Dr Doug Cary

Doug jacket2As a youngster, I spent many summer holidays on my Uncle & Aunties farm in Kojonup. I am reminded (as I have no personal recollection) at family gatherings, how I expressed my love for the farm and not wanting to leave, by firstly planting a cricket stump in their new leather sofa and secondly, by hiding in the pump house for 7 hours till nightfall. My love of acupuncture, all things rural, and a strong independent streak started young.

I qualified from Curtin University in 1987 and spent the next few years developing my career and spending a lot of time in the outdoors, learning skills in scuba, rock climbing, bushwalking and triathlons in Tasmania, Canada, USA and Patagonia. Solo activities taught me to plan, be organised, respect the environment and look after my kit, never knowing what mother nature would toss my way. I returned to Australia in 1992 to complete my Post-Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Physiotherapy at Curtin University and in 1995, I completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Clinical Acupuncture at the Australian Institute of Holistic Medicine, Perth.

I have been a gold member of the APA, titled member of the MPA and was the inaugural WA chair of the Acupuncture & Dry Needling Group. I was the WA representative on the APA Acupuncture Working Party which finalised the ASG 'Guidelines for Safe Acupuncture'. I completed my Specialisation in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2009 but revoked my fellowship with the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2016 due to APA membership restrictions. While a fellow of the college, I was the only rural and remote physiotherapist in WA who had achieved specialisation in any field. I completed my doctorate at Curtin University in 2019, studying sleep patterns and their relationship to waking spinal symptoms of pain, stiffness & bothersomeness and quality of sleep. Lots of video time watching people sleep! I was an invited speaker at 2011, 2013 and 2019 APA biennial Conferences, and have been a guest on NPR's 'The Pulse' and MindBodyGreen.

I enjoy the mix of raising cattle, scuba diving and underwater photography, assisting physiotherapy clients and teaching professional courses.


My research focus has been on examining relationships between sleeping postures, waking spinal symptoms and sleep quality. Our recently published scoping review examining the available evidence in the field of spinal pain and sleep posture is available for free. This paper is in the top 5% of all Altmetric research outputs. You can access all my associated research publications here.

To assist in the knowledge translation of my research, I have created a 14 Night Sleep Posture Challenge - ideal if you wake in the morning with neck or back pain/stiffness. Join here - it is free.


I host the Phyio+10 podcast, in which I interview trailblazing Physiotherapists that have in their own way, shaped the profession that we are in today. A great way to dive into the what and what decisions that other Physiotherapists have made and how this has worked out for them. Some guests you will recognise as 'household names' and others you will not. However, they all have travelled a journey from which we can all learn something.


I provide one on one clinical mentoring and business coaching to a limited number of professionals. If you are interested in this highly specific service, please email me with the list of goals you are wanting to achieve, so we can arrange a time and get started.

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