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Meet our on-site osteopath

24 May 2022
A photograph of SMCT osteopath Tom Peasley seated in the consultation room

SMCT is proud to regard the wellbeing of our employees so highly, launching a number of initiatives to keep colleagues safe and well at work. One such initiative has caught the attention of many – our on-site osteopath, Tom.

So, what exactly is an osteopath? As of 2018, there were only 2389 registered in Australia. That equates to approximately 0.001% of the population (less than one out of every 10,000 Australians), so it is considered to be somewhat of a niche profession.

It is a vital service for us, however. Tom Peasley is our on-site osteopath at SMCT and provides an essential, free service that we offer our employees to look after their physical wellbeing.

We were delighted to sit down with Tom to learn more about this profession and why he chose SMCT.

1. What exactly does an osteopath do?

An osteopathic approach to pain and injury is fairly simple. We look at the immediate area of pain, and then look at how it relates to other associated areas of the body and its relationship to the nerves and circulation. The body works together as a whole unit providing function and movement. When diagnosing pain or injury, it is my job to look at everything, rather than just the individual joint or muscle that is causing the pain.

When employees come to see me at SMCT, this is a brief rundown of what they should expect:

We will have a detailed chat about your current pain or discomfort. This will include the area of the pain, type of pain, intensity of pain and what you think may have led to the pain starting.

We then go through a series of exercises to test your range of motion in the area. This gives me an insight into how the painful area moves in relation to the other side, or other joints in the area.

After we have discussed the cause of pain and a treatment plan to help the pain improve, we will begin some treatment. Treatment usually consists of massages to the area, stretching and range of motion exercises, and joint articulation (moving the joint).

A photograph of SMCT Osteopath Tom Peasley assessing a client

2. How did you end up in partnership with SMCT?

My time at SMCT started in 2017 after my wife and I had returned from 12 months of travel overseas. I was interested in working within a company as I was attracted to the idea that I could help create change within a community of employees and observe the changes in the way they go about their work. This led me to join a company called R&R Corporate Health, and eventually to my own partnership with SMCT. I now solely run the ‘Early Intervention Program’.

3. How long have you been working with SMCT and what surprised you most about our organisation?

In July this year, it will be five years since I first started at SMCT. Given the fact that I had no real knowledge of how a cemetery operated, I was surprised to see the scale of this organisation and the sheer number of employees involved in both day-to-day operations and work behind the scenes. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the employees to be so friendly. The people at SMCT are the main reason my work here is so rewarding.

A photograph of SMCT Osteopath Tom Peasley providing a workspace assessment

4. What kinds of services do you provide to our employees, and why is this beneficial for them?

The Early Intervention Program offers a range of services and appointments to individual employees and departments. These include:

Osteopathic and clinical exercise and rehabilitation appointments

These appointments are for all employees at SMCT and provide them with an opportunity to chat with me about any kind of pain or discomfort they may be experiencing, whether it be work-related or not, to help recover from injury in a timely manner.

Ergonomic and workstation assessments

These appointments allow employees to have their desk or workstation assessed to maximise its ergonomics and prevent the risk of postural fatigue or repetitive strain injury. These sessions are also used to assess specific equipment or machinery such as brush cutters or excavators.

The Keep them Warm program

This is a 30 minute session run every four weeks. It is available to each operational department to remind them of correct movement principles, including relevant stretches and exercises based on seasonal pain/injury data collected on a monthly basis.

5. What is your favourite thing about your job?

The best part of my job is the feeling I get when I know I have truly helped someone. I see the difference it makes to their everyday life and get to hear a lot of great stories which are pretty hard to beat.

A photograph of SMCT Osteopath Tom Peasley providing treatment

We appreciate the work that Tom is doing for our employees here at SMCT and look forward to nurturing this wonderful, ongoing relationship.

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