Optimum Healthcare Partnership
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Welcome to The Optimum Healthcare Partnership.

Brendan and Joanna run a complimentary healthcare practice that offers a range of therapies and services including:

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Remedial Body Therapy

Pre-natal and birth Therapy for everyone, from Babies, Children, Adults / Parents and Families to well... everyone.

Womb Surround Process Workshops

Please see further down for a full history of Brendan and Joanna and their trainings.

Brendan also teaches Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy practitioner and Post Graduate trainings in Australia and New Zealand. Currently Jo has completed the Graduate certificate in Hakomi Body Centred Counselling and Brendan is working toward an Educators certificate in Pre and Perinatal Psychology through A.P.P.P.A.H, The Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health. (www.birthpsychology.com) Also he is now engaged in a Psychotherapy training.

We have a very family friendly practice with the values of Freedom, Family and Support.
Freedom to be yourself without judgement, A healthy Family and relationships being integral to a fulfiling happy life and Support of you the best we can.
Brendan and Jo have also set up 2 communication groups based on Marshall Rosenberg's work. Non-Violent Communication. We get to call it Giraffe Language. These groups are for anyone interested in developing their communication skills. There isn't a fee or a charge. Though you would need the 2 books that we use. Non-Violent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg and The Non-Violent Communication Companion Workbook, by Lucy Leu. We are a group of interested people wanting to communicate respectfully and compassionately.

Introduction
Welcome to Optimum Healthcare Partnership. And as the name suggests, the client, and we the therapists, are the Optimum partnership in support of the clients health. It is our aim to share clearly with you, the reader, who we are and a little of our history, precisely what we do, why we do it and how. We’d also like to share our passion of supporting and helping and how we got to where we are. There are various aspects or modalities to our practice, and as such offers many options as to the approach to any given issue that comes to the clinic for therapeutic support. We may use at times aspects of any of the therapies to achieve the best result, all the time negotiated and clearly defined. At all times we are governed by the following Acts...

Privacy Act 1993
Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
Consumer Guarantees Act 1993
Medicines Act 1981
Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001
Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

The Principles we uphold at Optimum Healthcare Partnership are:

1/ At all times consider our primary duty and first priority, the health and well being of our clients
2 / To place integrity and professional ability amongst our primary duties and concerns
3 / To recognise our own limitations as well as the special skills of others in the prevention and treatment of ill-health and disease.
4 / To honour and respect our professional colleagues and uphold our profession and its on going transitions.
5 / To improve our professional knowledge and skills so that the best possible advice and available treatment can be afforded to our clients.
6 / Unless a legal duty of disclosure operates to remove confidentiality in a particular case – endeavour to protect the clients confidentiality at all times.

Brendan and Joanna Pittwood - Background and Training.

