Second generation osteopath follows in his father’s footsteps

Published in Issue 1 - 2017

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Osteopath Zac Hakes

It was when his thumbs gave out after working several years as a massage therapist that Zac Hakes decided it was time.

“I came to realise that my taxed thumbs could only handle so much before they went on strike, so osteopathy was the logical next step,” Zac said.

“Having seen the positive changes my father was able to achieve in people’s lives as an osteopath acted as a catalyst to undertake further study at Southern Cross University.”

After several years of theory and practice, Zac was awarded a Bachelor of Clinical Sciences degree followed by a Master of Osteopathic Medicine from the University.

“Osteopaths treat the body holistically, enabling it to function as an integrated whole rather than segregated parts. The muscles, joints, connective tissues, organs and their respective nerve, blood and lymphatic supply are all taken into consideration when treating a patient,” he said.

“As a second generation osteopath my formative years were invariably shaped by the tenets of healthy lifestyle choices. Coming from a fairly health conscious family I’ve always been passionate about health and known from a young age how vital musculoskeletal health, exercise and proper nutrition is to maintain an ideal level of health.”

As an independent practitioner, Zac shares a clinic with his father Dr Alan Hakes at the Ballina Osteopathic and Chiropractic Centre.

“As an osteopath, I am fortunate and blessed to be in a position where I can help people who are suffering from pain. Being your own boss and having the freedom to set your own schedule, whilst earning a good hourly rate is ideal, but ultimately it’s having the opportunity and privilege to impart positive change within peoples’ lives that appeals to me the most,” he said.

“Being a relatively small but ever-growing profession, there aren’t many places that offer an osteopathic course. Even though studying in Melbourne would have been a great experience, Southern Cross University and the Northern Rivers offered the lifestyle that fitted me best, particularly given I grew up here.”

Zac said the course prepared him well to treat patients.

“A great aspect of the Southern Cross University experience was being surrounded by like-minded people who shared a common interest in health, wellness and learning. The facilities, lecturers and course curriculum were excellent. The osteopathic techniques we learned, underpinned by current orthopaedic, neurological and functional testing, proved invaluable for preparing us for osteopathic practice and provided us with the foundations necessary to safely and effectively enter into workforce. The hands-on practical classes remain to this day the foundation and cornerstone of the knowledge that underpins my current osteopathic practice.”

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