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Upledger SomatoEmotional Release Curriculum

Upledger SomatoEmotional Release Curriculum

Are you Interested in learning more about the Upledger SomatoEmotional Release curriculum? Evolve Manual Therapy’s Director, Erin Riley, is an International Lecturer for the Upledger Institute. Erin teaches many levels of the CranioSacral Therapy curriculum, including various SomatoEmotional Release classes.

In this video interview, Erin chats with Katja Puolakka from Upledger Institute Finland about the classes.

The Vagus Nerve – The Secret to Finding Your Calm

The Vagus Nerve – The Secret to Finding Your Calm

How is your nervous system doing?  With the state of the world right now, many people are experiencing symptoms of a nervous system running on overdrive – insomnia, anxiety, extreme fatigue, digestive issues to name but a few!  The fact that collectively we have all experienced ongoing changes to our lives in the past couple of years means that some of these symptoms have settled in and may be starting to feel normal.

So, what is going on in our bodies?

These symptoms are all related to issues within a part of our nervous system called the autonomic nervous system.  This is made up of three parts: the enteric nervous system (gut/digestive system), the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for fight, flight or freeze responses), and the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for a rest, digest and restore responses). 

Fight or Flight Response

The sympathetic nervous system activates our fight or flight responses when we encounter threatening situations, emotional stress, or anxiety. It then sends impulses to the adrenal glands, which release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol into the blood steam, increases heart rate and blood sugar levels.  Now, this is all well and good if we are legitimately being chased by a lion!  However, most of us on a daily basis are not – we are simply going about our daily routine, but our nervous systems are activated as though that lion is lurking around every corner!

Rest, Digest and Restore

What we really need is for the other branch of our nervous system to be active – our parasympathetic. The role of the parasympathetic nervous system is to regulate or restore our body to resting state, it allows us to rest, digest and repair. The vagus nerve is a long and complex nerve that comes from the brain and wanders through the body (also known as the “Wandering Nerve”) regulating our organs as it goes before finally finishing in the gut.  It is also the largest contributor to our parasympathetic nervous system. 

The Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve controls many of our vital biological functions, including mood regulation, immune response, digestion, and heart rate. Often due to increased amounts of stress we find ourselves operating in a sympathetic autonomic state, where we are constantly engaged in an aroused state of fight or flight. This dysregulation of the nervous system results in many mental and physical ailments such anxiety, depression and stomach and digestive issues. A healthy parasympathetic nerve response, which is governed by the vagus nerve, is essential for our mental wellbeing and physical health. When we support this parasympathetic nerve response, we can repair, digest and absorb the nutrients in our food properly and regenerate. 

Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can support and increase your vagal tone and we at Evolve are here to help. 

CranioSacral Therapy

Healing the nervous system takes time and support. CranioSacral therapy works directly with the nervous system and vagus nerve, assisting us to shift from states of ‘fight or flight’ into states where we feel emotionally and physically safe. Each time we experience this shift we strengthen the nervous system pathways that encourages this transition to occur naturally. Over time this increased vagal tone ‘rewires’ our nervous system and restores a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts. 

You can book in with one of our skilled practitioners here at Evolve easily via our online booking system.  


Deep Breathing

Deep belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing is something that you can do at any time to instantly stimulate the vagus nerve and lower your stress responses. A simple technique is square breathing. You can begin by inhaling for the count of four, holding for the count of four, exhaling for four and holding for four and continuing this.  

Need a little extra help with your breathing?  One of our Evolve therapists, Karen Leo, specialises in the Buteyko Breathing Method and retraining optimal breathing patterns.   Buteyko Breathing Method is a therapeutic approach to breath retraining.  As you learn to breath more slowly, calmly, and effectively a variety of common challenges begin to reduce. These include asthma, anxiety, and sleep concerns – it also stimulates the vagus nerve supporting a sense of overall calm and connection.


Gut Health

Research shows clear link between healthy gut bacteria and increased vagal tone. We can support a healthy gut biome by eating an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and incorporating fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut which are rich in good bacteria. Additionally, it is often beneficial to include a daily probiotic such as Metagenics Ulta Flora or BioCeuticals Ultra Biotics both of which are available from the Evolve Clinic. 


Meditation is a wonderful way to reset the nervous system and can offer individuals a science-backed way to reduce anxiety in the present moment. 

One of our favourite mediations here at Evolve is Practicing Gentle Kindness toward Ourself by Sarah Blondin and can be easily accessed via the Insight Timer App

Combating the Wired-Tired Cycle

Combating the Wired-Tired Cycle

Are you constantly feeling tired, but also feeling too wired and wound up to rest?  You are not alone in this; in fact, I have been in a wired-tired cycle these past couple of months . . . it is draining to say the least!

Research suggests that people who are feeling “wired and tired” may be experiencing symptoms related to adrenal fatigue, insomnia, stress and anxiety, burnout and more.  With the intensity of the world around us over these past couple of years, it is no wonder more and more people are feeling this way.  In fact, just last week I had 3 clients in the clinic who described a version of these symptoms.  

How other people describe the wired-tired feeling…

One client described the feeling as “I feel so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open, then when I go to bed, I feel so wired I can barely keep my eyes closed!

Another client described “I am so tired I feel like I could sleep for a month, but my body is buzzing like I have had 6 shots of coffee.

And another “I feel like I can’t think straight during the day at work, my memory is shot and my concentration and focus non-existent, then when I go to bed at night all the thoughts I should have been having during the day come flooding into my mind.”

What does it do to our body?

Prolonged exposure to stress (late nights up with kids, work pressures, emotional distress etc) has a profound impact on a part of our nervous system call the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) as well as our hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (think hormones!). When our SNS is activated, this activates our fight or flight response, and our body begins to respond as though we are under threat.  When our HPA axis is affected, this impacts our cortisol levels (stress hormone) and neurotransmitter balance (communication that keeps our system in balance).  These stressors can result in that wired-tired feeling that profoundly impacts our sleep.  

Tips for combating the wired-tired cycle

Here are some of the things that help me when I get into this cycle.  I hope that within these suggestions, you might find something that supports you in getting back to deep, restorative sleep and finding more balanced energy day-to day!

  • Exercise

Exercise helps balance our cortisol levels as well as improve feelings of anxiety and emotional distress.  It can also help burn off that extra energy that contributes to the wired feeling.  The type of exercise you engage in will be different for everyone, for me I balance heavy weightlifting and high intensity cardio with slow restorative yoga.  On the weekends, I try and get out into nature for a hike.

  • Bedtime Routine

Try and establish a bedtime routine, rather than just crashing out with the TV still on and your laptop open on your chest.  Give yourself time to wind down toward sleep, turn off technology 1-2 hours before bedtime and do something gentle and calming.  For me, this is the time of night where I will have the lights dimmed, perhaps light a candle, and do some drawing or read a book.

  • Sound Therapy

In chats with many of my clients recently, they have said over and over how hard it is to meditate when they are feeling wired-tired.  I totally get this, I also at times find it super hard to switch my mind off enough to focus on my breath.  One of the things I find useful when I am feeling this way is to listen to a sound therapy track.  Something that you can just gently zone out to, without having to follow any instructions.

