The Body of Work Team

Each of our team members is experienced and passionate in their area of expertise, all working together to further your wellness goals — whatever they may be.

Click the name of a team member below to go straight to their bio

 

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Ali Sullivan
Director, Massage Therapist

Diploma Health Science (Massage and Sports Therapy) & Registered member of Massage New Zealand

The experience that I bring to my work

I became interested in the human body and movement as a dancer and trained as a dance teacher at the NZ School of Dance in the 1980’s. In later years I studied Health Science papers through Massey University. Looking for something more ‘hands on’ I found a programme in massage therapy at the NZ College of Massage in 2009 completing the Diploma in Health Science (Therapeutic Massage). I returned to the College for a further 6 months in 2011 to complete a post graduate Diploma in Health Science (Clinical and Sports Therapy). I have had the privilege to work with many amateur and professional athletes and dancers, including visiting sports teams such as the All Blacks.

These qualifications and experiences gained along with my background as a Dance Teacher have contributed to the knowledge I can share with my clients.

My professional interests

I have found myself becoming increasingly interested in the area of chronic pain and the effects of inflammation and auto immune diseases on the body. Massage can have some positive effects on these conditions. I am also keen to help active people remain active and get the most movement from their bodies as possible.  

My philosophy

I see my role as one of assistance and education for my clients. Helping them to help their own body recover and gain optimal performance.  I am also a big believer in continued education, the health field is one filled with changes and it is important to stay up to date with research and education.

What drives me

I find it immensely satisfying to help someone feel better. Whether it is just feeling more relaxed, improve their range of movement or to relieve pain.  

What makes me unique

I was fortunate to have had great training and I believe that learning is life-long. I aim to keep up to date with research and education. I am also very lucky to be part of a collaborative team of experts so if there is something that I am unable to provide my clients I am sure one of my team or external referral network will be able to help with.

CONTACT ALI

P 027 227 6177
E ali@bodyofwork.co.nz

 

Tanya Houpt
Physical Rehabilitation, Exercise Prescription & Pilates

Diploma in Sport Studies, Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation, Classical Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer

The experience that I bring to my work

I have been in the fitness industry for 35 years, involved in many different roles; Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer, Instructor Trainer, and Manager.  This experience, together with a Diploma of Sports Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation (both through Otago University), lead to a focus on rehabilitation exercise, and enables me to treat clients with evidenced based knowledge and confidence. My Pilates training was completed in 2008 and I have been teaching the classical mat method since then. I have a critical eye for execution of movement which I attribute to my ‘hobby’ and sport, as an International Judge for competitive Sports Aerobics and Fitness.

My professional interests

I am particularly interested in reducing musculoskeletal pain and disability, and understanding the factors that contribute to these are essential to successful rehabilitation. I work with a lot of people affected by hip, knee and spine osteoarthritis and am committed to continually researching conservative treatment for increasing their quality of life. Pre-habilitation, preparation prior to a surgery, is also a professional interest, as evidence shows that the more functional you are prior to surgery, the better your outcomes will be post-surgery.  

My philosophy

Our population is getting older and I am a big believer in healthy-ageing! My philosophy is using exercise to optimise physical function, and when injured, to restore to ones’ full potential. I give my clients all the ‘Insite’ and tools they need to self-manage, thereby enabling them to participate in the things they consider important in life. This aligns with my firm belief in a positive psychology rehabilitation approach; finding what is right and increasing it! It is so important to look at the whole person, rather than just their health condition.  I use a patient-centered care approach, treating each client, as the unique person they are. 

What drives me

I love people and have an inherent need to care, finding myself wanting to help ‘everyone’. I am in awe of what our bodies can do and love that rehabilitative exercise is such a powerful health tool, which can reduce the need for medication and delay or prevent surgery.    

What makes me unique

Experience, empathy and a sharing of knowledge! I believe the principles of Pilates are timeless and perfect for treating musculoskeletal conditions. My use of this method is clinical, prescribing exercises, which cannot be done without relevant qualifications or by a recreational Pilates Instructor.   

