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Birthday Blog – Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken

Why do you love pilates?
In my opinion, Pilates is the gold standard in preventing and managing musculoskeletal health issues. As humans we start to develop bad habits and movement patterns and these patterns aren’t necessarily correct. We do what is easiest in regards to performing a task and over time these movement patterns are reinforced.
Pilates slows everything down and breaks apart all the bad habits we have developed. It incorporates and analyses every key movement pattern and ensures that we can do them correctly. From the very basics it allows us to re-learn how to move correctly in a controlled environment and then build on it, gradually changing our poor movement habits that occur on a daily basis and reinforcing the correct ways of moving. We improve our core stability, balance, strength and flexibility. We become functionally stronger and more flexible, which allows us to be more proficient at doing things in a bio mechanically ideal manner and this helps us be injury free.

What is the best thing about being a physiotherapist?
Very simply;

  • To be able to help others.
  • To spread knowledge and address an issue, one step at a time.
  • To meet several hundred faces each year and work through each issue, each injury, one at a time.
  • To self-empower people with knowledge and understanding that they can have for the rest of their lives.

The physical component of treatment is obviously an integral part of physiotherapy but it is the knowledge base that I believe is indispensable. Obviously it is a huge bonus to be able to watch people improve and observe them going from a painful state to pain-free.
It can be an extremely draining job but I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else – I have never enjoyed it so much.

Why work at Pottsville and Cabarita physio?
After graduating in 2007 I have spent several years travelling, working in a dozen different practices. When I made the move to Byron Bay four years ago I certainly didn’t expect to be where I am, still working in the same practice.
I have never worked at such a professional, well-run practice with such amazing dedicated owners. I enjoy going to work, to engage and interact with a variety of faces. I feel like I am constantly improving and expanding my knowledge base. I feel I am a part of all advances in technology, up to date with the latest clinical evidence and knowledge base without having to live in a city.
I work 4 days per week and am lucky enough to be able to travel several times per year. This gives me the perfect lifestyle balance and keeps me recharged and enthusiastic about going to work.

Best relaxation tip
It’s not necessarily easy but spending a few moments with our eyes closed in a peaceful environment (preferably outdoors) can be a game-changer. We all get stressed, anxious and over-whelmed and it goes against our instinct in these moments to slow down. In fact, these are our most vulnerable and important times. Whether it is in the morning or another time through the day, taking a few seconds or minutes to close our eyes and focus on nothing more than our own breathing is one of the most powerful ways to recharge. Meditation is several times more powerful and recharging than sleep.

Best lifestyle tip
Exercise should be one of the most important things in our lives. It isn’t regulated, we can do what we want, but whatever form we choose will result in a release of endorphin that makes us feel happy. It puts a smile on our faces and will give us a much higher quality of life.

Favourite activity
Jumping into the ocean. In particular to be surfing in a beautiful, isolated, possibly unfamiliar environment with just a couple of mates is very hard to beat.

Favourite recipe
I can’t go past Mexican. There are a thousand different recipes out there. I wouldn’t say I follow any specific recipe – it more comes down to what I have at home. Generally speaking, it would be kidney beans, onion, red capsicum, garlic with guacamole and grated lettuce and a spicy salsa (crushed tomatoes, paprika, cumin and fresh chili) laid down on a home-made tortilla under the grill, with a little coriander on top.

A typical Sunday
A typical Sunday for me involves doing something that is not typical. As much as routine gives us stability in our lives, my weekend are always spontaneous, never the same. I could be hanging out surfing with friends in the bay or down the coast in unfamiliar surroundings exploring and writing in solitude. I think variety really is the spice of life so I try to keep things unique, and I feel like this helps spark new thought processes and even inspiration.

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