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Karen has a special interest in women’s health and a fierce desire to help empower women to achieve optimal health and wellbeing using natural methods throughout their entire reproductive life cycle and especially during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Even as a little girl Karen always wanted to become a Doctor but after graduating as a Registered Nurse felt that Western Medicine was not quite right for her.
In those early years Karen learned that the forte of Western Medicine was to saving lives and treat disease. Karen noticed that within the system there was minimal if any effort directed towards preventing illness in the first place and this made little sense to her.
It was like drawing a fresh breath when Karen discovered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the path to fulfilling her dream of one day becoming a Doctor, albeit of a different kind was firmly set in motion.
With her passion for Chinese Medicine ignited she studied a double degree in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, at Victoria University in Melbourne. Karen completed her studies with a two month clinical internship at Liao Ning College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, graduating both degrees with honours in 2006.
Over the last 8 years Karen has developed a special interest in the area of women’s health, obstetrics and gynaecology and now works collaboratively within the Ten Moons team to help women get their bodies into the best possible position to fall pregnant, stay pregnant and produce strong, happy, healthy babies.
For 4 years Karen sat as a voluntary member on the Chinese Medicine Registration Board Reference Group. The role of the Reference Group was to discuss and advise the Board on issues that arise from and affect the profession of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Australia. It was a great privilege for Karen to be given the opportunity to contribute to shaping her profession.
Karen has also recently co-authored a book on Chinese Medicine entitled ‘Unlocking the Mysteries of Chinese Medicine: A Reference Manual for Consumers’, a laypersons perspective on Chinese Medicine that aims to make it more accessible to Western consumers. All new clients to the clinic will receive a complimentary copy with their initial consultation.
Pregnancy & Birth:
- Treatment of morning sickness
- Pre-birth acupuncture & Chinese Medicine to prepare for a natural birth (from 34 weeks)
- Acupressure as a natural method of pain relief during pregnancy
- Acupuncture induction for post-term babies
- Moxibustion to turn breech presentation
- Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
- Management of stress & anxiety
- Birth attendance: providing acupuncture during labour and birth (for pre-existing clients only)
Postnatal care and breastfeeding:
- Treatment of Mastitis
- Promote breast milk
- Chinese Medicine to aid recovery after birth
- Natural remedies to care for your perineum after birth
- Treatment of baby (colic, jaundice)
You can find more about my services at www.bamboospirit.com.au.
Background & Training
Allison and Brendan completed their Masters in Osteopathy at Victoria University, with Allison completing a masters thesis exploring the osteopathic assessment of babies.
Allison and Brendan have completed a two year postgraduate diploma of Paediatric Osteopathy at the renowned Osteopathic Centre for Children in London. During this time at the clinic they both worked alongside paediatricians providing osteopathic treatment to premature infants within the neonatal intensive care units, paediatric wards, outpatient wards on a rotational basis in Barnet and North Middlesex London hospitals, and the private Osteopathic Centre for Children clinic in south London.
Brendan and Allison have both completed numerous postgraduate courses in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America covering Osteopathy in the cranial field, biodynamic cranial osteopathy and osteopathic treatment during pregnancy and for babies and children.
In any birth the baby may have been squashed, pulled or twisted in different ways and this may leave the baby experiencing some discomfort.
Osteopaths are trained to diagnose asymmetry or tensions in the pelvis, spine and head and release strains and tension to ensure that a good breathing pattern has been established.
Osteopaths do not focus on treating conditions, but on ensuring that the individual child is physically comfortable and balanced. Allison & Brendan choose the most gentle, respectful and comfortable techniques available to them as osteopaths and babies appear to relax and enjoy the treatment in most cases.
Osteopaths recommend that every baby is checked after birth as unresolved birth strains may contribute to many different problems as the child grows.
- Feeding difficulties
Osteopaths are especially interested in jaw mechanics, i.e. how far the baby can open their mouth to achieve and adequate latch, they are also interested in their overall comfort on the breast, often when a baby shows a preference to laying their head on one side, or only turning their head one way they find one breast more difficult to feed on compared to the other. Tension or discomfort in the babies upper neck or head may cause feeding to be uncomfortable.
- Crying, irritable baby
Reflux and silent reflux are very common causes of irritability in babies. Osteopaths work alongside your baby’s paediatrician in an attempt to reduce physical tensions typically related to reflux. Your osteopath will assess your baby’s whole body for any obvious signs of discomfort, and are particularly interested in diaphragm motion, as the diaphragm provides a secondary support to the muscular band (sphincter) that helps prevent the stomach contents irritating the food pipe. Part of the assessment will also include examination of the flexibility of the baby’s thorax, and neck. Osteopaths commonly find releasing tension, whether caused by or contributing to the reflux, can help the baby relax in the hope to reduce the symptoms of reflux.
- Fluid in the ears
All babies and children with ear infections and childhood illness should be under the care of their doctor, paediatrician or ENT specialist. There are a number of factors influencing why children experience more ear infections than adults. One of the major differences is the more horizontal orientation of the eustation tube (where the fluid drains from the ear) in a child compared to an adult, making it more difficult to drain fluid from the ear. When babies have an excess of fluid in their ears, the osteopath will assess the whole body, with a focus on ensuring all areas of the body involved in the drainage pathway are free to move in the hope that the body can naturally improve drainage from the ears.
The aim of osteopathic treatment during pregnancy is to improve flexibility, mobility, and reduce pain. During any stage of pregnancy women may experience exacerbation of previous conditions or injuries, or there may be new aches and pains that arise during pregnancy.
Most commonly pregnant women seek help and advice for pelvic pain, lower back pain, rib pain, headaches, sinus congestion, carpal tunnel and for a general assessment of symmetry and flexibility of the pelvis in preparation for birth.
When Allison & Brendan assess women during pregnancy, they are always considering the impact certain restrictions and tensions in the body may have on optimal foetal positioning. While they do not physically turn babies as such, their treatment aims to create the space and flexibility to allow the baby to be in the best possible position for labour if they are able to do so.
Being able to take a deep breath can become difficult during pregnancy. Ensuring your diaphragm muscle remains flexible can be achieved by physical treatment of different areas of the body and also from deep breathing. The osteopaths at Aim Osteopathy think this is extremely important considering the location of the diaphragm, that it is flexible, allowing for accommodation of space for the baby and the importance of deep breathing in relaxation and as a part of your pain management plan during labour.
Another muscle group placed under great importance is your pelvic floor. It is just as important to know how to relax your pelvic floor for labour as it is to do your pelvic floor exercises. Osteopaths assess and treat the areas of the pelvis where the pelvic floor muscles attach to determine whether there are any asymmetries or increased tensions in the pelvic floor that may benefit from physical treatment.
- After birth
Osteopaths will assess and treat any stresses and strains you feel have been left behind from the birth process and also assess and treat areas of discomfort from activities such as carrying your baby, breast feeding, new sleeping postures etc.
Hospital and emergency appointments
Allison & Brendan are passionate about helping mums during and after pregnancy and babies as soon as possible and throughout their lives. There are some circumstances where if possible they will be available for hospital or after hours emergency appointments. In regards to in hospital appointments this is only with permission from the specific hospital and consultant in charge of the care for the woman or baby’s. To be on call during home birth labour, Allison & Brendan would prefer to have made an assessment during pregnancy and addressed issues prior to labour where possible, making treatment more specific and effective during labour if needed.
563 South Road