All about new physio Kristen: Preserving movement during cancer treatment 15 November 2021 Bloomhill’s new physiotherapist Kristen Barrie learned a lot from her late father and his experience with cancer. “Cancer is one of those things you don’t know much about until you know everything,” Kristen said of her experience helping her father as he faced cancer. His treatment journey opened her eyes to a realm of health care she had not been privy to, she said, and down a path that led to her now supporting clients at Bloomhill. “All the support Dad received was medical, nothing was preserving him,” Kristen said. “He was active and fit before his diagnosis. He went from being someone who did everything to someone who struggled to get out of his chair.” She says that the role of a physiotherapist in cancer treatment is to preserve function and quality of life. “That can sometimes take a backseat in cancer treatment, particularly in the acute stages,” Kristen observed. Kristen joins the team at Bloomhill next week. She will offer physiotherapy for the treatment of lymphoedema, cording, painful and restrictive scars, joint pain, impaired range of motion and post-treatment fatigue. Her services will complement the treatments already offered by Lymphoedema therapist Debbie Myers. “While lymphoedema is a big issue following treatment, there are a multitude of other side effects that can be effectively managed and resolved with physiotherapy,” Kristen said. “My background is predominately treating clients with breast cancer, however I have experience treating clients with Melanoma, gynecological cancer and head and neck cancer.” As well as adding yet another service to those available to Bloomhill clients, Kristen will also be available to the general public to whom she will offer general physiotherapy including post-operative management and the treatment of chronic pain and acute injuries. “I have a special interest in treating the shoulder girdle and I am a strong advocate for exercise therapy in particular strength training.” But it was her work with cancer patients that lead her to Bloomhill. “I had clients who also saw Deb for treatment and their kind words filtered through,” Kristen said. Kristen had been working at a clinic in Maroochydore and started her own business in July where she continues to see oncology and musculoskeletal physiotherapy patients. She is excited about beginning her work at Bloomhill. “It is such a welcoming and warm place. Bloomhill helped Dad and has helped many people I know navigate their own cancer journeys,” she said. “It’s an honour to be here working in this community. From my experience the world of oncology treatment can be stark and clinical. It’s wonderful that patients have a place to go that is calm, warm and inviting.” Kristen lives by the beach in Bokarina with her husband and two rescue animals. She says they live fit active lives spending their down time at the beach and in the gym. About the future Kristen says, “I want to continue working and learning within the oncology field. I love my work treating musculoskeletal conditions and I will continue to help clients in that area, but Dad sparked an interest and I saw a gap in the field that I want to help address. “It’s important that we offer as much support as we can throughout treatment so patients can remain functional and continue to live a quality life once treatment has finished.” To book a treatment with Kristen phone Bloomhill reception on (07) 5445 5794.