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Physio in Cochrane

For all your Cochrane physiotherapy needs, Sunshine Physiotherapy and Sport Rehabilitation is a highly specialized group of professionals. We are a team of highly qualified physiotherapists with extensive post graduate education that allows us to best deliver our physiotherapy and rehabilitation assessments / programs in 45 minute appointments. We are committed and proud to provide the highest quality physiotherapy, acupuncture, C.Gunn IMS and sports rehabilitation services. We also offer massage therapy. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you at our clinic where we can share more about our professional health services.

Physio in Cochrane


B.Sc.PT, B.Sc.P.E., M.C.P.A., Clinic Owner, Physical Therapist, Diploma in Sport Physical Therapy, Kinesiologist, Massage Therapist, Post Graduate Certificates in Orthopedics, Medical Acupuncture, GUNN IMS, Women’s Health, Core Teacher, International Federation of Sport Physical Therapy

Denise knew she wanted to be a physiotherapist since high school. She has been passionate about her career ever since.

She believes that the patient is best served through collaboration with sports medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, family doctors and other allied health providers.

She obtained her combined physical therapy/physical education degrees from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996/1997. Denise worked in Saskatoon and then in Calgary at the Lindsay Park/Talisman Centre where she treated recreational athletes, National athletes and Pro athletes. At Sunshine Physio she continues to treat this array of athletes.

Denise has also worked in the school setting with children with disabilities and paediatrics offering early intervention and treatment. She no longer goes into the school setting, however routinely treats babies for tortocollis (head shape deformities) and paediatric neuromuscular issues.

The majority of her early career was in the sports setting. This included working with local, National and International teams. The highlight of those experiences was traveling as the team physio for the Canadian Men’s Rugby Team to Ireland.

Denise has taken her levels and competency exams in Orthopaedics. She has passed the oral and written component of the Manual and Manipulative therapy (Part A) from the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy.

Denise has been involved in pursuing a level of excellence for her dear patients. In 1996, she obtained her Advanced Massage Therapy, in 1997 achieved her Personal Fitness and Lifestyle consultant, and in 2010 received her Diploma in Sports Physical Therapy. The diploma in sport medicine is the highest level awarded. This takes years of studying, course work and hands on work. She obtained perfect marks: presently there are a little over 100 physiotherapists across Canada with this level of distinction. She maintains this distinguished designation with continued required course and field work.

Denise suffered from a persistent, nagging pain for a couple of years in her right ovary. She found tremendous relief from Traditional Chinese Medicine, so in 2000 went to the University of Alberta to receive that designation from the renowned Dr. Steven Aung. In 2007 she took further courses in the use of acupuncture needles and obtained GUNN IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation).

After the birth of two large babies (10 pounds each), Denise took a variety of courses in women’s health to treat pelvic floor weakness, incontinence and pain (2004 – 2014). She has taken numerous courses to help females stay active and prevent pelvic floor issues such as incontinence and prolapses. She has expanded that knowledge to help men as well who have issues with prostate cancer and pelvic floor pain (2014).

In 2010 Denise was in a massive head on collision on the highway where she suffered numerous injuries, including fracturing (breaking) her back, foot, numerous torn ligaments, and suffering a serious concussion. She loves treating chronic pain of the spine. She has successfully returned to an active lifestyle through excellent physio, sports medicine and yoga. She loves working with a multidisciplinary team like she had, to provide an appropriate solution to ongoing musculoskeletal problems, which may involve providing referral for prolotherapy evaluation/treatment, or interventional radiology procedures; as well as providing physiotherapy management before, during and after such procedures. As well, she firmly believes in an active home exercise program or coming to her numerous classes that she offers if more guidance is needed or to ensure doing the exercises in a safe manner.

She has developed a personal interest in treatment of concussions and has taken numerous courses in the evaluation and treatment of concussions over her entire career. As research and treatment has changed dramatically over the course of her career, she continues to take courses to stay on the leading edge of what is new to help her dear patients.

She shares her passion for physio, sports medicine, energy medicine and yoga at the clinic and through the numerous classes she offers. The Core Yoga classes are designed to bridge the gap between physio treatments and to return to an active, pain free lifestyle. She has been teaching classes on and off for over 30 years, changing and enhancing them as she develops as a student and teacher. See her yoga bio and class info for more information.


Celia Gjosund

Physio in Cochrane

Dip, P.T., M.C.P.A.

Celia loves all sports, she is a former field hockey, tennis and squash player and now is an avid golfer. She trained in England, and all her post-graduate work has been completed in Canada including: manual therapy, medical acupuncture, orthopedics, muscle energy and C. Gunn IMS.