Here are two of my favourite tracks from Insight Timer:



  • Use a Still Point Inducer

This is a little CranioSacral Therapy self-treatment tool that can be used at home.  It is designed to give a gentle squeeze to your nervous system (at your head) which helps to switch off the sympathetic nervous system response. I lie on mine for 10-15 minutes when I first get into bed, it helps to shift my body into rest mode.


  • Weighted Blanket

When I am feeling wired-tired, one of my favourite things to do is lie under a big heavy blanket.  Weighted blankets are a form of deep pressure therapy that supports your nervous system in calming.  Used a lot in occupational therapy for children, in recent years the benefits for adults have become more widely known and the blankets more widely available!

  • Bodywork

In the past couple of months, I have upped my bodywork routine to have a weekly treatment.  I have been alternating between CranioSacral Therapy and Massage.  These gentle therapies help my nervous system to calm and experience deep rest, they also relieve any aches, pains and structural issues that might be revving my nervous system up.

I sincerely hope that some of these tips help you combat the wired-tired cycle.  If you need any more info or support, please do not hesitate to reach out and chat to one of our therapists. BOOK A SESSION

In peace and health,


That end-of-term feeling!

That end-of-term feeling!

You’ve almost made it to the end of another school term and school holidays are just around the corner! It can be a weird feeling “end-of-term-itis” – a mixture of relief, exhaustion, excitement, anxiety. Kids are often feeling tired, their brains have been working overtime to learn, grow and develop new pathways. It takes a lot of resources for the nervous system to do all of these things, so it makes sense that it gets a little tired. This may be showing up in restless sleep, meltdowns, behavioural issues and general rattiness.

School holidays can be a struggle for some children as they leave behind the routine of school term, so some of the emotional regulation struggles can be heightened. Here are our top tips for combating “end-of-term-itis“:

  1. Do something physical – getting to the playground, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline will help your child burn off that extra nervous energy that can build up at the end of term. It will also help your child’s nervous system be “tired” enough to sleep more deeply at night
  2. Get out into nature – preferably with bare feet! Turning off the devices and connecting with nature is grounding and centring, it will help your child’s nervous system shift gears into its “rest and digest” phase.
  3. Do something creative – creating or making with the hands is calming and will focus any of that end-of-term anxiety into a new project. It could be art, building, baking – anything that involves getting those creative juices flowing

Last, but not least . . . why not book a CranioSacral Therapy session! This gentle, hands-on treatment will support your child’s nervous system in regulating itself a little more easily. Better sleep, less meltdowns = easier school holidays!


Spring Wisdom from Chinese Medicine

Spring Wisdom from Chinese Medicine

Have you started to notice the smell of spring in the air?  Maybe you have started to feel the urge to start spring cleaning?  There is a reason for this cyclical inspiration!

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is transitional season and space; we keep one foot in winter and step one foot into summer.  Taking things slowly as we unfurl from the cold, dark winter and move upward and outward toward the expansiveness of summer.

The shift to spring is a subtle change that brings with it new energy and excitement for the warmer weather.  

We can think of the body as a small version of the universe around us – a microcosm of the macrocosm.  As the seasons change, so should we.  Humans should be adaptable; to flow with the seasons is to live in harmony.  Just like bare, dormant trees begin to grow buds and blossoms; we too can harness the power of spring to slough off the old and usher in a fresh, new experience of health, mental clarity, and emotional well-being.

In Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the wood element that governs the liver and gall bladder.  The liver and gall bladder work together to move blood and bile, and play pivotal roles in spleen and lung health (immune system and seasonal allergies), tendon health and our vision.  During these transitional months, disturbances may be manifested in these organ systems, and you may experience symptoms such as:

+ muscle tension

+ sciatica

+ headaches, especially migraines

+ visual disturbance

+ menstrual irregularities, PMS, fibroids

+ digestive disturbance


+ Get moving!

Spring is the time to slowly get moving again after the reduced activity of the cold winter months.  Movement is not only good for your physical health, it supports your emotional health by shifting stagnation and old hurts.

+ Spring clean

Take the time to engage in a little spring cleaning, whether this be your home, your e-mail inbox, or your digestive system.  Now is the time for “out with the old and in with the new”.

+ Make a to-do list

The energy of spring often brings with it a desire to start bringing the dreams of winter introversion to fruition.  Why not make a list and start taking steps toward creating the life your heart desires!

+ Eat your greens

The colour associated with Spring is green and the taste is sour, these are perfect places to focus your eating awareness.  Be inspired by the luscious green veggies of the local farmer’s market, when we eat according to the season, we restore inner and outer balance.


As we feel the urge to get moving again, we can become aware of some of the stagnations that have built up during winter.  One of the core aspects of CranioSacral Therapy is to support your body in restoring movement and flow.  This might be supporting the fluid to flow with ease through your central nervous system, nourishing your brain and spinal cord.  It may be supporting your immune system, hormones, or digestive system to move more easily and supporting inner health.  It may even be supporting you in letting go of hurts and anxieties that are lingering, so that you can move forward and thrive in your life!

At Evolve, we love nothing more than supporting you in finding your natural rhythm (did you know even the nervous system has a rhythm?!), so please reach out and let us know how we can support you move with ease into Spring.

Winter Wisdom from Chinese Medicine

Winter Wisdom from Chinese Medicine

According to Chinese Medicine, each year is a cyclic interplay between Yin and Yang. When we live in accordance with these natural rhythms we can find deep health and inner peace.

As we move into Winter, it is time for the hot, expansive Yang energies of Summer to turn within as we settle into the dark, cold and slow Yin energies of the colder months. When our Yang becomes more internal, it is said to warm us from within and illuminate our inner world. This is a time for rest, reflection and conservation of energy, before the rebirth of Spring.

In Chinese Medicine, Winter is associated with the water element that governs the bladder and kidneys.  During the colder months, disturbances may be manifested in these organ systems and you may experience symptoms such as:

+ lower back or knee pain

+ fatigue

+ tinnitus

+ memory issues

+ menstrual pain

+ lowered libido

+ poor circulation

+ anxiety

+ urinary disorders


Slow down 

Activities during Winter should represent the season with a turn inwards.  Reducing your activity level will support you to live in rhythm with the natures cycles. Turning toward slower exercise practices such as Yin Yoga or Tai Chi are nourishing throughout Winter.  Contemplative practices such as self-reflection, quiet times, meditation and journaling will bring nourishment and restoration to your spirit.

Focus inward  

Winter is the time for nurturing and reflection. Try and take some time to step out of the “daily drive, push, push” and into a slower time of finding out what your heart truly desires for your life.

Keep warm

Cover up, particularly your feet! The kidney meridian begins at the sole of your foot and is particularly susceptible to losing energy when we walk around on cold floors.  So pull out those soft, snuggly socks and slippers and give your feet a warming hug!

Nourish your body with warmth

Drink and eat warming meals to nourish your system.  During Winter it is best to cook food for longer periods, using low heat and less water.  Slow Cooker meals are especially nourishing during this time of year and they infuse your house with that amazing smell on your arrival home!

In Winter we plant the seeds of health that will come to fruition over the following year. What is your intention for health over the next 12 months and what can you do to nurture yourself now?

