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Without Limits Health

At Without Limits Health & Osteopathy Our highly skilled professionals are dedicated to providing our patient’s with knowledge and tools to succeed in living a healthy well balanced life, to be Without Limits.
Alli grew up in Hobart, Tasmania before completing a 5 year Osteopathic degree at RMIT. After graduating Alli moved to Greece to play in the European professional Water Polo league, before returning to Melbourne to begin her journey Without Limits.

Misconceptions about Conception

Conception for me was a bit of an ironic experience. I spent the majority of my reproductive years avoiding conception like the plague. Most months I would stress about the possibility of being pregnant, even though I was taking the pill. Had someone told me back then that it is actually quite hard to get pregnant (for some) and you really only have a few fertile days each month maybe I would have been a more relaxed 20 something-year-old! So given the fact that I had spent all these years avoiding conception, it was only natural to think the stress was over when my husband and I decided that we were ready to try for a baby. It was supposed to be exciting and fun, I mean isn’t that what everyone says, oh well it doesn’t matter if it takes a while you can have fun trying! Now if you are someone that has been trying for a while I am sure I just heard your eyes roll…..

Here was my internal reply as I brushed off comments that were meant to make me feel better and said with the best of intentions.
“Fun…. really! knowing exactly when you ovulate and the precise days that you are “suppose” to have sex, with an enormous amount of building pressure each month it doesn’t happen, and I am supposed to relax and have fun…”

Scheduled sex is never fun. Sex with added pressure also doesn’t equate to a happy home. Each month the week of ovulation would roll by and you could feel our house building tension and without fail we were doomed to have arguments, I am sure we are not alone in this. Not to mention the internal biological clock that even strangers are not afraid to remind you of, because yes women are having children later, because they choose to, because they may have been to uni for a bunch of years or wanting to get a head start in their careers, go travelling before having time off to have babies and priorities change forever. This is the reality of society today and I don’t regret any of my choices but I still heard phrases like this….. “Well don’t leave it too late time is ticking.” Tick tock, tick tock…….
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Fast Track Your Recovery- Part 2


Last month we discussed ways to fast-track your recovery. In this months blog we are going to take a closer look at the main aggravating and maintaining culprits and discuss what you can do to identify these factors, minimise and eliminate where possible. 

So what are the main culprits?

-Desk posture and ergonomic workstation set up
-Car seat posture and set up
-Sleeping posture (pillow/mattress/sleep position)
-Gait patterns (how you walk, what shoes you use to walk in)
-Type of physical activity you choose to do if any.

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Fast Track Your Recovery!


Recovering from an injury can be an arduous process that takes time and for some, it can take longer than expected. 

Why is that?

There are many factors that influence the way that you recover and the time it takes.  For instance, your age, weight, general wellbeing and state of health prior to being injured will have a major influence on your recovery and how long it will take you to bounce back. 

During the acute phase of injury, the following factors will contribute in either facilitating or hindering your recovery. 

  • Amount of sleep and Quality of sleep 
  • Level of inflammation 
  • Nutrition 
  • Rest 
  • Stress levels 
  • Hydration 

All of the above will have a role to play in your recovery following the acute phase of injury in the first 24-48 hours.  So it is important that you make sure you get a good sleep, this is when the body repairs itself and injury is tiring stuff because the body is working hard to repair damage, which requires energy.  So it is important that you rest,
minimise stress levels, maximise your nutrition and hydrate yourself.  All these things will help the body to do what it does best, which is heal itself.  But sometimes we are impatient and we let life get in the way, which actually can hinder your recovery. 

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What is Health


What is health? What does it mean to be healthy, and how do we attain it? The definition of health in the dictionary is:

“The state of being free from illness or injury”

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it, however, health will mean different things to different people depending on their values and beliefs and what they want out of life. I invite you to join me in this blog to explore what factors can influence our health from a holistic perspective. Just identifying area’s that you perhaps didn’t realise were affecting your health could change your whole perspective and find new levels of health you didn’t think were possible.

There are many factors that influence our health some of which are the same for everyone, regardless of whether they deem it important to them or not. Two of which probably come to mind quite quickly as seen below.

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Time & Space

Time and space are the two things that are lacking in most peoples lives today. Everybody seems to be time poor and it is starting from a younger age as kids schedules seem to be overwhelmingly busy. With every waking moment there seems to be less space to park your car, less space in our backyards if you're lucky enough to even have one, less space to sit on the aeroplane, there is less space for your thoughts, less space in your body and less space in life to explore who you actually are beneath your skin.

I invite you to join me on this journey of exploration of how time and space changes everything from your autonomic stress response to changing the way you think and respond to circumstances.

