Meet the team – Juliette Dowland

Juliette blog

Juliette blog

Juliette has worked as a physiotherapist for Willis Street Physio at various different locations around Wellington. She has spent time working at a number of rest homes as well as at the Victioria University and Willis Street clinics. She enjoys the variety physiotherapy offers and loves each aspect of her job. As Victoria University gets busier with the influx of returning students, Juliette will be based predominantly at the Kelburn campus.

Juliette completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy in Dunedin and spent her final year on placement in Palmerston North. Aside from her university studies, Juliette has lived in Wellington all of her life and, despite the temperamental weather, absolutely loves it. After high school she did a gap year and spent a summer working through the Camp America program as a lifeguard and swim instructor at a summer camp in Massachussets. Since then she has had a serious travel bug and has ensured that each year she goes overseas at some stage. Last year she travelled to South and Central America where she was lucky to experience the entire football world cup in Brazil and visited 11 different countries over 6 months. Her next adventure will be a brief stint in London later this year to support the All Blacks at the rugby world cup.

Juliette was always involved in sports growing up. By the time she reached high school she discovered her strength lay in water sports and was heavily involved in competitive swimming as well as water polo, underwater hockey and surf lifesaving. Since finishing high school she has remained involved with surf lifesaving and throughout the summer is found training with her canoe crew or volunteer lifesaving at Lyall Bay. She loves travelling with her team mates to compete at some of New Zealand’s best beaches. While travelling through Central America she also discovered a great passion for surfing and hopes to maintain this.

Juliette is not limited to the water however (although admits she does not have great coordination for ball sports). She maintains a fit and healthy lifestyle by regularly attending gym classes at City fitness and going on the occasional run, completing her first round the bays half marathon last year. She picked up snowboarding a couple of years ago and intends to travel to the slopes regularly this coming winter. In her first year of university she played womens rugby for her Hall of residence, however 3 minutes into her first game she dislocated her hip so that short career was soon over.

Juliette has a close group of friends who she loves to spend time with. Whether it be travelling together, attending musical festivals, going to the movies or simply going for a walk or for a coffee date, she ensures that there is always a good social balance in her life.


Have you ever done a Pilates class?


Pilates 1


Well a month ago I would have said “I have never been to a Pilates class before”.
But my eyes were opened when I visited a wee Pilates studio on the Terrace called ‘Lofft’.

Lofft is run by Morice, a passionate and well educated woman, who believes that posture is a very important part of our everyday lives.

She came to me from my recent blog ‘new year, new body’ to ​invite me to a one-on-one session to talk about posture awareness and that is important that I use the correct posture while exercising, but also how Pilates can help me get to my goal of fitting into that bikini in November this year.

I arrived at Lofft and was handed a questionnaire/consent form to fill out and discus with Morice. This is a critical step so Morice can find out a bit more about you and where your body level is at and if you have any injuries, this ensures you are starting at the correct level of Pilates training.

Morice showed me how I should be sitting by altering a few bad habits I have. I also felt my core switch on – which for me, was like switching a lightbulb on in my body. For once I felt like I was doing things right.

Morice then showed me the correct posture for lying down. She used some great gadgets to ensure that the movements I was doing was still activating my core and not using too much of my back muscles (which had been a problem for me in the past).

I have since been to the gym and used these techniques, especially while doing core work like sit ups, swiss ball exercises and squats.
At home I practice a lot of the standing techniques, while im cooking in the kitchen and while standing in front of a mirror brushing my teeth.

I have found that my back hasn’t been as sore after practicing these techniques, I even feel a bit lighter possibly due to correct posture. I am definitely keen to continue with Morice’s sessions.


For information about Morice you can either contact Willis Street Physiotherapy on 3848313 or check out, or email or phone her directly on 021 374 367.