Providing the yin to anxiety’s yang

Providing the yin to anxiety’s yang

Anxiety is very real to its sufferers. Often recognised as producing symptoms such as constricted breathing, a whirling mind, body tension, pain and shaking hands, anxiety and overwhelm – it really puts strain on the body. An evolutionary trait, anxiety once existed to keep us out of danger, but in modern times, our stress response has become problematic itself when our body tells us to react to environmental factors out of our control.

Our fast paced, digital lives are full of stimulus, stemming from work, home and society more broadly. Our minds are constantly alert to noises, sights, sounds, thoughts, leaving our bodies in near constant fight or flight mode. Even though we understand there’s no real danger most of the time, our bodies recognise the stress and leave our stress hormones coursing through our bodies with nowhere to go to. As our stress levels build, anxiety can set in as a direct response to this unhealthy level of stress and overwhelm, creating an overload in your central nervous system (CNS).

Many patients end up in our clinic after repeated and failed attempts to reduce their anxiety via traditional methods – medication and psychotherapy. We understand how challenging it can be for sufferers of anxiety to continue thriving in their day to day lives and how much the weight of the problem can impact upon work and family life.

How can you help stress?

At Evolve, our therapists are experts at helping you regain control of your anxiety. By gently using CranioSacral Therapy (CST), we can help keep your nervous system flowing in a calm state.  This allows your body to reduce its auto-pilot stress response and return to transmitting hormones that promote a healthy body. Anxiety and stress can cause a chaotic increase in nervous system activity, creating an overall sense of dis-ease within your body and mind. One of our patients, Claire, came into our clinic suffering from tremendous stress during COVID. A number of significant changes in her personal life, coupled with the uncertainty of life in a pandemic caused her sleepless nights, a racing heart and physical pain in her stomach. Having tried medication, Claire was keen to try a gentler and more natural way to try and beat her crippling anxiety and arrived at our clinic desperate for help. Within a few sessions of gentle CST, Claire started to sleep better. Gradually, her panic attacks and anxiety grew less and less until she reached the point where it’s now at a manageable level, allowing her to return to doing the activities she loves once more. 

A light touch manual therapy, many patients say that they feel far more relaxed after CST as their body slows down and has an opportunity to wind down and self-correct. CST offers the body a unique opportunity to reset and break the cycle of stress and anxiety. Dig deep and ask yourself how your body really reacts to stress. How do you deal with looming work deadlines, family problems, traffic jams, being late to pick your kids up from school? They may all be small problems in isolation, but added together, create a fertile breeding ground for anxiety, if not carefully managed.

Our vast experience at Evolve, tells us that the sooner you seek help to pinpoint and treat a health challenge like anxiety, the faster we can treat you back to health. Our caring and knowledgeable clinicians will partner with you on your journey from diagnosis to your return to health. 

Is it time for you to banish anxiety for good?

From debilitating migraines to thriving!

From debilitating migraines to thriving!

The beginning of Evolve Manual Therapy

At the beginning of a new year can be really exciting to look forward!  The energy of the clock ticking over to 12.01am on the 1st of January can feel like a reset on the challenges and exhaustion we often feel at the end of a long year.  For me, early January is also a time to pause, reflect and look back for a moment – to appreciate everything that has happened to get me to the moment I am in right now.

This year even more than recent years, I felt this need deeply.  I found myself reflecting not only on the year just gone, but on the year leading up to starting my own business – 2008!  The thing I remember most about 2008 was how tired I was.  Exhaustion that felt bone deep….. and the migraines!  Migraines so debilitating that I spent many, many hours on the bathroom floor just hoping that the cold tiles might ease the pain a little.  I was working long hours 6 days a week, many of those days trying to be present for my clients through the fog of the migraine pain and aura.  Part of me loved my job, being able to help people felt like a wonderful purpose for my life!  Part of me was losing my passion fast.  Yet another part of me wondered why I couldn’t show the same compassion to myself that I showed to my clients.  Slow down a little, do the little self-care things I told my clients to do, receive regular treatment for my own chronic pain.

The turning point

I remember being called into a meeting one day with my boss (who was a wonderful boss!), but I was feeling dreadful from a migraine that had lasted almost 6 weeks at that point.  My boss offered me a promotion and I heard myself resigning in response, telling him that I had decided to start my own business!  Driving home I wondered what the hell I had done, but I also felt a sense of freedom I hadn’t felt for a long time.  Within a couple of hours of getting home, my migraine started to ease – a good sign, right?!

Starting Evolve

So, on a whim I started Evolve Manual Therapy.  Since then, Evolve has been my passion project, my space for both personal and professional growth and is now an evolving platform for practitioners and students to find their passion.  Above all, it is a space where everyone that chooses can start to find their own creative path toward health, wellbeing and fulfilment.

What happened to the migraines?!

I would love to tell you my migraines stopped then and there, what a great story that would be! The even better story is…..starting Evolve gave me my inspiration and passion back.  This then enabled me to start taking care of myself, investigate the causes of my migraines further and start carving a path forward where I felt well.  This path was complex, as the treatment for most chronic pain is.  There was no one thing and no linear path, but a constellation of approaches and people to support me.  As I tell my clients constantly, I could see 100 people suffering from migraines and there will be 100 different approaches needed.

CranioSacral Therapy was a huge part of it, perhaps even the foundation of it all.  Something I teach my students is to feel for the overdrive in the nervous system.  The “fight or flight” response that is so commonly switched on in people.  Stress, chronic pain, trauma…..all of these things can make it hard for our nervous system to feel calm and rested.  This was certainly true for me.  One of the first things that CranioSacral Therapy did for me was give me an opportunity to experience a level of calm in my nervous system I didn’t think was possible.  When I first experienced that calm, I also experienced a significant reduction in pain.  I was hooked!

Things that have helped me

Once I began to feel a little better, I felt more able to seek out other treatments.  These are the things that really helped me:

  • Naturopathy

Working with a really skilled Naturopath was a game changer for me.  Understanding how food was triggering my migraines, but also how I could use food to reduce my pain was key.  My go-to girl is Margherita Officer, and you can find her at Natural Health Medicine.

  • Exercise

We know in theory exercise is good for us, but when we are experiencing chronic pain it can feel next to impossible.  I have done many things that have been super beneficial – Yoga, Pilates and Crossfit.  Yep, you heard me…..Crossfit!  The combination of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise and heavy weightlifting has been the most amazing thing for my body, my chronic pain and my mental health.  My go-to guy is Nath Wiese, and you can find him at CrossFit Zenith.

  • Emotional and Spiritual Health

For me, looking at my emotional and spiritual health has been the glue that connects everything I do.  Not only for dealing with stress and trauma, but also for supporting a search for purpose and meaning.  I have found this in many spaces – working with a skilled Psychotherapist, finding a creative outlet and making sure that what I am doing in the world feels purposeful and aligned with my core values.

  • Nature

And last but not least, getting out in Nature.  We can become so disconnected from our natural rhythms due to a fast-paced life and the influences of technology.  For me it is imperative that I get out into nature regularly, preferably mountains and preferably somewhere really cold!! But that’s just me 🙂

So, I share a little bit of my story with you in the hope that there might be a little piece in there that helps you in your own journey.  I’m certainly a work-in-progress, I think we all are until about 7 minutes before we leave this earth!