I (Brendan) attended New Plymouth Boys High school. I left in the 6th form to take a position as an apprentice Motor Mechanic. Some 5 years later the company restructured and I was made redundant along with many others. I decided then, to start my own small business of vehicle servicing. I recognised sometime later that being a motor mechanic wasn’t going to be a lifelong choice of vocation for me. Having figured this out, I attended various courses in massage and counselling at the local Poly Tec and lifeline, looking to see what might fit. I think the other thing that fuelled my interest in health, was that on 3 separate occasions I had to perform CPR on my father.
Some time later my uncle visited from England. I’d never met him before. Upon introduction and the shaking of hands, this interesting fellow said, having looked at me, then my hand, “hmm, I’ll speak with you later”. To my surprise he said, “you’ve got an ability in your hands, here’s what you are to do with it”. It turns out he was an Osteopath in Bournemouth England, and that this sort of work has been on our family since the 1400’s. Called something else back then for sure, but lord knows what.
I got married to my first wife and began searching for a training in Osteopathy. I found the last training to be presented by the Osteopathic College of New Zealand. I enrolled and was accepted. The training felt perfect. One sort of mechanics to another. I loved that, yet it was very challenging. The training was some 3 to 3.5 years in length. A few months in we were blessed by having a baby, Alexandria.
From early on in the training I was offered a position working with a practitioner, who at that stage had yet to complete his thesis. It was very busy and I learnt an amazing amount. A personal challenge arose for me though, two years or so down the track. At the end of the training, when all that was left to complete, was the thesis, my father died and I became a single parent. The practitioner I was working with was unable to continue practicing and so I was left to manage the demands of the clientele too.
This was completely overwhelming. I didn’t feel like I could manage the demands of being the parent, manage my grief, meet the needs of the people, make some money to live, and continue to complete a thesis. Perhaps I could have, but I certainly couldn’t comprehend that at that time. It would seem, sometimes stress does that to us. I continued working with what I knew and was proficient in.
The rules were, back then, that when one was deemed proficient they could practice that aspect of the training. For example, when feet had been well learnt, bones, ligaments, muscles, mobilisation / manipulation techniques and the students were considered safe, they were able to practice that aspect. And so on throughout the training. Up to and including the spine and neck. We at that stage were told we could call ourselves Osteotherapists. Joanna, who happened to be on the same Osteopathic training, (Who did complete her thesis and get her Diploma) married me (lucky me) in 1998, when Alex was about four.
I then embarked upon a 2 year practitioner training in Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy which was presented by a team of 6 tutors from the UK. I thereafter completed 5 post grad trainings to complete the Advanced practitioner certificate. I also recognised the need to have a qualification to represent the body work and was able to cross credit my prior learning to the Remedial Body Therapy Diploma with an examination.
In 2004, Brendan travelled to Santa Barbara to study with Dr Ray Castellino, Prenatal and Birth therapy and dynamics. This training was totally incredible. It was about making sense of experience from conception to 3 years old. Looking at how children, or we all for that matter, have responded to, compensated for, changed as a result of, our early life experiences. Linking Physiology and behaviour. This work plays a huge part in making sense of supporting the babies and children that attend the clinic today. The month after the graduation of that training, Brendan and Joanna’s twins were born. What timing? Now they are 7.
Brendan continues to attend courses in Brain science, attachment, education and development. Life, relationship and supporting our community is an absolute passion. Particularly giving children a voice. Jo and I have been dedicated to serving our community for 19 years. As of Dec 2013 Brendan is working toward an Educators certificate in Pre and Perinatal Psychology hosted by APPPAH. The Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and health.

I (Jo), started life in Wellington. I left Wellington girls high at the end of the 7th form and studied hotel management at CIT Upper Hutt. Mum had gotten Rheumatoid arthritis and changed all our diets. This secured my interest in Natural health. From there I decided I wanted to concentrate on food and nutrition so decided to learn about Naturopathy at South Pacific college of Natural therapies. After two years I moved to Nelson and worked in a restaurant for 4 years. I then enrolled in the Osteopathic college and moved to Wellington.
To support myself I worked in a health shop and worked for a catering company. In my last year at Osteopathic college I moved to Wanganui to live in and take care of my Grandparents. This was near where Brendan was working and he was very busy thus began our partnership.
I graduated from Osteopathic college in 1998. 2004 I completed the 2 year Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy training. We worked really hard... then we had twins early 2007. That was an absolute joy after four miscarriages. That obviously changed our concept of hard work. It was at this time I decided I would be a dedicated mum to the twins and I didn’t have the energy to continue to work. I chose not to re-register as an Osteopath. I too was able to cross credit my prior learning to the Remedial Body Therapy Diploma with an examination so that’s what I did. I’ve just Graduated from the Hakomi Training (Experiential Psychotherapy. It’s very complementary to the work we do. Now on to the Certification phase.

Community Interests
Lifeline for Joanna. And Brendan spent 8 years on the local school board of trustees. Brendan, Joanna and family are active members in the Northpoint Baptist Church. Brendan has initiated 3 community communicaiton groups to support non-violence in families through the use of Giraffe Language. Or compassionate communication. Interested?? Call us!

Training -

 Brendan
- Osteopathic Training OCNZ (Didn’t submit a thesis, thus no Diploma)
- 2 Year Practitioner Training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (Karuna Institute UK). 7 Post graduate Seminars BCST related
- Diploma in Remedial Body Therapy (Naturopathic College NZ)
- 2.5 Year training in Prenatal and Birth Therapy (Dr Ray Castellino, Santa Barbara, California)
- 5 Personal Development Womb Surround Process Workshops
- 5 Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Post graduate courses (Constitutes and Adv Dip BCST)

