We look forward to meeting you!

Physical Therapy and Wellness Providers

Michaela Gaither PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, CPI

Tensegrity Physical Therapy and Wellness Founder and Owner

Physical Therapist, Polestar Rehabilitative Pilates Instructor

Michaela is an AZ native who grew up in Flagstaff and has always had a love of being active and the great outdoors. She grew up running, playing soccer and hiking. She is a lifetime learner and feels physical therapy is her true calling. In 2021, she founded Tensegrity Physical Therapy and Wellness and is grateful to have an exceptional team dedicated to serving the Tucson community. She has been fortunate to have had incredible mentors along the way that instilled compassion, curiosity, and commitment to excellence. She has already enjoyed 17+ years of being a physical therapist and continues to develop her skills to better advocate for her patients. Helping people tackle challenges that improve their quality of life and witness their transformation to mastering what was previously impossible, working to increase understanding of how to address, manage or eliminate pain and dream new goals is the most rewarding part of her job. When not in the clinic, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband, Josh, daughter, Samantha, son, Evan and her two dogs, Bailey and Baxter. She enjoys staying active with Pilates, yoga, running, weightlifting, snowboarding and hiking. She likes to dabble with new recipes and explore healthy gourmet cooking. Michaela looks forward to helping you with any musculoskeletal issues that are keeping you from living your best life.

Education:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Northern Arizona University 2005

BS Microbiology, Pre-Health Professional, Chemistry Minor Northern Arizona University 2002

BA Spanish Northern Arizona University 2002, 1 year study abroad Granada, Spain

Board Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapy Specialist

NAIOMT Certified Manual Physical Therapist

Polestar Certified Pilates Rehabilitation Practitioner

Kineticore Dry Needling certified

Functional Movement Screen Certified

Selective Functional Movement Assessment levels I and II certified

ACE Certified Gait Running Analyst

BIG LSVT, BIG for Life Provider for Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions

Rani Menard, PTA

Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Reiki Practitioner, Myofascial Release Practitioner

Rani is a Tucson native whose passion for service, wellness and movement led her to pursuing a career in physical therapy. Graduating from PMI in Tucson as a Physical Therapist Assistant, Rani’s connection with clients has been centered on serving the wellness of the whole person. Rani is a certified Reiki practitioner, Myofascial Release practitioner-studied from John Barnes teachings, LSVT BIG and BIG For Life certified. Some of Rani’s greatest inspirations come from nature, animals, art, chaos, the cosmos, crazy socks, relationship, music and most indubitably, her child.

Chrissy Barth, MS, RDN, RYT

Integrative Functional Registered Dietitian

Chrissy is an integrative and functional registered dietitian who is passionate about teaching others about optimal health and wellness by taking the confusion out of nutrition. She offers a personalized and holistic approach to help her clients live a high-performance lifestyle through the integration of her 7 High Vibe System. Chrissy is the founder and CEO of Nutrition Lifestyle Education – a nutrition coaching and consulting practice where she has served as a nutrition consultant to sports teams, spas, mental wellness programs, medical and training facilities, corporations, and local and national media outlets serving as a media spokesperson. Chrissy specializes in nutrition plans for athletes. Chrissy is also a Lecturer in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University where she teaches nutrition and entrepreneurship and serves as a mentor to many aspiring future nutritionists and dietitians.

Jayme White, MS

Integrative Clinical Nutritionist, Speech Language Pathologist

Jayme will complete her MS in Clinical Nutrition in December 2022 through Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and is currently working on her Certified Nutrition Specialist accreditation through the American Nutrition Association. She has over a decade of working as a Speech-Pathologist, MS, and continues to see patients in an acute care setting. Her expertise on swallowing, language and cognitive disorders has taught her the importance of preventative lifestyle medicine and she is excited to use nutrition as her primary tool for disease and pathology prevention. Visit https://desertmindfulnutrition.com for direct booking and to learn more about Jayme.

Olivia Jackter

Nutritionist

Olivia was born and raised in Tucson and has a deep love for Arizona. She attended Northern Arizona University for her undergraduate degrees in Exercise Science and Health and Wellness Coaching and Arizona State University for a master’s in medical nutrition. Olivia believes health and nutrition are all about modern and sustainable habit, not diets that cut out entire food groups.

