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Q&A with Dr James Traeger

Osteopath Dr James Traeger recently joined our team, read below to get to know James in a some more detail!

1. Do you have any specific areas of interest (e.g. specific conditions, topics, age-groups) that you are most passionate about as an osteo? 

I’ve recently become quite interested in Morton’s neuroma and frozen shoulder and how to not only treat but manage the conditions when presentations occur. Otherwise the pelvis intrigues me as it is able to take the upward and downward forces of everyday activity. It can also act as a predisposing or maintaining factor for many conditions pertaining to the leg. Over time I hope to expand my interest and develop my skills so I can pick an area that I may want to specialise in.

2. Did you always want to be an osteo? If not, what else did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? 

When I was younger I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but I didn’t have the 93.2 ATAR for it. Though this was a little set-back, I still wanted to work socially and help people in some capacity. So I thought back to when I was a kid. I saw my uncle, who was a physio at the time, doing some soft tissue work on a family member and thought it looked like fun, so I copied him and started to practise my soft tissue skills on my friends and family. Since I had done this for years, and had treatment previously myself, I looked into osteopathy and the ways it could help people. Exploring this discipline only made me want to join more, hence why I started studying. 

3. What are your favourite activities for keeping healthy and active? 

Though my schedule changes a lot week by week, I do try to rotate my exercise activities 3-4 days a week. I have recently started to take up surfing, futsal, rock climbing and mountain bike riding of which I have found quite intense but extremely fun. Otherwise, on sunny days, I really enjoy going hiking, swimming and bike riding with friends. Whilst in winter I enjoy skiing, running and lifting weights to stay healthy

4. Do you have a favourite piece of health and wellness advice? Or maybe a favourite fact, quote, or ‘top tip’? 

Movement is extremely important and often overlooked when sick or injured. Although some limitations and considerations must be taken into account, staying active is a necessary part of good health.

5. Do you have any children or pets?

I don’t have any children but I used to have a dog, 3 birds, a lizard and a rabbit when I was younger (not all at the same time). Though I unfortunately have no pets at the moment, I love animals and am thinking of adopting a dog soon.

6. Do you have a favourite hobby/how do you like to spend your down time?

A big hobby of mine is music, whether it be listening to a new album, artist or genre, or finding out about new or old products that accentuate the quality of the sound. I enjoy almost all genres of music, although my favourites are rock and alternative. If anyone were to have any recommendations no matter how far-fetched, I’d be eager to check them out. 

7. What was your favourite subject when you were at school or uni? 

In high school I enjoyed taking media and doing breakdowns of iconic movies like Memento, but also enjoyed making my own student films in these classes. After I moved into university my friends and I became intrigued with anatomy, enjoying my time in these classes pointing out where muscles, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels ran, and drawing diagrams on our bodies to gain a greater understanding of where things run to. I enjoyed anatomy so much I attended the Body World Vital exhibition covering all things anatomy in 2018.

8. Do you have a ‘fun fact’ you could share about yourself?

I’m not only double jointed but hypermobile, which means my joints allow for more mobility than typical joints should. While this means I have to be mindful about how I move my body while exercising, it has expanded my understanding of the conditions and the considerations that may come when treating patients in a similar situation.

9. What would be a ‘life lesson/favourite quote/motto that you could share? 

Knowledge should be shared and accessible to all, as it allows us to strive towards a greater future and not only develop upon ourselves, but our understanding of the world around us.

10. What are you most looking forward to as part of the PHP team?

I’m looking forward to helping people get back to their normal day-to-day activities, and advancing my knowledge and skills under such a supportive, and friendly group of people. I’m also excited that PHP has multiple professionals from differing disciplines, as I can take the opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn things that I may not experience in a clinic consisting only of osteopaths.

11. Do you have unique or interesting work or life experiences that you’d be happy to share?  

I believe the things I learnt at Alpine School are some of the best experiences I’ve had thus far. We participated in a lot of differing activities, from building bridges across running water, to cave exploration, to climbing the second highest mountain in Victoria (Mt Feathertop). Although these were lifelong experiences, it was the lessons around mental health that resonated with me the most. I was going through depression at the time of attendance and had a poor outlook on many things. But through the support of the counsellors and the use of such overlooked modalities such as a simple journal, I left the camp with a new mindset than which I had arrived with. Since then, I try to support anyone going through similar situations, and offer them advice and alternatives on how they can tackle their mental health.

12. If you can think of any other interesting titbits, stories, skills, or interests that our community might find fun and interesting to introduce you, let me know. 

I enjoy travelling and discovering new things about different cultures. Driving from Darwin back down to Melbourne opened my eyes to the beauty of Australia and the wisdom all of its people have to offer. My travels through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and India only further piqued my interest in other cultures and exploring differing countries. I only hope that I can expand my mind by exploring more countries and listening to the experiences of others from all around the world.

Dr Traeger is currently offering $50 off for new patients for their initial consultation, please click this unique link to make your appointment. If you telephone the clinic please make mention of this offer when you make your booking.

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