We are a passionate team of professionals dedicated to enhancing your health and wellbeing. 

Scroll across to meet each of us...



Meet Hayden and John.

These long time friends bumped into one another at the Nelson Trolley Derby in 2006 and on discovering they were both at a fork in the road of life, the seed to create Equilibrium was sown.

A year later in early 2007, they moved into a very different and creative space tucked away in Church Street, in the heart of Nelson City and the business has grown from there to include 4 chiropractors, massage therapy, yoga, pilates, mindfulness classes and more.

"We have breathed new life into a fantastic inner city premises, with a difference. We have 'recycled and re-defined' a dis-used inner city industrial warehouse and have transformed it into an airy, light-filled professional premises with a New York loft style, gallery feel.

Our fit-out has been done with biological and ecological principles in mind and is a relaxing and inspiring environment.

Ten years on we still thoroughly enjoy the space we have created, and even more so the fantastic team that has evolved."

John and Hayden are passionate chiropractors who are incredibly client-focused and continually seek to provide the best care and advice possible for the benefit of individuals, families and the community.

DR HAYDEN THOMAS - Principal Chiropractor

DR HAYDEN THOMAS - Principal Chiropractor

I was born and raised right here in sunny Nelson and am loving raising my three gorgeous daughters with my partner Hayley in this wonderful place.

My first encounter with chiropractic was as a baby as I had a difficult delivery in which forceps were used and I would only turn my head to one side to feed. Ever since, I have enjoyed regular adjustments throughout my life. This inspired me to become a chiropractor to help others live to their optimum potential.

I graduated from the University of Auckland in 1999 with a BSc. in physiology and from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 2001 with my chiropractic degree. I then spent several months undertaking continuing training at Life Chiropractic College West in San Francisco, USA where I enjoyed learning more about sports chiropractic and extremity adjusting. I worked as a locum chiropractor for several years around New Zealand and then in a practice in Cork, Ireland for a year and a half before returning to Nelson to set up Equilibrium with John.

I am passionate about how chiropractic care can help individuals of all ages and am actively involved in the NZ Chiropractors' Association, currently as the President.

I also have a strong interest in art and design, and environmental issues.

Favourite Quote:

“when life is full of wonder, life is wonderful”


DR JOHN DAWSON - Principal Chiropractor

DR JOHN DAWSON - Principal Chiropractor

I am originally from Columbus Ohio, USA and come from a large family of ten children. I have been living in Nelson for over 25 years and have two beautiful daughters, Phoebe and Chelsea. I was inspired to study chiropractic following a severe wrestling injury in my late teens. This natural approach to health and healing made a lot of sense to me and so began my educational journey in this dynamic profession.

I am a long standing member of the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association and am presently completing a Wellness Certification Program endorsed by the International Chiropractic Association.

I enjoy being a chiropractor and have a particular passion and interest in the power of good lifestyle choices and the impact that can have on overall health and vitality. It is a joy to see people express better health as they begin to eat, move and think in ways that support their physiology and natural healing processes. I love working as part of our exceptional team here at Equilibrium.

I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place as Nelson. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and what the Nelson region has to offer. I have been fortunate to pursue many interests and these days I enjoy a regular practice of yoga, walking, cycling, gardening and anything to do with food!

Favourite quote:

“As goes the habitat, so goes the inhabitants”

Dr James L. Chestnut

DR SUZETTE DREW     - Associate Chiropractor

DR SUZETTE DREW - Associate Chiropractor

Ever since I was little I have been amazed at the body’s natural inborn powers to grow, heal and change, so it was no surprise I was drawn to a career working with this awesome superpower.

At Equilibrium I draw on my therapeutic massage background and extensive chiropractic training to keep people growing, moving and functioning at optimal potential. I have a very special interest in keeping our littlest ones functioning at their best through gentle cranial and spinal care so they can grow, learn and develop with the least amount of stress impacting on their precious nervous systems.

Interests: Doggie walking, kayaking, swimming, anything involving the beach, water and nature. I love to sing and dance with my baby girl! 

Favourite quotes:  I have two, both from one of my favourite authors: 

"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it"

"Meanings is not important,' said the BFG. 'I cannot be right all of the time.  Quite often I is Left instead of Right'."

― Roald Dahl

DR OLIVIA BORLASE - Associate Chiropractor

DR OLIVIA BORLASE - Associate Chiropractor

My goal in life has always been to help people live a higher quality of life. I first experienced chiropractic care when I was 17 and became aware of how powerful the human body can be when it's free from stress and tension. This allowed me to better enjoy physical activities like running and rowing.

