Not sure what to do about your niggles? Read on!

Everyone at some point experiences some kind of injury. Injury can be the result of a traumatic event (e.g. sporting injury) or from repetitive stress on a particular structure/body part (e.g. tennis elbow or postural strain). Generally speaking, the time it takes for an injury to heal can be dependent on the nature and the extent of the injury. If the injury is severe it may take longer to heal, compared to a minor injury which might take less time to resolve.  Other factors like age, activity and systemic health may also hinder healing times.

Nonetheless, it is important to address an injury sooner rather than later. BUT WHY?!

Well, the human body is equipped with mechanisms that switch on in the presence of an injury. In the case of a musculoskeletal injury, we may typically see:

  • Pain inhibition of deep stabilising muscles
  • Reflex inhibition of postural muscles
  • Protective global muscle spasm
  • Reduced local joint protection & sense of joint awareness/balance
  • Muscle wasting due to disuse
  • Altered movement

If an injury is not seen to, it can lead to long term muscular imbalances and altered joint mechanics of not only the injured body part, but also body parts nearby. We call these secondary compensations or compensatory patterns. This is why it is important to follow a consistent exercise rehabilitation program that is specific to your injury. Not only does this ensure that you strengthen the affected areas appropriately and safely, but it also ensures that secondary compensations to the original injury do not become an issue later on! In other words, the sooner you address your injury, the better. And the more consistent you are with your exercise, the better the results will be!

Written By Dr. Jena Chang (osteopath)

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The quickest and easiest way to better mind and body health.

Happy new year! I hope you enjoyed the festive season. New year, new beginnings! I have a challenge for you.

COLD SHOWERS. “Are you crazy?” You ask. Maybe, but doing things out of the comfort zone is so invigorating and addictive. I even started doing cold showers 6 months ago… yes, in the middle of winter! And it was great! Why would I even consider doing such a thing to myself? Why not enjoy my nice, long hot showers in the middle of winter? Firstly, I was inspired by the amazing Tony Robbins who plunges into a cold pool every day to start the day. He encouraged me to wonder, am I in control of my body, or is my body in control of me? If we just stick to what’s comfortable for our whole lives, then we will never transcend to higher limits in order to achieve what we want to in life.

If that’s not enough motivation for you, here are even more benefits of cold showers:

  1. Better for the hair
  2. Better for the skin
  3. Aids with fat loss
  4. Speeds up recovery from aches and pains
  5. Eases depression
  6. Energises you for the day
  7. Improves alertness
  8. Improves your immunity
  9. Increased self control or willpower

So you can jump straight into cold water if you like, but here is how I eased into it, and I encourage you to try this too.

Day 1: regular hot shower, then change it to cold for 10 seconds.
Day 2: increase cold to 15 seconds
Day 3: increase cold to 20 seconds
Day 4: increase cold to 30 seconds.
Day 5-7: continue with 30 seconds.
Day 8: reduce time in hot shower, and increase cold to 1 minute
Day 9 onwwards: continue reducing time in hot shower, and continue increasing cold until you are having a full cold shower.


  1. Before the cold starts, push the fear aside. Get excited! I used to yell “Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!” And this got me through it.
  2. Count down out loud, and LOUDLY. For me, the volume of my voice drowned out the voice in my head that told me it was too cold.
  3. If you are sick or feel you are coming down with something, please don’t do the cold!

After the cold shower, contrary to what you might expect, you won’t feel cold. Even in winter, I felt very warm after. Your blood vessels constrict during the shower, and then open up again after, warming the body up.

There are almost 2 months left of summer, so here’s my challenge for you:

Cold showers every day for the rest of summer. Use the guideline above. You’ll notice that once you get to 30 seconds, you’ll feel that you can do as long as you like. And after a few days, your body just gets conditioned to it.

Let me know the changes you experience and note any of the benefits above. I’m excited to find out!

Don’t forget we have online bookings here, please FOLLOW US on social media, or CONTACT US HERE

Let us know how else we can improve your health!

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You’re sabotaging yourself from recovery. Here’s how.

It must be very frustrating when you feel amazing after a treatment, but it doesn’t last, and all your symptoms seem to return for no apparent reason, and you feel like you need another session sooner than expected! We know you love us, but we know you don’t want to be coming in all the time, and we don’t want to be seeing you all the time either, because we want to know that you’re getting better!

There are a few reasons why this would happen, and hopefully they help you understand how to get better quicker!

