T H E R A P I S T S

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Brenda Hardy

Founder

I am a Chartered Physiotherapist with 14 years experience, now specialising in trauma and female pelvic health. I am a registered acupuncturist with AACP, a certified pilates instructor with APPI and most recently I have completed a post graduate module in Cancer Rehabilitation with PINC and STEEL Foundation, New Zealand. I have a Post graduate certificate in orthopaedic manual therapy from Curtin University Perth, Australia. I am the regional Physio Representative for Trauma Physio NI and an affiliate member of pelvic obstetric physio group NI. I enjoy reading, meditation, a variety of exercise, sea swimming and being outdoors! I am fascinated with the mind body connection and how trauma can show up in the body in the form of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. 

I founded Health Connects due largely to my personal experience of a range of health crisis in my family. In 2015, my husband got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Several months after, we had a baby girl, Isla, with a range of complex health conditions. Our second daughter, Belle, was also critically ill at birth. We are so grateful that both our daughters are now thriving and we welcomed a third baby girl Nancy, in 2020.  

My families journey back to health, has at times been so painful and difficult. It has required a huge overhaul of our diet and lifestyle. I now see our obstacles as gifts, which invited us to look deeper and seek out a lifestyle that we truly desire. It has taken us on a very unexpected path, which I am grateful to be on. With my background, being on the other side, gave me huge insight. It was a steep learning curve. Medical care is an integral part of a persons healing process. However, it is only a part of it and not the whole story. We have huge internal healing mechanisms, that are beyond the capacity of our cognitive minds. The capacity of human beings to overcome adversity is truly mind-blowing.

We are in an era now, where we must take back our power. Our current culture does not support our true nature, nor does it optimise human health. We are living in constant stress. Life has become too fast. It begins with you, the individual. It starts with finding a support system to guide you and commitment to the work involved. From here, self love grows and optimal health evolves, naturally. Compassionate and expert care will be central to all that we provide at Health Connects. We will listen to your story, without judgement and give you the tools and education to enhance your quality of life. We will work as a team around you, where necessary helping you to create a healing environment, reduce stress and regulate the nervous system by focusing on ; diet, sleep, movement, connection and active relaxation. There is always room for change, growth, and healing. Together we are creating a future of our dreams….one that we cannot even begin to imagine. Our time is now.   

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Dorinda Crothers

Since graduating as a physiotherapist from Glasgow Caledonian university in 2014 as the saying goes I haven’t worked a day in my life..... I love my job!

 

I currently work with clients in MSK and neuro rehabilitation and take a variety of pilates classes each week.

 

I have gained extensive experience in neuro rehabilitation treating a variety of clients with complex presentations including spinal cord injury, stroke, MS and cerebral palsy.

 

Alongside this I have continued my training to gain knowledge in AACP acupuncture, foundation in hydrotherapy, APPI pilates, women’s health, pelvic floor ultrasound scanning and PINC cancer rehabilitation for women.

 

I have completed my level 1-3 mat and reformer training, anti and postnatal course and pilates for children and young people.

 

I have a passion for helping people to improve their quality of life and achieve their goals through evidence based pratice and a bespoke treatment plan. Being a part of each clients journey is such a privilege.

 

When I’m finished work i love being outside and active from Sunday morning Slemish walks to SUP in the sea or helping on our family farm.

 

I am also a regular volunteer with the Mae Murray Foundation who help people of all ages and abilities to take part in activities, experience the world and enjoy friendship together in an inclusive environment which is incredibly rewarding to be part of.

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Marcella Higgins

Graduating from Queens University Belfast in 2006 l began my nursing career practicing in Oncology for 10 years and more recently as a School Nurse. In 2014 l completed training in Animal Assisted Therapy with the Society for Animal Companion Studies. In 2018/19 l trained as a teacher of Mindfulness for children, teenagers and young adults with Youth Mindfulness, Scotland. In 2019 I qualified as a Systematic Kinesiologist with The Association of Systematic Kinesiology Ireland. Bringing together all of my training, clinical practice and life experience in 2019 l began my own holistic health care practice Balanced Body & Mind. 

 

My passion and focus is the mental and emotional health of children. The human mind is our greatest asset but can also be our strongest opponent. So often our attention is rummaging in the past with regret and worry or fretting about the future. When our mind becomes focused on a problem there is an associated emotion. When we begin thinking about a problem we begin feeling discouraged, unhappy, fear, frustrated, unworthy, etc.

Thoughts are the vocabulary of the brain and feelings are the vocabulary of the body and how we think and feel creates our state of being, however when we learn to master ourselves we can master our lives. 

 

In practice l provide hands on therapy, talking therapy and in time l hope to have my beautiful Irish Doodle puppy Tilly working along side in the capacity of Animal Assisted Therapy. I deliver mindfulness lessons for children and hope to train in yoga for children later this year. 

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Anne Graffin

Anne Graffin has been in the fitness industry for 30 years, and has taught and coached in many a field.

7 years ago however after years of injuries she decided to undergo her 200hr yoga teacher training followed by yoga for kids and yoga for athletes. 

Anne has taught old, young, sports men/women, strike patients, disabled and people with mental health problems. Just proving yoga is for Every BODY. 

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Brianne O'Neill

After gaining a First Class Hons in BSc Physiotherapy from the University of Ulster in 2013, I moved to England to work within the NHS at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust in Lincolnshire and subsequently, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) in London. I worked across numerous specialities including Musculoskeletal Outpatients - adult and paediatric, Hydrotherapy, Respiratory Medicine, Orthopaedics, Neuro-rehabilitation, Vascular and Amputee Rehabilitation, within various community teams and the Emergency Department.  

After working in a wide range of specialities, I knew that Musculoskeletal Medicine & Rehabilitation was where my passion lay. So, in 2018 I specialised in Musculoskeletal Outpatients at GSTT & in 2019, I moved back home to work as a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. In the midst of my career thus far I have also worked within women’s football in NI, GAA, European Masters Hockey, World Police & Fire Games, Commonwealth Games Glasgow, IAAF World Championships London and the Virgin London Marathon. I have guest lectured at Kings College University London and I also worked privately in Musculoskeletal Medicine & Rehabilitation in SW London. In 2021, I launched my own business - Brianne O’Neill Physiotherapy and I am pleased to say that I am based at Health Connects.

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Teresa McFall

Hi my name is Teresa McFall and I started practicing yoga in 2016. I am now a fully qualified Hatha Yoga Teacher since 2018. I have been delivering various mixed ability classes since then. 

Hatha Yoga involves breath, body, and mind. It is practiced at a slower pace and focusses on controlled breathing combined with stretching movements. 

My Hatha Yoga classes are very much based on breath work and body movement.

During each class I encourage and help students tap into their body's natural stress reliever also known as the Parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) through various breathing techniques and body movement.
When the (PSNS) is activated, it slows the heart rate and the rate of breathing.
Your body can then enter a state of relaxation. The more time we spend in our PSNS state, the healthier we are.

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Niamh McLaughlin

Hi, my name is Niamh McLaughlin of Niamh’s Massage Lounge. I have been a Swedish massage therapist for 4 years and currently work in a spa and attend a beauty course in Magherafelt. I love doing massages as I love helping people relax and helping people feel better. I love meeting all my new and recurring clients and hope to expand more in the future. Hope to see you all soon.