Meet the Team | Return to Form Physio, Ponsonby & New Lynn

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Meet Our Awesome Team

Here at Return to Form, our friendly staff are here to help you with whatever you need.

Zee Sharif

Senior Physiotherapist, APPI Pilates instructor, Acupuncturist, Aromatherapist

Physiotherapist, Pilates instructor, Acupuncturist, Aromatherapist, Certified Total Gravity Trainer

Zee qualified from the University of Brighton (England) in 1994. After working in a combined setting of paediatrics and general adult physio she made the switch to clinic based work on moving to New Zealand.

Zee is owner and principal physio at Return to Form. She has a hands on holistic approach combining her acupuncture, pilates and general physio skills for her clients needs. Her specialty is pelvic floor health, men & women and cancer rehabilitation. Zee works closely with Urologists/Oncologists for men undergoing Prostate surgery. Zee has completed various post graduate courses including acupuncture for women’s health problems acupuncture in pregnancy & childbirth, Cancer rehab and is a Pinc & Steel cancer rehab certified physio.

Zee is certified on the Total Gym Gravity and uses this in her rehab of clients with ACC injuries, cancer rehabilitation, general health & fitness as well as equipment Pilates classes.

Zee often returns to the UK for courses to keep up to date with the latest techniques and skills, that may not be available in NZ.

Susan Mae Hinds

Senior Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Women’s Health Specialist

Highly skilled professional with over 35 years practical experience in hospital, and the private practice of physiotherapy.

Established in Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture for 25 years. She has an holistic approach to patient support including assessment, education regarding diet and lifestyle issues, conversation and treatment with a variety of modalities that compliment the physiotherapy role.
Lecturer and supervisor for the TCM acupuncture post graduate course at AUT 2012-2014

Jo Cruz

Senior Physiotherapist / Acupuncturist, Facial Acupuncturist

Jo is a physiotherapist with over 30 years experience. She practices in Wellington at her own musculoskeletal clinic and here in Ponsonby.

She trained in acupuncture at Otago University in 2005, graduating with certification in acupuncture. She furthered her studies training in Manaka, a style of Japanese acupuncture. She completed the Gold Standard Facial Acupuncture Certification at North Western University in Minneapolis in 2012 and 2013 under  renowned author Mary Elizabeth Wakefield. She is a certified teacher for foundations in facial acupuncture and teaches here in NZ and Australia. Jo is a PAANZ tutor. She completed  all modules in sound therapy using a meridian therapy approach.

Jo completed Toyahari training in 2018, a style of acupuncture taught and administered by blind therapists in Japan. It is an extremely effective but gentle treatment approach going hand in hand with her previous training.

Jo is a fully qualified Trigenics Practitioner with an emphasis on biomechanics. It assists in restoring normal patterns and range of movement. It is extremely effective for frozen shoulders.

Michelle Hermanta

Senior Physiotherapist, Pilates instructor

Michelle has her bachelor degree in physiotherapy from AUT and has almost completed her post graduate diploma in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. She believes in helping support patients to return to functional independence through a holistic approach.

She considers it of the utmost importance to work in a collaborative manner with the patients, to give them an understanding of their condition in order for long term management and prevention, and to provide the best possible hands on therapy to help with pain management

Michelle has helped support a wide variety of patients to reduce pain and get back to a improved functional wellbeing. These include persistent pain patients such as lower back, neck, headache and TMJ pain patients (jaw). She is also trained in biomechanical assessment, pre/post operative rehabilitation exercise therapy and clinical pilates.

Kara Dennison

Physiotherapist

Kara completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy from AUT in 2017. Working part time as a receptionist at Return to Form throughout the degree, Kara now joins the team as a new graduate physiotherapist.

She has a special interest in osteoarthritis and self-management for long term conditions. Previous to her studies at AUT, Kara completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Anthropology from Auckland University. She also has 3 years experience of volunteering at the Les Mills Adaptive Athlete

program that is run for school children with physical and intellectual impairments.

In her spare time, Kara enjoys keeping active with outdoor adventure, social touch games and beach swims.

Julia Kim

Acupuncturist/Traditional Medicine

Registered Acupuncturist (NZRA) BHSc Acupuncture (NDA) Dip. Tuina Massage – Dip. Herbal Medicine – Dip. Qi Gong – Cer. Cosmetic Acupuncture – Cer. Cosmetic Topical Herbs – Cer. Cancer Management Herbs – B. Computer Science

Julia has a Bachelor of Health Science in traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture. She is a member of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists and an ACC provider. She has been practicing for more than 10 years using a combination of Korean and Chinese acupuncture techniques.