  1. Getting better is NOT your #1 priority. Sometimes, if your pain or injury is holding you back, you just have to put other things on hold and focus on recovery, so that you can come back even better and more efficient than before. For example, give your shoulder a break by not doing housework, give the gym a rest to let your knee recover, but most importantly, DO YOUR EXERCISES/FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN NO MATTER WHAT.
  2. Following on from the previous tip, the next biggest sabotage is when we have given you amazing advice, and you have just put the information to the back of your mind because there are just too many other things to worry about. You think, I’ll do that exercise later, I have to lift that bed frame up the stairs today, or I don’t have time so I’ll only do the exercise once today, or I will get that spiky ball next time, or it’s feeling better, I’ll use the heat pack tomorrow. We don’t blame you, life does get in the way sometimes, but this is a major sabotage. The more you follow our instructions, the faster you will heal.
  3. Not getting seen early enough. You get injured and think, I’ll just wait and see if it will get better. You speak to your friends who had the same problem, and they say theirs went away in a few days. Or, you think it’s only a small issue, and try not to think about it. So you wait a few days, then a few weeks, then a few months… and it’s really starting to bug you so you decide to get it looked at. In most cases, the longer you wait to get it treated, the longer it will take to get better. So book in as soon as you feel any niggle. This is also why we are fans of having regular monthly, six-weekly, or bi-monthly treatments/check ups, so that we nip it in the bud BEFORE it even begins.
  4. You have been taking painkillers. We understand. It is painful and stopping you from being productive. However, research shows that taking anti-inflammatories like Neurofen, Voltaren and Mobic actually slow the rate of recovery because it takes the much needed blood away from the injured area. The more tablets you take, the longer it will take to heal. There are many natural anti-inflammatory methods out there, so please ask us for some ideas instead and you’ll be back on your feet much quicker.

Don’t forget we have online bookings here, please FOLLOW US on social media, or CONTACT US HERE

Let us know how else we can improve your health!

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Osteopathy and Kids!

Our resident big kid, Dr. Alexis Page absolutely loves treating kids, and we recently interviewed her about this. Read on to find out why you should bring your kids in to see Alexis!

1. Why do you like treating kids and why do they love you?

I love kids because they are weird and wonderful little units who always see everything at it’s best. I’ve come from a background of coaching and teaching, so treating kids for me is just another branch of that.  I think it’s important to educate our young ones to look after themselves before things become too hard. Prevention is key.

Kids tend to like me because I am fun and warm, I put on a big smile and have fun with my young clients, and some of my older ones too. I make an effort to make a connection with each person who spends any amount of time on my table. I think that it’s an important part of the treatment to have a good relationship with your osteo, I find kids ask me a million questions about different things, they are comfortable and generally enjoy a session with me, it helps that they get better too!

2. What do you treat kids for?

I treat kids for a range of things, including but not limited to postural adjustments after, before and during growing or just in general, gait or walking issues, sport injuries, headaches, growing pains, relief of tension due to stress/anxiety.

3. What occurs during a consultation?

Consultations with children are always different, as their lives are ever changing and fast paced.  The first time you and your child come to visit me you can expect I talk to you both for half an hour, get to know all the different aspects of your history that are relevant in each different child’s case.  Then I’d spend 10 minutes assessing the child through watching them walk or run, and do some basic movements like squatting and some special tests for different conditions. Then there is about 20 minutes of treatment, depending on what each child comes in with will determine what techniques I’d use to treat. Then I’d most likely set some easy homework, like stretching or practising jumping with the correct technique.

4. What is the difference between an adult consultation and a child consultation?

The main difference between the adult and child consultation for me is the way I approach a client, with children it’s important to explain what’s going on in a why that makes them comfortable and have a smile on their face. You simply don’t get a good session with a frown. There are lots of jokes and talking about school and sport, whilst also giving them information about what’s going on with them, I’ve found that kids who understand what their condition is and what we are doing in a session hit the ground running and really embrace the osteo life.  I also tend to give kids a few more functional exercises than adults simply because they benefit from it more whilst they are growing.

5. What ages do you treat?

I treat from 5- 105 (I mean if you found someone older I’d certainly treat them to) I tend not to treat under 5 years old because I believe you should have further qualification for this age group. Something I will pursue in the future.

6. Should kids come for check ups? 

100% they should come for check ups, at the very least when they are either in a growth spurt or directly after. Ideally 4 times a year.  (more for children participating in sport). The teen age group benefit from more regular treatment 1-2 monthly as they are more active and going through some pretty big bodily changes.