​She worked in Fort McMurray for 20 years dealing with sports and industrial injuries helping clients to return to their activities.

Celia is a licensed teacher of the GLA:D program – an evidence based 8 week education and supervised exercise program developed in Denmark to treat hip and knee osteoarthritis – which she plans to run beginning in March 2018.

She enjoys treating old and young patients with concussion after a sports accident or a motor car accident, giving a varied exercise involving eye, concentration and movement. She has also done training in Vestibular and dizziness symptoms – these symptoms can be helped to enable you to return to the quality of life you deserve.

Linda Belanger

Physio in Cochrane


Linda is originally from Montreal, where she graduated from Physiotherapy at McGill University in 2004. She was first exposed to this profession as a competitive gymnast. Her love for sports and helping others is what inspired her to become a physiotherapist. Since 2004, she has worked both in public and private practice, in Québec as well as in the Canadian Arctic, BC and now Alberta.

Linda is always looking for new challenges and continually takes different training opportunities in order to improve her skills and deliver a better level of care to her patients. In recent years, she completed a fellowship in manual therapy (FCAMPT) and did her Gunn IMS certification, as well as a kinesiotaping course. She has also attended diverse specialty trainings, such as one on the shoulder, the cervical spine and on the prevention of running injuries.

She enjoys working with all kinds of conditions, from acute to chronic, and has a special interest for shoulder, low back and pelvis problems, as well as sport related issues. When she is not working, she loves the outdoors and can be found on her mountain bike, training for triathlons or on the slopes snowboarding or patrolling as a volunteer.


Chelsey Hulowski

Physio in Cochrane Chelsey graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2007 with her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy with distinction. Before joining the Sunshine team she worked in a variety of private practice physiotherapy clinics in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Calgary.

Always eager to learn and expand her skill set to better help her patients, Chelsey has completed several post-graduate manual therapy courses, a kinesiotaping course, and is certified in medical acupuncture (CAFCI) and intramuscular stimulation (Gunn IMS). She has also completed training in vestibular physiotherapy to treat dizziness and vertigo, as well as pelvic floor physiotherapy to treat urinary incontinence in women.

She enjoys working with a variety of patient populations and conditions, and believes in working with her patients to come up with a treatment plan to meet their specific needs and goals, whether it be running a marathon or walking a block pain-free. Chelsey believes in taking a well-rounded approach towards treatment, incorporating a combination of manual therapy techniques, patient education, exercise prescription, and therapeutic modalities such as medical acupuncture and/or IMS.

Outside of the clinic, Chelsey enjoys working out, getting out to the mountains, and spending time with friends, family and her puppy.


Jeannine Millan

Physio in Cochrane

Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Aromatologist, Usui Reiki Master and Pre and Post Natal massage

Jeannine graduated from Foothills College of Massage Therapy in 2000 with her Therapeutic Massage Therapy certificate. She has since mastered several other techniques including, Pre and Post Natal Massage, Cranial Sacral Level One.

Within the past 20 years Jeannine complimented her interest in Aromatherapy and essential oil benefits with a certification as an Aromatologist in 2004. She began in 1999 her Energy work training with Usui Reiki all levels and Karuna style as well. Since then has taken Quantum Healing Heart Techniques more recently in 2020. Within the Reiki community Jeannine has trained over 400 people for Usui Reiki in various levels.

Jeannine enjoys combining all areas of her expertise and personalize those modalities to fit her clients where appropriate and accepted. Having an experienced hand in several modalities makes Jeannine a therapist with excellent hands on skills combined with the added knowledge and interpretation of the energy work using essential oils.

When Jeannine is not committed to her work she loves being in nature for a walk, yoga or aquasizing at the local pool.


Angèle Tremblay

Physio in Cochrane Angèle, Office Manager for Sunshine Physio & Wellness Clinic brings a wealth of strong leadership, office administrative experiences and excellent interpersonal skills to the Team. She has proven to be indispensable in organizing, scheduling, managing schedules and resources, payroll, adjudication and payment of medical claims while innovating successful projects to improve office support. She prides herself in her contributions towards effectively developing and implementing good business processes/practices as well as streamlined ideas and improving operational outcomes.

As a supportive Team player, Angèle collaborates well with all to ensure patients and clients receive a respectful and professional experience upon arrival to our clinic. She is fluently French bilingual, has a keen interest in working with a diverse team of professionals and thrives to cultivate a harmonious and fastidious work environment.