My sincere wish for everyone I meet, whether it by on my treatment table, in my classroom or out on the street somewhere in this big, beautiful world is that you experience moments of joy and connectedness every day.  That you feel as though you are able to thrive in your life and that you feel a sense of purpose that fulfills you.

If I or the Evolve Team can ever help, please feel free to reach out.  

In peace and health,


Managing your chronic pain

Managing your chronic pain

At Evolve Manual Therapy, we understand the complexities of living life with chronic pain. Chronic pain is persistent pain which carries on for longer than 12 weeks, despite medication or treatment. It can be felt in nearly any part of your body and may be a constant, or an intermittent pain. Chronic pain disorders are the leading cause of disability and continue to increase in prevalence – it’s a growing health concern in our modern world.

Chronic pain and increased stress

Many of our Evolve patients have tried just about everything to help rid themselves of their chronic pain – multiple medical appointments to no avail, with little improvement to the frequency or severity of the pain. They’re really struggling to continue to enjoy normal life, within the confines of their illness. Evidence points to the fact that symptoms of chronic pain are heightened by our stress response and by feeling disconnected from society and those we love around us, which has of course been exacerbated throughout 2020.

Impact of disconnection and isolation on chronic pain

During the global pandemic, we know that there has been reduced access to treatment, which has meant that people have not been physically able to continue their chronic pain management routines. They’ve not been able to seek help to improve their symptoms from professionals, like our team at Evolve, but also from their nearest and dearest. We’ve also seen a significant impact on activity and movement due to people working from home, and spending increased time online, sitting down. Routines – heading to the local pool for a swim or walking the last block to work have been unable to be continued, meaning that normally active people are more sedentary, often causing chronic pain issues to flare up.

Factor contributing to chronic pain

Of course, it’s often a combination of factors which can exacerbate chronic pain. Changed lifestyle is clearly one, the other important element is the reduction in human touch. Central to the study of pain mechanisms, neurophysiological investigations have proven that touch increases humancommunication,bonding,andhealing. Thanks to neuroscientist, Edmund Rolls, we know that touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion. Basic touch calms cardiovascular stress –it activates your body’s vagus nerve and even a simple touch can trigger a release of oxytocin (known as the love hormone). Science tells us time and time again that chronic pain can be helped by touch, why is why we see such great results with our clients at Evolve Manual Therapy.

CranioSacral Therapy – a gentle treatment for chronic pain

Derived from osteopathic manipulative treatment, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-invasive treatment we practice here at Evolve. It holds a unique ability to normalise your sympathetic nervous system activity (something which is often increased in people with chronic pain) by supporting a shift to your parasympathetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system is responsible for rest and repair. Our practitioners use light touch to help release any blockages in your nervous system, and help to rebalance your body – often releasing years of tension or stress you didn’t even know was there, or connected to your chronic pain issue. It’s a treatment plan formulated to work with your body, not artificially against it. It’s a treatment brilliant for helping to reduce your chronic pain. If you’re struggling with chronic pain and aren’t sure where to turn to, give our friendly clinic a call to discuss how we can help you manage your underlying condition, and the symptoms surrounding it.

How Craniosacral Therapy helps beat stress and anxiety

How Craniosacral Therapy helps beat stress and anxiety

There’s little doubt that 2020 has brought with it, a substantial shift in the mental health of Australia’s population. Trends indicate that the numbers of people suffering from stress, anxiety and panic attacks is on the rise and is a true threat to the future state of Australia’s mental health.

Many of our patients arrive at our clinic with the classic but very real symptoms of stress and anxiety. Much of the time, people are aware something isn’t right but aren’t sure what the root cause is, or the extensive litany of symptoms that stress and anxiety can cause to our emotional, spiritual and physical selves.  Our patients find themselves manifesting in a myriad of different ways – becoming irritable, restless, suffering from fatigue, chest pains, insomnia and a racing mind amongst many other symptoms, all seemingly unconnected but potentially debilitating if not properly managed. It’s been estimated that stress related workers compensation claims have doubled in recent years, now costing over $10 billion each year. Let’s unpack the enormity of that number. The huge number of people impacted by stress and anxiety if the average payment is just $250,000. That’s an average of 40,000 people whose claims were so debilitating, that they went to court. Imagine the thousands of other cases, perhaps no less serious but of which we have no recording and we’ll understand the scale of the issue we’re dealing with. 

What does stress do to our body?

We try to help our patients understand that its normal to feel stressed and anxious in small quantities. It’s when we wait until stress and anxiety become overwhelming that issues start to become more marked in our bodies.  In our modern, digital world, stress triggers can exist on a constant level, which stimulates a response in our body. Stress and anxiety stimulate changes in our body and activates our ‘fight or flight’ response, leaving us constantly in an inflammatory response and unable to self-regulate our hormones and responses. In turn, the appearance of mental and physical stress symptoms can cause further stress and perpetuate a vicious circle, people feel unable to break.

How can CranioSacral Therapy help stress?

At Evolve Manual Therapy, we practice Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a light touch manual therapy which works with the body to promote greater wellbeing and health. It’s a whole of body approach which works to remove restrictions within the cranium and sacrum (head and pelvis) and helps shift the body out of stress mode into a calmer, more relaxed state. Our practioners gently apply manual pressure to help increase mobility and circulation within the craniosacral system. When the body slows down during a session, it’s like untangling a tightly knotted ball of wool – where the stressed and confused reactions and responses get a chance to unravel and rebalance. Our bodies have an innate ability to self-correct and heal and CST, as a non-invasive therapy allows our mind and body to correct in an absolutely safe, non-medicated way.

The science shows the enormous benefits experienced by a wide range of patients suffering with stress or anxiety related symptoms. At Evolve Manual Therapy, we encourage patients to seek support early, whatever the source of stress. We all need help from time to time.

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Making space for wellbeing in amongst digital demands

Making space for wellbeing in amongst digital demands

We live in an age of digital overdose. Our senses are constantly being fired up with noises, lights, sounds and demands. It’s normal to be always ‘on’, to never be out of reach and to sleep next to our mobile phones. But at what cost?

Think back to your last holiday – the one where you really relaxed. Where you lounged in a hammock, book and drink in hand or swam in the ocean with not a care in the world. How good did it feel? No stressing about the next meeting, tomorrow’s deadline or what to cook for dinner – you probably felt calm, peaceful and happy. You likely had time to spend with those you love, playing the board games you never normally get time for, sharing long walks in nature. It’s at times like these that we feel most connected to ourselves and to our families. Does this sound familiar?

Unfortunately for most of us, life isn’t a constant holiday of hammocks and reading by the pool. We have commitments, work, children, ageing parents, friendships to maintain and a whole host of other obligations we try to juggle.  All too often, at Evolve Manual Therapy, we see clients put themselves last, at the bottom of the list under the other responsibilities needing to be managed. Our therapists see clients arrive exhausted and overwhelmed at the sheer amount in their daily to do list, resulting in negative physical and mental health symptoms. Aside from seeking help from our expert team, there are ways we can positively impact our own wellness, in our own time and to the beat of our own tune.

Finding time to stay connected to yourself is critical – losing yourself under a sea of responsibilities is a common complaint we hear and sympathise with. We’ve got a few suggestions to get you started on maintaining your own wellbeing.

