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July 9, 2018

Moving in your 30s is a whole different ball game

Chief among the relationships you foster when you turn 30 is the one with your physiotherapist. And while Form Physiotherapy might not help you move house, they’ll gladly go rock climbing with you instead.

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  • Pictures and words: Josh Fanning

Dave and Toby Moen are professional movers, though not the kind in overalls and hernia belts lifting pianos down stairs.

Dave and Toby are the kind of movers you go and see immediately after you attempt to lift a piano down stairs… or injure yourself (again, hard to believe if you’re 20-something) reversing your car out of the driveway.


Form Physiotherapy
177 Gilles Street, Adelaide 5000

Visit the website for more information or to book an appointment

They’re physiotherapists at Form on Gilles Street and their business is going gangbusters.

“We just finished the financial year up 250 per cent on last year,” says Dave – eyes wide, implying he himself is astonished.

Form’s exponential growth over the last three years is in large part due to Dave’s startup mentality as a founder.

Rather than maintain the patho-anatomical thinking he developed while completing his Masters, Dave has continued to innovate and respond to his patients’ needs.

“Three years ago I would have been saying that we just need to tell people about and teach people about pain,” says Dave.

“Now, where we’re at – is that’s the first 10 minutes of the conversation. We can nail that. The majority of our job is now getting them to move and move well and move consistently over time,” says Dave.

Dave has done extensive work with clinical scientist, Prof. Lorimer Moseley at UniSA to further educate people on pain and where it exists. An image (such as the one above) can trigger pain in some people but being able to identify the difference between pain and perception is the first step towards fixing your injury.

Both Dave and Toby agree that seeing a health professional isn’t always the healthiest thing to do and while the physiotherapy business model is based on getting you better – neither Dave nor Toby believe you can fully recover in the clinical environment.

“If someone’s got a shoulder injury they could lift a barbell or they could go to Beyond Bouldering and start climbing,” says Dave.

“If they generally need to be fitter,” says Toby, “we’ll connect them with Trail Running SA.”

The two enthusiastically go on to list a number of community run and non-competitive fitness groups in South Australia whom they connect their patients with as a way to get back that final 20 per cent of their health.

“That last 20 per cent – we can’t give you that – and it doesn’t come from flogging yourself at the gym,” says Dave. “It actually comes from finding enjoyment in movement and for most people having a community, a sense of challenge, of goals being reached and skill… Movement without skill is boring.”

Far from boring, Dave and Toby show us through the treatment rooms to the strength and recovery room at the back of Form’s Gilles Street premise.

Dave’s built a rock-climbing wall that can be adjusted to several angles of difficulty.

“People in recovery tend to focus on the pain, because that’s what they’re here for,” says Dave as he drops the wall to its most difficult angle – 45 degrees.

He’s lacing up his rock-climbing shoes and coating his hands with chalk.

“To truly recover and feel better, sometimes you’ve got to have a challenge or a goal to focus on.

“This wall, fighting gravity and focusing on putting one hand and foot in front of the other can really drown out the noise pain creates in your mind and by moving, by experiencing feelings other than pain, you begin to prove to yourself that you can do things and that you are actually getting better,” says Dave.

Dave says healing is irresistible.

He’s just made it to the top of the wall in three or four quick and powerful moves. We’re not going to argue because we’re keen to tighten our laces and dust our own hands with chalk and give it a go.

‘Healing is irresistible’ – what a great thing to say. And when you’re in your 30s, that’s just the sort of confident, positive reinforcement you need from someone you’re in a new relationship with.

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