It is amazing having all of our inspired, informed and passionate people working closely together, committed to motivating and educating ourselves, each other and our patients with the most current and well-researched approaches we can get our hands on. We want all of our patients to receive the best care and so work collaboratively both within our own clinic and with your other health care providers. This makes for the safest and best treatment outcomes for you. It also makes this a truly great place to work. You’ll feel it when you walk in the door!
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Charmaine Dennis

Founding Director
Naturopath & Herbalist

Charmaine Dennis

Founding Director
Naturopath & Herbalist

Qualifications

Post Graduate Certificate Reproductive Medicine

Bachelor Health Science (Naturopathy)

Professional Associations

Naturopath & Herbalist Association Australia

Fertility Society Australia

Biography

Charmaine Dennis is a naturopath, fertility and health expert, mentor, writer, mother, and businesswoman. She is the founding director of Fertile Ground Health Group, co-creator of the Be Fertile relaxation CD series and co-author of The Breakfast Project, among other health inspired projects. Her greatest gift and inspiration is making health, wellbeing, and passionate living accessible, inspiring and achievable for everyone. 

Through her own health crisis at 34 years old (a shocking and life-threatening diagnosis of acute leukaemia in 2010) Charmaine experienced first-hand immersion into the medical system.  This transformative, life-affirming, challenging time has refocused and reinvigorated her drive for good health and living life to its fullest. Undoubtedly this experience has deepened her passion for collaborative health care.

Charmaine’s naturopathic career has followed a special interest in working with couples with infertility requiring IVF support since 1999.  She has assisted many in realising their dreams to conceive healthy, beautiful babies in collaboration with GPs and fertility specialists, acupuncturists and other health modalities. Since her own cancer experience, she can see the gaping need for more collaboration between natural and medical oncology approaches, and she is looking forward to working with more patients who need support for wellness and advocacy through their own cancer journey.

As well as mentoring and supervising students, naturopaths and other practitioners at Fertile Ground Health Group, Charmaine is running retreats and workshops for practitioners to support their business and personal development.

Gina Fox

Gina Fox

Naturopath & Fertility Educator

Gina Fox

Naturopath & Fertility Educator

Qualifications

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)

Masters of Reproductive Medicine (UNSW)

Advanced Certificate of Natural Fertility Management, Francesca Naish

Professional Associations

Australian Traditional Medicine Society

Fertility Society of Australia

Biography

Gina Fox is a naturopath with over 15 years’ experience. She trained under Francesca Naish (author of Better Babies) and has a Masters in Reproductive Medicine. As well as being an experienced clinician she is a speaker, naturopathic lecturer and student clinic supervisor.

Gina is highly skilled in providing naturopathic care for women’s health issues, pre-conception health, infertility, IVF support, pregnancy care and through menopause. She treats a wide range of issues including recurrent miscarriage, thyroid, auto-immune antibodies and she has seen good results working with men to improve sperm quality. She also enjoys the post birth appointments with mother and baby, maximizing wellness for the whole family and educating parents on how to manage many common childhood illnesses. Her professional approach involves working in collaboration with doctors and specialists to create an effective co-ordinated treatment.

Gina loves to help couples achieve full-term pregnancies and give birth to beautiful healthy babies. Gina excels at addressing underlying stressors while couples achieve their optimal fertility. Her own meditation practice led her to become a meditation instructor and co-develop the Be Fertile series of guided relaxation CDs for women around conception, IVF and pregnancy support.

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Articles & Podcasts by Gina Fox

Choosing your Obstetrician
Are All Natal Multivitamins created Equal?
Staying Calm During The First Twelve Weeks
Time For a Mini Detox
Helpful Hints For a Good Night’s Sleep
How to Be Smart About Stress and Your Fertility
IVF 2 Week Wait
How to Make Meditation Part of Your Daily Routine

 

Rhea Dempsey

Rhea Dempsey

Counsellor & Childbirth Educator

Rhea Dempsey

Counsellor & Childbirth Educator

Qualifications

Trained Primary Teachers Certificate – Phys Ed. (TPTC)

Grad Dip of Counselling & Human Services (LaTrobe)

Certificate of Childbirth Education

Professional Associations

Childbirth & Parenting Educators of Australia - Trainer (CAPEA)

Biography

Rhea is a mother of three adult daughters and now two delightful grandchildren. She is a counsellor, independent childbirth educator, trainer and author, with over 35 years experience working with women and families before, during and after birth. Her special interest is in exploring the psychosocial factors that affect birth experiences. Her counselling practice, as well as assisting with reflection on general life issues, also includes psychological birth debriefing.

