Zebras | Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Treatment | Melbourne2019-06-16T03:25:14+00:00

Project Description



Chronic pain & Fibromyalgia previously was viewed as the result of persistent injuries which have not healed. Through years of research and clinical experience, we have now understood that pain does not begin and end within the painful body part. It is an experience regulated by the central nervous system which involves a collection of inputs within the body, mind and is dependent on context.

In acute pain situations, pain is a helpful mechanism which exists within our system to protect us. When an injury or illness is present and requires our attention to avoid further damage and allow healing to occur, the pain we experience can alert us to this and promote appropriate protective/healing responses.

In the case of chronic pain however, we are dealing with a completely different experience where the central nervous system has become sensitized over time and begins to emit excessive protective cues such as chronic and heightened pain. This is referred to as central sensitization. There is now growing evidence suggesting that this is the mechanism responsible for Fibromyalgia (a condition of widespread pain affecting upto 5% of the population).

The onset of chronic pain and Fibromyalgia can be sudden or gradual depending of the person’s experience. But rarely do we deal only with persistent pain symptoms in these conditions. Central sensitivity commonly leads to other systems being either up-regulated or down-regulated leading to a plethora of symptoms and limitations.


  • Physical fatigue

  • Stiffness

  • Mental fatigue and brain fog

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Poor immune function

  • Slow healing

  • Poor digestion and food intolerances

  • Poor sleep

  • Mood disturbances

  • Poor temperature regulation

  • Increased stress / fear response 

  • Headaches and Migraines 

Other pain conditions which may be treated by this program include:

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)

  • Joint hypermobility

  • Autoimmune disorders involving pain and fatigue

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Endometriosis


The latest research into central sensitisation is extremely promising, showing clear evidence of bioplasticity (the capacity of the entire biology to change). The brain has become overprotective over time and through the power of bioplasticisty has created neural pathways which were well intentioned and aimed at protecting the body however was excessive in it’s drive to protect, leading to heightened, unhelpful pain and other limiting symptoms.

Through education, controlled movement, relaxation and manual therapies, we can access this same bioplastisity to create new neural pathways which suggest “safety messages” within the brain and produce appropriate outputs from the pain, immune, autonomic nervous systems etc. leading to a significant reduction in symptoms and an ability to regain control of the body’s experience and function.

“Bioplasticity got you into this situation and bioplasticity can get you out again.” David Butler – world-leading pain scientist


One-on-one therapeutic neuroscience education sessions will cover the following topics dependent on the patients’ needs assessed during the initial assessment and continuously monitored and discussed between the patient and therapist:

  • Pain physiology education

  • Pacing

  • Home based movement prescription

  • Postural symptom management

  • Relaxation Techniques

  • Goal Setting / Gradual Exposure Planning

  • Trigger identification & Prevention

  • Setback Management

  • Sleep Physiology / Hygiene

  • The Stress Response

  • Dietary Advice


  • Gradual Return to Work & School

  • Travel Planning

  • Graded Motor Imagery


We know the importance of a holistic program in the recovery from chronic pain. Movement sessions will be introduced after an initial musculoskeletal assessment and movement screening has been conducted. Movement sessions are carefully constructed and monitored (during and after the completion of the session) to ensure that PEM is NOT triggered by the movement session. These sessions may consist of: one on one or small group Exercise Physiology sessions, Pilates, Physiotherapy, anti-gravity treadmill or yoga and will focus on:

  • Personalised Movement Prescription

  • Address Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Supervised & Home Based Programs

  • Mindful Movement

  • Physical Load Monitoring

  • Postural Education

  • Breathing Through Movement 

  • Mindfulness

  • Breathing Focus

  • Re-conditioning / improve blood flow


Psychology sessions involve education and psychological approaches to manage chronic health issues. These sessions also target any psychological challenges which may have developed due the chronic condition (eg. anxiety, depression) or unrelated factors which may affect mood and stress levels which are likely to impact on symptoms.

  • Emotional Awareness

  • The Impact of Fatigue

  • Neuropsych Education

  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Addressing Barriers to Change

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)


The goal of these sessions is to have an enjoyable, relaxing experience and to stimulate the parasympathetic (rest & relax) side of your autonomic nervous system to reduce sympathetic overload. These techniques will be implemented within the Zebras facility at also at the patients home.

  • Mindfullness

  • Breathing Focus

  • Restorative Yoga and Pranayama

  • Massage

Start your road to recovery with Australia’s most collaborative and holistic chronic pain & Fibromyalgia program.