  1. Walk in nature – Scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound effect on our brain and on our behaviour. We are physically and mentally more healthy when outdoors – it decreases stress and anxiety, reduces blood pressure and has been shown to improve moods. As an added benefit, walking helps our body to release serotonin, known as the happy hormone.
  2. Reading a book or completing a jigsaw puzzle – We know that by taking time out, we reduce our ‘fight or flight’ response and allow our nervous system to relax. By focusing on something specific, we’re helping to block out the many other ‘lose ends’ constantly buzzing around in our heads – the appointment you need to book, or the project you need to finish, get pushed to the back of your brain.
  3. Catch up with friends – We’re a tribal bunch and most of us thrive on connecting with others. Socialising helps create positive neuron connections in our brain and just having a friend listen to a challenge can help to break it down and reduce the anxiety we feel about that activity or thing. 
  4. Have a soak in the bath – Take the time to relax in warm water to release many health benefits including reducing the workload of your adrenal glands and helping to restore balance within your body. Try using minerals and salts to help soothe, reduce toxins and heal.
  5. Practice meditating. Meditation has long been known to produce wellbeing enhancing benefits both mental and physical and using a guided meditation can help even a beginner to relax, release tension and enjoy a calmer mind.

The way you feel, becomes your essence of living. It’s time to push aside the constant digital demands and make space for our own personal wellbeing and health – when we don’t have time is exactly when we should practice self-love the most.

Sleeping soundly for better health

Sleeping soundly for better health

There’s nothing better than snuggling into a warm, cosy bed and dropping off to sleep. But with staggering numbers of people struggling to either drop off to sleep, or stay asleep, statistics say that one in five of us is sleep deprived.

From our first day on this Earth to our last, we need to sleep. The amount of sleep we require depends on our age and stage of life – babies snooze in short bursts, waking frequently for food, teenagers seem to sleep all day, exhausted parents wish they could sleep more, but they can’t. Whilst many sensible adults try to gain regular, respectable hours of sleep, so many of us are failing to wake refreshed and revived. Why?

Stages of sleep

Let’s look at how sleep works first. We all sleep in cycles which are part of our internal biological clocks and which whilst we don’t remember them, they are critically important to maintaining our sleep hygiene. 

The first phase (stage 1) is a light sleep only lasting about 10 minutes – this is when we get all relaxed and dreamy, and our mind and body start to slow down. The second phase (stage 2) is when our brain waves and muscle activity start to decrease to prepare the mind for a deeper sleep. During this stage, the brain produces spikes in brain waves which are thought to play a role in long term memory consolidation and sensory processing.  The third stage and fourth phases (stages 3 and 4) we enter a far deeper sleep and you’ll find people are much harder to wake up. We become more relaxed and our breathing slows dramatically as internally our body works to regulate our immune system and repair and heal our bodies.  The fifth and final stage is the most well-known – the REM phase. This is when we experience dreams (and often wake up remembering them) and it’s believed this stage plays a critical role in regulating the brain’s ability to learn and remember. Sleep allows our bodies to clean themselves up, refresh and reset for the following day.

Tips for sleep hygiene

Waking up refreshed is enviable to the 1 in 5 who is clinically diagnosed as sleep deprived. There are a few tricks we can make sure we do however, to give ourselves the best change of a decent night’s snooze. 

  1. Steer clear of stimulants before bed – tea, coffee, alcohol.
  2. Make time to move – exercise can drastically improve the quality of your sleep. Even a gentle walk can help! 
  3. Put down your device and turn off the TV for the hour before you turn in. The noise and light stimulation aren’t conducive to calming your brain and body.
  4. Get bedroom ready! Ensure your bedroom is comfortable – it sounds obvious but make sure you’re not too hot or cold, have the right pillows to be relaxed.
  5. Relax! Try a gentle meditation to calm your mind and body. When our body is wired in ‘fight or flight mode’ and is constantly buzzing, it’s almost impossible for our poor overloaded nervous systems to calm down into a parasympathetic mode where we can sleep well.

Finding a solution for you

At Evolve Manual Therapy, we’re experienced in helping many sleep deprived or struggling clients – from busy Executives to tired Mums. Our therapists treat clients in our clinic with a gentle, hands on therapy called CranioSacral Therapy (CST) which helps to calm the nervous system with light touch, non-invasive techniques. CST helps by stimulating the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which in turn flushes out the toxins and waste products in our bodies.

 Our client Carla says ‘I came into Evolve absolutely exhausted. I was struggling to get to sleep every night and as a result just wasn’t functioning properly during the day. It had started to impact elements of my physical health and was affecting me mentally as well.  I’d tried everything under the sun to help me sleep and nothing had worked. Within a few sessions of CST at Evolve, I was amazed when I calmly just dropped off to sleep! Small steps, but it’s such an achievement for me.’ 

If like Carla, you’re desperate for a solution to increase the quality of your sleep and the standard tips aren’t giving you the relief you need, book a consult with one of our expert therapists. A few sessions can make all the difference and provide a night free from tossing and turning, instead providing refreshing, health boosting sleep.

Book Appointment

Breathe Easy and Find Your Calm

Breathe Easy and Find Your Calm

Innovative technique helps you to breathe easy

Evolve Therapist, Karen Leo is passionate about all things related to the jaw, mouth and breathing. Through her own experiences of the impact of tongue-tie on her life, Karen has spent many years pursuing training in Yoga, Breathwork, Orofacial Myotherapy, Buteyko Breathing Method and is also now returned to the university campus to complete a degree in Speech Pathology!

Working with the mouth and jaw not only assists with pain and dysfunction in these areas, restoring easy breathing patterns is essential to finding your calm and having a well regulated nervous system!

The Breath

Breathing is the life-force of a human being. From the moment we’re born, until the moment we leave this Earth, we breathe. Such an important essence is critical to maintain a good quality of life and stay connected with our physical body and the present moment. Many people assume that their breathing is fine (‘I’m still alive’) and don’t connect the worrying or frustrating symptoms they may suffer as a result of ‘not being fine’. Dysfunctional breathing can have an enormous impact on your wellbeing, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a medical condition.

Have you noticed yourself snoring, yawning when you’re not tired, sniffing or sighing more frequently? Do you suffer from reflux, gastrointestinal symptoms or anxiety? All could be a sign your breathing is sub-optimal.

Karen’s role as a BBT therapist is to positively impact your breathing, and therefore your health.

Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT)

The Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) is a set of breathing techniques and tools designed to assist people with breathing issues, to learn how to correct and remedy their breathing. It teaches people how to ‘breathe less,’ whilst still concentrating on their overall health and wellbeing and is currently a technique used in the National Health Service (NHS) in England to teach patients to take control of their asthma symptoms or breathing problems. We’re thrilled that Karen is one of very few qualified practitioners in South Australia! Especially helpful for people with asthma, hay fever, poor sleep quality or sleep apnoea, as well as oral restrictions such as tongue tie, BBT is also fantastic for other serious respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), hyperventilation, bronchitis and emphysema.