Rhea is a highly respected and sought after presenter at conferences, seminars and workshops on birth and counselling issues. Rhea also has a private practice—Birthing Wisdom—running an extensive schedule of classes for couples and groups as well as training and development for midwives and birth attendants.

Rhea’s book Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth is available at Fertile Ground Health Group

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Fiona Harrison

Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Birth Attendant, Infant Massage Instructor

Fiona Harrison

Massage Therapist, Naturopath, Birth Attendant, Infant Massage Instructor

Qualifications

Diploma of Applied Science (Naturopathy) SSNT

Bachelor of Social Work, Monash University

Professional Associations

NHAA

Biography

Fiona is a qualified Naturopath, Massage Therapist and Birth Attendant with over 20 years experience.

She has two beautiful children and has been working with FGHG for more than 8 years.

She has completed studies in a wide range of massage techniques including Swedish and relaxation massage, traditional Thai massage and Auyevedic massage.

As a qualified Birth Attendant, having trained with Rhea Dempsey, Fiona also provides remedial massage, reiki and homeopathic support during labour. Fiona has attended many births and is able to combine her skills and knowledge to support and enhance your birth experience.

Fiona believes in supporting women to have the best possible birth experience regardless of how or where you deliver your baby.

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Peter Slipper

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Peter Slipper

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Qualifications

Bachelor of Music (Instrumental), Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Bachelor Health Science (TCM, Acupuncture, Hons), Victoria University

Masters of Applied Science (Chinese Herbal Medicine, Hons), RMIT

Diploma of Canonical Chinese Medicine, ICEAM

Professional Associations

Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA)

Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Biography

Peter became interested in Chinese medicine in the mid-1990s after a shoulder injury that had been resistant to treatment was finally relieved with acupuncture. This eventually led him from his original career as a musician/teacher to becoming the renowned and highly qualified practitioner that he is today. He has completed internships at The National Hospital of Traditional Medicine (Hanoi, Vietnam) and The Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine. He has been with FGHG since 2009.

Since 2009, Peter has studied under the mentorship of Dr Arnaud Versluys (Director of The Institute of East Asian Medicine), a world-renowned expert on the practical modern-day use of Classical Herbal Medicine, where the focus is on understanding how the body maintains a dynamic balance within a forever changing external environment, and what happens when this balance is lost.

All of Peter’s treatments are aimed at re-establishing harmony between the body’s internal regulatory systems so that the body can function to its fullest potential within the frantic modern world in which we live. He particularly loves treating conditions where this balance has been lost, whether it is hormonal (e.g. PMS, irregular cycles, infertility), immune (e.g. Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, recurrent infections), metabolic (e.g. blood sugar imbalance, thyroid) or digestive (e.g. bloating, indigestion, bowel issues), where a Classical Chinese medicine approach can have profound results.

“Being our healthiest allows us to achieve our goals more easily, enjoy our passions to the fullest and lead the lives we wish for ourselves. I passionately believe in the potential of Classical Chinese Medicine to identify disharmony and help us regain balance.”

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Rhiannon Hardingham

Rhiannon Hardingham

Naturopath & Nutritionist

Rhiannon Hardingham

Naturopath & Nutritionist

Qualifications

Bachelor Health Science (Naturopathy), SSNT

Certificate of Natural Fertility Management (NFM), Kerry Hampton, Wise Women’s Business

Professional Associations

National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)

Fertility Society of Australia (FSA)

Victorian Herbalists Association (VHA, past President)

Biography

Rhiannon is an experienced naturopath and nutritionist, with post graduate qualifications in Fertility Education.

