Photo permission granted by Chiara D'Agostino 2018
Are you seeking better health and wellness?
Denise Stewart understands the importance of health care for people after breast cancer:
empowering people to achieve their best self
after surgery, chemo, and radiotherapy.
If you are ready to accelerate recovery after a cancer diagnosis,
you can choose to have:
A better understanding of which side effects can be changed
A selection of non-drug and non-invasive physical treatment options
Tests to evaluate and confirm your progress
Support to develop your own self-care approach
You have a choice in how you can receive these services:
Brisbane clinics (South Brisbane, Alderley)
Telehealth, video conferencing to where you live
By focusing on how your body has responded to surgery, chemo, and radiotherapy, we can develop your personalized recovery program.
By managing musculoskeletal changes and pain, swelling, core stability and return to work options, people can develop new, healthier responses and achieve better performance over their day.
Founder: Denise Stewart
I am an Occupational Therapist who knows how pain can become a game-changer. It never stopped me thankfully, but it certainly changed how I have played the game.
As a child, I suffered chronic tonsilitis, which required repeat antibiotics and weeks of bed rest with many days off school. Little did I know then about how antibiotics change gut health and go on to affect the body's levels of inflammation, potentially for life.
As a young adult, I took the wrong wave at Mooloolaba beach; it was a dumper and I got dumped good and proper; suffering serious low back spine damage. This is when I learned about how hard it is to stand on two feet; one leg would always be looking for another place to be and my low back floated between too straight, too curved and too rotated.
My back pain stayed and stayed and then got worse. I made an awkward landing while jumping a fence when 8 months pregnant. On my defense, this was my first pregnancy and I thought I was Superwoman. Actually, it was more like feeling too tired to walk the distance to the gate.
Back pain seemed to morph into shoulder and arm pain and weakness, which really just would not go away. I blamed baby holding (4 over 8 years) and working too hard.
Unfortunately, pain, poor sleep, and irritability were my common companions, even though I tried many and varied treatments.
As a young woman, being a wife, a worker, a mother to a young family, and exercising were all important to me.
I hoped and believed I would find a new positive level of health and wellness.
With extensive research and trialing many new therapies, I finally found a successful multi-pronged treatment approach to manage my chronic pain.
I went on to apply this research and experience to my work- with people who had survived cancer but suffered chronic swelling. In the late 1990s there was no research on non-cancer pain, movement restrictions, and radiation fibrosis, yet each person I saw suffered these things.
I used chronic pain research principals, new soft tissue treatments coming from elite sports care and the high tech treatments for astronaut recovery to develop low cost and effective treatments for the side effects of cancer treatment.
Today, each person's program is t's a multi-pronged approach; a personalized combination of new musculoskeletal and scar treatments, posture + core stability retraining, investigating stress management strategies, restoring gut health, managing food sensitivities and regular self- treatment.
"The moment that my patient says " when I felt the pain starting, I did "X" (their self-treatment technique) and the pain went away" I know my therapy is done."
I want to make a positive change for cancer survivors. Over the more recent years, sharing this knowledge, ideas and experience have become really important to me. I have loved meeting up with like-minded health professionals in breast cancer rehabilitation in Australia and beyond. I have seen first hand that sharing breast cancer recovery information to health professionals can help bring greater change to breast cancer survivors, nationally and internationally.
Some of my presentations of innovations in breast cancer care to other health professionals:
Using trigger point treatment for breast cancer survivors to accelerate movement recovery: ALA conference 1998
Breast oedema and assessment issues: ALA conference 2002
Masterclass training for assessment and treatment of breast cancer-related shoulder pain: ALA 2005, ALA 2016, OTA 2016-17
Clinical assessment of AWS/ cording: ALA 2014
Impact of gluten sensitivity on lymphoedema: ALA 2014 poster
Development of online learning training for health professionals: Impairment assessment 2016, Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit 2016.
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit for breast cancer survivors: 2017, 2018, 2019
Workshops at ALA symposium 2016, 2018, 2020 to assess upper body impairments after breast cancer
" I was researching solutions for my own complex shoulder pain and at the same time I was working with breast cancer survivors in the 1980's.
I realized breast cancer survivors had a very high risk of persistent shoulder pain.
These women had far more serious scars and shoulder restrictions and they too were not being addressed.
My personal quest was to find non drug and non invasive treatments to help me and
those who survived breast cancer "
EMAIL Denise to arrange:
Face-to-face appointment in Brisbane
Face-to-face video appointment ( Telehealth*)
A complimentary online meet and greet session: spend up to 15 min to see if my style of therapy can be of help to you.
Your health and wellness are really important.
If you have been in a hot spot, or have cold and flu symptoms do not make a face-to-face appointment- postpone or choose a video appointment.
* The Australian Government has extended telehealth consults for allied health professionals.
These can be subsidized through the Chronic Disease management program with the appropriate referral from your GP ( for example pain symptoms that extend beyond 3 months) or your Health Fund if you have Occupational Therapy services.
Read more about online video appointments
As of June 12th, 2021 Face to face appointments has recommenced.
Because we can not social distance at the clinic:
You will need to be well when you visit- no fever or cold symptoms- me too! There will be no cancellation fee if you are unwell.
I will follow the recommendations in hygiene and cleaning between appointments.
I will wear recommended PPE for each appointment.
TELEHEALTH FOR CORDING /AWS
For breast cancer survivors who want to accelerate their recovery but have restricted access to trained health professionals.