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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

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.

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?

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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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.

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Feeling a little flat? Time for a natural pick me up

Feeling a little flat? Time for a natural pick me up

Life is a roller coaster of emotions – full of extreme highs and the inevitable lows. Life is unpredictable, yesterday’s highlight can easily become tomorrow’s challenge. As humans, we tend to pack our lives full of people, work, activities, hobbies and a long list of things we ‘should do’. But what happens when despite all our efforts, we feel flat, uninspired and isolated?

We’re genetically programmed to connect and for the most part, have some form of interdependence on one another. Profoundly shaped by our social environment, humans suffer when our social connections are severed, and social pain has been scientifically proven to translate into real pain. We have evolved in such a way that being social, has become a necessity, not just a luxury. We live busy lives in fast paced world and it’s increasingly common for us to feel under the weather, to not really enjoy the life we’re living, even if we’re not sure what’s causing our low mood. The advent of social distancing and isolation with COVID has induced two distinct personas – one is perfectly happy to snuggle down in pyjamas at home, revelling in the slower pace of life and the chance to do the jobs they’ve been putting off for a while. The other has become a little unravelled with the lack of contact and socialising, easily recognised by the constant calls and desperate attempts to find a coffee shop that’s open. Both are perfectly normal responses to what has been an uncertain and unprecedented time.

The power of connection shouldn’t be underestimated. At Evolve Manual Therapy, many of our clients have been coming to us feeling the disconnect between their body and the connection with themselves and others. Clients typically come into our clinic aware that they’re feeling low and a little flat but unsure how to restore their natural vibrance and a happier demeanour. Many are missing the healing power of touch – an essential feeling which ground us from day dot – a parent with their child, a couple in love, a Grandparent with their grandchild – we’ve been raised to enjoy, and even need human touch. Isolation over the past few months has deprived many people from the joy of human touch and has impacted upon the health and wellbeing of countless others. Medical research has proven that Neuroscience has shown touch lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases the amount of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone. 

Raising your mood, gently and effectively

At Evolve, we practice a gentle, hands on approach called CST (CranioSacral Therapy) which is a delicate manipulation of the cranial bones and sacrum.  It’s non-invasive and works by helping the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system to be normalised and removes blockages or tension, enabling the body to heal. The relaxation of the body and brain during CST can have a positive effect on the regulation of mood and on the reduction of stress. As your body secretes the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, your body is flooded with a feeling of wellbeing and calmness.

It’s a natural way of lifting yourself up, no cocktails of chemicals required, only a regular appointment with your favourite therapist.

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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

Pain in your head? You’re not alone

Pain in your head? You’re not alone

At Evolve, we’re increasingly seeing clients walk into our clinic with complex headache and migraine ailments. At best, clients are exhausted and in pain, at worst, they’re unable to function to their optimum capacity at work and at home. With over 2 million Australians suffering from migraines and another 7 million from tension headaches, you’re likely to have experienced the debilitating symptoms or know someone who has.

How are migraines and tension headaches different?

Migraines are moderate to severe headaches which can last upwards of 4 hours and up to 72 hours – often identified as being one sided headaches and accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light, smell or noise, they can leave sufferers bedbound. Originating from several factors such as poor posture and stuck joints at base of the head (causing limited fluid drainage and pressure in the head), migraines are seldom associated with one singular cause or symptom. 

Whilst milder in pain, tension headaches are felt at the front, sides and back of the head and neck and can be associated with stress, poor posture and muscular tension.

How can CranioSacral Therapy help your headaches?

Whilst it’s easy to reach for the medicine cabinet and pop a pain killer, research shows us that this merely puts a band aid over the root cause. CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-invasive treatment designed to treat your whole body and source the root cause of the head pain you’re experiencing to treat and prevent any negative pattern from repeating. Through gentle, receptive touch, CranioSacral therapists manually release restrictions in your body and source the root cause of the issue.  Importantly CST helps to calm the nervous system which in turn reduces the symptomatic pain experienced in the head.

The power of the simple Still Point

One technique our CST therapist Matt employs which is highly effective in the regulation of the nervous system, is the still point – a technique where he encourages the craniosacral rhythm to pause and reboot. It can be likened in simple terms to turning our technology off for a system update – upon turning back on, our system is refreshed and back in synch with our natural rhythm, allowing the muscles to relax and restrictions begin to soften.

Our team at Evolve has seen huge success with some extremely complex clinical presentations – our ethos is to send you home in a stronger, fitter state than when you arrive at our clinic. There’s no need to shut yourself in a dark room to try and rid of your migraine or headache, instead visit our friendly team at Evolve for an assessment and gentle, non-invasive treatment. Your head will thank you.

Schedule an appointment with one of our therapists: http://www.staging.evolvemanualtherapy.com.au/book-appointment/

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.