“Tonic” has a number of meanings, or shades of meaning: /ton.ic/ton’ik/

  • Giving a feeling of vigour or well-being
  • An agent that restores or increases physical or mental tone
  • An invigorating, refreshing, or restorative agent or influence
  • Something that refreshes, strengthens, and invigorates
  • Producing or stimulating physical, mental or emotional vigour.
  • Medicine that gives strength or energy
  • An agent that restores or improves health or well-being
  • Something that makes you feel healthier and more relaxed

Ok, we all want that! And it’s also a bit of a Physio pun from its neuromuscular meaning:

  • Sustained muscle contraction (as in postural control)
  • Producing healthy muscular condition… and reaction of organs

And a personal favourite:

  • Something which makes you feel stronger or happier…. which has the general effect of making you feel better rather than (solely) treating a particular health problem you might have.

My tonic is yoga, because of the mindfulness that it creates and that is embedded within it.

What is your tonic?

Our logo (which also happily forms the “o” in ‘Tonic’) is made up of 3 inter-connecting rings in ever-lightening shades of green.

  • The colour green (apart from being Vicki’s favourite colour) reflects nature and the holistic and ‘organic’ perspective of our practice.
  • The lightening of colour from dark to light represents the journey to true wellness, from what can often be perceived as a negative (or ‘dark’) beginning, to a positive place of lightness and energy.
  • The shape of the circle itself (apart from being Vicki’s favourite shape) denotes the continuity of care we aim to provide, as well as our focus on the ‘whole person’.
  • The significance of the number of rings relates to both the combination of our 3 ‘approaches’ of Physiotherapy, Pilates and Yoga Therapy; and the inter-relationship of the 3 elements of mind, body and spirit.
  • The widening rings, or ‘layers’, also represent the layers of each person, the need to uncover layers within a health problem, the many layers of Yoga philosophy and practice, the various layers of health and wellbeing itself, and those of our unique approach to wellness.

We hope this gives you an insight into our philosophy and practice.

Physiotherapy is a therapeutic health profession that assists people with injuries, pain, stiffness, weakness, and other movement problems, which may have been present from birth, acquired through injury, or the result of ageing or life-changing events. Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function who work in partnership with their clients, assisting them to overcome or self-manage any movement problems, using physical therapies and education. Physiotherapists are university-trained and are experts in injury diagnosis and treatment, exercise prescription, injury prevention, rehabilitation and many other areas of sport and musculoskeletal health and fitness.  As “first contact practitioners”, a doctor’s referral is not necessary to see a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists also have the expertise to assess the underlying causes of musculoskeletal injuries and provide effective, evidence-based treatment, so you can resume your normal lifestyle as soon as possible with the least likelihood of recurrence.  Physiotherapists educate clients and teach them the skills required to take care of their own bodies using various tools and methods.  A physiotherapist can also help you prevent further injury by listening to your needs and working with you to plan the most appropriate treatment for your condition, including setting goals and treatment outcomes.  There is therefore an emphasis on exercise and education, rather than encouraging dependency on passive treatments.  Physiotherapists will often work as part of a team with other health professionals to plan and manage treatment with their clients.

Treatment techniques may include:

  • advice and education
  • exercise prescription
  • muscle re-education & movement retraining
  • clinical Pilates
  • soft tissue massage & myofascial release
  • joint mobilisation & manipulation
  • stretches
  • electrotherapy, ice or heat therapy
  • hydrotherapy
  • taping & bracing
  • dry needling

Note: Vicki uses Yoga in her approach to physiotherapy, since she is also a fully-qualified Yoga Teacher/Therapist. Yoga is not usually a component of physiotherapy (unless the therapist has additional Yoga qualifications), however they blend together beautifully!

The techniques used for each individual are carefully selected based on the initial assessment as well as research demonstrating maximum benefit for their particular condition.

You may need to see a Physiotherapist if you:

  • have postural problems
  • need advice on improving strength, flexibility, balance or fitness
  • need advice on injury prevention or other aspects of musculoskeletal health
  • wish to improve your physical performance for sport, dance, work or other activities
  • are planning a return to sport or activity following a prolonged period of inactivity
  • are wishing to start an exercise programme during or after pregnancy
  • have sustained an injury
  • have swelling, bruising or deformity of a body part
  • are experiencing joint stiffness, pain or ache (particularly for more than 3 days)
  • are limping or protecting a limb due to pain
  • are experiencing pins and needles or numbness
  • have experienced recurrent giving way of a limb/s

Physiotherapy can ensure your injury or movement problem is thoroughly assessed and diagnosed correctly. This is essential to ensure the correct treatment techniques are chosen for your condition. Physiotherapy treatment can hasten your body’s natural healing process, accelerating your return to sport, work or other activity. Appropriate treatment will also reduce the likelihood of recurrence by addressing factors which may have contributed to the development of your condition. Physiotherapists are experts in advising patients on which activities are appropriate for their injury to maximise recovery and ensure an optimal outcome.