What to expect

In your initial consultation, Karen will assess your overall health and wellbeing to help in identifying if this technique can help you. You’ll learn the Buteyko Breathing Techniques (BBT) over a period of weeks, much like a gentle crash course in breathing. Each subsequent week will build on your brain’s ability to learn and change (neuroplasticity) until your breathing changes and adapts to the new rhythm. Your BBT training will start with Karen educating you on the following:

+ How to breathe through your nose: Whilst this sounds simple, it’s a technique many still need to master!
+ Relaxed breathing: Let Karen teach you how to slow and control your breathing.
+ The control pause: A simple breath test to provide feedback on your symptoms.
+ Restricted mouth breathing: Mouth breathing is often just a bad habit – BBT shows you how to decongest the nose by holding your breath, retraining your brain to breathe correctly through your nose permanently.
+ The Stop Cough: Learn gentle techniques to control your breathing and stop a cough or a full-blown asthma attack

Video Consultations Available

What’s really exciting is the ability to conduct consultations online, over zoom after your first initial meeting with Karen. Perfect for those who are busy with work, have little children at home or just want the convenience of no travel. Learning and practicing Buteyko Breathing Techniques can permanently correct your breathing difficulties and can be practiced anywhere – on your morning walk, your commute to the office or in bed at night before you settle down to sleep.

At Evolve, our highly trained therapists treat your whole body and address the root cause of your issues, not just find a quick bandaid fix that doesn’t last. BBT is a holistic, natural and safe way to improve your breathing and your quality of life. There are few problems we haven’t seen before and we love working with you to make your own wellness journey, that little bit easier. Call 0406 249 221 today or book an appointment with Karen online.

CranioSacral Therapy – Babies, Toddlers and Beyond

CranioSacral Therapy – Babies, Toddlers and Beyond

A healing pathway in babies and children: CranioSacral Therapy 

At Evolve Manual Therapy, our light touch, hands on therapy helps your body to heal itself by removing restrictions. We understand and are experienced in treating the common, and less frequent problems which your children might experience.

Anyone who has experienced parenthood or who has cared for a baby or child will understand the endless list of issues which can and often do occur. From day dot, when your new-born comes home, it’s the challenges of reflux, breastfeeding and sleep issues as well as tongue-tie which may move to a completely different set of challenges in toddlerhood like behavioural, sensory or delayed development issues. 

Even the calmest, most natural of births can irritate your baby’s nervous system. The baby leaves their soft, warm and secure environment in utero to be born into the world – placing pressure on their nervous system, which can be further complicated by births which require intervention like forceps or ventouse delivery. The baby’s CranioSacral system made up of brain and spinal cord fluid, has its own rhythm which differs to their heart rate and breathing rate. 

CranioSacral Therapists (CST Therapists) at Evolve gently place their hands on your child’s body to feel for this rhythm, to detect the tensions and find the root cause of your child’s issue. We all know how challenging it can be to work out why a baby is crying – CST is a safe and effective way to help navigate this communication between you and your baby, especially when there is a tension pattern which is causing a domino effect on other bodily systems like their immune, respiratory or musculoskeletal systems. If your child is displaying symptoms, this is indicative of their body compensating for the tension patterns, sometimes in a seemingly unconnected way to the true cause. The longer these tension patterns are left to develop, the more challenging it can be to identify the root cause, with many of our patients coming to Evolve having exhausted all other medical avenues.

CST can be a brilliant treatment modality for so many differing ailments and symptoms. Working on a ‘treat whole of body’ principle, the benefits of CST are well researched and supported. We’ve found a few common ailments from our consultations with the youngest members of our community. How many do you identify your child with?

Reflux/Colic– The human body has a nerve which travels to all our organs called the vagus nerve. It originates from just behind the ear and when we get tight in this area, the vagus nerve can become compressed and create issues with other bodily organs causing symptoms like colic or reflux. The trauma of birth for a baby, entering through a tight birth canal or via caesarean section, can irritate the vagus explaining why so many babies suffer from this painful ailment.

Feeding issues – Tension patterns in a baby’s head can change basic reflexes such as their sense of smell or their rooting reflex and contribute to feeding issues. Tension in the membranes can change the shape of a baby’s palate which affects their ability to suck.

Head shape Issues– Misshapen heads or ‘flat spots’ are fairly common in new-borns. With a variety of reasons for their existence, CST can help relieve torticollis (tightening in one side of the neck) or relieve tensions in the pelvis or rib cage from assisted delivery. Ridding a baby of these tensions stops the baby from always favouring one side to sleep on and helps resolve head shape issues. Evolve’s loyal client Kerstin says “My son Jamie had a traumatic birth and to top it off, he was left with a lump the size of a small egg on his head. After treatments, the lump was almost completely gone and four years on, his head is a perfect shape.”

Sleep– One of the most widely talked about baby issues. Quite rightly too! A healthy baby will generally mean that the parents enjoy better quality sleep and aren’t simply ‘surviving’ on minimal rest. CST can help the babies find equilibrium with their sleep cycles by calming the nervous system. At Evolve, we love helping parents to resolve this common issue, leaving them to enjoy their baby so much more.

Behaviour – The cranial bones in our heads can become restricted or tight. This may feel like a tight headband around our skull, but often younger children or babies simply can’t express this, instead become restless or irritable. 

General Development/Gross Motor Skills – Many of our clients are surprised to learn that our nervous systems are integral to our ability to develop new skills. A tight nervous system can mean that all the child’s energy goes into maintaining the restrictions and pattern rather than on developing new pathways to learn new skills. Not meeting milestones in new skills such as learning to sit, crawl or walk is worthy of consultation – CST can assist in these developmental processes. 

We love CST for its non-invasive and really gentle treatment system. Absolutely safe for even the youngest member of your family, the beauty of it is the ability to move away from looking at the site of the symptoms to treating the whole system. 

Children and babies are one of life’s great joys and at Evolve, we love working with you to ensure your child has the best start in life, and the happiest, healthiest journey. Our expert therapists look forward to welcoming you into our calm clinic. Call +61 406 249 221 today or book an appointment online.

CranioSacral Therapy: Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal

CranioSacral Therapy: Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal

At our Evolve clinic, we see our clients through entire lifecycles – from birth to problems in later life. A major part of many of our client’s lives is the birth of a child. We love to see the littlest members of your families, but also to nurture our new Mum clients back to health as well.

The whole pregnancy and birth period is often a roller coaster ride – exhilaration and joy at the expectation and birth of a new baby, sometimes coupled with more challenging symptoms or experiences such as exhaustion, pain and postural changes. For some, the challenge lies in their fertility and falling pregnant, for others its morning sickness and delivery of the baby. Each journey is different and at Evolve we treat your body as a ‘whole’ to treat the root causes of the issues, not just put a band aid on the symptom (which is really useful when pregnancy can throw up a whole load of seemingly random symptoms!)


Of course, any pregnancy starts with fertility. Many women experience issues with their menstrual cycles – irregular cycles, painful periods, headaches, PMT…the list goes on! Our Evolve expert therapists are trained at helping you understand that being on the receiving end of these symptoms probably means your system is out of balance. CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands on therapy to remove restrictions in your body and can help to release any pre-existing tension in your body, ensuring that your reproductive system is functioning at its optimum level to pave the way for a healthy pregnancy. Of course, the desire to fall pregnant but being unable to do so, can be a difficult period for both you and your partner. Whilst your difficulties in falling pregnant may be related to an imbalance in your system as outlined above, it may also stem from past traumas which are preventing conception. CST can help the body to shift the memory of past trauma, relieve any tension and help the body recover to a level where it can fall pregnant. 