The amazing way chiropractic enhanced my body's function and performance inspired me to become a chiropractor so I can help my family, friend's and community enjoy the same benefits.

Interests: long runs with great music, cuddles with my nephew, eggs benedict, playing board games with my family, baking fancy cakes for special occasions, hardcore workouts, brunch with good friends, and being at home on the farm.

Favourite Quote: 

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted"

― The Lion and the Mouse, Aesop Fables

Dr Brodie Sidwell – Associate Chiropractor

Dr Brodie Sidwell – Associate Chiropractor

Growing up in Nelson allowed me to be a part of a great community. I lived in Nelson for the first 18 years of my life, then moved onto study my passion of chiropractic. After living in Auckland for the past five years, and graduating from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, it is time to return back to my roots.

My journey into chiropractic was underway long before I was born, as Dr John Dawson was my parent’s family chiropractor. I started care here at Equilibrium when I was 14 years of age after suffering a fall playing basketball. Chiropractic care allowed me to get back to playing basketball and other sports quicker than I had imagined. I am thrilled to be able to give back to the community, just as Equilibrium has done for me.

Basketball is a keen interest of mine, which I continue to play. I am also passionate about helping people reach their health goals, and allow them to function at their best through chiropractic.

Favourite quote:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Lao Tzu

HAYLEY RICHARDS  Chiropractic Assistant, Certified Nutritionist   & Founder of Gather Girl + Kami & Kindred

HAYLEY RICHARDS Chiropractic Assistant, Certified Nutritionist & Founder of Gather Girl + Kami & Kindred

I have always had a love of creating and enjoying divine healthy food, and the magic that can be experienced when bringing people together around the dinner table. 

With my background in plant-based nutrition I enjoy developing healthy recipes and sharing them through my blog along with styling and hosting my regular 'girl gatherings' and occasional cooking workshops at Equilibrium. It brings me so much joy helping others transform their health and relationship with food.

What I do complements the amazing work my partner Dr. Hayden Thomas does with his team here at Equilibrium. 

Interests: Spending time with my three delicious daughters, cooking & baking, making my ceramic and natural fibre jewellery (, hosting dinner parties and long table gatherings, coffee dates with friends, photography, health & wellness, yoga, swimming in the ocean, design, fashion, following blogs, pottery and sewing, 

Favourite quotes: 

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” 

― Dr Seuss

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” 

― Brian Tracey


For more about me and my passions visit:

Marine Conrad - Chiropractic Assistant

Marine Conrad - Chiropractic Assistant

Originally from France, and coming from a family of bakers, I settled in beautiful Nelson 4 years ago, and started working in hospitality, managing a successful restaurant in the heart of Nelson.

I studied Art and Art History in Paris where I lived for 8 years, working as an assistant for an interior designer on a TV production before eventually starting my own interior design business.

I enjoy living in Nelson for the amazing quality of life. I'm absolutely amazed by the nature and also the people living here.

Inspired by my beautiful surroundings, I started get into a healthier life, joining the gym, changing my diet and opening up to yoga and meditation practice. I'm enjoying this new 'slow life' that really suits me, and helped me find a real balance and a real meaning in life.


Styling houses and making people feel good about their homes. I have a real passion for interior design, art and culture in general, but also mindfulness teachings, yoga and meditation.

Spending quality time with my friends is also a big part of my life, giving back by doing some volunteer work, and of course travel, travel, travel! Getting to know amazing people that help you keeps my mind open.

Fav quote:

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved." George Sand

EMMA SAUNDERS - Pilates Instructor

EMMA SAUNDERS - Pilates Instructor

Our Pilates teacher Emma Saunders (nee McGettigan) is a native Nelsonian who has returned home with her young family following work and study abroad. 

Emma has a physiotherapy background and studied Modified Pilates at the renowned Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI) based in the U.K. We are very pleased that she has chosen to offer her high quality classes at Equilibrium. 

We Don't Take Ourselves Too Seriously

We Don't Take Ourselves Too Seriously

At Equilibrium we love what we do and do what we love.

We are passionate about delivering exceptional quality, hands-on natural healthcare for all ages in our inspirational healing environment.

We love sharing our knowledge and passion with the vision of creating a happier, healthier community.

While we are serious about health and wellbeing, we don’t take ourselves too seriously!

Welcome to our practice.

Live Well. Be Well.