Welcome to Kāpiti's world of wellness

Practising the art of holistic health

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About Rimu

We are Michele and Tristan McDonald, parents of four amazing children, proud Kāpiti people and founders of Rimu Chiropractic Studio. We have a goal to help our community understand they are capable of extraordinary things.

We are surrounded by a like-minded team who strive to provide individualised

care for anyone who comes through our doors. Our patient experience is unique and is of most importance to us. We hope you will find everything you need at Rimu, and remember

you are designed to be extraordinary

What is
chiropractic care?

Chiropractors specialise in maximising the function of your nervous system, which is protected by your spinal column. Your nervous system is the most important part of your body–it can be likened to a computer being able to process information quickly, and then relay that information back and forth between your brain and body.

Chiropractors are committed to naturally enhancing the flow of information by ensuring that the joints of the spine are moving optimally, which removes pressure off the nervous system and increases your body’s ability to heal naturally.

Our chiropractors are passionate about helping people who seek better functionality to do the things they love.

  • Chiropractic is not a substitute for medical care and vice versa.
  • The body gives us signs and symptoms for the benefit of finding out more about ourselves and imbalances with which we are living.
  • Your body is a zone of health and life expression
  • Chiropractors deal with the nerve system to enhance the body’s ability to communicate with itself via a hands-on approach
  • Chiropractic is a vitalistic approach coming from the understanding that health is gained from the internal functions of the body. Every function is coordinated by the nervous system. It is possible that we have everything we need to heal ourselves as long as there is no interference to your nervous system. At Rimu Chiropractic Studio we think of this as an inside out wellness approach.
  • Chiropractors specialise in the detection and correction of subluxations (nerve interference) to maximise life expression and functionality within the body.

Meet the team

Dr Michele McDonald (Bchiro, Cert.A.K, MNZCA)
Chiropractor, Co-founder

Chiropractic embodies my childhood dream of having the world well. Growing up under chiropractic care was my first step in helping give people the power to function at their best so they can make more informed decisions about health, wellness and life.”

As well as setting up her practice in Kāpiti, Dr Michele has used her skills in other parts of the world such as Siliguri, India, helping people in underprivileged communities regain their wellness and potential.

  • Graduated from the prestigious New Zealand College of Chiropractic, gaining Clinical Merit for high achievement in clinical practice
  • Received the Meritorious Service Award to celebrate outstanding service within the chiropractic community
  • Practiced in Wellington’s CBD for a number of years
  • Completed studies in Applied Kinesiology
  • Is a member of the New Zealand Chiropractic Association
Dr Camille André (DC, MNZCA, Cert.A.K)

I grew up in the South West of France. At 18 years old, I was stressed over my upcoming high school final exams and my mother advised me to see a chiropractor. I felt so much relief after the first visit that I decided to become a chiropractor straight away. Once graduated, I completed a month long mission trip in Nepal.

For me, health is not only the absence of symptoms, it is the complete physical and emotional wellbeing, and that is why chiropractic suits me to help people in our community. I love working with pregnant women and babies with the amazing changes theirs bodies go through for growth and development.

In my personal life, I love sustainable and healthy living, playing boardgames and going for walks in the beautiful scenery of New Zealand.”

  • Graduated from the Institut Franco-Européen de Chiropraxie (IFEC)
  • Practised in Wellington for 2 years
  • Completed studies in Applied Kinesiology
  • Numerous seminars for pregnancy and newborn chiropractic care
  • Is a member of the New Zealand Chiropractic Association
Dr Bridget Hawthorne (Bchiro, MNZCA)

"Growing up I was lucky enough to be under regular chiropractic care from birth. I received my first chiropractic adjustment on the way home from the hospital after I was born. In my teenage years I spent a lot of time playing sports at various levels, including internationally. This was when I realized the true value of chiropractic and how it kept my body functioning exceptionally, despite all the stress from the numerous trainings, games, high school work and everyday life commitments. Chiropractic is my way of helping other people to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.“

  • Graduated from the prestigious New Zealand College of Chiropractic with a Bachelor of Chiropractic
  • Participated in a mission trip to Rarotonga providing free chiropractic care for the locals
  • Is a member of New Zealand Chiropractors Association
Deborah Lyons
Massage therapist

Twenty-five years ago I was introduced to holistic healing, as a tool to help me grow and overcome personal challenges I was facing at that time. The combination of mind, body and emotional work instantly resonated with me and inspired me to start my own business in Invercargill, Essential Holistic Living.

For almost two decades I supported the people of Southland with a mixture of energy work (Reiki), counselling and life planning, mindfulness meditation and therapeutic massage. In 2016 I moved to Raumati Beach, and was captivated by the energy and beauty of the Kāpiti Coast. It’s given me fresh inspiration to take my practice to a new level. I love helping people and I’ve been privileged to support clients from every walk of life. Those seeking to enhance their relationships, develop motivation, find a path and purpose beyond the “work treadmill" or seeking relief from body pain.“

  • Qualified Therapeutic/ Relaxation Massage Therapist (Australian School of Therapeutic Massage 2000)
  • Reiki Teacher and Practitioner (1996)
  • Holistic Life Coach (Dip 2001) and Meditation Teacher (2001)
Lauren Appleton
Yoga teacher

I have spent the last 20 years practising many different styles of yoga, and I bring these influences into my own teachings. I trained at the renowned Byron Yoga Centre in Australia, a facility specialising in ‘Purna’–meaning integrated or complete. This has evolved into my own Hatha-fusion style which I teach with a focus on alignment and breath. Based on the Kāpiti Coast, I am a mother of two small children as well as a student of nutrition and naturopathy. I know all too well that amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy life we all need to carve out a little space for ourselves. It is important to me to be inclusive in my classes because really, yoga is for everybody.”