Pregnancy itself sees the female human body go through enormous physical and mental changes in preparation for the birth of a child. The body creates a safe and nurturing space in which to grow a child, which can result in some pretty uncomfortable symptoms for Mum. The first trimester frequently brings with it morning sickness, and later in the pregnancy, postural changes, back pain, sciatica and breathing difficulties. Whilst all these symptoms are perfectly normal, at Evolve, we strive to help our clients to lessen the uncomfortable symptoms with CST. By releasing soft tissue tensions, we can help the body find more space as well as calm the nervous system and assist the spine in accommodating the postural changes that are an inevitable part of being pregnant. Of course, CST is completely safe for baby, as well as their pregnant Mum. 

Labour and Delivery

Labour and Delivery is the exciting time when you get to meet your new bundle of joy. It’s an exciting but often nerve-wracking time, especially for first time Mums who don’t know what to expect, and whose bodies are not practiced in birthing a child. CST can help in preparing your body for labour by helping the pelvis and pelvic floor to be in the optimal state for delivery, as well as assisting the baby to move into a good position for birth. Surgery from a caesarean, like any major surgery puts stress on the body, and Mums find that CST helps to relax the body beforehand to assist with a speedy recovery post-surgery.


Post-natal: One of our customers, Lucy speaks of experiencing the benefits of CST whilst pregnant and in the post-natal period. “After the birth of my son, I had stored some of the trauma (from my delivery and breastfeeding experience) in my body. CST helped to release this trauma and allowed my body to recover. Treatment is extremely gentle, relaxing and safe to receive during pregnancy and regular treatments throughout my second pregnancy helped to prepare my body for labour.”

 Trauma from birth, whatever shape or form this takes, can make the early days of being a Mum really tough, especially if post-natal depression comes into play. At Evolve, we encourage loved ones of those Mums to seek early help to calm the nervous system, release tension and emotions stored within the body’s tissues. Our trained therapists’ practice SomatoEmotional Release (SER) as well as CST, which is a process to assist the body to release emotions or stress from within the tissues of the body using tools such as therapeutic imagery or dialogue. Even Mums who had a brilliant birth experience will frequently find themselves exhausted, sleep deprived and drowning in the pressure of keeping this little person healthy and well, and find they too really benefit from coming to Evolve for CST to help relieve the day to day stresses of being a Mum. Bring your babies with you – we always love a cuddle!


Towards the end of the birth journey, the final hurdle to accomplish is breastfeeding. Whilst it’s a breeze for some Mum’s and their babies, it can be an extremely difficult part of Motherhood to achieve. Issues such as poor latch, painful nipples or feeding for short periods can mean that your baby needs some treatment to help them feed effectively. You might also find you have a sore neck, or lots of shoulder tension due to poor posture whilst feeding. It’s hard to avoid, but easy to treat with CST to decrease the pain and tension whilst you breast feed.

Wherever you’re at in the pregnancy and birth lifecycle, our trained therapists can help. The key is to seek help early and let our highly trained CST therapists assess your body to help diagnose and treat the root causes of issues. There are few problems we haven’t seen before and we love working with women to make your own special journey, that little bit easier. Call +61 406 249 221 today or book an appointment online.

Concerned about a misshapen head?

Concerned about a misshapen head?

Sometimes issues arise within our bodies, or those in our care, which just ‘don’t seem right’. At Evolve, we frequently see clients who have tried a plethora of other treatments, both conventional and non-conventional but have seen no improvement in their symptoms. At Evolve, we work on using hands on, light touch therapy to remove restrictions in your body, encouraging it to selfheal.

How do misshapen heads occur?

Misshapen heads are a relatively common occurrence in newborn babies who have softer bones than adults.  Easy to identify by a physical ‘flat spot’, they can be worrying for parents both from an aesthetic perspective and from physical issues such as a baby being unable to move their head easily in both directions. Another sign of a misshapen head as advised by our therapist Lauren, is that one ear might be slightly more in front of the other. Birth, whilst being an incredible human feat, can also be traumatic for babies (and their mothers!) especially in ventouse or forceps assisted births. Torticollis is a common neck issue in babies, often caused by compression from medical instruments which occurs by pulling the soft tissues and connected bones into different positions or shapes, causing a ‘flat spot’ or due to positioning in-utero. As babies have such soft bones, when the soft tissues get tight, they can pull the bones into an incorrect position, leading to unstable head movements or their head being positioned in one place. 

Many of the cases of misshapen heads are identified and diagnosed as babies, however, it’s not unusual to also see toddlers come into the Evolve clinic, with parents desperate to resolve their head shape issue. 

Misshapen heads can resolve with treatment!

Our loyal client Anna, came into the clinic with her baby Lila who displayed the classic symptoms of a flat spot on her head, alongside being unsettled, very windy when she fed and not sleeping properly. By this point, Anna had already seen numerous other health practitioners and to date, nothing had helped her issues with baby Lila, and Anna was feeling overwhelmed. Our therapist Lauren started treating Lila fortnightly using CranioSacral Therapy (CST) a gentle, non-invasive light touch treatment technique designed to remove any restrictions in little Lila’s body. Within weeks, Anna started to see positive changes within Lila – she seemed happier in herself, her head rounded out and became gradually more tolerant of everything. It’s a real success story for Anna, with Lila now thriving at school, with a more rounded, beautifully shaped head.

When should I access treatment?

At Evolve, we encourage parents or caregivers concerned about the shape of their baby’s head to come in for a consultation with one of our therapists. The earlier the better, as babies and very young children’s bones haven’t yet fused, meaning that gentle CST treatment can help with this early intervention. 

A misshapen head can be a worrying concern – both cosmetically and with the other symptoms’ babies tend to experience alongside this. If you’re concerned, don’t wait, come and see one of our expert therapists at Evolve for gentle, safe treatment in our calm and welcoming clinic. Call +61 0406 249 221 today or book an appointment online

Sensory Overwhelm in children – hope is at hand!

Sensory Overwhelm in children – hope is at hand!

Childhood is a magical time for many children, filled with ‘firsts’ and new experiences. However, sometimes our modern world with its sensory laden environments can cause the child to feel overwhelmed and stressed.  It all happens when our nervous system is struggling to regulate itself and loops around in ‘fight or flight’ mode to cope.

Symptoms of sensory overwhelm

Each child who experiences sensory challenges can display slightly differing symptoms. Many parents can relate to ‘something not being quite right’ in terms of the frequent emotional meltdowns, challenges with particular food textures, concentration issues at school or their child’s need to constantly move or fidget. 