For more information, see: http://www.physiotherapy.asn.au

It is not well known that the Physiotherapy profession has different tiers of accredited expertise. A Specialist Physiotherapist has attained the highest clinical level of expertise in Australia. Many physiotherapists will state that they ‘specialise’ in certain areas based on their interests and experience, however the title of “Specialist Physiotherapist” is now protected (and awarded) by the Australian College of Physiotherapists.  While a general physiotherapist has undertaken 3 – 4 years of clinical training, a Specialist physiotherapist will usually have undertaken up to or over 7 years of training in their chosen Specialty field (eg. Sports / Dance in Vicki’s case).

To be recognised as a Specialist, they must complete a rigorous training and examination programme, requiring peer examination by other Specialists, after which they become a Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists (FACP) and are granted the title of Specialist in their field of Physiotherapy.

Having extensive experience and attaining an advanced level of clinical practice, the specialist physiotherapist provides a more in-depth and comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment of otherwise complex conditions. Specialists must also undertake mandatory ongoing education, and so are actively involved in research and have the most up-to-date knowledge in their field.

A Specialist Physiotherapist will have an abbreviated post-nominal “FACP” in their title, which correctly establishes their credentials.

There are many different ideas related to Yoga, where it comes from, what it is all about, and how to practise a range of techniques. Generally, it is recognised as an ancient system of philosophies, principles and practices derived from the Vedic tradition of India and the Himalayas, more than 2500 years ago. It is a system that recognises the multi-dimensional nature of the human person, and primarily relates to the nature and workings of the mind, based on experiential practice and self-enquiry.

In Yoga, the body, breath and mind are seen as a union of these multi-dimensional aspects of each human being. The system and various techniques of Yoga cultivate the experience of that union, leading to greater integration of being, internal peacefulness, and clarity of the mind. It is a system that is designed to cultivate health and happiness, and a greater sense of self-awareness and higher consciousness.

Yoga cultivates health and wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental and social) through the regular practice of a range of many different techniques, including postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-inquiry and meditation.

Yoga is an approach to life that values appropriate effort, based on balance and harmony, within each person and with each other.
(Acknowledgements to Yoga Australia)

Note: there can be substantial differences between the various types of Yoga, eg. Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Kundalini, hot yoga, Yin etc. If you have experience with one type of Yoga, your experience with another may be quite different.  Sometimes this is inherent (and desired) in the two different forms (eg. Yang versus Yin Yoga).  Other times what works well for one individual may not be the best approach for someone else. We incorporate practices from many different approaches(including Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative Yoga), based on what each individual needs at a given time.

A Yoga Therapist empowers and supports individuals to manage their own health using the principles of Yoga and applying a range of Yoga practices developed within a professional therapeutic relationship. Whilst Yoga Therapy is based on the traditions of Yoga it is also an evidence-based practice, which also draws on the skills and knowledge of modern medicine and rehabilitation.

Pain, ill-health and chronic injury are often compounded by multiple contributing factors. For this reason Yoga Therapy engages in a holistic approach to assisting an individual’s health, and will usually encompass the developing wellbeing of the whole person rather than focusing on a single condition.

The tools that a Yoga Therapist may use include asana (postures), pranayama (breath awareness and techniques), relaxation, meditation, dietary advice, lifestyle counselling and self-development guidance.

Yoga Therapy is most commonly provided by way of an individual consultation, and may progress to small therapeutic groups for those experiencing similar health issues. You do not need to have prior Yoga experience to benefit from Yoga Therapy.
A Yoga Therapist is an experienced Yoga Teacher with additional formal training and qualifications, specialised skills and knowledge in the application of Yoga within a therapeutic setting. A Yoga Therapist draws from the principles of Yoga and the full range of Yoga practices, as well as bio-medical knowledge and assessment skills, to develop a self-empowering therapeutic programme appropriate to their client’s needs. As Vicki is also a Specialist Physiotherapist, she is well-placed to blend the most recent scientific evidence with the multi-faceted practices of Yoga.

