Our Team

Skilled, dedicated and compassionate are just a few words to describe the team at Durand Integrated Health Group. We invite you to book an appointment and find out for yourself how we can help!



Marissa Headshot

Dr. Marissa Gelinas

Chiripractor & Clinic Director, Hons. B.A. Kin., D.C.

Dr. Marissa Gelinas earned her Honours Degree in Kinesiology from Wilfrid Laurier University and followed this by earning her Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She has a passion for helping people live their best lives and during her studies, she worked as a certified personal trainer helping her clients reach their health goals.

In practice Dr. Gelinas uses a diversified approach, treating every patient as a unique case. She believes in addressing the body as a whole and finding and treating the source of an injury rather than solely addressing the symptoms. Treatments may include spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, education and functional exercise prescription.

Having over a decade of clinical experience working in diverse clinical settings, Dr. Gelinas brings a wealth of knowledge to Durand Integrated Health Group as our Clinical Director. She is thrilled to be working with an outstanding team and she leads our collaborative model by ensuring each of our patients feel understood, supported and respected in their health journey.

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”
– William Osler

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Amani Headshot

Dr. Amani El Sawaf

Naturopath, N.D.
Amani El Sawaf is a licensed naturopathic doctor, board-certified from the College of Naturopaths in Ontario. El Sawaf completed conventional medical school training in Egypt. She graduated from medical school with an honours degree and joined the rheumatology residency program at Cairo University, Egypt. There, she was trained on diagnosis and management of autoimmune diseases and arthritis using chemotherapy, biological treatment and rehabilitation care. El Sawaf went on to obtain her master’s and a doctorate degree in rheumatology. She was promoted to a professor of rheumatology before leaving Cairo University.

Dr. El Sawaf has practiced rheumatology for over 20 years, during which she published 27 scientific research articles in recognized medical journals, including Lancet and BJR. Amani has since devoted her time and efforts to studying naturopathic medicine to help people support their physical, mental and emotional health. She graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2019. Since then, she found a great advantage in supporting patients as compared to her previous training, where she did not practice this type of medicine. Amani is interested in other areas of naturopathic medical care that include but are not limited to women’s health, rheumatology and autoimmune disorders.

“The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it” – Hippocrates

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Andrea Headshot

Andrea Howe

Registered Dietitian

Andrea is a passionate Registered Dietitian, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of her clients. Whether long-term or short-term goals, Andrea will work one-on-one to ensure her clients have the proper tools for success.

Andrea attended Culinary school with a nutrition focus at George Brown College, where she developed her knowledge of food and its role on our health. She then went on to attain her Bachelor of Science degree at Western Ontario in Food and Nutrition. This inspired her to advance her nutrition career and become a Registered Dietitian. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Hamilton Health Sciences where she became passionate about helping her patients and clients with an evidenced-based approach.

As a Culinary Trained Plant-Based Chef, Andrea has a special interest in plant-based nutrition for preventative health. She has experience working Sports nutrition counselling, Oncology, Fertility and Menopausal Nutrition, and Weight and Diabetes management. Andrea is committed to patient-centered care and making individualized goals with each unique person she meets.

In her spare time, Andrea can be found doing yoga or creating new recipes for her food blog.

“We become what we think about. Energy flows where attention goes.” -Rhonda Byrne

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Margaret Wilding

Margaret Wilding

Margaret Wilding is a Physiotherapist registered with The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario and a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in good standing. She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (1987). With extensive training initially and throughout her career in musculoskeletal injury and treatment, she completed further examinations in Acupuncture in 1996 with the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada. She began education into Vestibular disorders and Dizziness in 2010 and Concussion injuries following that. An awareness of need for pain management strategies led to more recent APTEI Persistent Pain Certification.

Margaret has had the opportunity to work in small towns, in hospitals and community Physiotherapy clinics, at the YMCA and in multidisciplinary practises. She has had the pleasure of supervising university students from McMaster Physiotherapy and Redeemer Kinesiology programs.

Margaret has been dedicated to learning and sharing current evidence and best practices with patients and colleagues alike. She brings energy, humour and a firm focus on the goals of her patients as they walk together through injury to recovery.

When not living through pandemics, she plays bass in a band and visits group homes with teenagers. She has recently discovered and recommends camping.

“Life is about joy. My job is to get you back to doing the things you love!” 