Gravity Fitness Class with Gabriel Ribeiro

 Gabriel 2
We are excited to announce personal trainer Gabriel Ribeiro’s Gravity Fitness classes are coming to Willis Street Physiotherapy.
What is Gravity Fitness?
Gravity Fitness it’s a functional full body workout scaled to each student( it means that there is a progression in exercises and intensity)
Work your strength, agility and flexibility using your body weight as resistance.
Be fit for life.
 Gabriel 1
Timetable: Willis Street Physiotherapy (57 Willis St) Monday and Wednesday from 1700 to 1745
Island Bay school Monday and Wednesday 0630-0730
Frank Kitts park Tuesday and Thursday 1210-1255
Martin Luckie park Friday 1800-1845
Special 40% off if you like Gravity Fitness page on Facebook.
Post: Fit for life.
From $340 to $200 for 2 MONTHS.
Promo runs until the 20th of Feb.
Bookings are essential so that Gabriel knows how many people are attending each session.
Gabriel 3
Come along, bring a friend and have fun while getting fit.

Welcome to the team Caroline Appleton



Willis Street Physiotherapy are extremely excited to welcome physiotherapist Caroline Appleton to the team.

Caroline will be working full time at our Willis Street clinic.

Graduating from Otago University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degrees in Physiotherapy, Caroline worked for a few years in private practise in Wellington before returning to Otago University to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Acupuncture.

Caroline has had 9 year experience working in Wellington in private practise as well as working with sport teams in the weekend.

She has a particular interest in sports injuries and loves helping patients recover to be able to return to playing their sport of choice.

Caroline uses a wide range of treatment techniques including mobilisation, soft tissue release, taping and manipulation and finds that acupuncture is beneficial for some of the more tricky injuries, along with the use of pilates based exercises for rehabilitation.  Caroline has also completed courses in BPPV and has found the treatment techniques very successful for helping people suffering from BPPV.

Outside of physiotherapy, Caroline is an avid follower of any sports. She has played a variety of sports, but is currently honing her skills on squash and golf.

Welcome to the team Caroline, we are extremely excited to have you on board.

The travel bug

Black Hmong

Black Hmong

After 5 weeks of living out of a suitcase traveling the vast wilderness that is South East Asia, I can certainly say that I caught the travel bug. Not the bad kind.. the travel bug that has made me so eager to continue to explore the world.

Thanks to a combination of Naturopath Felicity’s, fantastic tips and my freakishly strong cast iron constitution I was not sick throughout my travels. Aside from the first leg of the trip, from Wellington to Sydney, where a combination of stuffy cabin air, anxiety and horrendous aeroplane food (thanks very much Qantas) caused me to power hurl as the ambassador of the Philippines rubbed my back. Safe to say I removed it from my system for a much more pleasant second and longer leg of the trip.

Mother dearest was kind enough to gift me $20 aus which I used to purchase some anti nausea pills and nurofen at Sydney airport. I ended up distributing these pills throughout the tour group as they dropped like flies with bad stomachs. The anti-nausea pills initially make you drowsy, however everyone I extended the pills to said their sickness diminished within a couple of hours. They worked a treat! I 100% recommend to any travellers to take ibuprofen and anti-nausea pills in your backpack everywhere you go including on the plane.

Thailand Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. They all had their fair shear of delicious cuisines, some of my favorites include traditional Phad Thai, Cambodia’s fish amok curry, Vietnam’s chicken noodle soup, Malaysia’s Teh See special and Singapore’s coffee chicken. Some of the best food I have eaten in my life and so cheap too. With the good food however came the bad. Hygiene is a big concern when selecting your eating destination in Southeast Asia. There are surplus quirky side street stalls (scorpions, tarantulas, snakes and grubs available on request) and restaurants galore; often the most unassuming ones were the best, but knowing which ones are good can be difficult without a tour guide or reliable local.


My brother became sick after consuming a pork bun from a small stall in a small town sold by a small lady with a small baby in Vietnam. Bad move bro! The meat was totally unidentifiable and tubular, looked a bit like a brain. There were a couple of bad currys, some suspicious seafood dishes and questionable salads eaten throughout the tour, thankfully I was able to avoid them all. Call it street smarts/intuition/luck. Let’s go with luck.

