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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Jennifer Dutton
Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

B.Sc (Hons) Physiotherapy, B.Sc (Hons) Applied Biology

About Jennifer

The experience that I bring to my work

I qualified as a physiotherapist, with first class honours from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2005. Since then I have worked in a variety of areas, in both the UK and New Zealand. Prior to specialising in pelvic health physiotherapy, I developed a broad foundation of knowledge in postural and biomechanical analysis, musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain through working in a variety of settings including hospitals, gyms, at sports clubs and private practice clinics. 

My professional interests

I am passionate that women access quality healthcare regarding their pelvic function, whether it is pain during pregnancy, recovery from birth, issues with bladder or bowel continence, prolapse or the management of pelvic floor function before and after surgery. It is important women realise there are things they can do to help themselves and that it is not normal to have heaviness or pain in their pelvic area or lack of bladder or bowel control. Women do not often openly discuss their pelvic function with their family, friends or even health care professionals so it is empowering for them to be able to self-refer themselves for a physiotherapy assessment. 

My philosophy

I believe if women are given education and rehabilitation tools to understand what is happening within their body, they can feel inspired to achieve their health and wellness goals. Connection and trust in a health care professional is vital, to be able to confide personal and intimate experiences and feelings, alongside gaining the most from treatment and rehabilitation. 

What drives me

Being able to help women make a significant difference to their health and general quality of life. When a woman has pelvic pain, incontinence or heaviness in her pelvis, it impacts so much of her day to day activities. Education, physiotherapy treatment techniques and a home exercise programme can make a significant difference in a short period of time. Having a woman tell me she has ‘got her life back’ is what makes it all worthwhile.

What makes me unique

I am one of a select group of people providing pelvic health physiotherapy in the greater Wellington region. I develop trusting relationships with clients, leading to optimal engagement and health outcomes. In addition, I always assess the whole person for other factors that may impact recovery and provide relevant education on topics such as nutrition, stress and sleep. 

CONTACT JENNIFER

P 04 472 4198
E jennifer@pph.nz

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Jenna Houpt
Yoga

BSc Psychology & Criminology, BCA Marketing, PROSCI Change Management Certification, 200-hour YTT Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow, REPs Registered Group Fitness Instructor

About Jenna

Jenna’s work has always been about people.  She has recently transitioned from corporate work managing communications and stakeholder relationships, to join us in the wonderful world of health and wellness.  

She has a strong interest in how the body and mind work together and how we can use this connection to bring more harmony and balance into our lives.  With a background in the fitness industry and a psychology degree, yoga was the missing piece that helped her combine the physical with the mental and emotional aspects of wellbeing.  

Jenna completed her yoga teacher training in India where she also spent time in an ashram and an ayurvedic wellness centre.  To add to her accolades, she is currently studying vegan and vegetarian nutrition.

In her spare time, you’ll find her cooking delicious plant-based food, doing yoga, meditating, or wandering in nature.

“Yoga originates in India, so that’s where I went; to understand the culture it was born out of.  It’s the first thing I’ve done that I know I will do with love, for the rest of my life. I can’t wait for you to feel the benefits for yourself!”

CONTACT JENNA

P 022 309 6907
E jenna@bodyofwork.co.nz