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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Martin Keenan

 

Crisis Counsellor, Personal

Therapist and Clinical Supervisor.

When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel.

My great passion is bringing healing to people who have been through a traumatic/stressful experience. I demonstrate a love and passion for my work with all clients; clients who are in despair and feeling helpless and burdensome.

With compassion, respect, empathic understanding and often with a unique sense of humour I offer therapeutic support of the highest quality to people who have experienced trauma in their lives. My belief in this process brings to the client a sense of hope and the ability to contain the negative feelings that enables them to experience something different and little by little begin to believe that they can change and experience hope.

 

I know that no single approach is the right one for every individual, and so I have been trained as an Integrative Counsellor, incorporating skills from the Humanistic, Cognitive Behavioural and Psychoanalytic schools. I am a crisis counsellor working with Lifeline and highly trained in suicide and self-harm.

 

My educational background includes being an accredited member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP - Accred). FdSc in Counselling from University of Ulster, a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision.

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Bryon Clarke

Byron Clarke is a well respected Health & Fitness expert from Co Antrim. Byron qualified back in 2001 from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in both Certified Personal Training and Corrective Exercise Specialisation. 

The career path over the next 20 years has took Byron on a journey of learning that continues right to this very day.


Byron has had the opportunity to work under some of the best health & fitness experts across the world through mentorships and he brings together that blend of knowledge and expertise to help everyone that he works with.
Over the last 2 decades Byron has been active in setting up youth/athlete developmental programs throughout Ireland and opening several gym facilities. During this time he has worked with a complete range of clientele from Professional Athletes to the everyday person wanting to improve their health. In the last 10 years Byron has seen a shift more towards helping people with their own health. This is partly due to the major health issue that he faced at one point in own life and helping people back to optimal health is now his passion.

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Grainne McClements

My name is Grainne McClements and I practice the art of reflexology, which is one form of natural healing.
I worked as a dental nurse for 23 years and became fully qualified in 2004.
However I always wanted to do reflexology and decided to leave my dental nursing job to follow my dream.I signed up for a 2 year course in Ballymena and also started a part time job as a care assistant in a residential home for adults with learning disabilities, which I loved.
After 2 years of studying and practical assessments I successfully received my diploma from the VTCT.
7 years later and I'm still very passionate about what I do. I love to see the effects reflexology has on all my clients and the benefits they receive from having it done. The power of touch is a wonderful thing.
I hope I'm the coming years to further my education in holistic therapies and to develop my practice in the areas I'm so passionate about.

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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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Dr Catriona Walsh

Dr Catriona Walsh graduated in medicine from Cambridge University, England, and Queen’s University, Belfast. She is a practitioner with 15 years’ experience in the healthcare industry working as a paediatric doctor, eventually becoming a consultant with a specialist interest in childhood allergy.

As a result of her own health challenges, she reevaluated her approach to healthcare. Now she adopts a more holistic way of treating people. Having left mainstream medicine to set up The Food Phoenix, she has dedicated herself to trying to improve the health of people suffering from professional burnout as well as other people suffering from gadolinium toxicity from MRI contrasts.

Dr Catriona Walsh is the author of the book Contrasts: More than meets the MRI, an exposé of what may turn out to be one of the greatest scandals in the pharmaceutical industry in recent years.

Her training in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching, through the Institute of Health Sciences, Dublin, provides the highest level nutrition coaching qualification available. This has allowed her to extend her expertise regarding the way that dietary and lifestyle changes can impact your health and wellbeing.

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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.