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Getting to know…Maggie, Kelly & Jennifer of Health Space

Health Space is a multi-disciplinary clinic that provides acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathy and nutrition, and life coaches located in Sydney’s Inner West in Rozelle and Newtown and Coogee and Bondi Junction in Sydney’s East.
Tell us about yourself, Maggie – Co-owner of Newtown & Bondi Junction, Acupuncture and TCM at Rozelle
I am half Canadian and half American and came to Australia with my Dutch partner whose Japanese company opened a division here. We moved just after I had completed my Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), studying acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I had started to practice with people hoping to conceive and was mentored under a practitioner, Jane Lyttleton, who has 3 clinics around Sydney that work hand in hand with IVF clinics, Genea and IVF Australia. It has been an interesting time working with these clinics because a very large German acupuncture study has established a link between IVF and acupuncture for fertility.
A year later I moved to Health Space and my other big focus became helping other practitioners with their communication skills. When I hire acupuncturists in Health Space and I focus on helping then become better communicators and develop treatment plans and ways to keep people’s health on track through prevention and general maintenance care.
I also became a doula when I arrived in Sydney as I was having lots of people falling pregnant and I really wanted to see them through the pregnancy and birth. Even for people I don’t work for as a doula, I am able to coach them through what to expect from birth, the hospital, when to go to the hospital and what is normal.
Tell us about yourself, Kelly – Chiropractor at Rozelle & Coogee
I hold a Bachelor of Health & Science and a Masters of Chiropractic from Macquarie University and the Webster technique for pregnant women. I specialise in pregnancy care and paediatrics and work in the Rozelle and Coogee locations. Pregnancy care is my passion and the benefits of the pregnant mum and bub are huge. There are millions of hormonal changes that occur in the mum and developing baby, which are all generated and coordinated through the nervous system. It is imperative that it is working at its best. With all the relaxin hormones, the changing centre of gravity, and losing abdominal support we help pregnant women to have better functioning sacroiliac joint, maintain the thoracic flexibility which helps to alleviate pubic pain, lower back pain, pelvic pain and sciatica.
I get asked a few main questions such as ‘is it safe?’ The answer is yes! As your belly grows we use different techniques to modify the positions. The type of treatment I use is the Webster technique as research supports that it helps with quicker and less interventional births. We don’t need to do big adjustments for the pregnant ladies so we use gravity and gentle pressure with big belly pillows to support the belly.
If treating babies, we use eyeball pressure on them as they don’t have all the stressors adults have and their nervous system is much faster to respond. Babies’ nervous system will double in the first year of life. If joints are moving freely the babies and kids are moving freely and if they are moving more that is good for their brain development. Movement stimulates the brain which results in better behaved, better concentration and a well-balanced kid.
Tell us about yourself, Jennifer – Chiropractor at Newtown
I have been a part of the Inner West community for 8 years and love the vibrancy, eclectic-ness and inclusiveness that the Newtown area embodies, often frequenting the local markets, café’s and restaurants. I really love working with pregnant woman and families because it’s such a dynamic and changing time in one’s life! My treatment plans are designed to keep Mum & bub in the best shape possible during the different stages of pregnancy and beyond! Treatment is modified to the needs of each client and I like to provide information on safe exercises as well as nutrition to the whole family.
Do your practices located in the Inner West have a speciality?
Maggie: We have both Rozelle and Newtown. Rozelle is very family-focused and we provide all types of alternative care. We have families of people coming through the clinic using all types of services.
Kelly and I work on women’s health care in Rozelle. I am meeting and caring for women primarily as they are trying to start their families. Conception to birth is my favourite thing and I am able to answer a lot of questions on their health and learn what makes them their more fertile self.
Kelly and Jen work with pregnant women and Kelly with babies and young children by aligning the spine. All the nerves that innovate your lower region need good blood flow to the area. When people become pregnant the body goes through structural changes, and conditions of pregnancy and the difference between experiencing that untreated and treated is huge. People get scared about engaging a chiropractor but it is nothing to do with cracking or snapping, the methodology is much, much gentler. We work with a huge team and the care is provided for people in a way that if I couldn’t solve a problem, then one of my team could.
