or “go hard” on the foam roller commentary. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine. At the end of the day it’s a foam roller so it should never pose as a threat or tool of torture unless you’re trying to use it incorrectly or your body need a lighter intervention to start with.  __________________________________________________________________   A couple of common and popular Foam Roller exercises: The ITB (great for runners, field sports players and gym goers) Iliotibial band (ITB) is a band of fascia on the outside of your upper leg, when it is tight it can cause knee and hip pain.   – Lie side on with the affected side on the foam roller, rest your upper body through your forearm. With your unaffected leg, place over affected side and place the full surface of your foot on the ground. Start with the foam roller just above your knee and roll back and forth slowly for 30 seconds to just below your hip bone. For further pressure, place unaffected leg on top of affected side.    Foam Roller 1 _________________________________________________________________    The Quadricep (similar to above demographic plus people who kick in their sport like martial arts, kick boxing, football and AFL): Tight quadriceps can pull on your patella and cause some compressive pain at the front of your knee (most commonly).  – lie on your stomach with the roller placed under your thighs. Hold your body straight and rest your upper body through your forearms. Roll yourself back and forth slowly from just above your knee to just below your hip bone. For further pressure bend your knees.    Foam Roller 2 If you like these exercises and want some more or you want to get some advice on which foam roller would be best for you please do not hesitate to get in contact with us, we offer them in our clinics and the team are always happy to help!
Bundle

New Promotion – Bundle & Save up to 40% of our services!

Healthfix Bundle and Save

Make 2021 the year where you focus on your health goals and achieve your greatest success yet! We have put together three incredible deals that represent not only great value but also have been created with you our customer in mind to get you started or  continuing on your health journey.

Bundle 1  – Injured:  Are you currently injured? are you in need of rehabilitation and not sure of the right path to go down? this package for you! It includes 2 x Physiotherapy consultations,   1 x Exercise Physiology training sessions and 1 x Dietetics consultation, giving you the confidence to start rehabilitating your injury. Bundle 2 – Getting Started: Have you been wanting to get started but just don’t know where to start? well this a great option for you to look at! It includes 3 x Exercise Physiology training sessions and  1 x Dietetics consultation. This means you will be set up with a plan to get you on your way to achieving your health goals
Bundle 3 – Sports Nutrition: Are you an athlete wanting to take your training to a new level? Do you want to elevate your current goals? We have designed this with you in mind.  It includes 2 x Strength and Conditioning training sessions & 2 x Sports Nutrition consults with our dietician which will arm you with the knowledge to accelerate your current training.
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Total cost per Bundle is $299
Don’t wait, these incredible savings won’t last for long! to find out more get in touch with our team today.
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Not available to current Health Club members. Each customer can only purchase one of each type of each package. You are not permitted to purchase multiple types of the one package. All sessions need to be used up by the customer within 3 months of the initial purchase date. Sessions not used by this date will be forfeited. Bundles are not transferable to another individual. You can use your private health insurance or team care arrangement/chronic disease management plan to claim your benefits from the bundle services. Promotion will expire on the 28th February 2020.
yoga pilates

Yoga & Pilates starting 19th January – Exciting new classes!

Yoga & Pilates

We are really excited to announce that we have Yoga classes commencing in 2021! Starting the week of the 18th January, the classes will run twice per week on : ⁠⁠Tuesday & Friday evenings at 6pm for 60mins.⁠ These will be led by our new Yoga teacher Jess Zabow who will go through a  mixture of Ashtanga & Vinyasa flow. There are many benefits to Yoga including increased strength, balance, flexibility and breath control.

Alongside this we also run mat Pilates classes multiple times per week based in our North Sydney clinic, online (you can zoom into them from home) and on Thursday’s outdoors at Clark Park in Lavender Bay. Click here to see our timetable of classes. Pilates is for everyone, if you are looking to increase your mobility & flexibility. Improve your movement patterns, stabilising strength, balance and core control.

If you are a member of our Health Club all these class options will be included in your membership, alternatively we have another option where you can look to purchase a Yoga & Pilates Class Pass.

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Yoga & Pilates Class Pass

10 classes – $200 ($20 per class)

15 classes – $ 285 ($19 per class)

20 classes – $360 (18 per class)
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All sessions need to be used within 3 months of the initial purchase date. Sessions not used by this date will be forfeited. The class pass is non refundable once purchased and non transferable to another individual. Our teacher Amy Jarjoura holds her Polestar Pilates Certification
Contact us to find out more.
New Year health goals | tennis

Kick-starting 2021 | Firing up your New Year health goals 

We’re all glad to bid 2020 a not-so-fond farewell. And while we can’t guarantee a *whole* new start for 2021, it is within our power to set achievable New Year health goals that will see us through the year – and beyond. Many people make the mistake of unrealistic expectations when it comes to their New Year resolutions. Buoyed by the idea of a brand spanking new year, and excited for what’s to come, vague immeasurable promises such as “lose weight”, “get fit” or, worse, “quit <bad habit/food type>” almost guarantees disappointment. This year, set yourself up for success by using the S.M.A.R.T. system. What’s that, exactly? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here’s how you can set achievable goals, and nail them. 

 

S is for Specific

In order for a goal to be effective, it needs to be specific. As with most things, the devil is in the detail: ask yourself what needs to be accomplished? What steps will need to be taken to achieve it? Who will I need to connect with to help? This is the first step to accomplishing your New Year health goals.  For the team at Healthfix, specifics are the building blocks of any health change. Where you and where you’re going can only ever be measured with the nitty-gritty, whether that’s mobility specific, or weight based, or getting you ready for your next ultramarathon. Thinking through these prompts will help set a highly-specific goal that not only lays out what you’re aiming for, but also gives any necessary context. Which leads us to…

 

M is for Measurable

“Specific” is a solid start, but it’s missing something – “specifically” (see what we did there?) it’s detail-orientated mate: numbers. Specific can’t be achieved without numbers. And you can’t count numbers without being specific. Numbers can sometimes be scary, but they can also be powerful. We believe it’s crucial to quantify any goal – it makes it that much easier to track progress and know when you’ve reached the finish line. Plus, beating the number makes things fun. 

 

A is for Achievable

Goals should be empowering — not high pedestals from which you eventually tumble. That’s why this letter of the acronym is dedicated to ensuring that your New Year health goal is achievable. Put simply, this is the point in the process when you (and we) take a reality check. Is the goal you’ve outlined so far actually reasonable? Is it something we could realistically accomplish? Honesty is the backbone of our health club, and we will consider and face any conditions or limitations that might impede your goal, together.

 

R is for Relevant

Nobody wants to set goals for the sake of setting them. There should be a real benefit attached to actually reaching that target, although in the case of health, there’s always a benefit. That said, this “R” should be relevant to you and your own health journey. Think about why the goal is actually important to you? What is its key benefit? Once we identify how it fits into your core beliefs, we can incorporate into your actual goal so that you and the team have a grasp on the larger picture.

 

T is for Timely

Goals can’t stretch into infinity – they need a deadline. That’s the important final piece of S.M.A.R.T. goals. It also underscores the other four goal pointers, and is an important piece of measuring success. We like to make sure we’re all on the same page about when a goal can and can’t be reached. Are you expecting to see results immediately? In a month? In five years? We feel strongly about finite therapy – your health journey shouldn’t be endless monthly physio appointments with no light at the end of the tunnel. Health goals, like any goals, should have realistic timelines included in them, so that everyone – you, your therapists, your trainer – stays on track.