- On-going Supervision

- 4 Year Teacher Training program for BCST

- Currently engaged in the Pre and Perinatal Psychology Educators certificate with APPPAH (www.birthpsychology.com)
- Also currently engaged in a Psychotherapy training
- Has initiated 3 groups of people to study Giraffe language, (Developed by Marshall Rosenberg, otherwise called non-violent communication but we don't call it that because we don't have an official facilitator)

Joanna
- Diploma of Osteopathy OCNZ (Not registered so we don’t use the designation Osteopath) - 2 Year Practitioner Training in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (Karuna Institute UK). - Diploma in Remedial Body Therapy (Naturopathic College NZ) - Certificate in Fitness Management (Otago University) - 2 Personal development Womb Surround Process Workshops - 3 Post graduate Seminars BCST related - Continuing Professional development - On-going Supervision - Joanna is a Hakomi Training Graduate. (Hakomi is Experiential Psychotherapy)

Definitions of the therapies we offer:

1 / Remedial Body Therapy (Brendan and Joanna)

Overview

Remedial Body Therapy encompasses a range of skills. Massage, general articulatory treatment, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, muscle energy, strain and counterstrain, and active and passive craniosacral therapy techniques. The focus is upon assessing and treating somatic dysfunction, (structural and functional issues).

Subject areas of training-
Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology)
Structure and Function of the Human nervous system
Articulations and Movements of the human musculoskeletal system
Palpation in Massage
Bones, Muscles and tissues, apply massage and stretching in the clinical setting
Use of Trigger Points
Pathology
Neurophysiology
Biomechanical Principles of joint function and movement
Palpation for diagnostic assessment of Biomechanical dysfunction
Treatment plan formulation and treatment options for Somatic Dysfunction
Active and Passive Fascial release techniques
Palpation of Visceral Motion dynamics
Craniosacral System evaluation and application of techniques in a clinical setting
Screening procedures and tests (Special and Neurological, reflex, muscle)
Knowledge of Manipulation
Prepare for application of tissue and joint manipulation
Select and apply soft and deep tissue manipulation and joint adjustment in a clinical situation.
First aid

Limitations / Contraindications
It is important to note here that we do not perform High Velocity Cervical Manipulations. This is a restricted activity. We use other techniques such as neuromuscular therapy, stretching, and or positional releases. All low and slow and very effective. If Joanna or Brendan require clarity of any test outcome, initially they would confer with each other. If unclarity remains, an appropriate professional referral is made. Contraindications would include but not limited to, age, pathology, infections, medications.

2 / Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (Brendan and Joanna)

Overview
- BCST is a non-invasive, light touch, bodywork therapy that arises out of the centuries old understanding that the body can in deed heal itself and move toward homeostasis and balance. The subtle healthy movement patterns of the bones, membranes and fluids, right through our bodies and down to the cells even, are affected by negative experience. BCST supports the body’s systems to move toward their innate healthy patterns and help the nervous system to settle and regulate. It is an extremely gentle therapy suitable for everyone, but especially babies. We believe the model of Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy that we practice and teach should be named BioResonant Craniosacral therapy because as far as is possible, it relieves us of the need to do, intervene or apply a technique to our patients. This then has the potential of empowering the client to participate and be part of their healing process and their journey. Safety, compassion and empathy are offered to the patient through a deep trust of the innate intelligence and the human system, focusing upon our unique quality of attention and a healthy resonant relationship with the patient. We believe these attributes work together supporting the discovery of our true potential and health.

Subject areas trained in-
Anatomy and Physiology
Cranial Anatomy (Venus sinuses, Ventricles, motion dynamics)
Self-responsibility and Self-regulation.

 Presence, Pacing, light Contact and Listening that allow a dialogue to occur 
 between the client’s body and the practitioner’s hands, and for this to have a 
 Clinical perspective.

 Awareness of the senses as a diagnostic tool.
Clear definition of boundaries.

 Working and being in Resonance, from a place of Stillness, Being and Presence with the Breath of Life and the Tides.

 Practical appreciation of the organisation of the body and the ability to track the unfoldment of tissue and fluid motions within the body.

 Palpatory awareness of sensation of the different tissues and fluids of the body and the ability to differentiate between them.

 Palpatory awareness of how the body responds as it self-heals, self-regulates, 
 self-balances and reorganises without the need for practitioner intervention.

 “Being” in Practice.

 Basic Shock, Trauma and memory resolution skills via physiology

 Refined contact negotiation skills

 Appreciation of the many aspects that the role of Nutrition plays in health.