If you feel that your child/ren might benefit from seeing Dr. Alexis, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information by emailing, calling us on 9898 4391, or you are welcome to book online HERE. Also, please SHARE this blog with your friends who have kids!

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Creaking and cracking like an unoiled machine this winter?

Some of us aren’t in the luxurious position of escaping winter for months on end each year, and have to shiver through the cold mornings and nights as we wait out what seems like a longer, darker and colder winter each year. Some of us suffer more than others, as we move like Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz in the mornings until our joints eventually loosen up a bit. But there is constant stiffness there, not to mention the creaking and cracking joints, especially when we climb the stairs. Although there are much colder climates than Melbourne, it is still not fun for those of us with joint and muscle pain.

So why in the world are we worse in winter, and what can we do about it?

  1. Decreased activity – With the shorter days, there is less chance for us to be out and about. And we are also less likely to be outside because it is colder and wetter. Admit it, you’d rather stay home and watch Dr. Phil with a big bowl of soup and rustic sour dough bread. With less movement overall (doesn’t even have to be exercise), we have less circulation, and become more stiff.
  2. Change in diet – When we are cold, we shiver more, which makes our muscles tense up, and our blood vessels constrict, which burns more calories. Hallelujah! You say. Sorry, not that easy. Because of this, we are hungrier, and turn more towards comfort foods. So you subconsciously eat more to compensate, going for the hot chocolate, the yummy bread, that extra bowl of rice, those hot chips. Yum. But not good for the joints or your general health. If you gain weight, it’s extra pressure on the joints, and your muscles and joints aren’t getting the nutrition they need.
  3. Change in mood – have you noticed that when it’s gloomy and cold outside, everyone seems grumpier? And when the sun is out, we all just feel happier, and more willing to smile? There is no scientific reason for this, it is purely an emotional thing. This affects our joints because if we feel depressed, we want to move even less.
  4. Lack of vitamin D – studies show that 30% of the population have a vitamin D deficiency. I think that if they tested everyone, it would be more that 50%, especially in winter. Our bodies require a lot more vitamin D than we think. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone pain and muscle weakness, among other things. It doesn’t hurt to take a supplement. And I would recommend everyone to take it especially in winter when there is less sunlight.
  5. Dehydration – with us being around heaters all day, and feeling overall less thirsty because we aren’t sweating, we are drinking a lot less water, which leads to dehydration. Dehydration leads to a reduction of minerals in muscles and joints, which then leads to stiffness and pain. Water is the best medicine, and best of all, it’s free! Please try and drink at least 2 litres per day!

So what can we do about it? My best advice would be to move to a tropical resort. Failing that, then, consciously think of ways to move more (you could even just do stretches on your foam roller as you watch TV at the end of the day, or have more breaks at work to walk around), prepare your food so you don’t reach for junk, think about how cold Iceland would be in comparison and be grateful for our mild winters, take a vitamin D supplement, and drink water! I promise you, after a couple of weeks of doing this, you will notice a huge difference in how you feel. And of course, you are always welcome to book an appointment at the clinic with one of our amazing practitioners. The heaters are always on, with the teapot waiting for you on the warmer. We embrace winter here, and love it!

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Think you have tennis elbow? Don’t play tennis? You’re not the only one.

When we have an injury, we realise how much we take for granted, and one of the big ones is when patients come and see me for tennis elbow. My top advice for tennis elbow is to REST REST REST , basically pretend that arm is useless. They then realise how much they use their arm, whether it is the dominant one or not! “But I don’t play tennis!” they say. Well, here’s a news flash, only a small percentage of people with “tennis elbow” actually play tennis. It is mainly caused by overuse of the arm and hand. Tightness in the muscles of the forearm build up and put pressure on a bone on the outside of the elbow, leading to inflammation, which in turn causes pain.

Signs and symptoms of tennis elbow:

  1. Pain when using your arm
  2. Pain when gripping (like using chopsticks, holding coffee cup, gripping door handle, etc)
  3. Soreness or tender to touch around the elbow
  4. Swelling or redness around the elbow
  5. Elbow or forearm pain
  6. Swollen fingers
  7. Pain that could be worse in the morning or at the end of the day
  8. Numbness or tingling in the fingers
  9. Neck and shoulder pain associated with elbow pain
  10. Pain when shaking hands
  11. Pain when trying to lift something like a kettle or shopping.

