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We hope you enjoy this interview with Bronwyn.  Bronny is an absolute legend of an osteopath, and an even better person!  Enjoy, and read on….. :))


  • Where were you born?  How many siblings?

Melbourne born and bred! The youngest (and favourite!) of four kids, I have two sisters and a brother.


  • What were your hobbies, what did you like doing at high school?

I was always involved in sports; rowing, netball, aths and dancing.  I also did a lot of music, playing saxophone and piano all the way through school to grade 8 levels, and something I wish I kept up now. Lockdown saw me whip out the keyboard and try a few more melodies.


  • Why did you choose osteopathy?

I didn’t know what an osteopath was when I finished school! I did a Sport Science degree first – as I liked sport, and I liked science! But I knew it was a stepping stone degree that wasnt quite what I wanted to do.  I was a receptionist at an osteo clinic and they encouraged me to see what osteopathy was about and it just went from there, day one/week one of classes I loved. The principles of osteopathy resonated with me and I knew I found my profession.


  • When did you graduate, and from where?

Graduated from Sport Science in 2010 from Deakin Uni and Osteopathy in 2015 from RMIT.


  • Where have you worked as an Osteopath?

I’ve worked at City Osteo since 2016. I’ve done work experience in Ireland, NZ and in India three times in Mumbai and Goa and being a tutor there during my year off. Now I have another practice in Burwood as well as here in the City twice a week.


  • What do you like about Osteopathy?

There are many pathways to address tissue healing – if that’s joint manipulations, dry needling, gentle treatment or exercise rehab.  Treatment can be firm, it can be gentle, or you can see one practitioner or another and have a completely different experience but essentially the same outcome – improvement – as our philosophies for treatment is fundamentally the same with each osteopath – the body is a unit and everything works together.  That’s what makes Osteopathy amazing and effective.


  • Was choosing Osteopathy a good career choice?  Why?

Osteopathy is a wonderful and empathetic career choice. It’s very gratifying being able to help someone in pain. Of course we can’t fix everything, but just being a listening ear, helpful hand (or elbow) and helping them on their pain journey is very humbling. Especially during lockdowns when our treatment criteria was restricted, it made me realise just how important our role is in healthcare and for helping someone deal with their pain.


  • Tell us about a great patient, what was wrong, how did you help?

The acute neck injury client – waking up and not being able to turn their head, probably had a terrible sleep, walking into the clinic holding their neck, scared of any bump in the road or any sneeze. These injuries can be incredibly painful and also a little scary for the client! The good news is they usually calm down after a few days  – discomfort and pain initially and then maybe a week or two before youre at full range of movement in your neck again.


Treatment involves osteopathically calming down the nervous system, communicating to our patients that they will be ok, and gently working the neck muscles and joints so that the brain doesnt have to be so fearful of movement and then the body can start to relax.  By the end of the session getting some really good movement that both of us can see is pretty cool. These injuries can occur from many different things – a little jolt, a head check action, or something really normal and insidious like turning your head when someone calls your name. But lucky we know people that can help you :)


My favourite patients are the ones with silly injuries that we can laugh about. – The latest one I’ve had is someone injuring themselves from a standing desk – no, not what you think – they lifted their new standing desk up a few flights of stairs and hurt themselves in the process of lifting!  Or the ones that injure themselves doing something ridiculous – like being scared of birds and having a pigeon fly at their face then they crinked their neck – oh wait, that was me on Flinders Lane! Luckily we know some osteos that can help! Having a laugh (in general, or from pointy elbows!) in the treatment is always a good thing, and I guarantee I have you covered for stupid injuries happening to myself, so nothing is embarrasing.


  • Tell us about a difficult patient.

The grumbly chronic low back injury – one that’s been there for years. On observation you can tell there is a little bit of bottom muscle wasting as well. These clients might sit for long periods of time or have a manual occupation that means they cant have time off for injuries either. The resilience in these types of people always astounds me, I/we know you put up with a lot of pain but you can still have a smile on your face. Osteo treatment – partnered with Clinical Pilates or specific exercise rehabilitation, has seen some really good outcomes for these clients. Not difficult for us to treat as this is our bread and butter type clients, – but difficult in terms of communication, understanding lifestyle stressors especially if I’m 10+ years younger than my patient – knowing the best way to approach their injury and rehabilitation in conjunction with the rest of their life to get the best outcome. Having trust in each other is paramount, and we (osteos) have been able to really manage them well, and for that, they need to be commended for doing the hard work of adding in more rehab and looking after themselves properly.