Generally speaking, a Yoga class (eg. general or beginner), taught by a Yoga Teacher, will involve a (sometimes small, sometimes large) group of participants, all doing a similar progression of yoga poses / practices. There may be some modifications or alternatives offered for participants with certain problems (eg. knee, lower back etc), however given the nature of a class, it cannot be an individually-tailored programme. (This could be compared to a Fitness Pilates class and a private Pilates session.) In contrast, a Yoga Therapy session is a one-on-one consultation with a Yoga Therapist, with the purpose of managing specific needs (eg. pain, injury or medical conditions). This could then progress into a small Yoga Therapy group session (eg. 4-6 clients), where each client is monitored and progressed along their own individual programme. Many different alternatives, including the use of various props, will be offered in Yoga Therapy sessions, and individual feedback is sought, and individual modification is possible. In addition, although this does vary among Yoga Teachers, you are more likely to be taught a variety of breathing and meditation techniques in a Yoga Therapy setting than in many Yoga classes.

So, when comparing Yoga and Yoga Therapy, one is not better than the other! The question is simply which is more appropriate for you at the time. Our aim is to help you progress to a level, and understand the idiosyncrasies of your body sufficiently, so that you would be safe attending a general or beginners’ Yoga class, or practise at home (if that is your goal).

More information may be found here:






Pilates (“puh-LAH-tees”) is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, ‘core stability’, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing. The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century in Germany. These days, Pilates is often used in conjunction with Physiotherapy as a means of treating a variety of injuries, and particularly back pain. Pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of deep stabilising muscles (sometimes called ‘core stability’) as well as improving posture, strength and flexibility.

Although Pilates can be extremely beneficial for patients with certain injuries, it needs to be specifically tailored to each individual. Done in small groups, with a prior individual assessment, specific exercises are chosen and modified for each individual (as opposed to a larger generic Pilates matwork or reformer class where everyone does the same exercise).  This ensures optimal benefits while minimising the potential risks of aggravating existing pain or injuries by doing generic exercises incorrectly or that are inappropriate.  When led by a Physiotherapist, these small group sessions are sometimes called Clinical Pilates (or Rehab Pilates), whereas the generic classes are called Fitness Pilates and are more suited to people without significant pain or injuries.  Our aim is to help you progress to a level where it would be safe to attend a Fitness Pilates class (if that is your goal).

Traditionally, the Pilates Method has been taught with initial exercises on the mat (Matwork) and/or using ‘small’ equipment (eg. Rotator Discs, Magic Circle and now exercise balls, theraband and foam rollers).  This is followed by instruction on various larger equipment or apparatus (eg. Reformer, Trapeze Table / Cadillac, Wunda Chair etc). Vicki is fully trained and very experienced in both Pilates Matwork and Apparatus instruction.  At the current studios, we only offer Matwork at this stage (as we don’t have access to the large equipment). However if you happen to have your own equipment, we are more than happy to instruct you on that in your home!

We will send you some information prior to your first appointment, which contains a questionnaire for you to complete and return in advance. Your first appointment will involve a discussion and physical examination, as well as the beginnings of a treatment or management plan. The discussion helps to understand your background (eg. work, sport, exercise, hobbies, family responsibilities etc), as well as your current focus, priorities and goals. It also helps to understand your ‘history’ and nature of any injuries, pain or medical conditions. We will also review any medical reports or investigations (eg. scans). This will help in determining how we will direct our physical examination.We then do a holistic (whole-body) assessment of your posture, breathing and movement, as well as looking more closely at any specific problem areas. This will usually involve a hands-on examination, including specific joint, muscle or nerve tests, and palpation (touch) of structures thought to be involved. It is important to talk to your Physiotherapist about what you feel or notice during your appointments, as understanding your movements and symptoms is key in determining both the problem and potential solutions.Based on our findings and discussion, we will give you advice and at-home exercises until our next appointment, when we will outline your full treatment plan. This could include a home programme with periodic reviews, or hands-on treatment, or progression into small group exercise sessions. We also have numerous colleagues in physiotherapy and various other health disciplines we can refer to if need be, or we’re happy to keep in touch with other therapists or doctors you may already see. Treatment with us can easily be complementary to working with other physios, chiros, osteos, OTs, gym / yoga / Pilates instructors etc.Our aim is to assist you to achieve your movement / exercise / functional goals – whether that be playing sport, dancing, going to yoga and Pilates classes or the gym, or just managing the demands of everyday life!

