Dr. Elissa O’Brien

B.Sc (Clin Sci) M.H.Sc (Ost) Osteopathy Australia Member

I am an osteopath and the mother of two girls. I love Osteopathy because it allows me to explore and enhance wellbeing. Many people in our society misunderstand the difference between the health model and the disease model of treatment.

The model commonly represented by western medicine focuses on disease identification and treatment based on the symptomatology. We are lucky to have the luxury of balancing our treatment decisions in our society with two strong models serving a different purpose but complimenting the other. Osteopathy promotes good health and general wellbeing in a preventative sense, however I find that my long-term patients also allow themselves to feel better than healthy. This is when the osteopathic model really shines, allowing true health exploration. Many of my patients report that the treatment works as much on their sense of wellbeing as on the individual aches and pains they present with.

To treat one part of the body in isolation ignores the inherent ability of the patient to find homeostasis and in doing so return to health. Due to this you won’t find me offering to treat lists of conditions. You will however find that I’ll assess the whole person and treat them using an osteopathic approach. Osteopathy offers the chance for patients to learn about their own unique responses to the world and how these responses have affected their life. During this exploration the patient may then learn to respond to the environment with more ease and confidence. An example of this is by them becoming aware of their postural and breathing responses to stressful situations. The end result could be that they have more awareness to the way their body responds or they may even decide they no longer need to be exposed to the stressful parts of their environment at all. As you’ll discover at Atrium Osteopathy the osteopathic approach involves a thorough case history, examination and assessment, hands on manual therapy and education in a supportive and nurturing environment.

I studied at Victoria University and since graduating I’ve studied many post-graduate courses including, Osteopathy in the Cranial Field Fundamentals, The Face, Paediatrics (conception to one year), Visceral Techniques and the Rule of the Artery (heart and blood flow dynamics).
I have also been lucky enough to lecture at the universities, at private teaching faculties and to present at international conferences. I’ve lectured about ‘the osteopathic approach to tongue tie’ and ‘stress and the mother-baby dyad’ to osteopaths and other health professionals.

I have always been interested in the anatomy and physiology of the pregnant woman, it’s an amazing time to support the mother-baby dyad and to witness the body transform and support life. Children of all ages are also very rewarding to treat as in this case we work with the natural cycles of growth. Self-care eduction in children is extremely important in my treatment model allowing good habits and awareness to develop. I often find that problems we face in adulthood have stemmed from childhood issues that were not appropriately addressed. I look forward to discussing the health of your whole family.