How treatment helped James

Our loyal client Samantha first brought her son James in to see us several years ago. James struggled to sleep, had a speech delay, suffered food disorders where he had an extremely limited list of foods considered ‘safe’ and in Samantha’s words ‘was afraid of life’. A host of traditional medical specialists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists were trying valiantly to support Samantha, but James unfortunately still failed to thrive, and his parents were exhausted and desperate for someone to help their son. After initially seeing James weekly at Evolve for CranioSacral Therapy (CST), Samantha was surprised and delighted after 4 weeks when James slept through the night. Significant positive changes followed with his eating habits and with continued treatment at Evolve, James started to turn a corner where he became less afraid of life, much more social and more relaxed to stimuli. Our team at Evolve had the biggest smiles on our faces when Samantha burst into our clinic a few months into treatment to let us know that in James’ medical appointment, the specialist had been amazed at the positive changes and exclaimed – ‘What have you done?!?”

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is the treatment which gave James back his quality of life. It’s a gentle and safe treatment designed to work directly with the nervous system, through use of manual techniques to support the nervous system to regulate itself more effectively. At Evolve, we work with many children who present to us with complex issues, often seemingly unconnected. It’s our job to connect the dots and enable your child to thrive both at home and at school and you to relax without the frustration of ‘putting up’ with behaviour or medical challenges which could potentially be helped. 

If this blog rings any bells, we’d love to help! Sensory Overwhelm is a very real issue which requires early intervention, but with treatment can result in extremely positive results, just like our little trooper James. Our expert team will guide you from your first call and celebrate each little win with you. Call Evolve on 0406 249 221 to chat with one of our team.

Feeling a little tongue tied?

Feeling a little tongue tied?

At Evolve Manual therapy, we offer hands on, light touch therapy to remove restrictions in your body, enabling it to heal itself.

Many of our patients arrive through our door with a host of seemingly conflicting symptoms and niggles – it’s taken some patients months to seek help to help correct their symptoms and find out what’s really going on within their body. One issue that’s becoming more prevalent is undiagnosed tongue tie.

Tongue tie is when the tip of the tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth causing restrictions to the lips or tongue – it can present itself in a few shapes and forms but breathing difficulties, headaches, shoulder and neck pain, digestive issues and anxiety are common symptoms. If untreated in childhood, tongue tie can cause a number of serious issues in adulthood.

How would I know that I have tongue tie?

Tongue tie is a frequent issue we see in our clients at Evolve Manual Therapy – it’s not an issue that will self-correct over time, meaning that many of our clients find themselves with consistent or worsening symptoms and often no idea what’s causing them.

Common symptoms can be:

  • Breathing difficulties and sleep apnoea– due to tongue impairment, smaller airways are common leaving sufferers to breathe through the mouth not the nose
  • Headaches due to the jaw moving sub optimally which can result in pain of the jaw, neck or head
  • Poor oral health – due to restricted movement of the tongue, people with tongue tie are more prone to dental cavities due to less saliva in the mouth
  • Speech issues – it’s extremely hard to speak clearly when your tongue doesn’t have a full range of movement 
  • Poor posture due to jaw positioning and range of movement – the ‘shoulder slump’ is common 

Kasia, one of our loyal clients came to us seeking a gentler treatment to correct symptoms which she now knows were related to tongue tie. 

These symptoms which had been causing significant impact on her children’s little bodies – poor posture with the head sitting forward and the jaw lowered, breathing through the mouth and not the nose, and breast pain when feeding her infant. Seemingly random symptoms, but ones which we at Evolve recognise as classic tongue tie symptoms. 

It was only after seeking treatment for her boys that Kasia realised that she too was suffering from tongue tie and sought treatment from our expert therapists. Within a short period of Kasia’s tie being released and CranioSacral Therapy (CST) practiced, gone were the headaches and in came a sense of calm and huge posture improvement. 

Kasia still visits us at Evolve on a frequent basis to maintain the great work by our therapists and is delighted to continue to see immediate positive results on each of her visits.

How do you treat tongue tie?

At Evolve, we use two gentle, non-invasive techniques. The first is CranioSacral Therapy (CST) which is a whole-body approach involving light touch manual therapy and the second is Orofacial Myotherapy which helps to regain and maintain orofacial muscle function leaving you able to eat, sleep, chew and move efficiently!

Both methods focus on restoring your body’s natural function through gentle therapies and tailored exercise programs to help rid of your symptoms for good.

As tongue tie doesn’t correct itself, it’s important to get yourself checked if you feel that something isn’t ‘quite right’. At Evolve, our expert therapists can diagnose and treat you in our welcoming, calm and clean clinic. Call +61 (0) 406 249 221 today or book an appointment online.

Connected body and mind – CranioSacral Therapy

Connected body and mind – CranioSacral Therapy

In our fast-paced digital world, many of us forget to regularly check in with ourselves. 

 We see many clients who arrive in our clinic with a host of symptoms and no idea as to the root cause, let alone how to fix them. 

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a growing practice around the world with over 125,000 practitioners in 106 countries now helping patients improve their structural alignment, function and reduce pain. Started by Dr Upledger, an Osteopath in the 1970’s, we’ve since seen a growing movement of people who are less inclined to embrace prescription medications and are looking for alternative solutions to treat their health issues.

CST is based on the principle that all systems are connected to one another. This includes the cranial bones, vertebrae and sacrum which move in an aligned way with the muscles and ligaments surrounding them helping to circulate the cerebrospinal fluid and keep your spine and systems healthy. Issues occur when this alignment isn’t synchronised, which is often the point at which patients connect with us at Evolve.

A welcoming place of nurturing tranquillity – that’s how one of our clients described our practice.

Gentle and non-invasive

We love CST for its gentle, non-invasive and hands on treatment system.  We’re shifting away from treatment models where the site of the symptoms is the sole focus for treatment and instead, therapists look at how your whole system is functioning. Far less daunting than some of the more exacting treatments you may have tried, CST works on the principle that the body can self-correct and heal with the right intervention.

During treatment, therapists place their hands on your body and through skilled assessment and techniques, gently listen to your body’s natural rhythm and find any restrictions which are the root cause of your health issues.

CST is used to safely treat a whole host of health issues, both physical and mental in both adults and children including:

  • Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
  • Stress and tension related disorders
  • Localised pain i.e. back pain, jaw pain
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia
  • Immune Disorders
  • Scoliosis
  • Migraines and headaches
  • TMJ syndrome
  • Tongue Tie

One of our experienced therapists recently treated Caroline, who arrived at Evolve trapped in a circle of poor health.

Initially her migraines were the main concern, but it quickly became apparent that her symptoms were far more complex, with irritable bowel symptoms, painful periods, insomnia, high anxiety and low energy levels. To make matters worse, Caroline was picking up every cold and virus around and had already seen a wide array of medical professionals – her GP, a gastroenterologist, Hormone Specialist and a Psychologist to try and resolve her symptoms. All the running around to appointments was making Caroline more stressed and her nervous system wasn’t coping very well. All of her symptoms could be related to a part of her nervous system related to the ‘fight or flight’ response being overactive. After her first treatment at Evolve, Caroline enjoyed a really great sleep, after three treatments, her migraines significantly reduced and with continued sessions over the next few months, her menstrual cycle became more regular and less painful and she began to regain her energy. The whole team at Evolve were delighted when Caroline came into our clinic, burst into tears and thanked us for helping her get her life back!  

At Evolve, we love a challenge. There are few problems we won’t try to solve and love working with clients on their journey to a healthier body and mind. Our expert therapists can diagnose and treat you in our welcoming, calm and clean clinic. 

Call +61 (0) 406 249 221 today or book an appointment online.