R u OK Day. Dr Matthew Franz talks….

Getting a perspective on Mental Health + Anxiety – By your Melbourne Osteopath, Dr Matthew Franz at City Osteopathy

In light of R U OKAY Day, I though I would share a bit of a personal experience that may help others:

ANXIETY… it’s time we talk

“The unwanted guest party at the party.”

Before I begin to discuss this issue, I want to mention that I’m not trying to preach to the choir but rather open the dialogue about something. It’s something that as a male we aren’t very good at talking about or discussing. My intention is thus, to provide a personal perspective on this issue and how it can affect our overall health.

I like to describe anxiety, as the unwanted guest of the party. Just imagine you are having a party with all your friends and family and then an unwanted guest comes in. Someone who flips your tables, eats all your food and is just being annoying. At first you try to tell the guest to leave, you try locking them out and you spend all your time trying to force them out of the party. However, they tend to find a way back in and they continue to find a way to annoy and stress you out on a consistent basis. Finally, you feel like there is nothing you can do. This is how I describe anxiety.

For many, anxiety can take many different forms and experiences. In particular for men, we have a tendency to not speak up and hide away from it. This can lead us to gain even greater stress, on top of an already busy life for both women and men. The tendency to “push on” and not accept that we have to deal with it, is something that is prominent in today’s society.


A recent study by the ABS found anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, 1 in 4 people – 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men – will experience anxiety (1)

From an osteopathic perspective, anxiety can play a major role in influencing recovery from an injury. In relation to injuries and sport, it was found, that anxiety can lead to an increased risk of injury occurrence, delay and obstruct injury rehabilitation and the return to sport process.(2) This affects the way we feel and our tendency to do the sufficient rehab. It can also affect us getting better, which then plays a larger role in the way we feel about ourselves.

From personal experience, it was a coping mechanism that enables me to get the things that I need to stay on top of in my everyday life. I was only able to get a better understanding of what my anxiety was when I was able to accept that it is normal and to find ways to address it.

NORMALISING, is one small step in the process of understanding it and that takes time. The first step is to be comfortable with it. I believe in particular with males, this is the hardest part, it’s where we tend to put up our bravado up and not do anything about. One our society today, it is actually OKAY to have anxiety as part of your life.

“So what is next?”

A tip that is often spoken about, is talking to someone about it. This someone can often help and in the long run it does. Sometimes it may be a friend or family, or even a health professional, a stranger, who offers you a qualified perspective on what you are dealing with. Seeking the help that is needed to address your anxiety is the hardest hurdle to face but it’s also the best one. This then allows you to take a step back and address what is going on. It allows you to have that breathing space to control and manage your anxiety.

I hope my thoughts and new perspective helps those who are dealing with anxiety, like it did for me.

For those that would like further information there is some helpful resources at:





  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. Cat. no. (4326.0). Canberra: ABS.
  2. Ford, J., Ildefonso, K., Jones, M., & Arvinen-Barrow, M. (2017). Sport-related anxiety: current insights. Open Access Journal Of Sports Medicine, Volume 8, 205-212. doi: 10.2147/oajsm.s125845

Pilates Change in Prices

We have not put our Pilates prices up at City Osteopathy for 3 years and you will find we are probably the cheapest place in town for Melbourne Pilates with such personalised classes, added bonus being mainly run by Osteopaths  As of September 2019 we will be implementing the following change of prices:


Intro pack $340 – $90 initial, 5x $55 classes

5X group class pack $275 – 5x $55 classes

Pay as you go $60 per class

Solo classes $100 per class


Please note we have a strict 18 hour cancellation policy of $25. Failure to arrive to our classes two weeks in a row (without notification)* will mean your class time is forfeited.

*discussed with your teacher – illness/leave exempt.


Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at:


SKI INJURIES – What can you do to help prevent knee injury?

We love all things mountain.  The air, sun, wine, tranquillity, fires, food and of course if there is any, great snow!  Either cross, downhill, or even snow shoeing we love.  Great with friends, family and little kids, it’s a great break from Melbourne.  Our best tips are to go to Lake Mountain when the snow is on, it’s awesome for cross country and a day away from the rat race or go stay at Dinner Plain and rent a house, relax, take the dog and enjoy the altitude.

It’s vital to get your body up to speed though before you go.  Here is a quick set of exercises to get those legs strong in preparation.  Stronger legs means better skiing technique, but most importantly reduces your chances of injury.  Its vital here in Australia with our lower quality snow as it equates to higher injury risk.