Specialising in male and female infertility, IVF support and pregnancy care, Rhiannon expertly supports couples and individuals in their successful efforts to overcome fertility challenges. Her care philosophy extends to supporting her patients to achieve healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies and births and healthy, happy infants and children. She particularly enjoys working with single women and same sex couples as they navigate their way through their fertility journey. Optimising male fertility and health is also an area of significant focus in Rhiannon’s practice.

Underpinning Rhiannon’s work is a passion for health and a belief that every child deserves the best start in life. Thorough and approachable, Rhiannon’s commitment to understanding each person as an individual is much appreciated by her patients.

Rhiannon is committed to the successful integration of natural and conventional medicine, and believes ideal outcomes are achieved for patients when all their health care providers are working together. She incorporates the use of lifestyle counselling, nutritional supplementation and herbal medicine to achieve optimum results for each individual patient.

Having completed birth attendant training with Rhea Dempsey, Rhiannon also assists patients in making important decisions around their birth choices.

After her many years of experience and education in the area of infertility and IVF support, Rhiannon now provides professional mentoring for naturopaths in both group and individual sessions. This highly specialised area is outside the scope of standard naturopathic education and as such, her mentoring program at Fertile Ground Health Group is a rare opportunity for Australian naturopaths to further their skills.

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Joanne Sharkey

Joanne Sharkey

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Joanne Sharkey

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Qualifications

Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Biology)

Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine: Herbs & Acupuncture)

Professional Associations

Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA)

Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)

Biography

Joanne Sharkey is an experienced Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Joanne holds a double degree from RMIT University in both Chinese Medicine and Human Biology. She is fluent in Mandarin, which has allowed her to live in China for an extended amount of time. Her main mentor in China Dr Zhu being a gynaecologist in the TCM department of the Beijing Military Hospital in Wang Fu Jing.

Joanne has been in clinical practice for 10 years, her knowledge of Chinese medicine and experience in clinical practice make her a highly effective practitioner to support women and couples in starting a family. This includes preconception care, helping couples and singles conceive, health during pregnancy and preparing the pregnant woman for a safe delivery.

Aside from general fertility, Joanne has a special interest in treating PCOS holistically. She individually tailors acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments along side dietary and lifestyle advice to help regulate cycles as well as the hormonal side affects of PCOS including infertility. She endeavours to work with your primary and other practitioners to make sure you have the right information in regards to diet and lifestyle in your given situation.

Aside from her practice in fertility and pregnancy Joanne is a co-founder of Victoria’s first not-for-profit community acupuncture clinic Prickle Community Acupuncture, this is a reflection of her passion to make health and wellness available to all. Her general practice has also given her a wealth of knowledge and experience outside fertility including pain management, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune conditions, as well as assisting with anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Joanne is a warm, friendly and caring person who enjoys the journey and joys of working with her patients. Being a mother of two with PCOS she brings empathy and knowledge to conceiving, pregnancy and birthing.

‘There is nothing more rewarding and satisfying than seeing a gorgeous new Mum with a beautiful baby in her arms, knowing and being part of the journey she has been on to get to that point in her life.’

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Tina Jenkins

Tina Jenkins

Naturopath

Tina Jenkins

Naturopath

Qualifications

Masters in Reproductive Medicine (with Excellence), University of NSW

Bachelor Health Science (Naturopathy, dux) Southern School of Natural Therapies, Southern Cross University

Advanced Certificate of Natural Fertility Management, Francesca Naish

Better Babies Preconception Health Care, Francesca Naish

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Melbourne University

Professional Associations

Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)

Fertility Society of Australia (FSA)

Biography

Tina is a highly qualified naturopath bringing more than 20 years of experience to FGHG. After finishing her final year of studies at the Southern School of Natural Therapies, Tina worked as a naturopath in Singapore for 12 years. During her time there, she practiced in multidisciplinary clinics alongside gynaecologists/obstetricians and spent 4 years working as a naturopath in an international IVF clinic alongside a leading IVF specialist. Tina returned to Australia at the end of 2008 where she resumed practice and completed her Masters in Reproductive Medicine through the University of New South Wales.