CONTACT TANYA

P 027 443 5293
E insite@bodyofwork.co.nz

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Gina Sarten
Naturopath & Body Talk Practitioner

Diploma Naturopathy

The experience that I bring to my work

I qualified as a Naturopath only 3 years ago, having training part time for around 8 years, incorporating my study during that time with my day to day life of mum, partner, friend, office worker.  In all I’ve had an interest in natural health for around 20 years.  Therefore I bring my life experience to my work, my understanding of how difficult change can be, how stress can affect our whole life, but also the knowledge that, with change, great things are possible.

My professional interests

Since I qualified so recently I find that I’m interested in anything to do with health and wellbeing, and potential health challenges.   Therefore while I may not know all that is relevant when I first meet a client/patient, I’m always researching so that I can gain a better understanding of what has brought that client to meet me.  (I can imagine giving the same response in another 10 years driven by a need to constantly stay up with the latest research!)

My philosophy

My philosophy is simply to do everything I can to help my clients improve their health and wellbeing.  

I believe that good health is possible for all, yes some health conditions are more challenging and recovery may not be absolute or in some cases possible, but there are still some gains to be had by learning about the client and addressing relatively minor issues.  Often a client has a collection of issues some more minor than others, for instance a client may be wanting to manage their weight, but they also have digestive issues, they get sick easily, have joint pain and headaches.  I’ll start by identifying how these may all relate, try to answer just what has occurred to get the client into this state.  Then get the digestive system into balance to reduce that discomfort, this is likely to help improve the joint pain and headaches, and eventually improve the low immunity. The weight management should fall into place once the body is healthy, once food and exercise inadequacies are addressed, and any other drivers are considered – like stress.

What drives me

I’m passionate about my clients’ health!  I worked for a long time in finance where my work has not made a difference in the greater scheme of things.  Helping people understand what their symptoms actually mean, and teaching ways to regain their health is immensely rewarding, I finally feel that I am making a difference.

What makes me unique

I wasn’t going to answer this question, as I don’t know that I am unique.  However I bring my understanding, my empathy, my intelligence, and my energy to each situation, and put everything into helping my clients.  As a Naturopath I’m trained to treat the whole person (body/mind/spirit) not just particular symptoms, I do this with a range of therapies and life style suggestions, including: nutrition, supplements (although I’d rather use food as therapy – initially supplements can help bring the body back into balance faster), essential oils, BodyTalk, Reiki, flower essences, biochemic cell salts. I’m soon to be introduced to QRA (Quantum Reflex Analysis) a form of kinesiology to assess the effect of supplements, medicines and food specific to the client.

CONTACT GINA

P 021 576 149
E gina@bodyofwork.co.nz

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Lisa Polaczuk
Acupuncture & Massage

BHSc Acup, MANZ, ACC registered, Dip Tuina (Chinese Massage), Cert. Therapeutic Massage, BA Psychology

The experience that I bring to my work

I studied Psychology at Victoria University and received a BA and Postgrad Cert. in Psychology and Education about two decades ago. I later studied Energy Therapies such as Theta Healing while living overseas and Kinergetics on returning to Wellington. This enriched the way I viewed the world and gave deeper meaning too and skill when working with people. I also received a Cert. in Therapeutic Massage and discovered the profound effects of Massage.

Wonderful personal experiences with Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) and Acupuncture led me to refer clients to Acupuncturists when I ran KORU Massage and Healing in Lower Hutt until I decided to study it myself. I am now happy to say 4 years later, I graduated in December 2017 with a BHS in Acupuncture and Tuina (Chinese Massage) Diploma and are a registered member of Acupuncture New Zealand and an approved ACC treatment service provider. 

My professional interests

My professional interests lie in helping others with a wide variety of issues including: Stress management and emotional well-being/Musculo-skeletal, injury and pain issues/Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care/Digestive and respiratory complaints/Tiredness, fatigue and sleeping complaints/Women’s health and menstrual issues/Addiction and withdrawal symptom relief and Supporting the immune system 

My philosophy

I believe the Mind Body and Soul are inter-connected and one cannot be considered without the other aspects. I believe in encouraging the individual’s own innate ability to self-heal while complementing a Western Medical perspective and educating people to empower themselves through providing knowledge. 