Julia is experienced in treating musculoskeletal (general muscles/tendons/ligaments) complaints, women’s health (including fertility, pregnancy, and hormonal imbalances), digestive disorders, stress, arthritis, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, cancer management, mental and sleeping disorders. She is also specialized in cosmetic acupuncture and slim acupuncture.

Roni Neeley

Acupuncturist/Traditional Medicine

Roni has a Bachelor of Health Science in traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture

She provides an intuitive, supportive and a unique treatment atmosphere. She uses traditional Chinese medicine including gentle acupuncture, cupping therapy and moxa (warming), combined with lifestyle advice to support and inspire people to well being.

Roni is experienced in treating a wide range of health issues and has particular interest in treating musculoskeletal (general muscles/tendons/ligaments) complaints, women’s health (including fertility, pregnancy, and hormonal imbalances), digestive disorders, stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Member of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists and an ACC provider, she is dedicated to continuing to develop her skills and her learning to improve people’s well being.

Roni works closely with other practitioners to ensure full holistic management and treats ACC and private clients.

Sharon Shan Qu

Acupuncturist/Traditional Medicine

Sharon joins our team with seven years’ experience in Chinese Medicine. Coming from China, Sharon started her life in New Zealand in 2013.

Healing her clients through natural methods provides her with a tremendous amount of satisfaction. Sharon treats ACC and internal conditions using a wide range of treatment modalities such as cupping, moxa, electro-therapy and massage. 

Nellie Pigot

Nutritionist, Naturopath, BHS (Massage & NMT)

Nutritional Diploma – Dip. ION (Merit),

London College of Naturopathic

Medicine and Health Science UK. Naturopath

Nellie Pigot is a UK trained nutritionist and naturopath and has been practising since 1999. She has worked as the nutritionist for a major London investment bank and as a naturopath in an integrated practice working alongside medical GP’s. Consequently Nellie is very experienced in interpreting diagnostic medical tests.

Her areas of expertise are treating digestive disorders, food allergies and intolerance, women’s health, optimising thyroid function. She works on increasing energy levels through manageable dietary and lifestyle changes with the help of short term vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements.

Sharhrzad Babapour

Yoga Instructor 

Shaz believes in a holistic approach to wellbeing where the individual is considered in terms of their mind, body and spirit. She also believes that factors such as lifestyle, home environment, connections and community impact our health.

The practice of yoga allows us to work inwards, creating space in our busy minds as we feel our bodies and connect with our breath. Yoga brings balance and calm to our lives by shifting the nervous system to a relaxed mode, allowing damaged cells to be repaired and replenished. 

Dan Rivers


Personal Trainer

Dan’s love for sports and fitness has been a driving force in his life since a young age. Over the past seven years he has worked to turn this passion into a career. Dan combines technical knowledge and expertise with his own extensive experience as an athlete and sports person in order to provide efficient & effective training results. His natural enthusiasm and relaxed communication style ensure that client motivation is maintained.

Dan’s session are tailored to the individuals needs and fun! Sometimes there is so much laughter coming from our in house studio, that we wander if they are just doing laugh training!

At Return to Form studio Dan utilises the ‘Total Gym – Gravity’ system to provide goal oriented & results based training.

A FREE trial with Dan will have you converted in no time.

 

Jackie Schapper-Kotter 

Massage Therapist

Jackie received her Diploma of Remedial Massage in Vancouver, Canada.  Throughout her career, Jackie has worked with numerous runners, rock climbers, mountain bikers, triathletes, swimmers, office workers, weekend warriors and those in recovery. She has experience treating conditions such as strains and sprains, headaches, tennis elbow, hamstring tears, stress related symptoms and general sports injuries.

Jackie trusts therapeutic massage to help bring natural balance within the body and mind. She believes that massage should be tailored to each individual, so whether you enjoy light or firm pressure, or want to work on one specific area for longer, Jackie will work with you to achieve the best results.

She has a special interest towards chronic pain management, pregnancy, headache or migraine symptoms and sports injuries. Her goal and intention is to help her clients be able to live and enjoy life in a pain-free and active way.

Outside of massage, Jackie is a foodie, loves to travel, enjoys gardening and stays fit with running and Muay Thai.

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  • Ponsonby
  • Wynyard Quarter
  • New Lynn
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