What brings this former AFL star to Gympie?
BEFORE taking on Gympie Chiro Health a little over three weeks ago Zac O'Brien had only been to Gympie a couple of times - to participate in AFL coaching programs with the Brisbane Lions.
Growing up in Wangaratta in country Victoria, Mr O'Brien played for the Essendon Football team while in the Victorian Football League before he was picked up as a rookie by Brisbane in 2014.
The AFL midfielder played 13 games for the Brisbane Lions between 2014 and 2015 and it was his peak athletic performance demands that helped to highlight to him the importance of good health.
His professional sporting career meant he had access to some of the finest health practitioners available and he got to experience first-hand skeletal manipulation, something which inspired him.
He also discovered the benefits of chiropractic therapies through seeing how these treatments helped his father with back pain.
It took Mr O'Brien five years study at RMIT in Melbourne to obtain his qualifications as a chiropractor and the fulfilment of his dream is to open his own practice here in Gympie.
"My focus is now on wellness and health - neck pain, back pain, headaches,” he said.
Mr O'Brien has taken on the former Water's Edge practice in the Nash St professional complex at 21 Nash St and renamed it Chiro Health Gympie.
The practice is open Monday to Friday from 8am-6pm and on Wednesday morning in Cooloola Cove.
"I focus more on health, wellbeing and diet. I like to take a holistic approach to improving and changing the health of my patients,” Mr O'Brien said.
"I'd like to help as many people as I can.”
Mr O'Brien said he was drawn to taking on a practice here in Gympie because of a number of factors.
"Gympie is a good area and great region. And there are a limited amount of chiropractors in the area, so there is definitely a need for me here,” he said.
The practice is forging ahead with many of Mr O'Brien's clients finding him through word of mouth and through Facebook and his website.
"We've got the HiCaps up and running and just installed a new X-ray machine. I'm hoping to be a one-stop shop where you can come in be X-rayed and then adjusted,” he said.
Chiro Health Gympie is also hoping to provide same-day appointments and also features an online booking service through its website and Facebook.
Football is still a passion for the former Lion and he is hoping to get more involved in the community.
Part of that drive has seen him start up with one of the local gyms and he is really enamoured of our Gympie Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
His main focus these days though is improving the health of his patients.
"I like having the opportunity to help and have a genuine interest to make people healthy and get people out of pain. Sometimes that's through adjustment but sometimes it's exercise, sleeping well, diet and a positive healthy attitude,” he said.