Category: Uncategorized


Where has Derek gone?

To all my patients both new and old,

Over the recent Easter break, I decided that it was time to step away from treating at Carlingford. It’s a combination of needing time off to work with my Dad who’s looking to retire shortly and runs his own mortgage broking business. It’s also that my wife has returned to work 3 days a week. And it’s also that I’ve got 3 young kids (all girls!) 7, 3 and 1 years old. And it’s mostly just needing more time to do the things that need to be done at home, work, church, life – and to do them properly that has prompted this life change.

I will be around. The clinic and how we run things and treat should not change. I will be in the clinic discussing different case studies with the physios and checking in on how they are going. There’s still the back office, management and admin side of things that needs my deft touch. I will be easily contactable – either by email –; or by mobile – 0406 639 746.

I appreciate all the kind words over the last few weeks of support and encouragement through this phase of life. I really have valued those that have given me advice, words of wisdom, and also for those that have told me to just stick around in the clinic and fix them up (I’ll miss you guys too!)

I’ve never been scared of change, and I know that making this change is only possible due to the hard working, dedicated staff that are occupying CCMC and taking on all my regular and occasionally difficult patients. The guys really will take good care of you, and the last few years we’ve really worked hard together to try to treat and keep notes consistently.

I have committed to taking the next 6-7 months off, and provisionally returning in early 2018 when (hopefully) things are more settled, organised and the other priorities in life have become a little less pressing.

I will update you more as the plans become clearer, but as I said before – feel free to contact me about issues in the clinic, any treatment questions, or if you happen to be needing a loan or are looking at refinancing! – I’m already registered with the MFAA (Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia) as a mortgage broker, and who better to talk to then a physio-cum-broker – I’m certainly one of a kind in that regard!

Talk soon


Christmas hours 2016

What a quick 2016 – as each year flies by, it’s a great time as any to sit and reflect on the hard work and progress that has been made over the last year. I hope 2016 was a memorable one for you and for all the right reasons.

At the clinic, it’s been a really fruitful year – busy, steady, lots of treatments done, and lots of personal growth for all the physios.

So we look back on 2016 fondly, towards the holidays with quiet expectation, and to 2017 (hopefully) with refreshed minds and bodies ready to meet the challenges of learning more about our bodies, working out how to best convey that information to our wonderful patients and referrers, and refining the way we do physio day by day and year by year.

We will be open all the way through Christmas and New Year, except for the public holidays. On Christmas Eve the physios will finish at 1pm, and we will be working normal clinic hours otherwise.

Derek will be away between the 16th Dec to 28th Dec

Adrian will be away from Christmas Day, returning to work the 9th Jan

Manfred will be taking leave from the 14th Jan for 2 weeks. 

Have a merry Christmas and a safe holiday period all. Thanks for sharing your lives, your aches, your pains and your stories with us in 2016 – I think we all deserve a holiday!

Our first GEM stud

In late October, Josh Wong a final year student at Sydney Uni, started a 5 week practical with us. Josh is our first ever GEM (Graduate Entry Masters) student at Tan Hands, and he had the fun task of following our physios around, seeing what we do, and how we do it, and getting his hands on whenever was possible.

It was a little more cramped for space in our treatment rooms – but a really great fun 5 weeks of learning and teaching was had by all. I personally got a kick out of challenging Josh to think outside his Uni training – and also about telling patients how Josh was having some of the same injuries as them – with the same patients replying by telling Josh that he wasn’t old enough to have those pains! the final day meal and the demonstration of physio-touch required to split an egg tart by Cliff was a highlight tooimag0787a

Now over to a quick Q & A with Josh:

How did you enjoy your placement?
This placement was probably the most enjoyable out of the 4 I completed this year. Compared to the others, this one was of more interest to me, but at the same time more challenging. Everyday was a revelation to how much there is still to learn outside of uni as Derek and the other guys shared parts of their wealth of knowledge to me.

Most memorable experience/patient?
Hard to say what was the most memorable, but the one that seems to come to mind is when Derek dry needled a patient experiencing coccyx pain (literally, pain in the butt) from tight ischiococcygeus muscles. Those were the loudest screams during my 5 weeks.

What are two things you learnt?
Hard to narrow down the hundreds of things I learnt these few weeks down to two, but if I had to choose two meaningful ones to me they would be:
1. If we’re able to correctly identify the main problem (the primary driver) and apply proper treatment, effects of the treatment are often immediate, noticeable and longterm
2. Useful information is extremely important in patient diagnosis, and gathering this information can be done in so many more ways than just history taking. History taking is a skill in itself, but information can come from what we see, what we feel, patient response during and between treatments, and much more.

Any advice for future students?
As with any musculoskeletal placement, revising anatomy and common MS conditions would be helpful. Other than that, have an open mind for the different approaches that differ from what uni teaches and be prepared to be confused at the magic (or sorcery) that Derek and the other guys do.


All the best Josh with your future physio career, and thank you to all the patients who kindly let Josh practice on their bodies!