Squats: Standing with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, lower into a seated position until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your heels grounded and your knees behind your toes. Maintain a strong core and hold your arms by your hips for alignment. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Alternating Lunges: Set your feet shoulder-width apart and step forward with your left foot into a lunge. Keep your left leg bent at 90 degrees, and your right knee almost touching the ground behind you. Pushing off your front heel, return to the starting position with your feet apart. Repeat on the right leg. Do 10 to 20 reps for each leg.

Jump Lunges: Perform a lunge with your left leg forward. Then jump up and switch legs in the air, landing with your right foot in front of you and your left foot back. Repeat 10 to 20 reps for each leg.

Jump Squats: Squat and then shift weight from your heels to the balls of your feet to explode upward before landing softly on the ground. Do five to ten reps.

Dr Daniel Castellano’s ACL Injury

Dr DANIEL CASTELLANO’s (osteopath)

(following personal injury)

You have probably seen it on TV numerous times, or know someone who has had this injury. But hopefully you are lucky enough to have not experienced an ACL injury yourself.

It stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and out of the 4 ligaments in your knee, it is
the main stabilising ligament. It keeps your knee secure and stable without it giving

So how do you injure an ACL?
The ligament can be injured in two different ways, either through direct contact with someone else or via a non-contact injury.
A direct contact injury could be another person falling across the injured knee. However, research suggests this accounts for less than 30% of ACL injuries, with approximately 70%  due to situations that do not involve direct contact, things like wear and tear, micro damage over time.

What happens with an ACL injury?
When the ligament is torn (which is also referred to as a rupture) the person will feel a big pop in their knee. This is usually accompanied with sudden excruciating pain and the knee feeling like it has given way. When I tore my ACL last football season, I was gathering the ball and was preparing to quickly change directions; as my knee planted I twisted my leg and felt a large pop in my knee which just buckled as I fell to the ground. I went down clutching my knee and was in immense pain. The good news for me was that this pain only lasted for 1-2 minutes. By the time that the sports trainer had come out onto the ground with a stretcher I was no longer in physical pain, but was starting to understand the concept of knowing I had done some serious damage to my
knee and that my season would likely be over.

Once in the football change rooms I noticed there was already some significant swelling over the knee and I found it hard to bend my knee, Ice was applied to the knee as well as a compression bandage. Unfortunately I left the ground on crutches, but at least my team left with the victory.

In the next “kneestallment” I’ll discuss diagnosis, doctors, scans/imaging & surgery vs non-surgery treatment.

Dr Daniel Castellano

Melbourne Osteopath

City Osteopathy

Ribollita. A great winter soup. Italians swear this helps fight the flu/colds, at least that’s what we have been told!

One of my favourite dishes during winter is the ribollita. Perfect for using up old, stale but good quality bread, and easy to put together with seasonal veggies for next to nothing. It’s not minestrone, it’s a beautiful thick, bread-based soup with no pasta in it. You’ll love it even more with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, and mark my words, make enough for the next day because the flavours are even better! as it isn’t brothy and it has no pasta in it.

It’s very much Italian peasant food and would have been eaten a lot in the days of no central heating and lots of hard manual labour. This recipe embraces the heart and soul of what peasant cooking is all about cheap, tasty power food that warms your soul and keeps you well.

Dr Shane Heslop

Osteopath.  City Osteopathy


                     1 pound dried cannellini beans

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large sweet onion, small-diced
    • salt
    • 2 large carrots, small-diced
    • 3 celery stalks, small-diced
    • 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and small-diced (2 cups)
    • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and thinly sliced
    • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes, drained
    • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves plus a couple sprigs each of fresh sage, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and thyme, tied together with twine
    • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 pound cavolo nero (a.k.a. dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale), leaves torn into small pieces, stems finely minced
    • 3 cups torn country bread, toasted
    • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and add cold water to cover by 3 inches. Cover the bowl and soak the beans in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, pour the beans and their soaking liquid into a slow cooker. Add enough fresh water to cover the beans by 2 inches, cover with the lid, and cook on the high setting for 4 hours.
  3. Place a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and when the oil shimmers, add the onion. Season with salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until softened. Add the carrots, celery, butternut squash, and garlic, and cook for 5 more minutes, until starting to soften. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, crushing each one in your hand as you add it. Add the bouquet garni, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of the red pepper flakes. Cook on the low setting for 3 hours.
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, remove the bouquet garni, and add the kale, bread, 1 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes. Stir the soup well, season with more salt to taste, and serve with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top.