Tina has always had a special interest in helping couples with fertility problems and has particular success in treating women with PCOS, irregular and/or absent periods as well as problems with ovulation. Over the years, Tina has treated thousands of patients providing her with a wealth of clinical experience, which coupled with her extensive qualifications, brings enormous benefit to Tina’s patients especially in the area of infertility. Tina has also assisted numerous parents regarding children’s health care problems and as a mother herself, has experienced firsthand the many benefits natural health care can bring to young children.

In addition to her clinical practice Tina works at the Southern School of Natural Therapies educating student naturopaths through her role as Clinical Supervisor.

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Sarah Harris

Naturopath, Nutritionist, child and family health

Sarah Harris

Naturopath, Nutritionist, child and family health

Qualifications

Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy), SSNT

Diploma of Remedial Massage, SSNT

Certificate of Natural Fertility Management (NFM), Kerry Hampton, Wise Woman’s Business

Professional Associations

National Herbalists Association of Australia

Biography

Sarah is a qualified and experienced naturopath, herbalist and nutritionist with more than a decade of knowledge and practice in complementary medicine. As a mother of three children and highly skilled in providing  naturopathic care, Sarah has a special interest in treating children of all ages. Her empathetic and kind nature instills comfort and confidence when providing advice to parents about their child’s health and she works well with families and individuals to find solutions for health concerns.

As a paediatric naturopath Sarah regularly updates her expertise with new research and treatment techniques to enable her to achieve best practice in traditional and evidence-based naturopathic medicine.  Her approach to family and children’s health has been fostered by the need to make it easy and effective for the family to implement any necessary changes. She provides practical knowledge, integrating dietary and lifestyle advice with naturopathic medicines to create an individual, step-by-step program; empowering you to achieve your desired health outcomes.

Along with prescribing safe, effective and practical naturopathic remedies such as herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and homeopathy when essential, Sarah can work in conjunction with other healthcare providers to ensure a collaborative and supportive approach.  Sarah shares her time between Fertile Ground Health Group and her other private practice in the inner west, providing general naturopathic treatment and caring for patients of all ages.

Babies, toddlers, school age children, teens and families are well supported under Sarah’s expert naturopathic care.  For more information about how Sarah can assist, you can read her most recent journals on our website blog page or contact reception for an appointment.

“My inspiration and satisfaction in naturopathic practice comes from supporting a family’s potential to thrive. It’s the little wins that form the basis of lifetime choices! Taking an approach to life that is based on prevention of illness first, or treatment when needed; using foods, natural medicines and healthy lifestyle choices that allow us to be the best we can be. To understand our individual constitution allows us to build a jigsaw- piece by piece; as the baby is able to thrive by feeding and settling with ease, a child is more able to play and dream as their immunity is strengthened, a teenager is energised by a balanced physical and mental state – these are the small wins that connect people and make family life joyful.” Sarah Harris, Naturopath.

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Bryden McGregor

Registered Osteopath

Bryden McGregor

Registered Osteopath

Qualifications

Bachelor of Applied Science in Complementary Medicine, Osteopathy

Master of Osteopathy

Professional Associations

Osteopathy Australia

Biography

Bryden is passionate about restoring movement and function to help people achieve their optimal health. Through effective assessment, diagnosis and treatment, Bryden is able to guide an individual to a better understanding of their body and provide symptomatic relief. He uses a range of techniques including manipulation, massage, dry needling and stretching, as well as patient education and exercise prescription. He has a keen interest in treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions affecting people of all ages, including pregnant women and babies.

Bryden is committed to his professional development and frequently takes part in postgraduate courses, here and overseas. In particular, he has focused on Cranial and Biodynamic approaches, which are both gentle and profoundly effective.

Bryden graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne after completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Complementary Medicine, Osteopathy and a Master of Osteopathy. He is also a member of Osteopathy Australia. In addition to Osteopathy, Bryden is an experienced sports trainer and massage therapist.