What can a customer expect from Health Space?
Genuine care, long-term commitment, and a human connection. We really care about who we treat. Throughout the years we learn so many things about our patients and their family so it really becomes a personal connection.
We are continually learning and conduct skills nights to discuss cases and ensure a continued focus on excellent care and management of patients and their needs. We are professional and timely and our clinicians are always there for set days and hours. We spend our time caring for clients or researching for them, or marketing within the community.
Relationships with the community are important – Rozelle has been around for 7-8 years and most people who live in the community participate with community events, neighbourhood events, movie nights and so on. Integrating into the community while treating the people of the community is one of the biggest things for us. We like to create health awareness.
What advice can you offer mums wishing to start their own business?
Look at a community that you really like or are connected to as you will naturally feel supported within it. I am really integrated into the Inner West, and I feel I have taken the time to develop great neighbourhood relationships. Try to understand your neighbourhood and go forward, community is absolutely key.
Are there any challenges you have had to overcome either personally or professionally?
Professionally, I work really hard to separate my practice from the business side of things, as it can be quite maddening. Practicing acupuncture and working with others is beautiful and calming and is the joyful part of what I do.
What exciting things do you have coming up?
I am known in my client base that I go on holiday quite often. I practice a stress free life as often as I can and encourage people to take time out. I love that Australian’s are into taking time out for themselves.
I try to get my family to meet me in different locations all over the place. I have a holiday to Cuba coming up and last year I went to Biarritz with my mum and visited my brother in Beijing who has recently had twins.
What inspires you?
People that learn and grow, inspire me. I have clients that I met when I first moved to Sydney who thought that being healthy meant eating iceberg lettuce. Now they take themselves to bed if sick and have learnt to care for themselves. Watching the evolution of a person, of a couple, or a family over the past 7 years has been joyful. Some are now onto their 3rd child with me. That is cool! I won’t see someone for a year or more, and then they come in hoping for baby #3. It is about growing experience, growing family, and growing health and wellness experience. I like it when people repeat my words back to me or when clients teach their friends things and they don’t remember I shared with them first.
What are some tips you could share with our readers to stay healthy?
The 3 causes of illness are stress, lack of sleep, and poor eating. Anyone I treat I can equate it to these things.
Lack of sleep: turn your electronics off when the sun goes down as it can affect your circadian rhythm, and follow that seasonally. I went out to dinner the other night all the kids are sitting there watching screens with their necks crooked over and I thought, “These kids probably don’t sleep that well”. The exposure to screen after dark terrifies me. Get up when light first starts and focus on those morning daylight hours and get into bed much earlier at night. If you have to work at night, Efflux is a program that backlights screens so that it doesn’t affect your circadian rhythm. It’s like looking at a candle vs. a light screen. However, it is harder to get those on Mac products.
Stress: The senses are really good at anchoring positive and relaxing thoughts. At night I might tell someone to have a bath or a cup of tea or whatever you are doing to relax and relate a scent to it. People come into my office and I might use a bit of tiger balm to help them associate the scent with a stress free environment. Neurologically if they had tiger balm in their home, and rub it on their wrist before the stress starts, the scent acts as an anchoring a stress reducer. It is a really useful tool to use throughout the day.
Poor eating: one of my biggest tips to women is eating food that is warm as a way of nurturing your body. Not cold, and not out of the fridge. The state of digestion is acidic and hot and if you start your day with something cold your digestive function is being compromised while it is trying to get back to a baseline of acidic and hot. Men can cope with that a little better. It is one of the specific things I suggest when women are trying to conceive – eat slow cooked and warming foods that are pre-digested so their bodies can take that nourishment.
Favourite spots in the Inner West?
I love Egg of the Universe. It has been fun to grow together with that studio space and the owners Harry and Brony Lancaster are such lovely people, we discuss our heartfelt passion for treating people.
Some great places to eat in Rozelle include Egg of the Universe, Love Fish and the Darling Green – they all have simple clean and happy food. And I love Kx Pilates!
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