Melissa McDougall B.Clin.Sc, M.H.Sc, D.P.O.
Melissa graduated from Victoria University, Melbourne in early 2007 with a Bachelor Degree in Clinical Science and Masters Degree in Health Science (Osteopathy). Melissa practiced as an osteopath in Melbourne for the following two and a half years, working within several Australian Rules clubs at AFL (Richmond F.C), VFL (Coburg Tigers F.C.) and amateur levels (Fitzroy Reds F.C.).
Melissa became interested in clinical pilates through her own practice. Melissa noticed significant improvements in her posture and a decrease in pain levels after eight months of guided exercise, and often left a class feeling like she had just received an osteopathic treatment!
Melissa then completed her clinical pilates studies through Physicalmind Studio in Malvern Victoria, a 12-month course accredited by Australian Pilates Method Association (APMA). During the following year, Melissa designed and instructed pilates classes for men and women of all ages, including specialist classes for pregnancy in Melbourne.
PAEDIATRICS & INTERNATIONAL
In May 2009, Melissa immigrated to the UK and completed a two-year post-graduate Diploma in Paediatric Osteopathy. The course required students to provide osteopathy for babies, children and pregnant women at the Osteopathic Centre for Children (OCC) one day a week for two years. The OCC is a charity clinic and has been in operation for 25 years and provides treatment to infants and children across London with a range of wide range of conditions. Through the OCC outreach program, Melissa was able to provide osteopathy for babies born up to 16 weeks premature in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Barnet Hospital, and infants and children in the paediatric wards at Chase Farm and North Middlesex hospitals. Melissa spent the remainder of her time practicing as an osteopath and teaching pilates in Glasgow, UK.
In October 2012, Melissa became the first Australian osteopath to travel to Kenya as part the Divinity Foundation’s 14-day medical expedition. During this time Melissa was part of a team who provided treatment for over 4,000 women and children using osteopathy and over-the-counter pharmaceutical methods.
Melissa considers Biodanza to ‘bridge-the-gap’ in health care by acknowledging the importance of genuine and creative self-expression and enjoyable social relationships in the health of the individual. On returning to Australia in September 2011, she joined the first Biodanza Facilitator course in the Biodanza School of Australia, and completed the theoretical component of her studies in September 2012.
PRESENT & FUTURE
Melissa acknowledges that health is much more than a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Her intention is to provide quality and holistic osteopathic treatment, pilates-based exercises specific for the needs of the individual, and the opportunity for individuals to establish enjoyable social relationships through music and dance.
In her 10th year of practice, Melissa has enjoyed establishing her own clinic and is now the principle Melbourne osteopath at GrowingBones.
Melissa is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Central Queensland University. Her project aims to support a greater understanding of the interrelationship of physical, social and emotional change in new mothers, and thus contribute to the prevention and management of post-natal depression.