What drives me

I have always had a genuine desire to work with others in a helpful and therapeutic way. Being humane is a huge quality that drives me to treat people with respect, understanding and appreciation. 

What makes me unique

For me, I hope the client experiences a lightness after treatment. I draw lightness in my personal life from dancing, spending time with my family and friends, listening to music, walking, remembering to chuckle to myself daily and when I’m not watching junk on you-tube, spiritual practice through yin yoga, meditations of sorts and breathing. 

My eclectic style allows me to guide you to find the best treatment options (and referral) based on your areas of concern, wellbeing and diagnosis. TCM and Acupuncture are currently at the core of my treatment process. The West is catching up and providing sound research evidence to understand the mechanisms underlying how Acupuncture works in healing and its effectiveness in treating a variety of acute and chronic ailments

CONTACT LISA

P 021 266 4181
E lisa@bodyofwork.co.nz

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Allison Anderson
Massage Therapist

Registered Member of Massage New Zealand, Deep Tissue and Sports/ Rehab Massage trained—USA (2003), BA—University of Texas at Austin (1997)

The experience that I bring to my work

I have a B.A. (French) from the University of Texas at Austin, but it wasn’t until after a few years of working in the corporate world that I decided to re-train for Massage Therapy. I was introduced to massage after a serious back injury which resulted in surgery. Deep Tissue Massage was integral to helping me heal. I trained in the USA and have worked as a Massage Therapist for 15 years, (10 of those years in New Zealand). I am trained in Swedish massage, hydrotherapy, sports massage, myofascial release, deep tissue techniques, dry-needle and mobility therapy. I take knowledge gained from each area of study and blend them into a tailored, complementary style.

My professional interests

My professional interests lie in helping others to live a more dynamic/comfortable/pain-free life through the use of manual therapy. I like helping people understand their bodies—how their muscular/skeletal system works, for example. I offer clients tools and ideas to help aid their own recovery and reduce their stress.

My philosophy

Massage therapy encompasses such a variety of modalities and styles. Underpinning it all, though, is the amazing power of touch. Some people use massage therapy as a wellness enhancement and some come with the aim of fixing a particular issue. Whatever brings you in, your session will be custom-tailored to suit your needs and requests.

What drives me

I regard my vocation with gratitude. It is a privilege to help people and connect with them. People seek out massage because it makes them feel better, perform better and helps them relax. How many people get to say that about their jobs?

What makes me unique

I’ll be the first to admit to being the type of person who needs to be active and do regular exercise, (and receive regular massage), to feel my best. My true love is trail running. When I can’t do that, I take bush walks, or go mountain biking. Yoga and Pilates feature regularly in my week, and lately I've enjoyed exploring the world of swimming, weight training and mindfulness practice. I am the mother of 2 active kids and the wife of a fit and sporty husband. I try to stay fit, mobile and flexible enough to keep up with the family—our Jack Russell Terrier included! I am a lifelong learner and enjoy keeping up to date with research and professional development pertaining to my field and health and wellness in general.

CONTACT ALLISON

P 027 385 5669
E allison@bodyofwork.co.nz

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Tania Woolford
Massage, Naturopathy & Nutrition

Dip. Therapeutic Massage, Dip. Massage and Sports Therapy, Studying Naturopathy and Nutrition

The experience that I bring to my work

I hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Massage, a Diploma in Massage and Sports Therapy, a certificate in infant massage instruction and am currently studying Naturopathy and Nutrition. 

I’ve worked as a therapist since 2012 in a variety of environments including multidisciplinary clinics, corporate settings, sports events and guiding massage students. 

This has provided experience with a wide range of people and conditions including chronic pain, migraines, injuries, OOS, high stress and post-operative care. I provide myofascial release, assisted stretching, remedial, sports, pregnancy and relaxation massage. Ultimately treatment is guided by the needs of the client. 

My professional interests

I have a great respect for the complexity of the human body, therefore, love the constant opportunity to assist in rehabilitation and provide tools that contribute towards an individual’s wellbeing.I am passionate about holistic healthcare, wellbeing, nutrition, yoga and mindfulness. 