In order to embark on this journey, I must share with you my own personal journey one in which I have hesitated to share purely because it is hard to stand firm in your own vulnerability, which inevitably comes with sharing a part of yourself with the world, (however few people read this blog).
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Mind over Tension

Mind over Tension
Tension is the result of something being stretched, strained or put under pressure.  In our bodies this relates to tight muscles and can lead to tension headaches.  Tension can build up in our bodies over time starting with a bit of tightness in our hamstrings, perhaps it moves on to the middle back until it eventually creeps up into the neck and shoulders, if you are very tense you might find yourself grinding your teeth at night and waking up with a headache in the morning.

We all know that tension is what causes tension headaches, hence the name; but what are the forces that cause tension in the first place? And how do we avoid that dreaded ache in our heads?
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We are what we repeatedly do...

We are what we repeatedly do...

Our bodies tell a story of what we do all day long, everybody tells a different story because we are what we repeatedly do and repetitive strain injuries are a product of that repetition; they develop over time well after bad postural habits are formed.  Sometimes these habits are so seemingly small and insignificant that we don't even realise strain patterns are forming, until perhaps someone like myself starts finding tender points in places you didn't know were sore.

RSI injuries take time to heal and it is important to remember that time does heal all wounds, however we are all impatient and no one likes to be in pain.  The good news about RSI injuries taking a long time to develop means that there are plenty of opportunities along the way to do something about it before it becomes problematic. Remember prevention is best.
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Beyond Posture- Featured in Facilities Magazine

Beyond Posture- Featured in Facilities Magazine

The mind uses the body as a vehicle for communication; and our posture is an extension of that communication.  Posture is not just confined to the walls of our desk and how we sit at the desk, posture relates to our body language and how we communicate with ourselves and with others.  As our mind and body are inherently linked we can also use our bodies to connect with our mind. 

We can tell if someone is listening by assessing their body language/posture.

-Are they facing you?

-Do they have eye contact?

-Are their arms relaxed or crossed?

All of these tiny clues tell us what frame of mind people are in through subconsciously assessing each others body language thus their posture.  If you find that you have lost concentration and you were not listening when you were suppose to, you can change your posture to enhance listening.

As long as our mind and body are united we must expand our thinking and acknowledge the role that our mind has in how we choose to hold our bodies through different postures.  Only then are we able to unlock the habits of the mind that are linked with our posture.

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Motion, Movement- to be Free Featured in Facilities magazine

Motion, Movement- to be Free Featured in Facilities magazine

Movement, Motion & freedom are three things most people take for granted or never quite give much thought to.

If we were to change the structure of the sentence slightly those words might serve more meaning to you.  

“to be able to move forward in motion, freely”

The statement above outlines a fundamental requirement for health enduring a lifetime.

When you cannot move forward in motion, you are stuck and freedom will evade you in many facets of your life.

Movement is so essential to our sense of freedom and wellbeing yet most of us overlook this simple pleasure in life. Unfortunately moving freely is only truly appreciated when it is lost!

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Getting Fit Faster, Smater and Injury Free- Featured in Facilities Management Magazine

Getting Fit Faster, Smater and Injury Free- Featured in Facilities Management Magazine

It’s that time of the year where news year resolutions have been made and you have decided this is the year to get fit.  Your motivation has sky rocketed and you have finally bitten the bullet and started exercising; your muscles hurt, you can’t sit on the toilet without a moan from your gluteal muscles, and yes that is the tell tail sign you have been literally working your butt off…..  You go all out for 3-4 weeks and bang you injure yourself and loose all momentum, leaving you frustrated and annoyed thinking that all that hard work is going to fall by the way side.

Let me let you in on a little secret.  You are not alone.  Time and time again in clinic I see injuries caused during exercise.  Most injuries occur after an increase in load, whether it be physical, mental or emotional.  Remember that the body does not differentiate between mental, emotional, or physical stress, chemically it is all the same response in the body and that is a rise in cortisol levels.

So it is important to understand that stress; including your internal and external environment play a role in predisposition to injury.  So if you have been hibernating all winter, stressed at home or work and you need an outlet, just having signed up for the next fun run so you can pound the pavement in order have some release; then I urge you to proceed with caution and introduce the training load slowly; or I expect that you will be knocking on your local practitioners door and emptying your wallet quickly in order to get back on the pavement so you can participate in the run you just signed up for.

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Sit Stand Desk Revolution- Featured in Facilities Management Magazine

Sit Stand Desk Revolution- Featured in Facilities Management Magazine


The sit stand desk revolution is sweeping through our urban work spaces. Is this just a new fad or is the sit stand desk not only changing the ergonomics of our work space but making a difference to our health at the same time?