Bryden has recently returned to practice Osteopathy in Melbourne after a 4 year stint in Canberra.  He is an avid traveller and enjoys learning about other cultures and their culinary delights, and practising speaking Spanish. He loves connecting with nature and frequently takes part in camping and fishing trips, enjoying the simple beauty of the environment and the feel of the earth between his toes.

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Sonia Millett

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Sonia Millett

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Qualifications

Bachelor Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture & Herbs)

Clinical Internship Shuguan Hospital, Shanghai

Bachelor Business (Marketing) University Technology, Sydney

Registered Practitioner (AHPRA)

ATMS Accredited Practitioner

Professional Associations

Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA)

Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Biography

Sonia Millett is an experienced Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist with a strong focus and additional training in fertility, IVF Support, pregnancy pre-birth and labour treatment. Sonia has helped hundreds of couples improve their health and achieve their goals – maximising their chances of conceiving, or ensuring a smooth pregnancy and labour. Sonia has trained with four of Australia’s foremost Chinese Medicine gynaecological/ obstetric experts (S. Clavey, J. Lyttleton, D. Betts & K. Wolfe). She has over 8 years of clinical experience working in, and managing several dedicated fertility/pregnancy clinics in Melbourne.

Sonia successfully treats fertility concerns from pre-conception through to post-birth, including the most complex cases. In particular, Sonia has extensive experience in supporting both women and men undergoing IVF/ ART. She aims to restore healthy balance both physically and emotionally, using acupuncture and herbal medicine as well as detailed, individualised lifestyle and diet advice. She has also successfully treated many other conditions such as anxiety, pain and tinnitus.

Passionate about empowering and educating her patients, Sonia enjoys providing valuable support and advice at every stage of the journey. She has developed her own unique, comprehensive approach which includes collaborating with Western Medical counterparts. This helps her to gain a more accurate and clear diagnosis, improving care and outcomes for her patients.

A caring and dedicated practitioner, Sonia is persistent and flexible in order to achieve the most positive result possible for each patient.

As a mother of two, Sonia also brings maturity, empathy and first-hand experience in pregnancy and birth issues. Sonia is degree qualified, and has trained in both Australia and China.

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Consuella Garreffa

Remedial Massage Therapist

Consuella Garreffa

Remedial Massage Therapist

Qualifications

Diploma Remedial Massage

Cert Pregnancy Massage

Bachelor Health Science (Nutritional medicine) - current

Professional Associations

Massage and Myotherapy Australia

Biography

Consuella Garreffa is a Remedial Massage therapist with years of valuable experience. Since birth Consuella has been immersed in natural living principles, growing up on a vineyard in Mildura where traditional methods were opted to prevent disease and treat any health complaints. For the past two years Consuella has been treating in Brisbane and has relocated to Melbourne to join Fertile Ground Health Group.

Since studying remedial massage 9 years ago, Consuella has incorporated different techniques to be able to make every experience individual for her clients. She uses a range of deep tissue, trigger point release and muscle stimulation particularly to ease any discomfort of pregnant mothers and therefore encourage a peaceful labour. Her passion for a healthy life is transferable throughout the whole family, where she guides continual treatment post-natal for both the parents and newborn.

Mindful and respectful, Consuella recognises that no two clients are the same and comforts new clients with a high level of understanding and nurturing. Consuella likes to treat holistically and strongly believes that there is more than one element to health, which is why is she currently studying a Bachelor of Health Science with a focus on Nutrition to further her knowledge.

Consuella is a self confessed “solar powered figure’, and when outside of clinic she takes time to recharge outdoors, travelling, doing yoga and cooking for family and friends.

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Dr Sushen Naidoo

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Dr Sushen Naidoo

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Qualifications

Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRANZCOG)

Professional Associations

AGES - Australian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery Society

Biography

Doctor Sushen Naidoo is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, providing pregnancy care and gynaecology services at Frances Perry House, St Vincent’s Private and Epworth Freemasons. Dr Naidoo also has public appointments at the Royal Women’s Hospital, the Northern Hospital and is available for obstetric and gynaecology consultations at Fertile Ground Health Group, East Melbourne.