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Sheldon Massage Therapist

Sheldon Lopes Pereira

Registered Massage Therapist

Sheldon Lopes Pereira is a Registered Massage Therapist with a passion for health, anatomy, and physical activity. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology at York University, furthered his education by completing Mohawk College’s Advanced Diploma Massage Therapy program and will continue to be a perpetual scholar through life.

His goals in treatment are to develop a thorough understanding of each client through detailed hands-on assessments in order to create personalized treatment plans to help increase functionality, mobility, and improve pain management.

Included in his working portfolio, Sheldon has had experience working with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Hamilton Police, cyclists at The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and many specialized outreach programs such as Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice, and the Adult Recreation Therapy Centre. He is excited to continue his involvement in future community programs.

His passion and personal experience with the amazing sport of hockey, Sheldon has also helped develop young hockey players into skilled athletes through skill development and mentorship as a NCCP-Multi Level Sport Coach.

Outside of the clinic, Sheldon enjoys playing hockey, cheering for the Leafs, and de-stressing behind the drums while creating music with friends.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

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Tara Headshot

Tara Sproule

Registered Massage Therapist
Tara graduated from Kikkawa College in Toronto in 2005 to begin her Massage journey.

In her 15 years of practice, Tara has worked in multiple different environments including multidisciplinary clinics, spa, medical and neurological settings where she has seen a diverse clientele with many ailments, injuries and treatment needs. Whether your preference is relaxation or deep tissue, Tara’s technique is very thorough and she likes to locate those difficult trouble spots. Using Swedish massage techniques, fascial work, trigger points and stretching, Tara will work with you to ensure your best comfort and outcome with each treatment.

When Tara is not massaging you will surely find her hanging out with her dog, spending time with her friends/ family or off creating some form of artwork somewhere.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” -Walt Disney

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Kathleen Burns

Registered Massage Therapist

Kathleen Burns

Massage Therapy has been present in Kathleen’s life in numerous forms and in varying degrees of influence. It was first introduced to her when used in conjunction with Physiotherapy treatment as a young teenager. This in-depth and holistic approach to medicine sparked Kathleen’s interest in a career within the realm of Health Sciences.
While studying Kinesiology at Western University, Kathleen became familiarized with the various career paths available for a Kinesiologist. Her interest in working with clients in a hands-on environment has led to her becoming a Registered Massage Therapist.

Having graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy (CCMH) in 2014, Kathleen has thoroughly enjoyed being directly involved in the therapeutic effect of alternative medicine.

In June of 2020, Kathleen completed coursework to become a Certified Aromatherapist and enjoys incorporating aromatherapy into her massages when requested.

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Victor Headshot

Victor Simani

Registered Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Victor Simani

Victor graduated as a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM) from The International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Vancouver, and is a Registered Acupuncturist and TCM Practitioner R.TCMP, R.Ac in Ontario. Upon graduation, he pursued post graduate academic studies at the Anhui Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and followed this with a practice in China.

Victor has now been practicing for over 20 years and through his Traditional Chinese Medicine approach he is able to treat a number of health conditions. His passions are preventative medicine, sports injuries, internal medicine, gynecological conditions including male & female fertility. Victor is also an experienced cosmetic acupuncturist, offering another way to help you feel and look your best!

“Humans live on one-quarter of what they eat; on the other three-quarters lives their doctor” – Egyptian Pyramid Inscription

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Sophia Headshot

Sophia Sammy

Registered Psychotherapist, CYC, R.P.

Sophia Sammy

Sophia Sammy is a Registered Psychotherapist who has significant experience in working with a variety of client demographics. She has worked within a school setting as well as community and clinical settings.Sophia’s client-centered therapeutic approach encompasses an eclectic array of cognitive, humanistic, and behavioural therapies. She implements CBT, solution focused therapy, art therapy, and spiritually integrated therapy, to name a few.Sophia possesses a diploma in Child and Youth Care from Sheridan College, a Bachelors degree in Sociology from York University, and a Masters of Arts in Theology with a concentration in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Wilfrid Laurier University.As per the requirements of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) regarding members of a qualifying status, Sophia receives supervision under Caroline Krupica.

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” – Unknown

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Spring Headshot

Chun Hui (Spring) Shen

Registered Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practioner

Chun Hui (Spring) Shen is a Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac) & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCMP). Spring received her education at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine (AIM) Academy and the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (OCTCM).