Her 35-year career in Ontario with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as Lead for several unique health care programs, as well as Unit Coordinator at the Cancer Centre and Ward Clerk in Acute In-Patient Psychiatry-Mental Health departments has provided her with great knowledge, skills and experiences in this field. She effectively and efficiently represented each department with particular attention to the protection and privacy of information and individual needs.

Many of her core competencies and combined experiences working in multiple capacities such as; Medical Office Administrator, Clinic Coordinator, Business Administrator, Operational and Financial Manager, Team Lead in 3 separate and distinct Health Care programs for the day-to day operational delivery, have enhanced her reliability, accountability and excellent front line patient and client service delivery skills.

When Angèle is not at work, she loves to spend time with her family. Staying active and a healthy living lifestyle is a high priority in her life. Her activities include, but are not limited to: travelling, being in the mountains, going to the gym, motorcycling with her spouse, cooking, hiking, kayaking, hosting, and walking.


Robyn Holloway

Physio in Cochrane Robyn is our behind the scenes manager who handles payroll, motor vehicle accidents, monthly reporting and helps keep the clinic running smoothly. Working with the amazing staff, practitioners and patients at Sunshine brings her a lot of enjoyment.

Outside of the clinic, Robyn is a Leadership and Transition Coach running her own business where she helps people discover their passions and thrive through change. She also loves her time with her family, friends and puppy.


Michelle Flechas

Physio in Cochrane Having played various sports throughout my life I also had my fair share of injuries and physiotherapy experiences. This was one of the reasons why I was eager to learn as much as I could about the rehabilitation process. In hopes that one day I could help others with their injuries and rehab and physio needs. Whilst obtaining my undergraduate degree from the University of Calgary I worked in a clinical setting and now I am excited to join the great team at Sunshine Physiotherapy.

Outside of work I enjoy mountain biking, playing volleyball, skiing and the occasio


Hazel Drake

Physio in Cochrane I feel fortunate to work with a group of people who recognize that there is no ‘i’ in TEAM. That team approach ensures that patients receive the best care.

When I am not at work, I enjoy cooking, reading and teaching exercise classes.


Sophie Nicholson

Physio in Cochrane Coming from an injury-prone family, every practitioner within the Sunshine team has treated a member of my family (myself included) at some point over the past decade. Treatment, yoga, the GLA:D Program, you name it, one of us has taken part in it! Which is why I am all the more excited to have been an employee here for the past couple of years. I consider myself very fortunate to work with a group of such hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated, caring and passionate people. Outside of Sunshine, I am a university student who enjoys yoga and activities involving mountains, lakes, my dog, or all three!


Physio in Cochrane

Cochrane Physio

Best Physio Cochrane

physiotherapy in Cochrane


Could Our Microbiome Treat Mental Disease and Other Illnesses

The possible healing properties of our poop.

We are always looking for innovative new treatments, from immunotherapy to gene therapy to novel antibiotics. But what if we had innovative new treatments inside our own body, namely our gut bacteria?

What if some people’s gut bacteria could be used for treating other people’s diseases?

It has happened in the past.

The past and present use of people’s microbiome (a sophisticated name for bugs in people’s poop).

In the 4th century in China, medical doctor Ge Hong created a new treatment for diarrhea. It was called “yellow soup” and was a broth made with… not lemons, not yellow bell peppers, but the poop of a healthy person.

I can imagine you, reader, grimacing. Yet, this “yellow soup” worked very well in treating diarrhea.

More recently, when people are exposed to long antibiotic treatments, not only are the culprit bugs destroyed, but all their good bacteria are destroyed too. As a result, some people’s guts are colonized by a very-difficult-to-treat bug called Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff.) and despite additional antibiotic treatments, these patients sometimes develop recurrent C. Diff. infections.

Since no other treatment can kill these recurrent infections all of the time, some physicians try to use healthy people’s poop, sometimes using the sexual partner’s poop to treat the infected person (used as an enema). And—surprise!—the partner’s poop often cures the infected person.

Dr. Jessica Allegreti from Harvard University mentions in Harvard Health Publishing that Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) have a cure rate of 80 to 90 percent with very often only a single treatment in cases of recurrent C. Diff. infections.

How FMTs work their magic isn’t yet explained, but one theory is that “healthy” bugs in our guts may secrete bactericidal compounds that kill C. Diff. Another theory postulates that when healthy bugs are restored through a transplant, they outcompete C. Diff. for nutrients.

But what if FMTs (and the bugs contained in people’s poop) could be used to treat diseases other than C. Diff. infections?

What if FMTs could be used to treat Crohn’s disease or recurrent urinary tract infections? What if FMTs could treat mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, and even obesity? What if FMTs could work against cancer?