My philosophy

I believe in providing supportive client focused treatment tailored to your needs to bring a bit of balance, help improve quality of life, increase body awareness or empowering you to be involved in your own wellness. 

What drives me

I consider that massage can benefit every one in different ways, especially in today’s fast paced society, where we may miss providing self care for ourselves. I find it rewarding working with clients towards their goals, whether that be alleviating pain, facilitatingrelaxation or training for sports events.

What makes me unique

I am a mother, student and work a physical job, so intimately understand the impact of these on the body. I experienced chronic migraines for 25 years, therefore have an in depth understanding and a special interest in assisting migraine sufferers. 

CONTACT TANIA

P 021 070 6620
E tania@bodyofwork.co.nz

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Gavin Mayhew
Massage Therapist

Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage, Registered member of Massage New Zealand, Studying towards Dip. Clinical Massage Therapy

The experience that I bring to my work

After 30 years in IT as a support specialist the time was right to do something else. I’ve always had an interest in natural therapies so I looked around to find something that made me feel as good in the giving as those who were receiving and massage fit the bill. 

My professional interests

I like that massage is a non invasive hands on way of helping to bring the body back into balance. Massage and the power of touch can have positive effects on our psyche and physical body by inducing a relaxation response. I am also keen to continue my studies so I can help learn techniques to help with injury, soft tissue dysfunction and chronic pain issues. 

My philosophy

I believe that there is more to this existence than can be seen, experienced or explained by our five senses. There are lots of things that science can’t fully explain massage being one but I see the difference it makes and am a firm believer in its benefits. 

What drives me

I strongly believe in our bodies own innate healing ability. Our western paradigm of healing has us give our power away to others I want to help empower others to be more involved in   lifestyle choices to live in a way that support our own healing ability and I see massage as one of the things to do this.  

What makes me unique

I’m not sure what makes me unique, I believe those who come to this line of work all share similar qualities of being caring, empathetic and wanting to making a positive difference in people’s lives. My aim is to be fully present for my clients and tailor the session to their needs.     

CONTACT GAVIN

P 021 230 7598
E gavin@bodyofwork.co.nz

 

Rachel Fraser
Massage Therapist

Cert. Relaxation Massage, Dip. Wellness and Relaxation Massage

The experience that I bring to my work

My massage journey began in 2013 along side my career as a musician. At the time I was after a career that involved working with my hands and to have a focus on well-being. Under the tutorage of Michelle Winters, I gained a Certificate in Relaxation Massage at the Bay of Plenty polytechnic. This quickly opened my eyes and inspired a number of personal positive health changes and a way to maintain balance in the then hectic touring life of a musician. 

Fast forward to the last 12 months and I have completed a diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage with the New Zealand College of Massage. One of the many perks to studying at NZCM has been working with the Central Pulse netball team. I am looking forward to continuing my health research and practice.  

My professional interests

I have a great interest in stress reduction as I believe its impact to health can be the catalyst of many illnesses. I am excited by the positive changes to the over-all health and well-being made through massage therapy. Having furthered my understanding of psychosocial areas of health I have developed a curiosity and need to venture toward this pathway of work in the future. 

However, looking forward to the near future, I would like to continue my training to degree level and I am also excited to work alongside other health practitioners towards a common goal of healthy communities. 

My philosophy

It is important to me to work with mindfulness and with integrity. To me, that means working safely, and with compassion and empathy. I believe that an integral part of the job is keeping up to date with relevant health research and upskilling as a health professional in an evolving health profession.  

What drives me

Massage therapy teaches and challenges me to trust and respect my body. Massage also inspires me to be healthy physically and mentally. To be able to help and be a part of another person’s health journey as a massage therapist, is a rewarding way to participate in a community of growing health awareness.  

What makes me unique

At this moment in my massage career I feel as though the world of health and well-being is my oyster and that my unique offering as a qualified health practitioner has only just begun take shape. I may also quietly hum a song when working every now and then.     

CONTACT RACHEL

P 022 343 7848
E rachel@bodyofwork.co.nz