Sushen genuinely believes it is a privilege to be involved in a family’s pregnancy and birth. He values his time with his patients and his strength in communication and temperament ensure meaningful, informative and reassuring consultations. It is his aim and pleasure to see anxious and stressed couples leave a consultation feeling more confident.  Sushen aims to foster long lasting relationships and hopes to be involved in care of families long after meeting their babies.

His passion is for women centred and individualised care as he doesn’t believe in a cookie cutter approach to medicine or indeed birth. Recognising that every woman’s pregnancy journey is different, he offers an open minded and non-judgement approach where a patient’s informed choice is paramount.

Sushen has an interest in normal physiological vaginal birth and can offer support for vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) and multiple pregnancies (twins). He also offers a full range of Gynaecology services including colposcopy, infertility and endoscopic surgery.

Appointments are available with Sushen at Fertile Ground on Wednesdays. If you would like to make a booking to see him here please contact his reception on 8579 0958.

Listen to Dr.Sush talking about his Birthbeats with Neil Mitchell on 3AW https://www.3aw.com.au/music-is-medicine-the-birth-beats-playlist-for-mums-to-be/

Watch Dr.Sush on Channel 10 news talking about Birthbeats https://tenplay.com.au/news/melbourne/2017/10/18/soothing-song

 

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Michelle Lowe

Remedial, Pregnancy & Fertility Massage Therapist

Michelle Lowe

Remedial, Pregnancy & Fertility Massage Therapist

Qualifications

Diploma of Remedial Massage

Certificate of Fertility Massage

Certificate of Pregnancy Massage

Professional Associations

Massage & Myotherapy Australia

Biography

Michelle is an experienced Remedial Massage Therapist with over five years’ experience working within the industry. During this time Michelle has obtained a certificate in Pregnancy Massage, Fertility Massage and has completed up to Level 2 in Reiki. She has a special interest in treating women who are pregnant, experiencing menstrual pain and couples who are trying to conceive.

Michelle’s interest in women’s health started when she completed her studies in Pregnancy Massage, looking at the various changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy was fascinating to Michelle. This brought her curiosity to Fertility Massage as she felt it would really expand and assist her understanding of the female reproductive system. Michelle knows how a misaligned uterus can affect a woman’s ability to conceive and the pressure it can put on a woman when she menstruates. She learnt how to support women with their reproductive and digestive health with massage and various other techniques such as breathing techniques, visualisations and rocking. She herself has witnessed the results first hand by naturally resolving her own debilitating period pain through what she has learnt throughout her journey.

Michelle utilises all her knowledge, skills and past experiences to determine the best treatment for all her patients. She understands that everyone has different influences and demands in their life and finds that not all techniques and advice work for everyone, which is why she develops a treatment plan that best suits an individual’s needs. There’s nothing that makes Michelle happier than knowing that she has helped someone to achieve their desired outcome for their health and wellbeing.

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Ashley Gordon

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner

Ashley Gordon

Registered Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner

Qualifications

Bachelor of Health Science (TCM)

Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) / Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement)

Certificate of Attainment Neuro-structural Integration Technique

Certificate of Attainment Bowen Therapy

Professional Associations

Australian Traditional Medicine Society

Biography

Ashley Gordon is an experienced Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist with a passion for treating women on their journey through pregnancy, in birth preparation, with pre-conception care and for women’s reproductive health.

Harnessing the impressive combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, Ash can assist women to overcome the challenges experienced during pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, heartburn, issues with sleep and when the time arrives, in preparing the body through acupuncture for active and successful labour.

Ash continues to further his knowledge and is constantly advancing his education in Chinese herbal medicine and diagnostic skills through advanced courses and mentorship. He also has a certification in Bowen Therapy and when needed, will incorporate this soft tissue technique as part of the acupuncture treatment to address any musculoskeletal or related physical ailments.

Ash’s gentle and caring demeanour always instils a calming confidence in his patients and brings the added benefit of relaxation to every treatment.

