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The Soaring Health
Story

The Soaring Health story isn’t really about ‘us’ – it’s about our clients. In fact, our practice began in 2012 when senior chiropractor and lifelong sports enthusiast Dr Marco Makari – who already had an esteemed reputation among elite athletes – thought there must be more he could do to help athletes at all levels to achieve their performance dreams. Enter the Soaring Health Method, which translated Dr Makari’s understanding of the physical and mental challenges of elite training, anatomy knowledge and experience optimising athlete performance into a unique formula.

From Sports to Community

Since then, the vision of helping people to realise their potential has expanded to encompass diverse services and client groups, from NDIS participants with severe disabilities to TAC claimants recovering from life-altering accidents. Led by highly-trained, human-centred physiotherapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, psychologists and dietitians, the Soaring Health ‘Community’ division continues Soaring Health’s commitment to helping people to harness their strengths and live their best, most satisfying lives despite their limitations. 

Towards wellness

Given our emphasis on proactive wellbeing, Soaring Health’s wellness division seemed like a natural progression. After all, the proactive wellness paradigm that has made practices such as yoga and Pilates staples of healthy people’s self-care regimes perfectly reflects Soaring Health’s credo. From wholefood diets to stress-management strategies, practitioners including dietitians, psychologists and clinical Pilates physios will help you to take care of you and your family’s body, mind and soul.

What sets Soaring Health practitioners apart is that they are not merely performing treatments, but serving as partners, who empower clients to challenge their limitations. Whether you are an aspiring Olympian seeking an extra 0.2 of a second, dreaming of independence after injury or disability, or wish to resolve chronic pain and travel the world, we will meet you where you are and support you to live a rich, satisfying life as the best you can be.

The Soaring Health logo
The Soaring Health logo represents your journey towards realising what it is to feel and be your best. The adjoined triangles depict the interdependent elements that enable a person to realise their physical and mental potential. The eagle in flight depicts your power to reach new heights and to believe that you can rise above your limitations. Each time you see the logo, ask yourself, “What can I do at this moment to enrich my own life and the lives of those around me?”

Shapes and Colours
The angles in each triangle represent the three core values underpinning everything we at Soaring Health believe and do – Family, Integrity and Extraordinary service.

The colours of the triangles represent the 3 types of services we offer.

Green: Community is the centre triangle because community is at the heart and soul of what we do at Soaring Health.

Blue: The Blue wing triangles represent our sports services which elevate an athletes as wings do to an eagle.

Purple: Our purple foundational triangles are the core of the eagle, just as wellness is the core of our clients health and wellness.

Family–  You can feel the Soaring Health difference. Compassion, care and inclusiveness underpin the Soaring Health team’s approach to looking after our community.

Integrity– You can and should expect us to deliver the highest standards of professionalism, honesty, integrity, reliability and trustworthiness, confidentiality and respect. We hold ourselves accountable for maintaining these at all times. 

Extraordinary service– Each time you visit or call our centre should be a positive experience. As your partners in realising your potential, we strive to help you seamlessly manage your treatment. Like the Soaring Health eagle, we hope our efforts to provide a different allied health experience go above and beyond your expectations.

Soaring Health is available when you need us:

Soaring Health Thomastown (54 Main St):

  • Monday – Friday: 8.00am – 8.00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 8.00am – 6.00pm

Soaring Health Craigieburn (60 Central Park Ave):

  • Monday – Friday: 8.00am – 8.00pm
  • Saturday: 8.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sunday: closed

 

Dr Marco

Founding Director & Senior Chiropractor

From climbing the fence of Bob Jane Stadium to watch his hero Archie Tompson play for Melbourne Victory as a child, to witnessing the growth of local athletes into Olympic Champions as a performance-focused chiropractor, Dr Marco Makari has had a lifetime fascination with elite sports. Renowned for striking the fine balance between ‘can-do’ positivity and realistic expectations, the senior chiropractor has channelled his knowledge of the relationship between mindset, movement, food and health into realising Soaring Health’s vision of empowering people to realise their own potential. Having served as a Victoria committee member in the inaugural Sports Chiropractic Australia (SCA) committee and helped athletes to reach goals including national records and Commonwealth medals, Dr Makari has earned a reputation among athletes and coaches as an elite performance ally (not that you’d know from the founding director’s smile and modest manner). For Dr Makari, being able to realise his passion every day while sharing in results at the top level – and call it ‘work’, no less – is the ultimate reward.