Limitations / Contraindications
Because of the nature of BCST the limitations are few, remembering that this therapy is primarily about not applying technique, but how well we identify and accurately reflect physiologic motion dynamics, validated and verified by narrative where and when possible. This is not counselling or psychotherapy in a traditional sense. Science shows us that the most part of a persons memory is stored in the tissues of our body. And as we listen with skilled hands, occasionally memories return of the primary injury or experience, and clients may or may not choose to talk. The primary focus is how the soma / or body tells it’s story. This being the case... words are not a pre-requisite. BCST does not merge with other therapies, techniques or approaches.

3 / Prenatal and Birth Therapy (Brendan)

Overview

This training is to facilitate people of all ages to resolve and re-pattern prenatal and birth trauma imprinting inside out. So from physiology to behaviour. If the change can occur this way, it can fee much more natural. Prenatal and Birth Therapy includes facilitating babies and children in the family setting and adults in an individual setting utilising Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
Subject areas trained in-

Module I - The Preconception and Conception Journey including the Polarity Paradigm, shock imprinting and developing the internal reference structure for prenatal and birth therapy are this module's primary subject areas. Dr. Castellino will introduces us to an integration of energetic, somatic, physiologic and psychotherapeutic principles which form a foundation for the prenatal and birth therapist. The skills introduced in this module include therapeutic centering, orienting, tracking autonomic cycling and related fluid tide dynamics, modulating therapeutic pace or tempo, identifying resource behaviours, recognising the therapeutic leading edge.

Module II - Bonding and Attachment Covers the bonding process from early prenatal through post-birth time. The issues of connection and separation are primary themes as are issues of receiving nutrition and emotional nurturing. This module covers: How early imprinting affects future relationship formation, and individual motivation patterns. Prenatal implantation dynamics, the development of the placenta and the umbilical cord. Energetic umbilical dynamics, and related movement imprinting. Birth dynamics, the cutting of the umbilical cord, newborn self-attachment behaviours and the nature of the baby's first contact with her mother and father after birth. The baby's ability to attach to his/her mother emotionally, at the breast and the establishment of healthy nursing patterns. Specific therapeutic protocols for resourcing, resolving and re-patterning bonding and attachment trauma and a means for establishing nursing with babies who are unable to nurse or having difficulty with nursing.

Module III - Birth Imprinting Covers the vaginal birth process, birth stages, pelvic types, cranial moulding, birth movement patterns and an introduction to infant craniopathy. It introduces tracking fluid tide dynamics and tracking stage specific birth movement patterns. By the end of the workshop, we would be able describe our personal birth passage to a small peer group.

Module IV - Chemical Imprinting Covers imprinting from anaesthesia, nicotine, foetal alcohol and drug syndromes. We look at the effects of chemical imprinting on prenates and babies' psyches, their movement patterns, their energy patterns and the development of the central nervous system. Specific protocols for resolving and repatterning of chemical imprinting are covered. A new theory is presented explaining the way chemical imprinting affects the function of the cerebral spinal fluid system. Our understanding of the cranial / sacral fluid tide system and the embryonic development of the brain is enhanced so that we can use our visualisation, energetic sensing, fluid tide palpation, and bodywork skills to support the resolution of traumatic chemical imprinting.

Module V - Surgical Imprinting Covers forceps, vacuum extraction, cesarean section, circumcision and prenatal and infant surgery. We learn how to identify signature cranial moulding patterns, movement patterns and psychological impacts of each birthing style. We learn the cranial impacts of forceps and vacuum extraction as well as specific treatment protocols for each type of surgical intervention. We explore the effect of these procedures on physical structure and on the expression of the body's energy and fluid tide systems.

Module VI and VII - Life Death Loss and Double Binds Double bind or paradoxical imprints provide the most complicated dynamics in the PPN field. Double binds amplify practitioner counter-transference issues and complications for facilitating groups and families. This subject matter is saved for the sixth and seventh Foundation Training modules because the dynamics of these trauma impacts provide the practitioner with the greatest counter-transference challenges in the prenatal and birth therapy field. The curricula of the first five modules is designed to build the trainees' understanding, perception, presence and therapeutic skills so that they are more prepared to explore the effects of double binds in effective and compassionate ways. Having two modules devoted to developing skills for facilitating double binds give plenty of space to explore the depth of these early complicated imprints. Special attention is given to how double bind imprints affects families and group dynamics.

