Victoria University osteopathy graduates were honoured to play a part in recent bushfire relief efforts.
Soon after the tragedy of Black Saturday, a group of graduates went to the Diamond Creek Community Centre to offer osteopathic and massage treatments to volunteers and victims of the devastating bushfires.
Leisa Kean, a recent graduate, said the group set up a makeshift clinic with four beds, then treated volunteers who had been standing, bending, packing and lifting for hours on end.
"We treated feet and legs, hips and backs, shoulders and necks - anything we could to get them through the day. They were all so happy to get any relief at all and commented that they felt ready to tackle the next few hours, even after only 10 or 15 minutes of treatment."
They also treated fire victims, many of whom had lost everything.
"Some had nothing but the clothes on their backs and had lost neighbours. One woman was aching from head to toe from her ordeal and wanted someone to help her relax. She was unsettled and said she had not slept in days. But with basic osteo techniques, she seemed to relax, her breathing became calmer and she sat up with a smile on her face and said she felt like her body and mind had eased."
Leisa said her experience had given her new-found respect for the holistic practice of osteopathy, which treats mind, body and soul.
"I've only been in practice for a month now and I'm only just beginning to realise how much of our treatment is not just what we do with our hands. I know we all feel privileged to have been able to help in some small way these people who have been through so much."