My journey as a Holistic Physiotherapist in Bali, Thailand & India 2016/2017

I've been so lucky to be invited to host retreats and practice holistic Physiotherapy around Asia in the past 6 months. Check out my experiences!

It was so special to be invited to these stunning places, but to enjoy the amazing healthy-yet-delicious food, take part in the meditation sessions and learn from other visiting practitioners was just unimaginably eye-opening for me. The plush rooms and perfect surroundings made it extra enjoyable too. Check out these world-class retreats in India, Thailand and Bali.

1. Visiting practitioner at Chiva Som, Thailand

Holistic Physiotherapy

My first invitation was to do a short residency at Chiva Som, Thailand. A favourite of royalty around the world (there was a Princess staying there while I was there...I won't say who!) Chiva Som is a complete wellness escape with everything from a hair salon, to Watsu pool, yoga pavillion, world-class international wellness cuisine and very popular water aerobics classes!

holistic physiotherapy treatments

Chiva Som already have a Physiotherapy department, but they don't have any Western practitioners, and they saw an opportunity to expand their offerings. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to treat the senior executives of the resort, and of course experience the beautiful food they're famous for.

Chiva-Som Water Therapy Suite 2.jpg

I offered treatments for injuries, poor posture, general stiffness and soreness, and gave solutions for healthy ageing; all the the stunning surrounds of the Chiva Som spa. 

2. Visiting Master at Ananda Spa, India

holistic medicine wellness

After Thailand I flew to Northern India to one of the world's original spiritual places, the foot of the Himalayas, where Oprah, Uma Thurman and countless other celebs have retreated from their lives - to Ananda Spa, Rishikesh. 

holistic physio

I was so honoured to be invited to practice at this infamous retreat (which is also the Maharaja's summer palace) and learned so much about Easter medicine, meditation, Ayurveda, philosophy and other therapies from the other masters. 

My treatment rooms were in the luscious Ananda Spa, using the signature Ananda oils and brilliant grounds for pilates coaching. I worked on everything from shoulder impingement injuries to thoracic stiffness, chronic low back pain, knee pain and everything in between. 

Discover more about my holistic Physiotherapy treatments at Ananda here.

3. Visiting practitioner at Svarga Loka, Bali

holistic physio asia

In February 2017, I was asked to be a holistic practitioner at a beautiful wellness hotel in the jungle of Ubud, Bali. This hotel may not cater to celebrities, but it's the perfect place to escape the grind and completely retreat to nature amongst Tomb Raider-esque ruins and luscious trees.

wellness physiotherapy in asia

I treated some guests repeatedly over my time there, with everything from yoga-induced injuries for those on active retreats, to sore back, acute disc injuries, wry neck, muscle strain, and headache.

I'm so lucky I've had these experiences and for everything I've learned in these world-class wellness escapes. Now I've combined everything I've learned into my existing events, including the Melbourne One Day Wellness Retreat on June 17th. Book your spot below!

What is Holistic Physiotherapy?

Holistic Physiotherapy blends evidence-based physiotherapy with research-based mindfulness, meditation, breathing and movement. It mixes the proven aspects of Eastern wellness with the existing science of Physiotherapy. 

How is it different to normal physiotherapy?

  • Treatment times are 60 mins or 90 mins (not 30 minutes)
  • Breathing is a central part of the patient's experience
  • Hands-on treatments are in a luxurious setting including quality essential oils, and five-star spa centres at luxury wellness resorts.
  • Movement-based Pilates and rehabilitation sessions are set in picturesque outdoor settings within the wellness resorts
  • Each session includes time for the patient to ask questions about their injury or concern, and receive exercises to maintain their health and movement long into the future
  • Mindset, the patient's view of their body and injury, and their understanding is central to the treatment

I created my holistic Physiotherapy techniques thanks to my experience breaking my back in an accident, and luckily making a full recovery. Through my own injury experience, I realised traditional medical care didn't give me enough support to recovery fully, so I looked elsewhere and now practice what I learned. Read more about my experience here.

To see how I can help you retreat add evidence-based wellness to your existing offerings, get in touch.

3 things you should eat everyday & other wisdom with Amy Ritchie

It's been a while since I've shared wellness words with you, and it's all because I've settled into life as a Physiotherapist in Melbourne, Australia, after leading retreats in Bali. So now I'm all nestled in, here's an incredible interview with our friend holistic nutritionist Amy Ritchie who tell you why you can't hate yourself healthy, and other gems.

What is healthy eating?

This one is tricky. I think often we want to the know the 5 foods we need to eat all the time to be “healthy.” Because this is easy. The real work is looking at who we are as eaters.

We can’t talk about healthy eating, or achieve wellness, without addressing our relationship with food. You can't hate yourself into healthy! Choosing foods from a place of respect for your body rather than hate & restriction is healthy eating.

Enjoying a treat without experiencing shame afterwards is healthy eating. 

Why are food pics and cooking shows taking over social media?

We’re visual & we have short attention spans. I love getting inspired by food shows & photos but it needs to leave the screen and get to your kitchen! It’s easy to feel like you’re making steps to being healthy by pinning recipes, but then never actually making them. Get inspired, find one good recipe and then make it! You can pin more later.

I also get curious as to how this plays into overeating. There’s a phase of digestion referred to as the cephalic phase. In this phase seeing, smelling and thinking about food begins the digestive processes in the body. You have a physical response to seeing pictures of food (salivating at a picture is a real thing!) So try to follow healthy food accounts and look before eating not before bed. It may actually be a good way to ramp up digestive function!

What are your 3 favourite things to make? 

Eggs are a go to for me in the morning and lately I’ve been loving them scrambled with some raw garlic, turmeric, cherry tomatoes & arugula (I think you call it rocket). 

I’m also on a collagen/bullet-proof coffee kick. I blend 1 tbsp organic ghee (clarified butter) + ¼ tsp vanilla extract + 1 scoop collagen powder + 1 cup organic French press coffee. It’s heaven - frothy & delicious. The type of fat in butter & coconut oil is more readily used for energy and the collagen powder provides protein.

I also make a lot of wild rice. It’s a great alternative to pasta, white rice or other heavy carbohydrates. It takes a while to cook so I recommend soaking it for at least 4 hours prior, which will also improve digestibility. 

Here's a collagen powder I like: http://www.vitalproteins.com/user/nutritionbyamy

What's the biggest question people ask you about how to eat well?

What can I do to help with sugar & carb cravings. 

What's the biggest thing everyone needs to work on when it comes to nutrition?

Eating real food and not getting to caught up on the logistics.

Real food doesn’t contain ingredients, real food is ingredients.

It doesn’t usually come in a box, or pre-made. Don’t stress red quinoa or white quinoa, kale vs spinach or steaming vs baking. These things matter much less than eating a variety of unprocessed foods daily. 

If you had your way - what are 3 things every one should eat once a day?

Holistic Nutrition is all about what for whom – but for ME: salmon, turmeric, dark chocolate. 

What's your favourite treat?

Definitely chocolate. In all its forms. Pistachios are a close 2nd. 

What is your BEST tip about healthy eating and nutrition?

Listen to your body, get curious. Slow down and pay attention to how you feel after eating. Nobody can ever know your body better than you do. I ask my clients to listen for the whispers. This means hearing and responding to the subtle signs that your body is struggling, before it has to shout. 

Learn more about Amy, and follow her for the most delicious healthy recipes you've ever seen at: www.amyritchie.ca

In Melbourne? Want to learn more about healthy eating and great, nourishing food?

Come to our One Day Wellness Retreat on June 17th! The food will blow your mind, and it's incredibly healthy!