See also: What should I wear? and What should I bring?
For an initial assessment (done in private), close-fitting clothing is preferable, to enable the physiotherapist to see your body move and assess any areas of pain or injury etc. Shorts or bike shorts are preferred, and for women a sports bra or camisole top is fine.
For subsequent sessions or classes, shorts, leggings, yoga pants or tights are all fine. The more form-fitting your clothing is, the easier it is to monitor and correct your body alignment and movement. (If this is not comfortable for you though, please wear whatever you feel comfortable to move and stretch freely in.)
Yoga should always be done in bare feet for safety.
Dancers – please wear a leotard and footless tights or bike shorts, and bring your pointe shoes if you use them.
For initial assessments,
you will need to email a health questionnaire in advance of your appointment. Please also bring along any medical reports, investigations, scans etc which may be relevant. If you are transferring from another therapist (eg. interstate), or seeking an opinion to complement existing treatment elsewhere, it is very helpful to have an email handover from your therapist/s. If you play sport or dance, please bring any shoes you wear.

For Yoga and Pilates matwork, all equipment / props are provided. If you have your own yoga or Pilates mat, which you want to bring along, that’s fine. (Please be aware the thicker Pilates mats are not suitable for standing Yoga poses.)You will need socks and warm clothes in cooler weather for the relaxation part of classes.

Please bring a water bottle and switch your mobile phone to silent.

Note: It’s advisable not to eat a heavy meal within a couple of hours before a Yoga or Pilates class.

We start your assessment with a comprehensive individually-tailored assessment, from which recommendations will be made about appropriate evidence-based treatments. Treatment programmes will always be designed in conjunction with your individual goals. As Vicki is also a fully-qualified Yoga Teacher / Yoga Therapist, she prefers to incorporate a yogic approach to wellness. This will vary though, from isolated stretches (eg. for rehab of a straightforward sports or dance injury), through to breathwork and physical poses (asana), or to advice regarding yogic lifestyle choices (diet, meditation, philosophy etc) for interested clients.

(For more detailed information on treatments / services offered, see the Services page.)

Not at all. We welcome everyone from complete beginners to advanced practitioners. Many people feel they are “not flexible enough”, “too overweight” or “don’t have good enough balance”. None of this is relevant to the practice of yoga. In fact most of the time, these are the kinds of issues people come to Yoga Therapy for. It has also been said many times, “if you can breathe, you can do yoga”. Yoga is much more than the physical practice (asana).

If required, we will often start with simple breathing and relaxation techniques (still yoga!), meditation (still yoga!) and restorative poses with full support, before progressing onto ‘more physical’ work.

Dry Needling is performed by some Western medical and allied health practitioners using acupuncture needles (very fine, sterile, single-use needles) to treat the musculoskeletal and nervous systems based on modern neuroanatomy and neurophysiology science. It is an effective technique for the treatment of pain and myofascial dysfunction. The treatment involves needling of a muscle’s “trigger points” (without injecting any substance) in order to help relax overactive muscles. It is also known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS).

Acupuncture falls within the scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and therefore only practitioners with TCM training can call themselves acupuncturists. TCM Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific points along “meridian pathways” to redirect the flow of energy (chi) to relieve tension, stress, and pain. Thus the philosophy behind the two are different, although there can be some overlap between muscular “trigger points” and TCM acupuncture points.

No. While meditation can be an extremely valuable self-management technique, it is not necessarily for everyone. If you want to focus solely on the physical exercise of Yoga or Pilates, that’s fine. Different forms of relaxation or meditation may be recommended if this is appropriate and evidence-based for your circumstances, but we always explain why we are recommending a particular approach, and treatment is always planned in conjunction with you.
Not at all. We welcome everyone from complete beginners to advanced practitioners. Many people feel they are “not flexible enough”, “too overweight” or “don’t have good enough balance”. None of this is relevant to the practice of yoga. In fact most of the time, these are the kinds of issues people come to Yoga Therapy for. It has also been said many times, “if you can breathe, you can do yoga”. Yoga is much more than the physical practice (asana). If required, we will often start with simple breathing and relaxation techniques (still yoga!), meditation (still yoga!) and restorative poses with full support, before progressing onto ‘more physical’ work.
Yes! We offer classes (or individual consultations) at the same locations.
We also offer Baby Massage Workshops or private consultations, for parents or carers to learn to massage their babies; and Baby Yoga classes, for the babies themselves!
Please see www.nurturebabies.com.au for more information.
Yes! In addition to her physiotherapy qualifications, Vicki is a Certified Yoga Teacher for kids, families and babies (with their carers!).

