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Innovative Physio


272 Nepean Hwy
Edithvale VIC 3196

Servicing area: Edithvale, Aspendale, Mordialloc, Chelsea Chelsea Heights

Innovative Physio
Clinical Pilates & GYROTONIC®
Women’s Health - Pilates for pregnancy & beyond – Sports & Dance medicine – empowering women, dancers & athletes on their physical journey


Where the art of physicality meets the science”

Clinical Pilates refers to a specific approach to Pilates. At Innovative Physio/Pilates you are initially assessed by a physiotherapist (Preparation for Pilates session) and your problem and goals are clearly understood. We assess all aspects of your movement then clinical reason the source of your symptoms and contributing factors, developing a treatment plan that is unique to you.
During the Preparation for Pilates session we use mirrors to observe your sitting, sit to stand and standing postures, focusing on how you recruit your back, abdominal, scapula and lower limb muscles. The real-time ultrasound is a valuable tool that maybe used initially to examine how the deep stabilising muscles of the spine are functioning. This assessment screens if the core muscles of the spine or what we now refer to as “abdominal cylinder” or “canister” muscles of the trunk, are being recruited ideally to best support the spine. The real time ultrasound is also used if you have less than ideal movement patterns causing issues with your shoulders, neck, hips and knees. By viewing your postural stabilising or joint protective muscles on the screen and engaging them ideally for function is crucial in overcoming many musculoskeletal issues. Seeing your deep muscles work on the screen is called biofeedback which uses vision - most of us are powerful visual learners.
Why is it important?

In episodes of low back pain and pelvic girdle pain these deep stabilising muscles get inhibited and on the real time ultrasound we see poor timing, incorrect recruitment and muscular movement patterns that can exacerbate the back condition. Some people are ‘aggravators’ constantly doing movement patterns that aggravate their symptoms unknowingly. Other people ‘avoiders’ avoiding using that part of the body-overprotecting.

Ideally you want your ‘core muscle’ working well. We refer to the ‘core’ as the abdominal muscle canister which includes the deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles, deep lower back muscles (multifidis) and diaphragm. The four parts of the abdominal canister work synergistically together connected via strong fascia (connective tissue) to support the spine. This is referred to lumbar pelvic stability in the literature and often spoken of as “neutral” spine or ‘the core’.

The deep abdominal muscle surrounds the trunk as a muscular-fascial support acting as a dynamic back brace. The pelvic floor muscles not only contribute to back support they also regulate bladder and bowel control, support the pelvic organs and play an important role in sexual function. These muscles work in unison with the diaphragm to provide dynamic stability to the spine.

Scientific research has shown that during an episode of low back, pelvic girdle pain these important deep stabilising muscles can switch off, waste away or become over active long after the pain has settled. They do not automatically return to ideal function on resolution of pain. This is why it is vital after an episode of low back pain and or pelvic girdle pain that your deep stabilising muscles are assessed. The real time ultrasound is a fantastic biofeedback tool to help you see and understand how these muscles work to prevent reoccurrence of low back pain and pelvic girdle pain and possible spinal degeneration over time.
Pilates focuses on and can improve:

Awareness of body
Breath control
Centring - use of deep stabilising muscles
Expend less energy on more efficient movement
Functional strength and flexibility
Precision movement
Retrains poor movement patterns

Our aim is to help you:

Manage your condition
Support your physical journey
Optimize your health
Stay pain free

We offer individual and group classes run by our Pilates trained Physiotherapists and Clinical Pilates Practitioner. We work as a team (that includes you) to improve your physical function and eliminate your pain.
We will tailor a program that suits your needs and goals, whether that is improving your everyday movement and posture or enhancing your athletic performance and reducing risk of injury.

Once you gain awareness of your body, you can progress Pilates with confidence, realising that movements you thought impossible are achievable. Build your body uniformly starting with your "core" (abdominal cylinder) providing the stable platform for free moving limbs.
Achieve great endurance of your skeletal stabilising muscles, and strength of your movement muscles. Pilates connects your brain to your body, enhancing and optimising movement.

Preparation for Pilates may involve using the Real Time Ultrasound to assess your deep muscles.
Physiotherapists use real-time ultrasound to examine how the deep stabilising muscles of the spine are functioning. This assessment screens if the core muscles of the spine or what we now refer to as “abdominal cylinder” or “canister” muscles of the trunk, are being recruited ideally to best support the spine.

What is involved?

A specially trained physiotherapist will measure the function, the hold time and overall contraction sequences between your muscles. This is performed in different positions and can be customised for each individual.
Real time ultrasound is safe, effective non-invasive and pain free. A small ultrasound head and water soluble gel are placed on various muscles and the images are viewed on a screen. Images can be recorded and measured for future comparison.
Who needs Real Time Ultrasound assessment?

