I’m Sam (short for Samantha). I am a passionate Myotherapist dedicated to working with you through your pain using movement, physical therapy, mindfulness and neuroplasticity techniques. My own journey rehabilitating from a terminal connective tissue disease that affected all my body systems enables me to understand your point of view and what you are experiencing.
I am the owner and founder of Verve Massage and Myotherapy.
I have about five years of experience working in physical therapy and prior to that about 17 years of experience working in Crisis / Disaster / Security Management in community preparedness, event coordination, event response and community recovery.
Over the last five years I have worked with over three thousand people from terminally and chronically ill patients, to patients with Cerebral Palsy and Downs Syndrome, to elite sports people and world-class musicians.
My point of difference to other therapists
I was born with a connective tissue disease that affected all my body systems: muscles, skeleton, skin, blood, organs, cardiovascular, respiratory, brain and nervous systems [autonomic, central, and parasympathetic], and digestive systems. Basically my body didn’t work properly when I was born both in terms of these body systems and in my daily ability to move and function. In fact, as a child, movement was the source of a lot of trauma for me which followed me into my adult years. I was born lean, tall, blond-haired and blue green-eyed; and I appeared on the surface to be ‘normal’ (whatever that means). When I moved I didn’t move like anyone else and no one else could tell me why. In fact I was ostracized and ridiculed for it.
At age 23 my heart stopped suddenly when I was talking to a friend. 20 minutes later I was resuscitated, rushed to hospital, in a coma for a week, then hospitalised for another month. This was a couple of months after I lost my Mum to an aortic aneurysm.
Over the following nine years I was given many diagnoses of different diseases (at one stage or another I have been diagnosed with a disease starting with every letter of the alphabet), fitted with a defibrillator, hospitalised more than forty times and told I was going to die, again, more than forty times. I had to take so many different tablets in that time frame also and at one point I was taking tablets to treat the side affects of tablets that were treating the side affects of other tablets that were treating my original symptoms.
In 2010 I was told I no longer had enough muscles to support me standing and walking more than 200 meters, I should never lift more than two kg and I should accept for the rest of my life I would be in a wheelchair; and by 2014 I would no longer be living.
I chose to accept my diagnosis as a valuable scientific opinion. A large part of me realised that I had an opportunity to turn my experience into something positive; and I’d rather die trying, than die not trying. I believed that I may be able to inspire or help one other human. That became a big enough reason to me to try to get well.
My rehabilitation was extensive. I worked on diet, mindset, values, beliefs, principles, habits, behaviors and movement. I consulted as many people as I could, read as much as I could about all my diagnoses. In this time I was even fortunate enough to meet Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra.
On 11 December 2013 my body rejected my defibrillator. It literally pushed my leads through the skin. One week later following heart surgery a bunch of specialists and a cardiac rehab coordinator said, ‘You have more than above average health of a person your age of the general population. You may consider to live without a defibrillator.’
I chose to live defibrillator free. By that time I had also qualified in remedial massage. In January 2014 I opened my business in Alderley and then moved it to Everton Hills in August 2018. In the last few years I’ve undertaken further study and am today qualified and experienced in Myotherapy.
I understand what it’s like to live in both acute and chronic pain. Pain so intense it keeps you awake, it ruins your resolve, it takes your resilience and it seems like nothing you take or do will numb or fix it.
I understand what it’s like to have an injured and chronically to terminally ill body with conditions that present to someone outside your immediate medical community as invisible. I know how exhausting it is to keep repeating your history, how your medication may be impacting you, how you’d like to be able to do things – where do I start, how afraid you may be of whether or not you are safe to try new things…even meet new people.
I have worked with people impacted by disaster, pain and illness for about 22 years. That combined with my own journey has enabled me to assist people with their mindset and through using practical tools.
Through Myotherapy I use:
- soft tissue therapy
- neuro-plasticity and mindfulness techniques and practices.
Please read more about Myotherapy here.
Being a Myotherapist, I only work within my scope of education and training. I have a wonderful network of medical and allied health professionals I work cooperatively with to achieve the best outcomes for my clients.
My qualifications and training:
- Nutrition in Elderly Adults
- Assessment and Function
- Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy
- Diploma of Remedial Massage
- Post Graduate Certificate, Public Sector Management
- Beyond Command and Control
- Advanced Diploma of Emergency Management
- Emergency Responder and Community Psychological First Aid
- Fireline Leadership
- Public Sector Leadership
- Trainer and Assessor
- Search and Rescue
- Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System
- Community Recovery
I am currently studying:
- Tai Chi, Qi Gong Teacher Training
- Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training
- Cert III Group Fitness
- Cert IV Fitness Professional
I am planning to further my studies in the areas of Counselling and Exercise Physiology.