Cambodia was definitely one of my favorite places. The people were so vibrant, friendly, and happy although many of them had very little. Another perk was the cheap beer.. $7 for a 3L beer tower in Sihanoukville (an amping coastal party town in Cambodia). Safe to say there were a couple of rowdy nights. The best hangover cure for me (each to their own) was a swim in the sea.

Halong Bay

Our tour guide Charin Silphisuth from G Adventures was the greatest tour guide (seriously request him! He’s that good!). Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable about so many cultures, he is the most humble, conscientious, selfless, kind hearted person I think I have ever met. He made us feel safe in an unknown world and introduced us to different cultures, cuisines, religions and some of the most amazing local people with incredible stories. I think he played a big role in my positive well being overseas, just knowing that we would be safe in the Bronx of Asia, reduced my stress levels immensely (a dominant traveler feeling). I am not a stressy person and tend to just go with the flow; but being overseas you really have to have your wits about you. Do your research, be prepared, come see for Felicity for some great tips and tricks to stay healthy overseas and you are bound to have a blast.

Travelling is the most exhilarating and freeing thing you can do. If you can, go explore go adventure, travel, be free and have no fear.

New Year, New body!

Written by Olivia McCormick, Administration Manager at Willis Street Physiotherapy

“My goal over Christmas and New Year was to keep healthy and get an early start on those new years resolutions by taking a good chunk of time off work, staying in Wellington, keeping away from the boxing day sales, going to the gym lots, eating healthier food and looking after myself.

That did not happen at all, in fact it was the complete opposite.
Christmas day was the usual family catch up that always seems to be the most hectic and tiring day of the year, but it is always nice spending time with the family. The drive from Wellington to Kapiti was fine until we reached Plimmerton and realized what was meant to be a 45 minute trip turned into 2 hours because we left the house too late and hit the wall of traffic.
You say to yourself you will just eat one plate of roast meat with the side of delicious potatoes and salad, or just one plate of BBQ food.
Nope, the chips and dip come out, followed by the cheese and crackers (my biggest weakness), followed by all the chocolates that were in your presents.
Once you are about to pop and have washed it all down with a nice cold beer or glass of wine thinking that there is no way you are going to want to eat or even look at food for the rest of the year…… The pavlova, ambrosia, trifle and ice-cream with fruit comes out.
I ended up staying in bed until noon on boxing day trying to recover from my food hangover, and personally thinking there was no point in getting out of bed. All I would do is head straight to the shops for the boxing day sales. For the first time ever I was just too tired to leave the house.
Fast forward to  the 3rd of January and I had been off work for 2 weeks, and was feeling pretty guilty that I hadn’t done anything that I wanted to do in the time I had away from work. With one week left until my first day back to the “real world” I decided to hit the gym and do a leg workout.
I began by warming up on the bike for 20 minutes then it was off to the line of leg workout machines. I was incredibly wobbly (and looked like a drunk person) while doing walking lunges and started seeing stars after doing some dead-lifts. I pulled a muscle in my groin on the thigh abductor machine due to not stretching well before hand, also by thinking I could lift at the same weight I had 5 years ago – obviously my body has deteriorated slightly over the past few years.
Now, writing this, just two weeks since my first day back at the gym I feel amazing. I am going 3 times a week, alternating leg workouts, arm workouts, and then a day of core and a bit of cardio (and a sauna as a treat).
I have also begun walking again and over the last week I have walked on average of 8-10km a day, which isn’t very far when you think about it, maybe 1.5 hour walk around Oriental Bay after tea with my flatmate.
I have seen Carl Hammington recently (personal trainer at Willis Street Physio) who has gone through all the good things that I am doing (which is very motivating) and together we are working out the best program to keep me going and staying motivated so that I can fit into a bikini this November when I travel to Thailand. He has said the next time that I see him (in 4 weeks) I should have lost 2kg which will be such a body confidence booster this time of year.
This week I have also seen Felicity Leahy (Naturopath/Nutritionist at Willis Street Physio) just because I felt like I needed that extra push with my nutrition.
Over the last week I have cut down on my sugar intake (no more desserts, home baking, chocolate bars or red bulls) and have force fed myself tonnes of fruit and veggies.
Because I don’t eat breakfast at home, I tend to snack on junk food around 10am at work. I now make fruit salad using all of my favourite summer fruits like strawberries, blueberries, melon, cherries and pineapple which I eat at my desk mid morning.
For lunch I walk home (luckily I live 3 mins from work) and I have a simple salad consisting of spinach greens, feta, cucumber, capsicum and cherry tomatoes.
Felicity noticed that there was not enough protein in my diet and have given me some good ways of including it in every day life.
For snacks throughout the day I eat things like hard-boiled eggs, nuts and seeds and am also going to start putting chickpeas into my salads as I don’t really like to eat too much meat protein.
I live with three other flatmates who are luckily very good cooks, and cook really healthy food thankfully, so my dinners always include the perfect amounts of protein and a ton loads of veggies, and if its my partner cooking you can expect lamb chops, a big fat juicy steak or a delicious curry.
Although I am only in the early stages of my new years resolution to lose weight, tone up and get bikini ready for November. I wouldn’t have lasted more than a week if I didn’t have a supportive team around me (extra thanks to Carl and Felicity to making sure I am on the right track).
I find having someone to walk with you, or having a gym buddy makes all the difference, they push you that little bit further and make you go that extra mile so if you are a bit of a lazy person like me who thinks the gym is a daunting place, grab a friend and go for a walk to botanical gardens, around the bays in Wellington, or drive out to reserves like Percy’s Scenic Reserve in Lower Hutt or the Orongorongo track in Wainuiomata if you are into bushwalks.
If you have a gym membership and haven’t been in a while just remember that the hardest part of going to the gym is getting there, once your there you will be fine.
If you are finding the gym boring then pop in and make an appointment with a personal trainer, you can also call Willis Street Physio and see Carl Hammington and he can work out a plan for you.
And if you are struggling with your eating habits I highly recommend coming and seeing Felicity Leahy. She is absolutely amazing.
Check out their profiles on the Willis Street Physio website 
If you want to book to see either Carl or Felicity call the admin team at Willis Street Physiotherapy 04 834 8313
Food I gathered in the garden and orchard at Appin Homestay - as Helen was getting the tour of the kitchen. We fell a bit in love with this place and the couple that ran it!image-5

