Health experts with a strong focus on wellness

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With wellness in mind, “CityNews” speaks to local businesses who can help Canberrans reach their health and fitness goals. This is a sponsored post.

WHETHER it’s increasing core strength, reducing pain, learning to relax, getting fit or protecting skin, Canberrans can all benefit from taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Health and fitness extends to mind as well as body, as more experts are seeing the benefits that exercising can have on mental health. 

With wellness in mind, “CityNews” speaks to local businesses who can help Canberrans reach their goals, look after themselves and become the fittest and healthiest they can be. 

Club strengthens the body and mind

EXERCISE is so important for mental health as well as physical health, according to EVO Health Club manager Cindy Hansen.

“It’s something we can and should make time for,” says Cindy. 

“We live in a busy world and it’s so important to take the time to look after ourselves.”

Bodies are made to move, according to Cindy, who says going to the gym should bring people life satisfaction beyond fitness goals, extending into an active life and a sharper, fitter mind.

Located at Hotel Realm, EVO Health Club takes a different approach to fitness, using sound methods and the latest technology, to help people reach their goals, Cindy says. 

“We use Technogym equipment, have a 25-metre heated pool, sauna, steam room and spa,” she says. 

“We also have five personal trainers who can help clients meet their fitness goals.”

Clients can receive a 360-degree assessment of their physical, mental and life strengths and needs, before implementing a training program.

“Our expert personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches are engaged, knowledgeable and ready to guide you along,” the club says. 

“More than anything we want to train your body so you have the strength to sustain your busy life.”

EVO Health Club, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton. Call 6162 0808, email or visit

Pilates classes build confident movers

PILATES can be considered a cross-partner with any body conditioning modality, says Felicia Darbyshire-Pirie of Pilates Centre Canberra.

“It can support any other exercises, makes people feel good and gets the body working, whether they are fit already or deconditioned from lack of exercise,” Felicia says.

Felicia has been teaching Pilates for 12 years and says she discovered a love for it at a point in her life when she was fit and keen to have a go at any new exercise. 

“I discovered that when you have a properly trained instructor you get very skilful teaching, backed with reasons why you are doing a particular exercise. 

“With Pilates, you should always be able to ask your instructor why and learn the reasons it’s so important to get the exercises right.”

Felicia says she loves the sense of achievement she gets when meeting the physical challenges. 

“It’s physically hard, so when you get it right it’s a huge personal accomplishment,” she says.

“Being able to use movement to get out of pain is incredible.”

Felicia says it’s the thinking person’s meditation and that her clients say they come out feeling mentally and physically cared for.  

“Often the true gains of Pilates aren’t seen until they realise they can reach further, feel stronger and their pain has lessened,” she says. 

“It gives people confidence in how they move, which affects every part of their lives.”

The Pilates Centre Canberra, 58 Colbee Court, Phillip. Call 6162 1793

Sweat ‘enlivens’ the body and mind

LOCATED in Phillip, Enliven Infrared Saunas is Canberra’s first and only dedicated infrared sauna studio, says owner Jill Gray, who opened in August and has already developed a tribe of health-conscious “sweaters”.

Jill discovered infrared saunas while living in Melbourne and says there are many health benefits of using infrared saunas including detoxification, weight loss, pain relief, skin rejuvenation and sleep benefits. 

“People tell me how their muscle tension and joint issues feel so much better as soon as they come out of a session,” says Jill. 

“Clients suffering from arthritis and inflammation also experience instant relief and walk out pain free.”

Physical exertion, work demands and stresses can impact the ability to find balance and happiness in busy lives, according to Jill, who says incorporating infrared sauna therapy into weekly health routines can help restore body and mind.

“Infrared saunas are completely different from traditional steam saunas,” she says. 

“They use infrared rays to penetrate the skin on a cellular level. The heat is warm and relaxing, like walking past a window the sun is shining through, it’s not uncomfortable or overbearing at all.”

Clinical studies have shown that people’s sleep quality improves after a sauna, too, she says. 

“People feel so relaxed and de-stressed after a 45-minute session. Many clients tell me how much better they sleep after they visit the studio,” says Jill. 

Enliven Infrared Saunas offers three sauna sizes to choose from, including Canberra’s only lie-down infrared sauna bed.

“We also have a range of gift vouchers available which will make the perfect Christmas gift. Give the gift of wellness and spoil your loved ones,” Jill says.

Enliven Infrared Saunas, Unit 3, 61 Dundas Court, Phillip. Visit or call 0404 073618.

Ebony empowers clients to live well 

WELLNESS is about prevention and maintaining a healthy body and mind in the long term, says owner of Wellness Empowerment Collective in Lyneham, Ebony Anderson.