You are at risk of developing tennis elbow if:

  1. You are in the 30-50 year old age bracket.
  2. You have an occupation where you are using your arm and/or fingers a lot (i.e. typing/mousework on computer, tradework, cooking, repetitive arm movements (machinist, packer, etc).
  3. You play a lot of racket sports, especially if you employ the wrong technique.
  4. Have suffered from tennis elbow in the past.

 What can I do about it?

  1. REST REST REST. Overuse of the arm is what caused it in the first place so not using your arm at all will help in its recovery. Rest means no lifting, no gripping (from door handles to even your toothbrush), and basically keeping the injured arm useless until recovery. i understand that it is hard to not use your arm 100% of the time, but the  more you rest it, the faster it will improve.
  2. ICE/HEAT. This depends on how long you have had it. If it is chronic tennis elbow (over 3 months in duration), you might need to do a combination of ice and heat. Otherwise, for acute tennis elbow (less than 3 months), especially if the elbow is swollen or red, then 10 minutes of ice 3 times per day will help reduce the inflammation and provide some relief.
  3. TENNIS ELBOW STRAP. Purchase a tennis elbow strap from the pharmacy, so that if you do have to use your arm especially at work, wear it and it will take the pressure off the tendons to allow it to heal.
  4. OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT. Sometimes, tennis elbow is not as simple as it sounds. There are other factors involved like the posture of your spine affecting how your shoulder and in turn your arm are working. The beauty of osteopathy is that we look at everything as a whole, so during an assessment for tennis elbow, we will address those things, which will speed up your recovery even more, and most importantly, prevent recurrence.

As always, online bookings are available HERE.

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Arthritis … the be all and end all?

A lot of my patients say “my back/neck pain is caused by arthritis”, or “I got an x-ray and my doctor said it’s arthritis that is causing all my symptoms, and there is nothing I can do about it”, so I thought I’d explain what I would normally tell them in a consultation.

So you have arthritis, what should you do? There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common one, osteoarthritis, is actually caused by wear and tear of the joints (mainly age related), and news flash for you, actually starts in your 30’s. If we X-Rayed everyone over 30, I’m sure most people will have some sort of wear and tear somewhere in their bodies. To some extent, osteoarthritis is NORMAL.

So question is, what can we do about it? Well, young or old, I recommend EXERCISE. If you keep all your muscles and joints strong and mobile, you can slow the progression or prevent it from affecting you. The key, though, is to do enough exercise, but not too much. Too much will wear down the joints even further. I recommend you choose a full body exercise you love… swimming, yoga, pilates, gym, weights, dance etc… there are so many options out there these days, there’s really no excuse. And then make sure you go REGULARLY.

Some medical practitioners love to take x-rays and tell you that your degenerative joints are causing your new back pain, even though the degeneration has been there for years and your back pain only 2 weeks. Arthritis can predispose you to injury, but it is usually not the primary cause of your symptoms, especially if you have an episode that caused it (i.e. twisting your back, lifting something incorrectly, etc). So once your symptoms subside, you can go on like you were before (with a few tweaks so that you don’t hurt yourself again!).

For more specific tips and home care advice about your particular case, please book in for a consultation with Debbie or Camille. As always, you can BOOK ONLINE HERE.

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Jaws … not the Steven Spielberg kind!

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of my most favourite areas of the body to treat. It truly puts a sparkle in my eye.

Why? Because my own jaw was dislocated during a dental surgery when I was a teenager, and during a technique class in second year uni, my jaw felt so amazing, it was like I had a new one. Since then, I’ve had the immense pleasure of helping hundreds of people with their jaw and seeing the tremendous results. It is a complex joint, and I’d say it is the most used joint in the body. We use it to eat, talk, smile, laugh, cry, frown, pout, kiss, and perform nearly all facial expressions.

I thought it easiest to explain jaw treatments by telling you about a patient of mine who I saw recently. She is an office worker in her early 30’s who for a few days had been experiencing dizziness on and off. In osteopathy consultations, we get into a lot of detail, so in her case, I found out that she had a dental procedure done about 15 years ago that misaligned her jaw, and her bite was now crooked. After the treatment, her bite was 90% more even, and she experienced immense relief, even though she wasn’t aware that she had discomfort in her jaw (and her dizziness was gone).

This is a pattern I see time and again, which is the reason I love treating jaws. Most patients walk out feeling like they have an amazing new jaw. The patient I explained above has been raving about her jaw since. She has been seeing me for the last 10 years on and off for different concerns, and keeps saying that she can’t believe she didn’t even realise she had jaw issues.