Real time ultrasound is recommended for a wide range of conditions including:

Low back pain (acute, chronic or recurrent),
Pelvic girdle pain - sacroiliac joint pain or excess pelvic joint movement
Preparation for motherhood
Post-natal recovery
Prolapse signs and symptoms
Bladder dysfunction –unwanted bladder leakage
Weak pelvic floor muscle contraction
Computer posture symptoms
Thoracic pain
Neck pain
Shoulder pain
Hip pain
Knee pain
Foot pain
Pre and post spinal surgery
Post hip, knee replacement

Your Clinical Pilates exercise program is unique to you, and targeting the movement patterns that will assist in eliminating your symptoms. The physiotherapists and Pilates Practitioner will guide you to wake up the important postural stabilising muscles of the spine, "core muscles". Working these important postural stabilising muscles is the secret to prevent re-occurrence of musculoskeletal issues.

We offer individual and group classes run by our Pilates trained Physiotherapists and Pilates Practitioners. We work as a team (that includes you) to improve your physical function and eliminate your pain.


The Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods are complementary exercise methods that fall under one umbrella - the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® . Both methods were developed by Juliu Horvath, an ethnic Hungarian, professional dancer from Romania. Horvath suffered a series of debilitating injuries during his dance career, and began developing what are now known as the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods as a way to heal himself and regain his strength and agility.

Gyrotonic exercises are performed on custom-designed Gyrotonic equipment, whereas Gyrokinesis exercises are performed on a mat and chair. Both Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis exercise sequences are composed of spiralling, circular movements, which flow together seamlessly in rhythmic repetitions, with corresponding breath. Each movement flows into the next, allowing the joints to move through a natural range of motion without jarring or compression. These carefully crafted sequences create balance, efficiency, strength and flexibility.

Since the thirty plus years since Horvath began developing the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods, the Gyrotonic Expansion System has grown to include a global community of over 7,800 Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Trainers teaching in 52 countries.

For Everyone

The Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods are both highly adaptable, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability.

GYROTONIC® students are both young and old, recovering from illness or injury and healthy. They are accomplished athletes and dancers, college students, baby boomers, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.

Some of the benefits of GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercises include increased strength and flexibility, renewed energy and vitality and a general sense of calm and well-being.

Call to discuss how Clinical Pilates or Fitness Pilates can help you.

Qualification Details

Debbi Fretus

Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy (MIMT) (AAMT)
Diploma of Remedial Massage Therapy (MIMT)
Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology 52625WA
Level 4 Pilates Practitioner (APMA)
Certified GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Level 1 Instructor
Certificate IV in Fitness (Personal Trainer)
Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (Physiotherapy)
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Debbi Fretus has a vast and varied dance background, from Ballet to Folk, of over 20 years.

A professional dancer, teacher, adjudicator and choreographer having worked nationally and internationally. Having danced with Sydney Festival Ballet, Athens City Ballet, Greece, CH Tanzteater Zurich, Switzerland, to name a few. Debbi has taught as a freelance ballet/dance teacher as well as having run her own Ballet/Dance School “Dance Odyssey” in Queensland. Choreography and adjudication was also a natural progression both of which Debbi was passionate about.

Debbi first experienced Pilates “Body Control” in 1990 whilst living in London UK.

On returning to Australia Debbi continued her pilates studies in the early 90s and worked in a Dance Medicine Physiotherapy Studio in Brisbane, being one of the first Pilates practitioners to be trained in Australia.

Debbi is passionate about ongoing education and has always sought the highest level of training to become the best Movement Practitioner she could possibly be. This includes her journey into the GYROTONIC® expansion system and Myotherapy.

At this point of Debbi’s career she brings a plethora of experience to the dance medicine world and all clients she treats. Skills as diverse but yet related including; Myotherapy, Pilates, GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® methods, Personal training - Debbi embraces the mindfulness approach to her therapy.

Debbi is a mother of 3 and found Pilates with a focus on pelvic floor and core training essential to get her body back into shape, which she’d felt had disappeared completely after having had a dancers athletic body pre children. Debbi is passionate about all aspects of women’s health and an awareness of the motherhood load, and is particularly focussed on our ‘ Pregnancy & Beyond’ exercise program at Innovative Physio/Pilates.

Having recently completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment Debbi is excited along with Gill Smith (Women’s Health Physiotherapist) to launch Pelvic Floor Fitness – educational workshops for Fitness professionals and Allied health practitioners.

Debbi is as passionate today as ever about working with clients to reach their physical goals whether that be for rehabilitation or to become a professional dancer, athlete or to better their health and wellbeing on all levels.

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