“It’s about paying attention to what the body needs, not listening to what has worked for other people, and this is where empowerment comes in too,” she says. 

“We need to listen to our own needs and tune into ourselves. At the Wellness Empowerment Collective, we assist people in taking charge of their own health, and encouraging them to make decisions for themselves.”

Ebony founded the Wellness Empowerment Collective last year, and offers a range of treatments including fitness sessions, yoga, cryotherapy, salt therapy, massages and float tanks.

“Toxic work or home lives can affect health, so we help people look at ways they can support themselves,” she says. 

Ebony says she loves the cryotherapy treatment they offer because it helps with her pain associated with endometriosis.

“It leaves you feeling refreshed, it clears brain fog and reduces inflammation and toxins in the muscles,” she says. 

“A lot of my older clients are so grateful for it and tell me it has reduced their arthritis pain, allowing for more movement in the hands. I love hearing this from my clients.”

Wellness Empowerment Collective, 2 Rigall Place, Level 1, National Hockey Centre, Lyneham. Call 0450 585569, email or visit

Sunscreen’s key for healthy skin

AFTER damaging her skin growing up, INSKINCare owner Tracey Newell is now on a mission to educate her clients on the dangers of sun damage, saying sunscreen is the most important product for everyone.

“I recommend sunscreen to everyone. It’s not just for the face, we need to use it on the decolletage, hands, arms, legs and the tops of our feet,” Tracey says. 

“It’s so important to educate about the dangers of sun damage. Thirty years ago the education wasn’t there, or perhaps we just didn’t care! It was all about slathering on oil and getting as brown as a berry. 

“I now have sun-damaged skin but I’m looking after it moving forward.”

Tracey opened the salon three years ago and believes it’s important not to take life too seriously. 

“We want our clients to feel comfortable with being naturally who they are, while also feeling the best they can,” she says.

“We’ll often greet you bare-faced and in our true skin [because] our aim is to help clients feel comfortable. 

“We certainly don’t look perfect and it’s more about feeling as good as we can.” 

The salon uses Dermalogica products and offers waxing, lash and brow treatments, facials, spray tans, manicures and pedicures. Part-time therapist Ann-Marie and student Roath make up the team.

“We don’t categorise our facials, instead we individualise and look at our clients’ skin on the day. It’s about them and their needs,” Tracey says. 

“We take into account how their skin feels today, how much time they have and their budget.

“It’s been dry, hot and windy so we’re mindful that the skin barrier may be struggling. We can help rehydrate, soothe and calm the skin.”

INSKINCare, 4/21 Heydon Place, Evatt. Call 6258 5818 or visit

Nathan trains his business to success

FOLLOWING a decade of hard work and dedication, Define Fitness, founded by personal trainer Nathan Hitchcock, was recognised as a finalist in the Telstra Business Awards, says Nathan.

“Being a finalist in the ‘Small and Succeeding’ category has been affirming for us as a team and community,” says Nathan.

“It’s a celebration of all the hard work, strategy and dedication over the past 10 years.”

Nathan started Define Fitness in 2009 and says its aim is to help clients become the fittest and healthiest they can be. 

“Our workouts are designed to suit individual needs and get results,” he says.

“Personal training has to be personal [and] adopting this focus as a fitness professional results in retention and trust being built. We then build capacity in people and make a difference to our community.”

Offering personal training sessions, partner sessions, bootcamps and corporate programs, Nathan says Define Fitness prefers to exercise in the great outdoors for fresh air and a connection with nature. 

Define Fitness has an inclusive approach and works with the local community’s health and wellbeing services to assist people with mental, intellectual and physical challenges. 

“We believe that assisting less able people is what we should all do,” he says. 

“This is why we have a focus on giving back to the community and importantly altruistic perspectives.” 

Define Fitness, 71/27 Wiseman Street, Macquarie. Call 0402 290371 or visit

The team at Capital Chemist Kingston.

Every step helps on the way to health 

FROM healthy eating to an active lifestyle, every little thing someone does to improve their health can make an impact, says owner of Capital Chemist Kingston, Sandra Ferrington.

“With a positive mindset and sense of purpose, much can be achieved and we can all move towards a healthier lifestyle,” she says

Sandra has been in the pharmacy industry for more than 30 years and says her key passion is assisting customers to have the best health outcomes possible. 

“All our staff are well trained to provide information and services that are individualised for each customer,” she says.

“We have an efficient and modern dispensary for regular medication supply that uses a state-of-the-art robot. 

“[And] our pharmacists are always available to advise on medication profiles and reviews.”

Sandra says the new pharmacy in Green Square is designed to make it easy for customers to chat with pharmacists. 

She says private consult rooms are available to ensure the privacy of conversations and to facilitate the provision of professional services such as sleep apnoea, pre-employment health assessments, weight-loss programs, hearing assessments, cholesterol and diabetes screening and vaccinations.