Nav

Senior Physiotherapist & Head of Allied Health

A Soaring Health fixture since 2017, Nav has a vast range of physiotherapy experience including hospitals, nursing homes, community health centres and private practice. This diverse foundation has equipped him with the expertise, clinical judgment and empathic bedside manner to optimally manage clients with complex needs, including rehabilitation post surgery, TAC recovery and pain management. He is equally highly knowledgeable and skilled in sports-related physiotherapy, from injury recovery and management to performance improvement through strength and conditioning training. For everyday musculoskeletal injuries and pain (think the ‘driveway ankle roll’ or ‘grocery bag back twinge’), Nav not only works to restore full movement and relieve pain as quickly as possible, he also educates clients in basic anatomy and exercises and preventative measures, to ensure that they remain injury- and pain-free long term. Often seen walking between the Soaring Health consulting suites and pool, Nav employs a range of therapeutic practices including manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, dry needling, exercise prescription and hydrotherapy in the optimal combination for each client. 

Yuho

Occupational Therapist

With a physiotherapist father, Japanese-born Yuho’s passion for improving people’s quality of life may run in the family. But it was realising quite how much the support of an occupational therapist could transform people’s lives, as well as lament at how little most people know about the discipline, that inspired the Bachelor of Exercise Science alumnus to complete a Master of Occupational Therapy. Armed with a holistic view of each person and their daily activities and needs, high-level knowledge of anatomy and health conditions, intricate understanding of funding programs and a caring and curious nature, Yuho has an uncommon capacity to imagine the practical and emotional challenges faced by each client and devise creative solutions that enable people to defy their perceived limitations. Few things are more rewarding than witnessing the shift in mindset from ‘can’t’ to ‘can’ and seeing a person grow in independence and confidence, he says. A broad knowledge base of complementary disciplines such as physiotherapy and dietetics means Yuho is also able to recommend and collaborate with other Soaring Health professionals to get the best results for each client. 

Dr John Ghali Chiropractor

Dr John

Chiropractor

Dr John Ghali’s motivation for studying chiropractic epitomises the Soaring Health mission of enriching lives. “I wanted to be able to help people to thrive and to achieve better quality of life for every client,” he says. The comprehensive anatomical knowledge acquired through a Bachelor of Health Science and Masters of Applied Science (Chiropractic), and Dr Ghali’s vast clinical experience, are evident in his attention to detail, multimodal approach and ability to assess complex needs and integrate chiropractic with complementary treatments such as physiotherapy to optimise client outcomes. With a down-to-earth manner that immediately puts clients at ease, Dr Ghali is known for his collaborative approach to the practitioner-client relationship. “Our role as healthcare professionals is not just to ‘fix’ immediate concerns, but also to educate clients on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by advising them on controlling aggravating stressors. This may mean replacing bad habits with good ones by setting small, achievable goals. Ultimately, my objective is clients’ long-term health and wellbeing.”

JJ

Occupational Therapist

After studying kinesiology, working in the ASD program introduced JJ to the scope of occupational therapy and inspired a career change. Armed with an impressive knowledge of the latest evidence-based techniques, resources, and programs, from complex home modifications to play-based therapy, JJ prides herself on creating collaborative relationships that enable individuals to maximize their abilities and overcome their limitations. Among her most rewarding professional experiences, JJ recalls providing 12 months of home-based intervention to a non-verbal client, who could, after therapy, say simple sentences and take care of herself independently. “It is difficult to compare the sense of excitement and pride in a client’s determination and tenacity when they become able to do something they didn’t believe possible. It’s an honour to be a partner in that journey,” JJ says. A self-proclaimed ‘learning enthusiast’, JJ combines her knowledge of cutting-edge research with a genuine investment in clients’ needs and goals to facilitate desired outcomes. 

Elizabeth

Sports Dietician

Dual passions for food and health led Soaring Health dietitian Liz to study dietetics, but what really drives her is seeing the tangible differences dietary changes can make to a person’s health and wellbeing – from managing disease symptoms to sustainable weight loss. With a professional goal to “allow my patients to become the best they can be” by translating nutrition science into practical, realistic food recommendations, Liz has a refreshingly human approach. Known for her empathy and truly listening to clients’ concerns and challenges, she reconciles the academic knowledge she gained through a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences and Master of Dietetics with the needs of each client (asked whether all dietitians stop clients from eating their favourite foods, Liz answers decisively: “No!”) In fact, Liz’s approach may be best described as ‘collaborative’. A coach and cheerleader rather than a taskmaster, she strives to motivate and empower clients to take charge of their own wellness and realise how good they can feel when their bodies are optimally nourished. 