Module VI Focuses on ancestral influences and twin dynamics and twin loss. Ancestral influences on individuation are explored to differentiate twin and ancestral imprinting. Twin embryonic and placental development are correlated with twin behaviour later in life. Lost twin syndrome affects on singleton behaviour is covered. We learn to identify twin psychological imprinting, the counter-transference / transference issues involved and twin dynamic therapeutic protocols. Breech birth presentation is covered in this module because a high percentage of breech presentations have occurred during twin births.

Module VII Focuses on adoption, previous abortion and miscarriage, abortion attempts, traumatic impacts of death in the family during pregnancy, stillbirth and infant sibling loss, A.R.T. (Assisted Reproductive Technology) and NICU experience. The skills for facilitating double bind dynamics are further developed and refined in this module.

Module VIII - Family and Group Dynamics This module is designed to transition the practitioner from foundation skill building into a model for family and small group practice. Module VIII covers: The structural components for a process session both with adults in a Process Workshop setting and with families in infant/child centred family settings. Questions about clinical practice. Demonstration session by Dr. Castellino including a complete debriefing which focuses on recognising the principles utilised. Each trainee will give and receive a supervised process session in a small group setting.

Limitations / Contraindications This is not counselling or psychotherapy. We use this understanding to mindfully interpret the experiences babies and children have encountered and how that influences physiology, structure, function and behaviour. We then use BCST to support the integration of those experiences. We give a voice to the experience where possible.

4 / Massage therapy

Overview

Massage is an ancient form of healing that has been used over many centuries to relax, comfort and to promote general well-being. It is a wonderful treatment to give as well as receive. Massage to day may be given with or without clothing. Subject areas trained in-
Structural and Functional organisation
Core knowledge of Body Systems, Cardiovascular, Integumentary, Musculoskeletal and Lymphatic
Knowledge of Muscle types
Self awareness
Client awareness
Preparation for massage practice
Swedish massage techniques
Massage Routines
Hygiene
Variations / Pregnancy / babies and the elderly

Limitations / Contraindications Skin conditions / Fractures / Pre-existing medical conditions / Pathologies, Severe pain, Fever, Varicose veins, Bacterial or Viral infections

Associations and affiliations

The Association for Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology and Health
APPPAH is a public-benefit educational and scientific organisation offering information, inspiration, and support to medical professionals, expecting parents and all persons interested in expanding horizons of birth psychology.


 APPPAH task forces publish The APPPAH Newsletter and the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, hold regional and international conferences, promote research, serve the public with valuable directories and resources, work to enhance the pregnancy experience and prevent birth trauma. APPPAH members have been at the forefront in recognising the multiple traumas of modern pregnancy and birth and developing practical therapeutic methods to deal with them.


The "prenatal" in our title refers to the period of about nine months including conception and the whole of gestation, while "perinatal" refers to the very short but crucial period of hours involving labor, birth, and establishment of breastfeeding. We believe that both these prenatal and perinatal experiences are formative for both babies and parents, and tend to establish patterns of intimacy and sociality for life. At stake here is quality of life--the quality of personal relationships and the quality of society itself. Ultimately, we like to point out, "Womb ecology becomes world ecology.

Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists
The Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists (PACT) was formed in 2000 to support and promote the growing number of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. Membership of PACT has grown steadily and continues to grow with the increased availability of professional training opportunities through PACT accredited providers in New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia and Canada. PACT has stringent membership criteria, which graduates of its accredited trainings fulfil. This means that clients can be confident that a member of PACT is a highly skilled and dedicated practitioner of the biodynamic approach.
PACT undertakes to support its members in their capacity as practitioners to provide:
A high level of knowledge and skill
A commitment to continue with professional development
A commitment to adhere to a professional code of conduct and practice

PACT also has a commitment to:
Enhance awareness of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Support on-going professional development of members
Support quality education in the field of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
PACT membership is open to all students and graduates of PACT accredited Biodynamic Craniosacral Training Schools. Graduates from internationally recognised training providers are also considered for membership where courses meet PACT criteria.


Note our primary clinic is in Egmont Village New Plymouth, though we do operate in Hawera and Central New Plymouth. Contact us: +64 6 755 2257 or email

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