Olivia greatly enjoys traveling, and recently spent a year in Europe and Asia, learning about different food cultures, traditions, and lifestyles. To stay active, she hikes with her dog Lola around the beautiful Arizona trails and plays tennis on the weekends.

Olivia specializes in nutrition for children and adolescents but is excited to show any group how fun and creative nutrition can be!

Vera Shury

Health and Wellness Coach, Certified Fitness Trainer, Senior Fitness & Weight Specialist

Vera is a very healthy senior who enjoys helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle as a neuroanthropologist. Neuroanthropology is an in-depth-study of the connection between neuroscience, neurobiology and brain enculturation. With many certifications in health and wellness to offer her clients, Vera also has education in integrative medicine anti-inflammatory nutrition, mental health, and pain management. She describes herself as a “lifetime learner” and has won 200 medals in the senior Olympics and has a Black Belt.

Paul Lugar

Certified Personal Trainer, MAT, USA Cycling Certified Coach

Paul started his fitness career over fifteen years ago. He studied wellness, nutrition and physical fitness concepts long before he officially went into the fitness industry. He has developed a special interest and skillset for corrective exercise and functional fitness specialty. Paul focuses on restoring of joint range of motion and function. He is continuously pursuing knowledge to apply and help his clients lead healthy productive lives.

Paul was very athletic as a teenager and played sports year-round. As an adult he started cycling thirty-two years ago. He has snowboarded over five hundred days and also likes to paddleboard. With all of those activities Paul still believes that resistance training is and should be priority.

Heidi Branlund, MTCM, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist

When she is not practicing acupuncture, Heidi enjoys music, spending time with her children, swimming, and hiking.

Heidi Branlund has been a practitioner of Chinese Medicine since 2002. Specializing in headaches/migraines, neck and back pain, fertility and women’s issues, she has worked in a variety of health care settings. She holds a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University and is expecting her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine summer of 2022. She uses acupuncture, Chinese herb formulas, cupping, gua sha, and Tui-na to achieve fantastic results. Heidi is also a supervisor at the local Acupuncture school clinic.

Xiaoli Ade LMT

Licensed Massage Therapist

When I was a kid, a neighbor was good at bone setting, massage and acupuncture. Patients were often seen with less pain after his help. I admire his skilled hands helping those in need.

After immigrating to the United States, I had an opportunity to study in a massage school. I developed interest in the complex structure of the human body. My hands could start feeling the musculoskeletal fluids and rhythm in the body and experienced the effect of each skill. I am good at combining various skills flexibly and applying them to the areas that need treatment, especially pain relief and stress release for the neck, shoulders and lower back.

Optimistic attitude has brought me grateful for life. I love nature, hiking, singing, aerobics exercise, golf and making healthy food and meals. I like my work and my ability to help people release stress from their bodies and thus their minds. I want to bring a good quality of life to the people I meet.

Manel Renshaw, LMT

Manel (Nel) Renshaw is a Minnesota native who is relatively new to Tucson, after moving here in 2020. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health and completed her massage program at Sister Rosalind School of Massage in 2009. She believes that the body has the ability to heal itself and practices mindfulness, yoga and meditation. She will listen to what you want and offer suggestions if she feels they are beneficial to your healing. She has created her own therapeutic touch over the years, finding that balance between working deep without inflicting residual pain. She calls her therapeutic massage “gentle deep tissue” addressing muscle attachment points and getting into the deep muscles, using light to medium pressure for those that are in chronic pain or sensitive. She considers her work to be intuitive and works on the muscles to the point where she feels resistance. Her area of expertise is with the shoulder and neck; however, she can tailor your session to work on your specific goals and needs. She is very passionate about animals, especially her rescue dog Dash. And yes, he is a spoiled diva who gets a lot of doggy massages!

Office Administration

Audrey Whitehead

Front Desk Receptionist and Patient Care Representative

Audrey is a creative, compassionate lover of animals who was born and raised in Tucson. She spends her time sewing or crocheting new projects when she is not with her family. She graduated from Carrington College as a PTT, her desire to help people inspired her to get into physical therapy after seeing how much it helped her mom recover after tearing her ACL. She is positive and always smiling especially when playing with her dog Luna who is a big baby!