  • At Rimu Chiropractic Studio Lauren teaches two block courses a term: prenatal yoga and wellness yoga
Susie Dilks
Functional nutritionist

I believe that nutrition is a foundational aspect to wellness. Being able to guide people in nourishing their bodies from a cellular level using food as medicine is an absolute passion of mine. I like to look at nutrition through the lens of bio-individuality as one size doesn't fit all, and I throw body love, joy and intuition into the mix, too.”

Susie enjoys seeing a broad range of clients at Rimu Chiropractic Studio including, but not limited to, women (including pregnancy), children, autoimmune clients, gut health clients; and providing general nutritional guidance.

  • Graduated from Massey University with a Diploma in Exercise Science with a focus in Nutrition
  • Graduated from Canterbury University with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
  • Graduated from the Nutritional Therapy Association as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
Chiropractic assistants
Sarah, Zoe, Jacqui

Chiropractic assistants play a vital role at Rimu. They are not only the first person you see or speak to when you interact with our studio but they are the ones that make sure as many people in our community can be accommodated with appointments as needed. They organise external services such as x-ray, educate about health and wellness, are our support product gurus and the hub of the studio functionality.


What to expect during your care: FAQs

Your initial visit to see a chiropractor will take approximately 30-45 minutes, and will cover the following areas:

Health historyDuring your initial visit, your chiropractor will spend some time discussing your health goals and concerns and relate these to your potential chiropractic care options.

This is a time for the chiropractor to learn more about you and your expectations and determine whether chiropractic care will help you to meet these goals.

Chiropractic examWhen everything has been discussed, your chiropractor will perform a complete chiropractic examination. The major purpose of this exam is to analyse your spine and nervous system and how it is functioning; to locate any area of subluxation (spinal misalignment) and rule out any contraindications to care.

Some key information to know is:Chiropractic care is performed through light clothing. Bulky clothing, such as a heavy winter jacket or thick jersey may be asked to be removed.

Testing concentrates on the neuromuscular system (nerves, muscles and bones). Tests vary depending on what is discovered during the initial consultation and evaluation of your health history/ consult.

  • - Observation (gait, flexibility, posture analysis)
  • - Palpation (feeling joint motion, soft tissue and muscle tension)
  • - Standard orthopaedic and neurological tests
  • - Any further tests or imaging that may be indicated (e.g. x-ray). X-rays and further tests (if required).

If clinically indicated, referral will be made for an x-ray. X-rays help us rule out more serious conditions and assist us in developing the most effective care plan for you. Diagnostic imaging aids the chiropractor to see what is going on in the body, helping to locate any fractures, bone abnormalities, abnormal curvatures, and reveal any phase of spinal degeneration/ osteoarthritis.

Nothing will be done at Rimu Chiropractic Studio without your consent.

During a regular/ follow-up visit to your chiropractor, there are three important areas covered:

Pre-checkThis is the time at the start of your visit where we observe your progress and changes. It is also a great time to cover any queries or questions regarding your current status.

AdjustmentThe process of correcting subluxations/ nerve interference is a gentle force introduced to the body. This can range from a dynamic thrust

through to very light forces and contacts, along with instrument and table-assisted delivery.

Post-checkThis is where the chiropractor evaluates the changes in your body from the adjustment, to ensure optimal spinal function is had. If concurrent care, rehabilitation, home stretches/ exercises or lifestyle changes are to be made these will be discussed here.

Your chiropractor will ask you a variety of questions to get a clear case history. This involves information about your current health status, your past health history (injuries, accidents, surgeries, etc.) as well as your health goals.

It is very important for your chiropractor to gain information to assess the need and appropriateness of chiropractic care.

This can only be answered after a thorough consult and exam has been performed. Your health today is the result of the events and stressors throughout your entire life that your body may not have recovered from.

Recommendations will be based on:

  • The severity of your health concerns
  • The condition that your spine is in
  • Your health goals that you hope to achieve via chiropractic care

Your chiropractor will detail a course of care tailored to your needs. Each visit/ adjustment builds on the one before. Your ability to listen to your body and your commitment to keeping the recommended schedule of care will determine how well you benefit from chiropractic care.

No, you do not require a referral from anyone before starting chiropractic care.

Adjustments should only be performed by a qualified chiropractor. Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless, and many patients report relief after their adjustments.

In the case of recent trauma, such as whiplash, mild discomfort may be experienced due to inflammation; this usually goes away within 24 hours.

The specific techniques chosen will depend on your age, condition and comfort levels. Chiropractors are highly trained professionals and have a range of techniques to suit individuals from newborns to the elderly.

It’s simple. Click the ‘book now’ button below, fill out the form, and we will be in touch with you shortly. Or, call our office on 04 297 0909.

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Still have some questions?
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Contact Us

Would you like to know more about what we do, or have a question about booking? Send us an email or give us a call, we’re happy to help.

Phone (any time):
04 297 0909
43 Matatua Rd, Raumati Beach
12.00pm - 5.00pm
9.00am - 7.00pm
7.30am - 4.00pm
9.00am - 8.00pm
9.00am - 2.00pm
8.30am - 1.00pm