Vicki sees children and adolescents with all abilities and needs. She has particular interest (and personal experience) in working with clients with dyspraxia / coordination problems, giftedness and twice-exceptionality, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, other learning differences, sensory processing disorders, low muscle tone and hypermobility. We can complement an existing paediatric therapy programme and communicate with your other physiotherapists, OTs or other health practitioners.

Kids can start Yoga at any age, although parents or carers also attend for babies and toddlers. Note that yoga for kids is lots of fun and ‘less serious’ than for adults, so kids are definitely not required to ‘sit still and be quiet’ (as is sometimes assumed!).  There is some emphasis on mindfulness or meditation at all age levels, but this becomes a bigger focus into the ‘tween’ and teen years.

Kids and teens can attend yoga classes or individualised yoga therapy consults.

Pilates requires more concentration, focus and body awareness, therefore Vicki recommends starting Pilates around 10 years of age. Exceptions may include individual home programmes or ‘elite’ dancers or athletes who are accustomed to more formal training.

We also teach parents or carers the art of Massage for babies or older children.  While massage is beneficial for all children, it has added advantages for those with different needs (eg. those mentioned above).

Please see www.nurturebabies.com.au for more information on Baby Massage & Baby Yoga.

Yes! You can attend either studio. Otherwise you can arrange for a home visit/s if you have mobility issues or a young child at home. (See map for serviced areas).
You do not need a doctor’s referral for Physiotherapy (or for Yoga or Pilates with a suitably-qualified physiotherapist) unless you are claiming for / under any of the following:

  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Insurance Commission of WA (Motor Vehicle Accident)
  • Medicare ‘Chronic Disease Management’ Plan (formerly Enhanced Primary Care Plan)
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs & military personnel

Yes, however clients need to pay fees themselves (at each appointment), and then submit their receipts to the relevant agency for reimbursement. Depending on the rebates (claimable amounts) set by each agency, there may be a gap between the fee charged and the rebate.
Individual (1-on-1) Physiotherapy / Pilates / Yoga Therapy consults are all claimable if you have Ancillary cover for Physiotherapy. Please check with your individual fund as the rebate (amount you get back), and therefore the gap payment, will vary depending on your fund and level of cover.

Physiotherapist-run group exercise classes (including Yoga and Pilates) are also claimable through some funds – please check with your provider. Insurers usually require an initial assessment, which is also claimable. (If classes are claimable under your particular cover, you need to have already attended classes in order to claim for them. Receipts for sessions paid for in advance will not be accepted by the insurer. We can provide a receipt for claiming at the end of each block, which will include the dates classes were attended. Please let us know if you require this.)

If your Physiotherapy cover has run out for the year (or you are also seeing another Physio), you may also be able to claim under some funds’ coverage for Yoga or Pilates. Please check with your provider, as their terms and conditions are variable.

We have chosen not to participate with these schemes promoted by some health funds. These schemes generally require the participating practice to set a specific fee. “Preferred provider” status does not guarantee the quality of the service at all, only that there is a known gap payment. Unfortunately, this is not viable for us, given our level of expertise and the duration and quality of the services we provide.
This is the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s position on preferred provider networks:

“The APA remains concerned that health funds actively divert their members to network providers, regardless of existing therapeutic relationships. The APA believes the term ‘preferred’ might make a patient think a practice is of a particular standard than those practices that are not preferred. This is not the case. By being a preferred provider, a physiotherapist simply elects to join the scheme and bring their fees in line with what the health funds mandate. We know this is a significant disadvantage to physiotherapists and that keeping fees close to market rates is essential to maintain the financial viability of a physiotherapy business.”
Medicare itself doesn’t cover Physiotherapy UNLESS the client has a previously arranged ‘Chronic Disease Management’ Plan with their GP (formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care (EPC)), which includes a recommendation for Physiotherapy. This can be put in place for clients (adults or children) who have a chronic condition (that has been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer) and complex care needs. This can include conditions such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes as well as musculoskeletal conditions.

Please see for more details: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-medicare-allied-health-brochure.htm.

Contact us if you have questions regarding this.

There are no EFTPOS facilities at the studios yet. Please bring cash to individual appointments, or pay by bank transfer for exercise classes. Itemised receipts will be provided.
Yes! Please contact us for details.
Our appointments are significantly longer than the industry standard. This is because we wish to provide a quality service and believe this is difficult to achieve in less time. Also, for individual consults, we never work with another client during your appointment time. (And we don’t use electrotherapy (eg. ultrasound or interferential etc), so you will never be ‘left on a machine’)!