The last six months of work/life has been hectic! Adding another child into the household has taken some time to adjust to – with so many new demands it’s been quite a task to get time to myself – let alone keep up with all the day to day jobs. It’s definitely been a juggle, and as a parent of young kids, I’ve come to accept that you’re going to have a lot of balls in the air, and some are going to hit the ground; but you’ve got to try to stay on top of the essentials, and manage the rest and plow along regardless of how many balls fall!


And as with raising kids, when I think of core stability – I think less of planking, and building “rock hard abs” – and more about a system that adapts in optimal ways to the demands placed upon it. With kids, you feed them, bathe them, make sure they get to school and bed on time, and you can’t worry about the mess taking over the house, or the odd spilled milk.

With our bodies, it’s not about staying completely rigid and erect in your spine; what’s more important is that when new or increased demands are placed on your body, that you can adapt to that and cope with it. And to do that, you need a balance of strength between small deep muscles, and large superficial muscles and the co-ordination to use them well. This is what our physios can help guide you through.

In our clinic, we have been fortunate to have had stability in our staff personnel. Manfred joined our team in February this year, and our existing physio staff have already been working for multiple years at Carlingford. Stability and consistency of our service is important, and having the same staff in place means we can make stability a feature of our service. We look forward to continuing to build on this “foundation”

Thanks for your continued support, and as always take care everyone


New additions

Just a quick update to let people know that on the March 18th 2016, a new baby girl was brought into our lives.

Taylor Tan – weighing 3.1kg – a relatively smooth birth.

It’s been a busy time in her (and our) life, trying to find her way in this big world. But she has her sisters, their toys, and her mummy and daddy to help show her the way. We thank God for a healthy baby and for the smooth, relatively painless delivery of her.

This a sleepy Taylor, about 13 hours old:

DSC_3809 (Large)

The other new addition is Manfred Kwok, a physiotherapist working with us part time, who started with us in February of this year. Manfred has had experience working at Auburn hospital and Rhodes in a private practice, and he started his career observing yours truly when he was just finishing year 12. Needless to say Manfred is looking forward to helping you with any complaints you may have. He is covering Wednesday’s and Saturdays.

I will be on leave, returning the 4th April. I hopefully will come back (a little) rested!


Christmas and New Year 2015 hours

Hi everyone

I’m sure everyone has had a busy year, and is looking forward to the holiday season. This year our team of 3 physios and 1 part time receptionist, have had 2 kids, seen 1 child start kindergarten  (and win an Academic Achievement award!), 1 child on the way next March,  and 1 new house built!

The team have worked hard to provide great service, educate our fellow health professionals and patients and continue to improve how we do things in our clinic. We love to get feedback, so please feel free to email your comments through to

If you’re wondering what our hours are over the next few weeks:

Dec 24th – Christmas Eve – closing at 3pm

Dec 25th to 28th – Closed

Jan 1st – Closed

Jan 4th – normal work hours resume.

  • Derek will be on leave from the 25th to the 6th January
  • Cliff will be on holidays from the 11th January to the 24th January

Merry Christmas and a safe happy new Years to all our patients and staff. We thank you for being with us this last year, and we look forward to a brief rest before 2016 rolls in!

Clinic Update March 2015

A few changes, and a short tribute:

– in February, Adrian Cheuk joined our team of physiotherapists. Adrian has had experience working in Hornsby, and recently assisted with the Australian Underwater Hockey championships. Underwater hockey you say? you’ll have to ask Adrian about that the next time you see him! We are very glad to have Adrian as part of our team.


– In March, Natalie Frizzell left us for a job opportunity in the Northern Beaches. She will progress in her ambition to get into the sports physiotherapy field, with a clinic that travels and treats daredevil motorbikers. We wish Natalie all the best, and thank her for her time helping our clients and contributing to the team at Carlingford.


– in March, a friend and patient of the clinic, passed away due to cancer. It was a shock to see how fast things progressed, as I treated her all the way up to her diagnosis, and 4 months later she had passed away. She was an amazing, Godly woman, whose memorial was really touching and a great, uplifting testament to her life. Rest in peace, Felicity. If you are interested, you can follow her journey here.





Help Wanted

Tan Hands is currently looking for a casual physiotherapist to help with work on Saturday’s, and also to cover for Cliff while he enjoys a well earned holiday in February.

If you know someone who would fit in well with our team at Carlingford, please contact us via email on; or drop in and say hello!


Merry Christmas

Tan Hands will be shut from the 25th December, and re open on Monday the 29th December. Our hours will be mostly the same during the Christmas and holiday period.

Derek will be having time off until the 6th January, but our other dependable physios Cliff and Natalie will be available for any injuries or strains you may have.

Sometimes it may be that you are having holidays and are free to come get treatment, or it might be a new injury  – whether that is from opening too many presents or backyard cricket!

A quick shout out to say – Thank you to the Wildpear cafe at Dural where we had a lovely team Christmas lunch – and thanks to Liz for the recommendation

Lamb Cutlets and Gnocchi

We wish all our patients a safe and happy time over this period. We thank you for using our services, and look forward to helping you get the most out of your bodies in 2015!

New site, and Online Bookings

We’ve just transferred into a new hosting site with upgraded web content and the provision of online bookings. We hope you enjoy the new content and the ability to check what times are available online. As always, if you have any comments or feedback, please email us on