Spring’s primary approach to practice is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is the consolidation of the ancient Chinese medical theories of acupuncture, herbal therapy, dietary therapy and Qi Gong exercise/meditation. Her practice places a great emphasis on the treatment of disharmony in the mind, emotions and spirit.

Spring’s nature is one of kindness and compassion, and she has a deep commitment to help people restore their health, improve their well-being and pursue health in mind/body/spirit as a whole. Spring is known to be very attentive and has a calming and empathetic approach with her patients.

Spring is passionate about nature and the great outdoors. She likes to practice Qi Gong and Yoga. She is also a certified Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and Yoga Instructor.

“A chronic disease with a very long history can still be cured, and those who think otherwise have not really mastered the art of acupuncture.” – Nei Jing

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Cristina Palermo

Cristina Palermo

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) R.P. and Art Therapist

Cristina Palermo is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and Art Therapist. She completed her training in Art Therapy and Psychotherapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and is currently finishing her thesis project on the benefits of art therapy in breast cancer patients and survivors. Cristina has always been passionate about the arts and her own journey as an artist helped her recognize the therapeutic value it holds.

In counselling sessions, Cristina offers both traditional talk therapy and art therapy as options. Cristina takes a very person-centred, humanistic and organic approach with each of her clients, letting the client guide the direction of each session. Sessions are rooted in mindfulness, meditation, grounding, and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Cristina can help clients suffering with anxiety, eating disorders, depression, grief and loss, behavioural and neurobehavioral disorders, brain injuries and mood challenges. She regularly works with adults and also specializes in working with children and adolescents. She has learned that using art and even play in sessions helps facilitate a conversation to talk about difficult experiences, especially in youth.

Don’t think you’re an artist? That’s ok, prior skills are not necessary to participate in art therapy it is inclusive to all ages and genders.

“Art can permeate the very deepest parts of us, where no words exist.” – Eileen Miller

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Joy Friesen

Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW

Joy Friesen

Joy Friesen is a Registered Social Worker who holds degrees in Master of Education and Master of Social Work. She offers over 10 years of experience in working with children, adolescents, adults, and families and approaches therapy as a supportive journey with clients, working towards their therapy goals. Joy provides a sincere and compassionate space for clients to feel known, heard, and validated so they can start taking control of their lives again.

Joys areas of focus are: Addictions | Anxiety & Depression | Child & Adolescent Mental Health | Coping Strategies | Emotion Regulation | Grief | Life Transitions | Pandemic Stress | Parenting Support | Self-Compassion | Self-Esteem | School Challenges | Work Stress & Burn Out
The theoretical approaches that Joy offers for therapy are: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy | Dialectical Behavioural Therapy | Internal Family Systems | Mindfulness| Motivational Interviewing | Solution Focused Therapy | Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

“The most powerful words are “me too” because these words make you feel that you are not alone in your journey.” -Unknown

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Yulian Pavlyuk

Yulian is a Hamilton local and happy to be working in his hometown! Yulian attended McMaster University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences and completed a senior thesis in radiation biology. Subsequently, he went on to study chiropody at the Michener Institute at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario

Yulian has experience working in public health settings such as hospitals and community clinics as well as working in private offices. He has experience working with busy health professionals, children, athletes and the elderly. This has enabled him to gain many useful skills. He looks forward to helping you with any foot issues you have. He particularly enjoys treating sport conditions with the utilization of compound medications, orthoses therapy and rehabilitation.

“Health is a vehicle not a destination” – Joshua Millburn

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Kat Headshot

Katharina Bhogal

Reception & Administration

Katharina Bhogal

Katharina graduated from Mohawk College in the field of Recreation Therapy. Kat considers herself lucky to have gained experience working in Long Term Care, as well as various Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and Veterinary clinics- and has a big passion for helping others. Her interest in health sparked at a young age as she grew up playing sports, snowboarding, and always loved being outside. In her free time, Kat enjoys spending time with her family and friends (the four-legged ones too!), learning new things, trying new restaurants and exploring everything that Hamilton has to offer.

“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go” -Anonymous

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Intelligent, compassionate, and skilled are just a few words to describe the team at Durand Integrated Health Group. We invite you to book an appointment and find out for yourself how we can help!

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