What could be the future use of people’s microbiome (contained in people’s poop)?

At the beginning of December this year, my husband and I interviewed Dr. Sabine Hazan, gastroenterologist, founder, and CEO of Progenabiome in Ventura, California, and Dr. Brad Barrows, the medical director of the company. Dr. Hazan conducts research and leads clinical trials on the microbiome and FMTs.

Chris Gilbert, MD, PhD
Dr. Sabine Hazan and Dr. Brad Barrows
Source: Chris Gilbert, MD, PhD

Dr. Hazan has done 150 clinical trials in the last 15 years. She explained that we have in our gut up to 100 trillion microbes and that there are more than 150,000 species of them—some well-known, others not so well-known.

Dr. Hazan’s theory is that, just like Penicillin was discovered from the growth of mold, all gut bacteria, gut fungi, and viruses might have properties that have yet to be discovered.

She is currently analyzing the gut microbiome of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic constipation, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, recurrent urinary tract infections, psoriasis, Lyme’s disease, Alzheimers’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, colorectal cancer, obesity, and several other conditions. In doing so, Dr. Hazan is discovering that patients with certain diseases have a very different gut microbiome than people without any disease.

But first let’s take a look at what a microbiome looks like, from Dr. Hazan’s point of view:

Below is a chart that shows the microbiome of 26 randomly selected individuals. In the chart, each column represents a different individual and each color represents a different species of bug. See how complex every microbiome is?

Could Our Microbiome Treat Mental Disease and Other Illnesses
The microbiome of 26 randomly selected individuals
Source: Used with permission of Dr. Sabine Hazan

Now let’s look at families.

Below is the microbiome of one family:

Could Our Microbiome Treat Mental Disease and Other Illnesses
Microbiome of one family: Father, mother and two children (in separate columns from left to right).
Source: Used with permission from Dr. Sabine Hazan

See how the colors are kind of similar between father, mother and the two children? This means they have the same species of bugs in their guts.

Why is that?

Could it be that they are genetically related? But what about the mother and father who are not genetically related? Could it be because they kiss and have sex? Could it be because they eat the same kind of food or because they live in the same house?

All of these possibilities are likely.

Now compare the above family microbiome with the family microbiome below:

Could Our Microbiome Treat Mental Disease and Other Illnesses
Family with one autistic daughter: mother, daughter 1 and daughter 2 (in separate columns from left to right).
Source: Used with permission from Dr. Sabine Hazan

This second family has a very different microbiome than the first, which means that they have very different sets of bugs in their guts.

In this second family—mother, daughter 1 and daughter 2‚ one of the daughters has autism. Can you guess, just by looking at the microbiome, which one has autism?

It is the one in the middle, daughter 1.

Do you notice how different the microbiome of daughter 1 is from the rest of the family? It seems that it has too much of a certain bacteria (the one in green in the middle) and misses a lot of variety of gut bacteria, one of them being Bifidobacter.

Moreover, there is less diversity (number of different organisms in daughter 1) indicating that her microbiome is much less balanced than that of her mother or sister.

What is Dr. Hazan’s plan for the future?

Dr. Hazan’s plan is to understand the role of the microbiome in diseases and to use her findings to help her colleagues perfect the area of fecal transplant. Most importantly, she wants to shed some light on the mechanism of why fecal transplant helps improve a disease or cures Clostridium Difficile.

Dr. Hazan doesn’t believe in one pill fits everyone, nor should a probiotic fit everyone. She believes in precision medicine and individuality as well as the need to remain diversified.

“The one thing we learned from the microbiome analysis is that a healthy microbiome is one that is diverse in its microbial composition,” Dr. Hazan says.

She hopes to work with the FDA to organize a trial on autistic children using the data she gathered from microbiome analysis.

Has Dr. Hazan seen any positive results for any diseases other than Clostridium Difficile infections?

Yes, she has.

Through the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Borody, a leader in fecal transplantation, Dr. Hazan is applying methods and protocols to use FMT in a clinical trial on patients with Crohn’s disease, transplanting them with the microbiome of healthy individuals. Her results will be published soon. She has also seen improvement in one case of Alzheimer’s dementia and one case of chronic urinary tract infection.

Other physicians have had some great results too.

Dr. Moayyedi from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, performed Fecal Microbiota Transplantations on 38 patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. Nine of Moayyedi’s patients went into remission and were able to stop all treatments (the results were published in the Journal of Gastro-Enterology in 2015).

Dr. Johnsen from Harstad University Hospital in Norway performed Fecal Microbiota Transplantations on patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) and had 65 percent of patients improved—much better than placebo (these results were published in the Lancet in 2018).