“Regular health promotions on topics relevant to the Kingston community, such as heart health, dementia, asthma management and diabetes management, are a feature of the daily life of the pharmacy,” she says. 

The Kingston pharmacy also regularly supports community groups and charities with fundraising and education campaigns. 

“You will often see our staff promoting activities such as healthy eating, heart and lung health awareness and supporting an active lifestyle with morning walking groups,” Sandra says.

Backed by a friendly team of knowledgeable pharmacists, including Fiona, Gayanie, Yuh-Lin, Syndia and Maja, Sandra says they all work together to provide customers with an outstanding health outcome.

Capital Chemist, 62 Jardine Street, Kingston. Call 6295 9146.

Greg gets to the core of long-lasting health

A FOCUS on core strength is crucial to long-lasting health and mobility, says physiotherapist Greg Nash.

Greg owns Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic and says he loves to help people maintain and recover their health and mobility, whether it’s following an injury or surgery, or it’s helping someone with musculoskeletal issues

“I always look at where the patient is at, assess the problem and suggest treatment,” he says.

“Staying active and having good core strength is so important.”

Greg says he sees patients who are injured through sport, car accidents, work or are recovering after surgery. 

“We encourage movement, though people do need to modify what they do if they have sustained an injury,” he says. 

“It’s important to be realistic about how things have changed and what they can actually do.”

With more than 35 years’ experience in the industry, Greg says he enjoys helping people get back to normal and seeing them get stronger.

“It takes time though, and I find that people think it’s going to be a much faster process,” he says.

“With manual therapy, exercise and electrotherapy like Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) or ultrasound, we can help them take baby steps towards recovery.”

Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, 3/48 Corinna Street, Woden. Call 6281 1382 or visit

The many benefits of acupuncture

Acupuncturist Stephan Skerra of CARM Therapies.

THERE is strong evidence to support the effectiveness of acupuncture in helping with people’s health, according to Stephan Skerra, an acupuncturist at CARM Therapies.

“It can be used to treat allergic rhinitis (seasonal hay fever), chronic low back pain, tension and chronic headaches, knee osteoarthritis, migraine, post-operative pain, nausea and vomiting,” Stephan says.

As well as acupuncture, CARM Therapies offers remedial massage for pregnancy, chronic pain management, post acute injuries, muscular aches and pains, and general wellbeing.

CARM Therapies, an allied health clinic which has been focused on helping the community create better health and wellbeing for more than 12 years, has two acupuncturists, three remedial massage therapists and a pilates practitioner.

Stephan says they enjoy helping people overcome pain and educating and explaining acupuncture and how it works in a way that is easy for people to understand. 

“We use a modern approach to a traditional therapy, using the latest methods based on anatomy and neuroscience,” he says. 

“We focus a lot on acupuncture for chronic pain management, treatment of post acute injuries and orthopaedic sports acupuncture.

“We are also helping a lot of people with their hayfever this season, especially with all this dust in the atmosphere.”

CARM Therapies, 5 Higgins Place, Higgins. Call 6278 7302 or visit

Strengthening health from all angles

CANBERRA’S largest orthopaedic practice, Orthopaedics ACT, has been helping people live an active life since 2013, says practice manager Deborah Henry. 

One excellent way which will help people maintain strength and mobility is resistance training, advises its sport and exercise physician, Dr Lari Trease and orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Phil Aubin.

“It’s helpful to do resistance or strength-based exercises twice a week, like circuit or balance classes,” say Dr Trease and Dr Aubin.

“The Australian movement guidelines include ideally moving for 30 minutes, five days a week, but this can be in efforts as short as 10 minutes at a time.

“It doesn’t have to be sport but could be gardening, housework, taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus one stop early.”

According to Deborah, Orthopaedics ACT brings together the skills and expertise of seven surgeons, one sport and exercise physician as well as a clinical nurse who work as a team with a number of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy providers to keep patients as active as possible.

For people with early arthritis, Dr Trease and Dr Aubin say Orthopaedics ACT’s surgeons and sports physicians recommend an exercise program called GLA:D, which is run by physiotherapists and strengthens the knees and hips, and can reduce pain and medication requirements.

When necessary, whether due to age, trauma or sporting injuries, Orthopaedics ACT can improve quality of life through surgical intervention. 

“Whether minor or major surgery, it’s aimed at allowing our patients to resume a healthy, active lifestyle,” say Dr Trease and Dr Aubin. 

“Having seven surgeons means we have all parts of the body covered, head to toe. [But] we don’t just fix bones, we fix people.” 

Orthopaedics ACT, Woden Specialist Medical Centre, Level 2, 90 Corinna Street, Woden. Call 6221 9320 or visit

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