“It is such a privilege to be able to play a part in assisting women during the very personal and life changing journey that is pregnancy. I am passionate about supporting families throughout this time and beyond for ongoing health and wellbeing”. Ashley Gordon, Acupuncturist.

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Merna El Chaaban

Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Merna El Chaaban

Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner

Qualifications

Bachelor of Applied Science (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Biology)

Clinical internship Jiangsu Province Hospital Nanjing China

Professional Associations

Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA)

Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)

Biography

Merna is an experienced acupuncturist and traditional Chinese herbal medicine practitioner. She graduated  from RMIT University with a double bachelor degree in Traditional Chinese medicine and Human Biology and during her studies she completed a 4 month internship in China at the largest Chinese medicine hospital in Nanjing China: The Jiangsu Province Hospital.

Whilst in China Merna engaged in a busy Gynecology department, a place that fuelled her interest in Obstertrics and Gynecology. As a result, Merna has developed a passion for treating women’s health and fertility as well as supporting women during pregnancy.

Merna has experienced many positive outcomes over the years and has a high degree of knowledge and skill in supporting pre conception care and pregnancy. She is dedicated in all aspects of her work and provides not only acupuncture treatments but also dietary and lifestyle advice. She aspires to assisting women and men of all ages by providing healthcare advice to people seeking a holistic approach and acknowledges that your body is your most important asset. Merna is committed to supporting you through the journey of life.

“As a Chinese medicine practitioner I come across a lot of women struggling emotionally throughout their fertility journey. We all have bad times, its inevitable, but if everything were easy you wouldn’t grow and sometimes your fertility journey can be filled with ups and downs. It’s important not to focus on the negatives and remember that going through hard times makes you appreciate the positive. Being able to support women throughout the struggles is very rewarding . I make it my goal to do everything I can to help everyone achieve the best results they can.”

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Rosalyn Gilfillan

Remedial and Pregnancy Massage Therapist

Rosalyn Gilfillan

Remedial and Pregnancy Massage Therapist

Qualifications

Diploma of Remedial Massage

Professional Associations

Massage and Myotherapy Australia

Biography

Rosalyn is an experienced remedial massage therapist who enjoys working with a myriad of people from all backgrounds and ages. Her skills have been developed through treating conditions ranging from muscular, skeletal and postural issues, pre and post sports treatment for athletes and management of pain linked to injury, degenerative conditions and mental health.

Ros has also developed a special interest in working with women through their pregnancy journey and beyond. She considers the incredible changes in a woman’s body that accommodate and nourish the life of baby, to be both magical and a time that should be enjoyed given the right support system. She also believes that offering therapeutic massage to the fathers of these babies can be of great benefit in bringing some equilibrium during a time when dads could use some support for their well being too.

Ros has had a very creative background prior to her career change to massage which involved fashion, art and dance. Ros has successfully transferred some of those skills into her massage sequence and sees massage as a different kind of dance that can align with the body’s natural rhythms, using calming, reassuring movement and touch. With her extensive understanding of anatomy and physiology, including contraindications, Ros can offer treatment that is sensitive and nourishing for each individual’s well-being.

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Suzanne Hurley

General & Perinatal Counsellor

Suzanne Hurley

General & Perinatal Counsellor

Qualifications

Masters in Counselling and Human Services (LaTrobe Uni)

Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Human Services (LaTrobe Uni)

Advanced Certificate in Applied Science (Naturopathy)

Certificate in Dance / Movement Therapy

Professional Associations

Clinical membership with PACFA. NAAPOC. ARCAP

Biography

Suzanne Hurley is a Perinatal Counsellor who attends to those who may be unhappy, distressed, afraid or otherwise impacted by any pregnancy related event where additional support may be needed. She has an impressive level of expertise having worked with varying degrees of reproductive loss, including pregnancy options counselling, infertility and IVF support, perinatal mental healthabortion counselling and in reproductive health issues. She has provided her clients with counselling, group support and presented to health professionals in various perinatal settings. Her expertise and understanding of the issues women, couples and families face when immersed in the perinatal period is highly specialised. She knows that when confronted by the unexpected you need someone by your side.