I think it is important to note that with anything that you do throughout the day there are opportunities for repetitive strain type injuries. If you sit at a desk or have manual labour job, or you stand all day long, each have their own set of pro’s and con’s and each have their own repetitive strain patterns that play out in the body.


The good thing about the sit stand desk being adjustable means you have a choice. An important thing to remember is if you sit too long you tend to slump, breathe shallow and squash all the abdominal organs causing tightness in the shoulders and hips; not to mention slowing down your metabolism. On the other end of the scale if you stand all day long you can be prone to varicose veins, compression in the lower spine, rotations in the pelvis as you shift your weight from side to side (rotations in the pelvis can also occur in the chair as well).


The sit stand desk is valuable to your postural health when you use it correctly. Like anything there is never a quick fix, you still need to be dedicated to improving your postural health and wellbeing in general with a only a small amount of effort.


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Sitting Still

Sitting Still
I have never been very good at sitting still, as a child my mother had one of those leashes for their children because if I wasn't on a leash I was running anywhere and everywhere.  My childhood and adolescence was spent running, jumping playing sport between Basketball and Water Polo training and what ever else my mum would give in to letting me try.  Sometimes I would beg my mum to fill in for different sports until she wore down, sometimes she would stand her ground, and when I organised a lift to and from the sport in question she would still say no, my question would be why?  Her answer would be "BECAUSE I SAID SO".  I hated that answer, I couldn't argue with it and I certainly didn't question my mum when she said those words and I could never quite understand why...... 
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Cleansing; What's all the fuss about?

Cleansing; What's all the fuss about?
Have you ever wondered why at a certain age it was no longer easy to shed a few extra kilo's?  Or how you can no longer eat what you used to eat without seeing it in your hips or thighs?

Have you ever wondered why as you get older everything seems to slow down, like your digestion, metabolism, walking even thinking?

It has always baffled me when I hear people say "But you can eat what you want you're a teenager, I used to eat what I wanted when I was your age until I started to put on weight and I have struggled to get it off since".  We all have this common misconception in society that is ok to abuse your body when you are young because you are young and don't have to worry about the consequences until you get old, then when you get old you start to wonder why you didn't look after yourself.  Maybe its because the young teenager had it in their brain that "you can eat what you want when you're a teenager...."

Our teenage years are where we set the foundation of our health or disease for the years to come, this is where we develop habits that will transition into our adult lives.   It will also determine how we deal with our emotions in certain situations.Putting excess weight on does not happen over night, athritis does not happen overnight and neither does cancer. Most lifestyle diseases that are all on Australia's hit list of leading killers develop over distance and time and can be determined by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

So what does that have to do with cleansing?  Well everything.....

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Being Healthy In The Office

Being Healthy In The Office

Being still causes stagnation in the body, when we move blood pumps quicker, waste removes faster and the lymphatic system works to get rid of toxins, our breathing depth becomes larger and we breathe out more toxins too. When we sit for long periods stagnation develops, oxygen is not pumped around the body as fast, waste removal slows, the lymphatic system has no valves and relies on movement to function, therefore when we sit the lymphatic system is only working through the movement of your breath. When we sit at the desk most of us slump at some point, when we slump we put pressure on our diaphragm, the main muscle for breathing, our breath tends to get more shallow as a result. So less oxygen enters the blood and less toxins leave through our breath. When we are busy and stressed you may notice that you also hold your breath and breathe even shallower without even realising it.   When we slump we also squash all of our abdominal organs and digestion becomes hard and requires more energy.


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Autonomic Stress

Autonomic Stress
Stress is a common word used in society today, but what exactly is stress and what effect is it having on our daily wellbeing and longevity?
The truth is that stress has many different emotions and many different faces and stress effects our daily wellbeing in more ways than we are conscious of.

Stress also has automated pathways in the body, have you ever felt like being stressed just happened to you?  Well maybe it did.  The body has what we call an autonomic nervous system, this literally means that this system runs automatically. The autonomic nervous system is apart of our peripheral nervous system and has two parts; the Sympathetic nervous system and the Parasympathetic nervous system.

The Sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our "fight or flight" response; the Parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for our "rest and digest" response. To create wellness in the body we must have a well balanced autonomic response to situations, which includes having a balanced autonomic nervous system.

But the million dollar question is how?  How do we create an environment in which we all have balanced autonomic nervous systems?
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Feeling 'Liverish'

Feeling 'Liverish'
Have you ever heard someone say i'm feeling 'liverish' today?  For those people who haven't; to be liverish is an old term meaning to be irritable.  If you look this word up in the dictionary it also refers to; suffering from a liver disorder, to be ill or to be sick, or ill-natured.   We have all felt a bit liverish from time to time, most of us probably feel liverish yet we don't even realise it.   

