by Amylea Griffin

Florence Biancardi is the kind of person who craves knowledge and seeks personal enrichment through caring for others. She tells the story of her three-year-old self, helping to dress the wounds on her severely injured grand-uncle’s body; her earliest memory. As a child, Florence’s family often remarked how fitting it was that she should share a name with Florence Nightingale, history’s most notable nurse. As she grew and fantasised about the woman she would become, Florence contemplated nursing and dentistry, before discovering the field of physiotherapy.

This discovery complemented Florence’s other great love and profession; ballet dancing. At this point, she knew she was on the right path.

“I think my interest in body started when I was a ballerina. I was a dancer my whole life actually, and being a dancer, had lots of injuries. At a very early age, I had arthritis and all sorts of pain and I used to visit physios a lot”.

Florence embarked on a long journey of vocational training, which, for physiotherapists in her home country of Brazil, demands 5 years of study, including at least 800 hours of practical internship. She excelled in the course and yearned for more. Encouraged by a supportive family, she went on to train as a chiropractor and a postural re-education therapist via a French method known as RPG. It astonished Florence that there was still more to learn about the human body.

As a ballerina I thought I knew everything about my body. I thought I owned my body. And then I learned that I didn’t know anything!

Once Florence retired from dancing, she continued to nourish her body with yoga, which is where she became inspired to learn Ayurveda, a historical Indian health system which translates to ‘the science of life’. Florence explains that the principles of Ayurveda are based on the five elements; Earth, water, fire, air, and ether, which have qualities that can be sensed in everything around and within us. Florence’s role is to help us to balance these elements.

“I’m very curious and sometimes I want to learn something new to make it more interesting, to give me tools to get a different touch, a different approach for people that are not open to certain things. I think it’s a very intelligent way also to attack a problem”.

In 2008, Florence brought her vast knowledge and exceptional experience to Australia, where she practices as a ‘Manual and Movement Therapist’ combining physiotherapy and chiropractic knowledge, Ayurveda, craniosacral therapy and remedial massage. With decades of study in human anatomy, Florence can assist people in all stages of life to take charge of their lives by teaching them a customised system to look after themselves. And now we are proud to welcome Florence’s expertise to the Balmain Massage and Wellness Centre.

When asked to describe what helping people means to Florence, she is able to summarise it these two sentences:  “I love it. Frankly, I was born for that”.

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