Many years ago Suzanne spent four years at Fertile Ground Health Group counselling in infertility and IVF support and has now returned bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience after having worked in multiple settings where perinatal mental health has been the main focus of her work. This has included time on the helpline at PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia), at Carrington Health in the Community Outreach Perinatal Support Service and at The Women’s Hospital’s Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes Australia National Counselling Service for unplanned pregnancy.

As well as working with Individuals and short term couples work, Suzanne has an interest in Groups. To date she has run; Little Village for women considering sole parenting using donor sperm, Sanctuary for women having IVF treatment and Pregnant Pause and Moving Stories: explorations of the pregnant body, past present and future, through movement.

She also provides clinical supervision to health professionals including doctors, nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, maternal and child health nurses, complimentary health practitioners,psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and counsellors.

In Counselling Suzanne can address:

Contemplating Pregnancy

  • Fear and worry about pregnancy, birth, baby.
  • Relationship issues including Family Violence
  • Infertility
  • IVF
  • Single women contemplating using donor sperm
  • Another baby after difficult perinatal experiences
  • Health issues

Unintended Pregnancy

  • Pro Choice, unbiased pregnancy options counseling
  • Unplanned, wanted, difficulty circumstances eg. Family Violence
  • Unplanned & unwanted but beliefs against abortion
  • Unplanned, wanted but am I sure?
  • Difficulties making a decision
  • Pregnancy the result of sexual assault
  • Considering abortion later in pregnancy
  • Abortion support; pre and post

  Pregnancy Support

  • Anxiety and or Depression
  • History of mental illness
  • Unhappy
  • Change of circumstances during pregnancy
  • Birth preparation
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Harmony testing at 10wks

 Life With Baby

  • Birth debrief
  • Not enjoying your baby
  • Not feeling like yourself
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Isolation
  • Family issues
  • Post natal Anxiety and or Depression
  • Missing work or thinking of return to work
  • Who we are as a family?
  • Who am I as a Mother/Father?
  • Unexpected outcomes
  • Grief and Loss

End of Reproduction

  • Who am I if I am not a mother?
  • I wanted children but could not have them
  • Health issues impacting fertility
  • Hysterectomy counseling
  • But I wanted more children

 

Suzanne’s approach to counselling:

What I believe…

I firmly believe compassionate, early counselling intervention for all reproductive trauma events, including unbiased abortion support will establish parents both today and in the future with the best possible outcomes for managing the unexpected realities if they do, when they do and during having their babies. This can be done kicking and screaming or it can be done with honour, good humour and grace. You get to choose.

What I do…

I have a unique breadth of experience and now specialise across the full spectrum of fertility matters and associated losses in supporting women and their families. This can include unplanned pregnancy and unbiased, decision-making counselling, abortion support, pregnancy issues, infertility & IVF, birth trauma, antenatal and postnatal anxiety and or depression, hysterectomy & health- related reproductive matters. Nothing holds greater value than another because in my world it all matters.

Where I have come from…

My passion and commitment arose out of 15 years combined practice with Pregnancy Advisory Service at the Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Marie Stopes National Counselling Team, PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) National Helpline & at Carrington Health’s Community Outreach Perinatal Support Service. This was all very unplanned on my behalf and I feel this work found me. I had to earn the privilege and honour of doing what I do.

How might my expertise benefit you…

I have gained such a wealth of knowledge about sitting with the discomfort of life’s challenges, particularly in the perinatal realm and the grief this may evoke. In the counseling room I sit solidly by your side whilst you feel the big emotions and gently guide you toward greater comfort and peace in reconciling with such harsh realities. You will no longer be alone because you have taken that step to ask for help and I know how courageous that feels.

My lived experience…

I cannot support you if I have not felt what it takes to reach out myself. I have been in the uncertainty of vulnerability and had to do it anyway. It is not easy and I hold great compassion and awe at what is revealed to me and sometimes to only me. I know that I must earn your trust and cannot be further ahead of you in meeting your needs. It is why I am by your side, with you, completely.

Suzanne is available for face to face, phone and skype consultations.

Make a booking online