Whilst chronic pain injuries can be hard to manage, I actually really love treating these types of clients. Communication is the key here. And trust. Treatment is the easy part.  It’s the understanding with each other, especially if I am 10+ years younger than my patient, with different life experiences – to know the best way to approach their injury and rehabilitation to be meaningful for them in conjunction with the rest of their life stressors – family, workplace, financial, and to get the best outcome. Having trust in each other is paramount and something that is built and earnt with each person.  So it might be challenging in the beginning for those to trust me to manage their injury, I have been able to have really good and successful relationships with patients to manage them over their pain journeys. It’s truly the best thing about our jobs.


  • How does Osteopathy help patients?  Why Osteo and not the others?

We have four main principles for Osteopathy – the body is a unit, structure and function are reciprocally related and the body has self healing mechanisms, and treatment is based on the other three principles. We have a really sound anatomy knowledge, and we really listen. A lot of clues to your injury are in what you say at the start or in our general chats. The “holistic” word gets thrown about a lot, but we really do look holistically – it might be asking what you do on weekends, family life, or work life, maybe something a bit more obscure, all to identify what your life is actually like – As life is spent doing so many more things and no two people are the same.  The injury may be the same, but the mechanisms, everyone’s healing properties, and bodies are different, so taking an individual approach to each consult. We spend 5 years learning to trust our hands, but many more years working to trust the processes of the body.


  • What exercise do you do now?

Long distance running and Pilates/weights and I cycle to work. Rohan has brainwashed me into thinking marathon training is the best and I believe him! We have a Friday morning running crew that gets me out of bed in the cold winter months. But with running you need to be strong and the Pilates/weighs/cycling complements my running. I know my mental health decreases if I havent been exercising so it’s a priority for me to move my body every day.


  • Hobbies now?

If you can call running a hobby – I do really enjoy the mental health benefits of going out for a run. I am also a bookworm – and a slight weirdo that I don’t have netflix! I’d much rather read than watch anything other than the mighty Carlton Blues creeping up the ladder! During lockdown I’ve picked up knitting! I don’t enjoy being on a screen so knitting has been very methodical and has been a wonderful distraction/mindfulness for me. I love spending time with my nephews. I’m biased to say that they are the funniest boys in the world. 4 nephews under 6 years old. We have some hilarious chats. They’re only little once so I’m definitely enjoying this time of their lives where their imagination is running wild.


  • Dreams, ambitions for the future?

We keep eyeing ridiculously large vacant blocks of land on to live in the country and dream of making a big farm of produce and a few goats and chickens, maybe even an alpaca! I’m very unaware of what that size of land actually means being a city girl, but that’s why it’s called a dream! One of my most favourite things is when patients bring me in their veggie patch goods! Nothing quite like home grown rocket lemons or eggs!


I would also love to also have and train a dog to be a clinic puppy/therapy dog to chill out in clinic or reception! We’ve had a few guide dogs in the past come in, as well as Rohan’s newest recruit puppy Miss Charlie in last year, as well as his older lady Miss Pickle the pug on reception, so I’m all for it! If you want to bring your four legged dog into treatment I’m A-OK with that!


  • What are your passions?

Being outside, enjoying and continually trying to be grateful for the simple things – especially in winter – fireplace, a nice red wine, the footy and a good cup of coffee!


I’m passionate about wanting the best for those around me and helping them get there through various pathways. I want the best for everyone and our society and for a “better tomorrow.” Kindness is key – I am a big believer that being kind will create kindness in return!


  • Why do you like working at City Osteopathy?

Do what you love and you don’t work a day in your life! The City Osteo family is wonderful. Osteopathy is such a solo job, that your work friends are purely your friends. We are really lucky to have this dynamic in our workplace, which is a testament to Shane and Rohan for setting up a wonderful environment for us to each grow and learn from, but also hang out with each other independently of work. I don’t think many workplaces have the relationships we have with each other, as well as having so many of our therapists stay with them for such a long time – Mike’s part of the furniture and Max our resident masterchef have been with the City Osteo crew for too long to even count anymore!


  • Past travels, experiences.  Tell us about anything!

I’ve been very fortunate to travel a fair bit, that I had to get a new passport before it expired! I’ve been to most of SouthEast Asia, and I took 2016 off for the big trip around Europe for a year.  We were incredibly lucky to get in Germany at Christmas 2019/2020 before everything kicked off. Currently we are loving just camping and experiencing lots of parts of rural Victoria and taking in the beauty of our own backyard.   The most special memories of travelling have been with my family. My dad was born in Sri Lanka and he left there when he was 8 years old, We took him back 50 years later.  This was such a remarkable experience.  His memory was amazing – we found his old street (the house wasnt there), his old school and some other towns he lived in as a young child.  He could still remember how to walk from the local church to his house as a kid! If you havent been to Sri Lanka I would highly recommend it – it’s still pretty raw with tourism but a beautiful country with a vast array of environments – mountains, tealeaf plantations, coast and jungle.

Interviewer – Dr Shane Heslop.  City Osteopathy