So, could FMTs be the new treatment of choice for many diseases in the future?

We don’t know yet, but as Dr. Thomas Borody says: “It takes courage and years of perseverance to change paradigms.” Dr. Borody is presently working on a protocol on FMT and Parkinson’s disease.

We need more clinical trials on larger samples of patients.

The key will be to find the right Fecal Microbiota Transplant donor to treat each condition and to better assess the risks versus benefits of Fecal Transplant in the future.

In the meantime, here are more questions you may have about FMTs:

How are FMTs done?

Some people put the FMT in capsules to be taken orally, but stomach and bile acids might destroy the therapeutic microbiota if taken this way. Thus, gastroenterologists like to transplant gut bacteria via enemas or place them directly near the caecum via a colonoscopy.

How risky are FMTs?

We don’t know yet. All that we know is that the risks are not zero.

One person died after an FMT in 2019, but that individual had leukemia and a severely weakened immune system, and the donor had E. Coli bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics.

Since then, donors have been better selected.

Can FMTs reverse obesity?

Can poop be taken from a slim person and placed in the colon of an obese person so that the microbiota of the slim person take over?

Well, the answer is yes… in rats. Maria Guirro and colleague from Rovira University in Spain (the study was published in PLoS One 2019) showed that transplanting gut bacteria from lean rats to obese rats created a change in the obese rats gut bacteria, making the obese rats’ gut bacteria similar to the ones from the lean rats and thus less able to harvest energy from food.

Clinical trials with humans are starting (see in references below).

What can we take away from all this?

One thing is for sure: Depending on what we eat, drink and how much stress we have in our life, our microbiome changes and those changes can trigger diseases.

An example is that stress makes our stomach, liver, and gallbladder secrete more acid, and those acids will kill a lot of our good bacteria, creating an imbalance in our gut flora.  On the other hand, eating yogurt will provide us with good bacteria, but too much sugar in our diet will create a growth of bad bacteria, creating another kind of imbalance and triggering other diseases.

So, let’s be aware that we are not alone in our bodies. We are the host of trillions of friends living in our gut that help us remain healthy. Let’s be good hosts and keep our microbiome balanced by eating less processed foods, less sugar and having less stress in our life.

Because after all, the future might really be in our poop… no sh*t!

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Genetic Lab to Share Gut Microbiome Discovery

Progenabiome, a genetic sequencing laboratory of the gut flora. Leading the way into the FUTURE by understanding the microbiome NOW. The quest for a new healthcare revolution!
Progenabiome, a genetic sequencing laboratory of the gut flora. Leading the way into the FUTURE by understanding the microbiome NOW. The quest for a new healthcare revolution!

“This data will change healthcare and make us more aware of our gut microbiome,” said Dr. Sabine Hazan-Steinberg, CEO and Founder of Progenabiome. “2500 years later, we’re proving Hippocrates right…everything starts in the gut.”

Dr. Hazan, a Malibu-based gastroenterologist, has 20+ years experience leading clinical trials, many for C.diff. When trials failed, she used fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), following advice from friend Dr. Neil Stollman, gastroenterologist at UCSF and East Bay Center for Digestive Health. She also followed great work by Dr. Thomas Borody, FMT pioneer and Centre for Digestive Diseases founder. Success post-FMT for recurrent C.diff suggested the microbiome holds many answers.

Knowing the C.diff microbe has existed for 10 million years, she questioned why it now takes 50,000 lives annually.

Dr. Sydney Finegold, infectious disease specialist who researched Autism/microbiome for 50 years, recommended she acquire a next-generation sequencer. When he passed in 2018, his books went to Hazan, hoping she could continue his legacy.

In January, she joined pathologist Dr. Brad Barrows and scientific director Dr. Andreas Papoutsis to launch Progenabiome. Their first run found non-toxigenic C.diff in every sample, including those not diagnosed with the disease. Preliminary data shows the C.diff microbe is not transmitted hand-to-mouth as previously believed. It is already in the gut and becomes toxic when something ingested triggers it.

Progenabiome will present this groundbreaking discovery at ACG 2019 (Poster 1027 / Booth 1931) and the 7th Annual International C.diff Conference November 6-7, 2019 in St. Louis.

Progenabiome is investigating the role of the gut flora in various diseases through 11 studies overlooked by New England IRB. Progenabiome’s Mission: to better understand, prevent, and treat diseases by analyzing specific genetic codes of 40 trillion gut microbes. Dr. Hazan believes the art of Medicine lies in our ability to see outside the box and recognize that all microbes and humans are unique.

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Contact: Stephanie Davis,

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