Unfortunately, the jaw is one of those areas that most people hold a lot of tension and don’t realise. When we are angry or stressed, we tend to clench. You might even clench or grind your teeth at night, which is extremely common. This can lead to long term jaw and dental problems, so best to nip it in the bud.

If you want your jaw to feel amazing, put a sparkle in our eyes and book in with either Debbie or Camille. Book an appointment here.

  • Signs you may have jaw issues


    Signs that you may have jaw issues that you didn’t know about:

    1. Clicking or clunking of the jaw
    2. Uneven bite
    3. Unable to fully open your mouth
    4. Teeth being ground down
    5. Headaches
    6. Neck pain
    7. Shoulder pain
    8. Ringing in the ears
    9. Changes in hearing
    10. Dizziness
    11. Past dental surgery or major dental procedure
    12. Jaw pain (you might wake up in the morning with a tired or achy jaw, or have more constant pain)
  • Tips to stop your jaw clenching


    HOT TIPS to prevent clenching at night:

    1. Concentrate on relaxing your jaw throughout the day. Think about your often and make an effort to relax it as much as possible. Before you go to sleep, lie in bed and try to fall asleep with a relaxed jaw.
    2. Do meditation before sleep. If stress is the cause of your clenching or grinding (90% of the time, it is), then even just 10 minutes of meditation can help relieve the stress so you can have a clench free night.
    3. Massage the muscles around your jaw yourself for several minutes each day after dinner. A good chance for your jaw to have some well deserved R & R after being so busy all day.
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How to make time for exercise when there is no time

I love looking at Instagram pages of mums who do lunges in the kitchen while chopping carrots, and burpees putting the washing into the washing machine while wearing their super expensive, stylish workout gear. I can only dream. I don’t know about you, but when I’m at home with the kids, there is so much to do, the only exercise I get is trying to walk with a 1 year old attached to my leg, and running to save him from falling off the couch.

I am a mum of a 3 year old and 1 year old, and I own and operate BHCH. Needless to say, I don’t have much time on my hands at the best of times, and it has been made extra challenging these days because of a very exciting development… we are moving to a new location!!! It is a custom fitout in Box Hill North. More details to follow.

We will be ready to go by the end of March, and you will be updated via email and on facebook/Instagram as we go, so please follow us (links below) to stay in the loop! We are still operating from Prospect Street in the mean time, so don’t forget you can BOOK ONLINE.

Being so busy lately has brought me to this article… my top 4 tips on how to make time for exercise (or other things you might need to do) when you have no time.

  • make time for exercise tip 1

    Tip 1

    Write down the answer to these questions:

    How important is it to you to exercise (or do the task you “have no time” for)? Why is it so important? How will you feel once you get it done?

    Imagine yourself 3 months, 6 months, 12 months from now once you have achieved your task. How do you look, how do you feel, what difference has it made to your life?

    Revisit this page every week or fortnight, and remind yourself why you are making time for this.

  • make time for exercise tip 2

    Tip 2


    I have gotten very good at diarising things since I had my second son. I give myself blocks of time to get certain tasks done, and make sure I do it in that time.

    For example, I allow 2 hours every night after the kids are in bed to work on the business. At the start of each week, I plan out how I will utilise those 2 hours each day. And then I tick off those tasks.

    So, my advice is to find windows of time that you are free, and block them off in your diary for exercise. Even if you can fit in a short 20 minute workout at home, it’s better than nothing. Easy!

  • make time for exercise tip 3

    Tip 3

    This probably makes me sound like a broken record, but PRIORITISE.

    I find it helps if I write down my list of things to do for the day, week, month, even quarter, and number them in order of importance.

    Then ticking things off gives me a sense of achievement, while the more important things are done first.

    For example, I might have a 90 minute window while the little one is napping, so I would do a quick 30 minute workout, make a few work phone calls and send some emails, then prep dinner, leaving laundry for later.

    You’ll be surprised how much gets done in just 90 minutes when you are focussed on the tasks at hand. You just need to work out what is important to YOU.

  • make time for exercise tip 3

    Tip 4


    And I’m not selling fitness apparel, although buying nice workout clothes might motivate some.

    Mel Robbins came up with a theory called the “5 second rule”. Every time you have an idea to do something, you have 5 seconds before you talk yourself out of it. So she suggested you count down from 5, and as soon as you hit 1, jump up and do what you were thinking.

    E.g. you set the alarm for 5:30am to hit the gym before work. Your alarm wakes you. instead of thinking about hitting snooze, you count 5…4…3….2….1 and leap out of bed and into the gym.

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