Have you ever woken up and felt on edge, frustrated and irritable, possibly angry for no apparent reason?  This is what I would call 'liverish' it is a sign that your liver is under stress.  Some people might be thinking "but I am not a big drinker", to which my reply is always "the liver does many other things than just cleansing the body of alcohol" my next comment is usually "what is your version of 'not a big drinker?'.  In today's society it has become socially acceptable to binge drink to an extent, 10 beers in one night instead of 20 is a triumph for some, or maybe you are one of those people who has a glass or two of wine every night.  Not only are we in a society of big drinking, we also live in a technological age where high stress levels are the norm.  If we add to the liver's issues we can talk about the effect fast and processed foods are having on our health.  Did you know the food industry creates jobs to specifically work out what chemicals to put in our food to make us want more, yes I know shocking to think but it's a true story.  If you want to know for yourself just pick up David Kesslers book "The end of over eating" and you will be truly shocked. 
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Health & Imagination

Health & Imagination
"What is now proved was once only imagined" William Blake 

Imagination forms a very important aspect of our creative development, it starts with a simple fairy tale when we are children.  Through the mind of a child the world is full of exciting things that can be reality and also imagination.  Imagination provides us with necessary development of the senses and visualisation skills. Sadly as we get older our opportunity to Imagine diminishes with age.  We are all told at school to stop imagining and start working hard, which is great for those left brain minds that are accustomed to subjects like maths, but what about the creative right brain types?  What about our musicians, our web designers, our inventors our sports people?  What about those minds that can create the world they want to live in?
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Courage and the Reason to Try:

Courage and the Reason to Try:
"The only real failure is the failure to try; and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment"

Personally I love this quote, too many people are "getting through life" and not enough are "enjoying life".  It is not enough to' just get through the day', each and every day passes with the same mediocre standard as the day before, and before you know it, you will be wondering where the days went and what on earth
you actually did with them.
  Passion does not come to you, you must pursue it, and as you open yourself to life new doors will open and opportunities will form and flow. But It starts first with the decision to try, regardless of the possible disappointments along the way. 
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This quote really sits home for me when we talk about Mount Wellington.  I grew up in a house that overlooked the Derwent River with a spectacular view of this monstrous mountain.  In terms of size the mountain is not monstrous compared to the likes of other mountains in Australia, but it certainly looks like it in Hobart, and when you are trying to get your head around attempting to run this monstrosity then the quote above seems quite fitting. 

For 19 years this Mountain was at the backdrop of my existence, it was always there, I could see it from my bedroom window, from the lounge, from our backyard, from the classrooms in which I sat and from most places you go in Hobart Mount Wellington forms the backdrop.  I never imagined that one day I would attempt to run up it and complete a seemingly impossible challenge.  To me this Mountain is a representation of all obstacles I have faced and yet to face.  So I decided to enter in the 20th anniversary Point to Pinnacle event, 21k from sea level straight up to the pinnacle of Mount Wellington with an incline of 1270 meters.  For the last 20 years thousands of competitors have entered the event and conquered the seemingly impossible, including my great uncle Chris.  My uncle Chris is unwell at the moment and fighting a battle of his own, he has competed in this event numerous times starting in his 60's, he was the source of my inspiration, if he can do it, so can I was my attitude.
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SUP Boarding Ultimate Core Strength Exercise

SUP Boarding Ultimate Core Strength Exercise
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
"Why I think its one of the best forms of exercise to strengthen your core, create impeccable balance and reverse all those bad postural habits"
By Alli Van Ommen

Stand up Paddle boarding is taking off in popularity throughout Australia. I have been wanting one for over 12 months and in October I recently purchased my first board in preparation for a summer on the water.  

Stand up Paddle boarding in my opinion is on of the best ways to get a great overall strengthen of the body and the all important core.  Most of you who have been treated by me have all heard me at some point talking about the importance of your core strength and how it sets the platform for your arm and leg strength.  However there seems to be a misconception about what core strength actually represents.  

When I speak about core strength I am talking about the whole body's ability to adjust to a movement to keep the body stable, it doesn't just involve the rectus abdominus muscle responsible for your 6 pack or lack there of..... It involves multiple muscles in the body including your pelvic floor and lower abdominals in combination with the nerves in your feet (propriception) sending messages to the brain with information about where your body is in space in conjunction with your postural muscle correction from the all important Psoas and QL.  All too often I see in practice people who do too many crunches and develop only one muscle in the abdomen and create a system where the diaphragm over-rides the rest of the system, which eventually creates weakness in the chain and causes back pain amongst other injuries and niggles. 
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