Lesley Nicholson

Physiotherapist

Lesley started in private practice as a physiotherapist at Central Wollongong Physio Plus in 1989 with an interest in chronic pain. She had worked in the hospital system as a physiotherapist in the areas of orthopedics, surgical, medical, rehabilitation and outpatients. Physiotherapy used to treat chronic pain only helped short term. These patients had no option but to take heavy medications. The NSW government paid for Lesley to undertake training in hypnosis to use for pain relief in these patients – and it worked but it was considered too time-consuming for Lesley who was a physiotherapist in a very busy hospital. Later Lesley worked in a rehabilitation centre and coordinated chronic pain groups, using education, relaxation and meditation, as well as hydrotherapy and other forms of exercises as pain management techniques.

In 1989 Lesley went into her own private physiotherapy practice. A holistic approach was used within her practice, using such methods as manual therapy, relaxation, hydrotherapy and specific exercise and gym programs. In 1994 Lesley became qualified in acupuncture after completing two separate courses run for medical doctors and later completed the physiotherapy course which at that time had a TCM component.

While studying one of the medical acupuncture courses a medical doctor (now a professor) gave a lecture on nutrition medicine. He showed how margarine with its trans-fats causes inflammation in the body. This was a career turning point for Lesley. She could not continue treating people for arthritis and other ailments when the symptoms were brought on by diet. Lesley went back to uni and received a Graduate Diploma in Nutrition Medicine in 2003.

Lesley continues to practice as a physiotherapist but with a difference. Once a patient who presents with aches, pains, weakness and fatigue would have been given appropriate manual therapy and put on an exercise program. Now those same signs and symptoms ring alarms bells. Food intolerances, allergies, poor digestion, a disturbance in gut flora after a course of antibiotics could all lead to the above symptoms. An exercise program may indeed help to some degree but may actually make some people worse if their low energy levels are due to chronic inflammation in the body caused by, say, a food allergy.