our story

These are the words of Theodore Woodward - an American physician, researcher and college professor - and the reason we exist.

Our journey began in 2018 on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne, stewarded by a passionate group of health professionals who identified a group of humans who were more in need of help than ever.

when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras... 

Recognisable by their persistent symptoms of pain, fatigue and tension, a chronic illness is one that significantly impacts a person’s health and wellbeing.

When we think of chronic illness, we might think of asthma, arthritis or cancer. Health professionals are trained to think like this too.

But for an increasing number of people with supposedly rare chronic illnesses, this mentality is problematic. They endure lengthy, often harmful, diagnostic journeys and beyond this face significant barriers to accessing care that is specifically tailored, scientifically informed and supports the whole person. Many are left to navigate the reality of their illness alone, disconnecting not just from the world around them but from themselves and the things that matter the most.

In a time where it seemed as though few were willing to put their hand up, we saw the need, and so Zebras was born.
We were embraced by the chronic illness community in a way we could never imagine. We were inundated with enquiries and referrals and this continued well into 2020 as the global pandemic was announced. Etched in our memories as one of the most challenging times we have ever faced, being in a position of service to humanity kept us going on the darkest of days.

As our understanding of chronic illnesses expanded, we began planning for a dedicated and more accessible space for our community, which we proudly opened in mid 2021.

We have welcomed new team members who are just as passionate and aligned with our vision as we are. 
Our offering, which now includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and movement classes, continues to evolve as we reflect on our experiences and look to other disciplines and industries for alternative perspectives. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of local and international organisations, including Dysautonomia International and the Ehlers-Danlos Society, several universities and not-for-profit groups.

Most importantly, we’ve delivered thousands of consultations to help people feel seen, heard and supported in their time of need.

We dream of a world where all bodies have opportunities to be informed and cared for

Our mission is to support people of diverse backgrounds enduring unwanted bodily pain, fatigue and tension to understand their unique needs whilst expanding their capacity to engage in a life that is big, full and bright.

To do this, we offer a range of products, resources, outreach initiatives and healthcare services that consider the whole person, centre the body and create the conditions for self-enquiry, connection and change.

Our big, stripey, audacious goal (also known as our BSAG) is to be the first choice for those seeking and providing integrative care in Australia. When you hear hoofbeats, we hope you'll think Zebras.


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