Bridget

Provisional Psychologist

Natural curiosity, high-level empathy and a passion for communicating made psychology an obvious career path for provisional psychologist Bridget. Despite an impressive toolkit of evidence-based techniques applicable to different clients’ challenges, Bridget credits self-awareness with helping her to become a better human-centred clinician. “Through study and practice with clients, I have learned so much about myself, which has enabled me to really understand another person’s inner experience and provide better support,” Bridget says. A believer in the importance of the therapeutic relationship, she is renowned for her collaborative approach. “Many people think that we can read minds and ‘treat’ clients, but it is a collaborative unfolding. We are both learning and discovering, in a safe, non-judgmental space, which enables people to practise new ways of thinking and being. It can be a really rewarding and profound process.” 

Sandra

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapist Sandra is living proof of the power of physiotherapy. Having defied doctors’ predictions that she would never walk, after intensive physiotherapy as an infant, she is dedicated to helping others to realise their physical potential. Not only does Sandra implement treatment plans, but she also supports clients to obtain the best results throughout their programs. Known for her can-do outlook, compassion, ‘kid-friendly’ approach and encouragement to challenge limitations, Sandra names her professional highlight as working with a client who had been left unable to walk by deteriorating cerebral palsy. “Within five weeks of strength and functional training, she was able to walk 15 metres with a frame. This work really can be life-changing,” she says. 

Aliese

Provisional Psychologist

Empathy, curiosity, authenticity, warmth and encouragement are the words most used by clients to describe psychologist Aliese. A love of listening and desire to learn about others’ experiences made psychology a natural career path for Aliese, whose passion for understanding the human psyche inspired her to undertake bachelor and postgraduate qualifications in psychological science with a master’s in progress. In consultation, these personal and academic credentials culminate in a genuine, individualised, human approach to evidence-based techniques that help to facilitate personal insight, discoveries and growth in an honest, open and safe space. An advocate of revealing and enabling each person’s potential, Aliese takes a collaborative ‘team’ approach to working with clients facing various issues and difficulties and helps them to move towards greater life satisfaction. “I want to help others to improve their mental wellbeing to be the best they can be,” she says.

Katie

Speech Pathologist

After discovering her passion for helping people to communicate during a voluntary role with people with disabilities, Katie commenced a mission to help people with varied communication and literacy difficulties to harness their untapped potential and realise greater relationship and life satisfaction. Armed with an intricate theoretical grasp of barriers to effective communication and techniques to overcome, thanks to both bachelor and master’s qualifications, it is unsurprising that Katie is known among clients and colleagues as an exceptional listener with an uncommon ability to empathise with each individual’s challenges, from communication-related disorders to voice dysfunction and difficulties with fluency, literacy and swallowing. Katie has a natural ease with clients ranging from infants and children to people with varied disabilities and older clients. Asked what drives her professionally, Katie describes the sense of reward from witnessing life-changing client improvements: “Hearing the family members of a young lady with whom I’ve worked on communication over the past four years express their elation that they are now able to have meaningful conversations and have realised a new depth of connection demonstrates what a difference therapy can make to a person’s life.”

Prishni

Psychologist

An intricate understanding of human thought, emotions and behaviour is part of the reason Soaring Health psychologist Prishni is so highly regarded by clients and colleagues. But her human-centred approach, palpable empathy and genuine investment in helping clients to live more satisfying lives are what truly set this therapist apart. Skilled in applying gold-standard evidence-based talk therapy techniques, and well-versed in the underlying causes of thought and behaviour patterns from a Bachelor of Psychological Studies (Honours) and Master of Educational Psychology, Prishni primarily relies on her less-common ability to listen and reflect (scientific literature suggests that the therapeutic relationship is as, or more, important than specific techniques). Often described as ‘gentle’, she non-judgmentally helps clients to arrive at new awareness and find their own solutions – no matter what their background, starting point or challenges. This ability to empathise and build rapport with diverse personality types, ages and cultures also explains her passion for, and success, working with children with autism. 

Alyson

Remedial Massage Therapist

Ask remedial massage therapist Alyson what drives her, and her answer – “to allow my patients to live a more pain-free life and be all they can be” – conveys a rare brand of personal investment and compassion. Alyson’s experience living with chronic pain from Crohn’s disease and scoliosis lends another dimension of understanding to the academic knowledge she gained through a Diploma of Remedial Massage and extensive practice experience. As well as sharing the values and positivity that define Soaring Health – her life motto is ‘feel amazing, be amazing’ – Alyson brings an insider’s perspective on the physical and emotional challenges of high-performance sport and the importance of optimal treatment. She has trained to an impressive level in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, running and pole dancing. While ‘compassionate hands’ and ‘nurturing touch’ anchor Alyson’s treatment toolkit (she is known for her exceptional relaxation massages), Alyson also uses dry needling, cupping and trigger point work in carefully tailored combinations to promote efficient and lasting recovery.