Meet the team – Peter



Peter works full time as a physiotherapist for Willis Street Physio and splits his time between our Willis Street and Victoria University (Kelburn Campus) clinics.  Peter grew up in Invercargill but was born in Tauranga.  He is the eldest of three children – but as a twin, only by 11 minutes.  He is a bit of a perfectionist (in the best sense of the word) has an addictive personality and a contagious laugh which we all love here at Willis Street Physio.

From a young age Peter was heavily involved in team sport playing football, rugby, touch and netball.  As he got older he turned to individual sport and developed a passion for gymnastics.  He trained and competed for 10 years at National and International level and specialized in power tumbling.  He won several national, oceanic and international titles and still holds national records.  He was lucky to travel all over the world to compete through Europe, America, Canada, Australia and Asia.  He was also a capable academic and enjoyed school (despite being absent a lot of the time on the other side of the world).  Eventually this became his focus and he retired from competitive sport at 21 to study but he has maintained similar training habits throughout life.

More recently Peter has become involved in team training and group fitness and instructs classes for Les Mills Extreme in Wellington.  Peter finds this a great adjunct to his physiotherapy.  He is able to combine sports and biomechanical physiotherapy and rehabilitative exercise prescription (cornerstones of his treatment and management style) to his teaching at Les Mills.  He teaches three programmes: a functional core strength programme, an aerobic programme and a high intensity strength programme. Underlying both professions is a true passion for helping people to achieve personal health and fitness goals and in injury prevention.

Outside of work and fitness Peter enjoys socializing with friends.  He likes to wind down watching a good film (classic, documentary or modern), reading a good book (Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Phillip Roth) or listening to good music (Chvrches, London Grammar, The xx, James Blake).  He is a keen snowboarder and tramper and spends all summer at the beach, in the sun.