Neela

Allied Health Assistant (Physiotherapy)

For Neela, the potential of physiotherapy to improve people’s level of function and participate in rich, fulfilling lives is personal. While she has had a lifelong passion for helping people, it was witnessing a friend undergoing rehabilitation that inspired the final-year physiotherapy student to follow physiotherapy as a career path. “Physiotherapy is far more complex and broad than people imagine. Musculoskeletal complaints and sporting goals are common treatment targets, but physiotherapy also covers neurological and cardiac issues.” Indeed, Neela’s professional highlights include witnessing a stroke patient who had been confined to a wheelchair walk. “Helping people to achieve things they didn’t imagine possible and witnessing such fundamental functional and life improvements is beyond rewarding,” she says. Goal-oriented and equipped with intricate knowledge of schemes including NDIS, TAC, WorkCover and My Aged Care, Neela is a key member of Soaring Health’s community division.

Matthew

Allied Health Assistant (Psychology)

Many people associate psychology with mental health conditions, but Matthew Maher believes the discipline is far more democratic. “Everyone experiences diversity, and everyone can benefit from support to navigate the emotional challenges of difficult circumstances and live more fulfilling lives,” he says. Armed with impressive knowledge of the brain and human behaviour, gained through a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), Matthew is renowned for his collaborative, client-centred approach and attention to individual differences in personality, lived experience and ethnicity. “It is a myth that the therapist ‘fixes’ the client,” Matthew says. “It is a team effort whereby we support clients to examine their own lives, identify their own values and goals and, ultimately, make their own positive changes.”   

Aneeta

Clinic Manager & Head of CAA's

One of the ‘faces’ of Soaring Health, Aneeta is part of the reason clients feel so welcome when they visit or call our practice. With a perennial smile, love of people, extensive reception experience and detailed knowledge of our services (she’s been with us since 2017), Aneeta can help with everything from explaining the differences between physiotherapy and chiropractic, to simplifying the intricacies of Soaring Health services for TAC claimants. An active member of her community, she also speaks fluent Arabic, Turkish and Assyrian. As well as uncommon interpersonal skills that immediately put people at ease, clients often remark on Aneeta’s impressive efficiency and ability to ‘make it happen’ when they need an appointment – as well as the cafe-grade lattes she makes for clients while they wait (no wonder people often arrive early). 

Emily

Client and Administration Team

Emily’s passion for customer service and genuine investment in helping each client to achieve their health and wellness goals is evident from the moment she greets you. Armed with in-depth knowledge of Soaring Health’s treatment services and a high level of empathy with the challenges clients face – “I understand that trying to find the appropriate treatment modality and practitioner can be challenging when you’re faced with injury or hardship” –

she is at once an initial sounding board, friendly ear and reassuring presence who ensures that new and returning clients receive appropriate treatment when they need it. Emily’s belief in holistic health and wellness, and the complex interplay of physical, mental and emotional factors, aligns perfectly with the Soaring Health philosophy. 

Domarina

Client & Administration team

Rebecca

Communications and Marketing

Formerly editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitnessmagazine and a self-proclaimed ‘science geek’, Rebecca is Soaring Health’s resident wordsmith. Armed with a dizzying knowledge bank of nutrition, psychology and exercise science, and a professional background as a senior marketing communications executive, she is responsible for forging connections between Soaring Health and various stakeholder groups – from clients to medical professionals, government bodies, community groups and media. With a passionate belief in the power of communication to empower, motivate and inspire and a belief in each person’s power to realise their wellbeing potential, Rebecca is a natural fit with Soaring Health’s credo, ‘enriching lives’. 

Lucas

Client & Administration Team

Marina

Client & Administration Team

Manel

Client & Administration Team

Karen

Client & Administration Team

One of the first points of contact for Soaring Health clients, Karen embodies the Soaring Health difference. Her investment in helping each individual to achieve their treatment aims goes above and beyond ‘customer service’. With impressively detailed knowledge of Soaring Health’s services, as well as relevant government schemes such as NDIS, TAC and MyAgedCare, Karen makes accessing the most suitable treatment and managing appointments hassle-free.